I’m an Eagle Scout.
Sometimes I forget that, because not long after earning that rank I had some serious issues with the Boy Scouts organization.
So, I stepped away from Scouting, boxed up my uniform and awards, and moved on with my life.
Last year, when my son heard about a homeschool Boy Scout troop in the area, we joined up. He had a good time with the boys. They met in a wooded park during the day, where the emphasis was on outdoor fun.
A few months later, that troop disbanded when the leadership moved away.
Not giving up, we looked for another one to join, paying visits to three other troops. He settled on one that was decidedly different, a huge group of about 40 boys that was highly structured, almost military, in their approach to Scouting.
That one worked for awhile. After three months, however, we realized that the other boys, and even the adult leaders, didn’t even know my son’s name yet.
Yeah, bigger was not better.
On to the next troop, a much smaller group of about a dozen boys who were badly in need of some new recruits.
First meeting, they had my son working on advancement. He liked that. A lot.
In just a few months, he’s met all the requirements for Tenderfoot. Plus, he’s earned two merit badges.
About those merit badges… Back in my day, we earned badges like Camping, First Aid, Swimming, and Pet Care to start off our careers.
What does my son earn for his first merit badge? Nuclear Science.
Welcome to 21st Century Boy Scouts.
I still have my issues with the national organization, but I keep those to myself. My son is enjoying the sense of achievement, as well as the camaraderie of the boys.
He’s also building his self confidence in new and different ways, which obviously warms my heart.
I still can’t quite remember all I had to do to earn that Eagle Scout award, but maybe it will come back to me as my son works his way toward earning it for himself.