We’re Done with Cub Scouts :(

Time marches on, ready or not.  Lots happened in March, including a new job (yay!)…but also including B’s crossing from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts.  While this doesn’t sound like a big deal, it has really hit home the fact that my kids are all growing up way too quickly for my liking.  Cub Scouts has been a part of our life for seven years, and it really has been a family adventure.  I know other good things are to come, but in my reflection I came across this journal entry from years ago and thought it would be fun to share.

It’s important to understand that A only joined Cub Scouts last year (in 3rd grade) and only because his best friend was in scouts. So, we didn’t do any scout activities last year, besides the relatively mild meetings, Pinewood Derby, and banquet. However, he became an environmentalist in the process of the gifted program last year (they were GA River Keepers), and he wanted to go to the annual lake cleanup this year. 

Since it was a cleanup at Lake Allatoona, I (wrongly) assumed that we’d be going somewhere around Acworth or Red Top Mountain to cleanup all the paper plates and beer cans left after Labor Day weekend. It wasn’t until I read the directions (this morning in the car as we were leaving) that I realized we were going to some remote scout campground up in Cartersville. As a side note, you’d think I would’ve learned to look at directions better after our trip to a Phish concert in the Seminole Indian Reservation…which was surprisingly NOT in Seminole, FL but actually 6 hours further south. Anyways, we were obviously late to the event this morning. 

As we drove into the wilderness, I realized that I forgot to take my allergy medicine this morning. Then we pull into the only “parking space” left, which is surrounded by poison ivy on my side of the car. So, I have to climb across the car to get out. As we headed down a trail to where I thought I heard people, someone came by and mentioned that they just had to take the “other lady” to the hospital because she broke her arm. We found the rest of the group and got our trash bags for clean up…although this place didn’t look like it was inhabited enough to get messed up. We started heading over some rocks to walk around the edge of the lake in search of litter when B tripped and fell; then I lost control of my footing on the dewy rocks and fell flat on my butt. We were both ok, but I started thinking that we hadn’t gotten the best start. 

E made a friend on the trail and I soon found myself in charge of five kids (we took A’s friend with us too). The older guys wanted to go up through the woods, the girls wanted to play at the edge of the lake, and B was climbing anything he could find. No one was finding any trash. We finally agreed on going through one of the trails in the woods right behind some of the “real” Boy Scouts. The funniest thing about this was that A and his buddy came along behind the big guys and found trash that the older guys missed…mostly fishing line. (I still don’t know how they spotted fishing line in the woods.) The woods were slightly nerve-wrecking because B kept touching everything. (Did I mention that there was plenty of poison ivy to be found?) But, the kids were having fun spotting toads, birds, and colorful mushrooms, so I just went with it. 

Then it began…one child had to go to the bathroom…#2 (of course)…then they all had to go. We had recently passed a “bathroom” so we trekked back to it. Of course it wasn’t anything more than a hole in the ground with a seat over it and a hut built around it. There was certainly not any toilet paper. When I told the kids we’d need to pick some leaves, the boys giggled, E looked at me in horror, and B almost picked some poison oak. Thankfully, there was a low hanging maple tree branch that I could hold down and pull some nice big leaves off for the kids. Everyone survived, and I was thankful to have brought some hand sanitizer. 

After our trek through the woods, it was lunchtime. Everyone was hungry and tore through the hot dogs, chips, and apples. Then, in a seemingly bizarre turn of events, the mayor of Kennesaw showed up to judge the dutch oven cook off (which we didn’t even know was going on). Oddly, I think everyone won some sort of prize, but we got to sample all that food too. There was everything from chili cornbread (awesome) to bacon-wrapped green beans (everything’s good in bacon) to cake and spiced apples. It made me think of dad and his dutch oven cobbler. 

I thought we were leaving right after lunch, but the kids had other ideas. They wanted to go out on canoes. As soon as I agreed that we could do this, A got scared at the thought of tipping over and wanted to back out. I wanted to back out at the thought of letting the guys go by themselves (for their first time) and of going out myself with E and B. In the end, we all went and had a great time. A and his friend even managed to gather up some more trash among the reeds…until they saw a water snake and decided to come on back to shore. 

When we got back to the car (and I climbed back through the passenger door), we all drank through half the case of water I brought. Everyone was hot, tired, muddy, and scraped up. Yet we all had a great time and were looking forward to our next scouting adventure. 

P.S.-No one ended up with poison ivy, ticks, or sunburn!


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