Friday, January 11, 2019

October Webelos

I shared a lot of my thoughts in my October Reflections post, but when I was doing my What I'm Into for October, which is now really a round up of what we did the whole month, I realized this deserved it's own post. We had two big events in Annie's Cub Scout den in October and I had a lot of feelings (and a lot of pictures, to be honest) to share.

First up, my sweet girls had the HUGE honor of being asked to lead a flag ceremony to honor a distinguished Jackson citizen, Jeff Goode.

Now, a flag ceremony is something neither I nor any of the girls were at all familar with. This was so scary to me and made me want to puke. But we have the most wonderful folks as leaders in our pack and they walked us through the practice quite a few times. 

You can hear me in the video telling the girls you're not supposed to do the Scout Sign when holding the flag and explaining my own personal reasoning you might drop it, LOL.

The next big thing was our first camping trip.

We made it! I was bone tired for a couple of days, but we did it!!! We missed one Cub from our three girl group but these two ladies and I had a fantastic weekend.

It was harder than I anticipated in some ways, but it was much more fun than I had imagined in lot of ways. Annie was very sad to see the campout end and I was a little sad myself. We made a lot of wonderful memories.

My father in law texted me the sweetest message on Friday to say how much the BSA meant to him and his boys and how he was impressed with how I was getting out of my comfort zone for my children. My sister texted me today to say she was proud of me. And another leader was joking with me and then said "I'm teasing you but really, I'm so proud of you for coming down here by yourself without Peyton and just doing this". And both my parents have said the sweetest stuff along these same lines lately. I cried a little all five times. A word of encouragement goes a LONG way with me and I'm really grateful that I have people who are so kind and supportive.

People ask me a lot what is wrong with the Girl Scouts. And the truth is NOTHING... if that's your thing. If you like crafts (which Annie does, but not as much as nature and that's an itch that's easier to scratch in other ways) and if you like cookie selling (I am one hundred percent a fan of GS cookies for eating but I hattttte asking people to buy things). But there's not as much of a strong focus (in *most* GS troops) on outdoorsy stuff. And honestly, a lot of times that's on the mommas who are scared to camp/hate to camp. Which I completely understand and identify with. And wouldn't do if I didn't have Annie foot (and Peyton's foot) on my tail kicking it into gear.

The truth is, this weekend is a big part of why we chose the BSA. But this also isn't something that comes naturally for me.

When I was trying to psych myself up for it, I reminded myself of moving to (and flourishing in) NYC, learning to drive a stick shift like a boss (okay, let's be real, I'm a terrible driver- standard or automatic), and birthing a couple of babies without any drugs and I'm telling myself I'll be a stronger woman on the other side of this. But I really wished P was going with us. The good news is that he (and Graves and Sallie) will be there for the next one! 

Annie thought the signposts with the Scout Law we're so special. 

She set up Peyton's (slightly fancy/ complicated) tent ALL by herself (everyone in the Pack did convince her- praise the Lord- that the rain fly would be beneficial and just because she would enjoy waking up covered in dew on a fifty degree morning her momma might not).

We definitely took a bathroom selfie, which Annie said was gross. The bathrooms were maybe the biggest struggle- I got up several times both nights and used these things that are legit outhouses because the real bathrooms were too far away. I was pretty proud of myself- some of the boys were turning up their noses at those things. I laughed so hard because a fifth grader that's about as big as me needed to go up the hill to the bathroom one night right before lights out and they HAVE to go with a buddy. The other boys kept telling him to just use the campsite potties but Annie volunteered to go with him 

The Scouts made monkey bread one morning as part of their Cast Iron Chef badge and we had such a beautiful time canoeing around the lake.

Annie and her sweet friend Erin- they had SO much fun together. I'm glad she has a friend that's like her and isn't very girly.

One of the leaders told me his daughter has a shirt that says "indoorsy" and I told him just to make sure she married an Eagle Scout and has outdoorsy babies and she'll be the crazy chick on the camp out with half inch foam ground covers when everyone else brought cots and air mattresses 

No filter because it was really this dark-- way earlier wake up than this momma is used to. I actually loved sleeping outside in the tent and I wasn't cold at all. It felt really wonderful. But I don't think I got very good sleep. I woke up a couple of times and had a harder time going back to sleep then I do at home. That said, I don't do anything half way, and I'm surprised with how much I keep reflecting on how fun and special this was and how much I'm looking forward to the next one. A LOT of that has to do with our Pack. We spent more time at the campout just sitting around the fire visiting then I had expected and I had the best time getting to know our new friends. I met some sweet moms and I have been so impressed with how welcoming the daddies have been. The other den leaders are SO encouraging and enthusiastic and I'm sure it's not one hundred percent easy welcoming little girls into this special time with their sons. But overall, I really haven't gotten that feeling. In fact, I heard one leader telling a little boy that seemed a bit disgruntled about sharing this space with the girls "Cub Scouts has always been about family camping. Sisters and girls have always been here with us. The only difference is now they wear the uniform". It meant everything to me and I'm so grateful to be a part of a group that practices that kind of inclusion.

Such a blast!

Annie and Erin and I had such a fun time repelling off a thirty foot tower.

The girls both went up and came back down the stairs (they don't push anybody too hard and the staff was SO good at telling you what to expect and things that would make you more comfortable). But after I did it, they both decided to go for a second shot, which made me so proud. I actually love stuff like this but it did freak me out a bit. I'm glad I went for it- it's in my top three memories along with sitting around the campfire and the final night Council Ring dedication/party.

What a brave, spunky girl- and Erin, too! They inspire me!

I really didn't know going into to this that I would enjoy Scouts or find it as rewarding as I have. It's been a really fun ride and I can't wait to enjoy Scouts the rest of the year and for many more to come! 

"This Land Was Made for You and Me"

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