|Me and Doodle at Raingutter Regatta 2010|
Last night was the first Den Meeting of the fall for our Cub Scout Pack. And it was exhausting! But there was a really good reason WHY it was so....NEW BOYS!!! With only two "veterans" (my son and the cubmasters son) in the pack, the new incoming scouts don't yet know what is expected of them and how they should behave in a den meeting.
So last night wore me out trying to hold the attention of 11 Cub Scouts, 1 Girl Scout and 2 younger siblings, pretty much on my own. OF COURSE, there was another leader present, but he's just as new to it all as the boys are.
I often post comments on Facebook about my pack or my own scouting activities, and I suppose since I don't really DO much else besides work and scouts, it may appear to some that I am spending too much time on this. Perhaps its the fact that I not only lead a Cub Scout pack, but also a Girl Scout Troop, it may seem that it really is all I ever do.
Apparently, this has caused my grandmother to be concerned that I'm wearing myself out and she keeps telling me to quit.
Well, Grandma, I probably won't quit for several reasons. Doodle has really gained a lot of experience and life skills from scouting, he gets to make new friends, and personally, I have a lot of fun showing the kids cool things to make from recyclables or doing fun science experiments, but that doesn't make it any less exhausting. Doodle has this year and next as a Cub Scout, then he'll cross over to Boy Scouts and I won't be going with him. I'll still participate, but I won't be a leader.
What I really don't talk about is the reason it wears me out. For 1 hour, twice a week, I have to bury my depression very deep, plaster on that phony smile and crank up my "stage presence" to keep the attention of those kids for just that single hour. It is physically draining and after I leave, I crash.
I don't remember exactly what stroke of insanity first prompted me to volunteer to be a leader, but when I commit to do something, I do it to the very best of my ability. How can I stand up in front of those kids and tell them to do their best, if I haven't done mine.
I have taken all sorts of training classes, done hours and hours of research online finding new and exciting ideas to share with my scouts. And the pay-off???? Seeing those kids run up to mom or dad after a meeting saying "GUESS WHAT WE DID?!?!?!"
I think the most important reason that I volunteer with scouting, is that as a parent who actually takes the time to enrich my son's life, I like to meet other parents who also care enough to put their kids in a program like scouts.