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Watching from a distance

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Leaders (Mostly Cubmasters and Scoutmasters). Have you ever been on a camping trip and taken a moment to watch from the shadows. Just to see how this pan out in your absense. To see if things kept moving or if they fell apart.


Last weekend we took our pack to the council campgound for a pack campout. We joined up with another pack for combined activities. On Saturday night, I had gone over to talk with their leaders about the Sunday morning activities and Church service (which all of my boys went to without complaint. And yes they sang). After about 20 minutes I walked back to my campsite and as I walked up I stopped on the road. I could see all the parents, scouts, and leaders, but they could not see me due to the light under the shelter. I watched as all of the Cub Scouts were sitting around the Campfire, with leaders and parents passing out all the things needed for Smores, and everyboy waiting eagerly. This was a good moment because I sometimes have a hard time getting parents to do anything. I evcen got a chuckle when one of the boys pulled his marshmallow out of the fire and tried to eat it off the fork. Only to learn that it was hot. He was fine but it was one of those little things that I remember.


I then went in and sat down with my son and we spent some time roasting marshmallows and eating smores. WE got to spend some time together, which is nice due to the fact that it is not as frequent as I would like with all the things that I have to do with the pack.


Do any other leaders have stories like this? Times that make all the sacrifice and stress worth every minute and dollar that you put into the program.

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Back when OJ was a Webelos Scout, I had taken the Den away to camp for the day.

I know that we were supposed to working on one of the outdoor pins? Which one? I can't remember!

Due to some really bad planning on my part! Things didn't go as good as maybe the could have or should have.

We started the day by looking for life in a small stream that runs through the Camp (Buck Run). Needless to say it soon became a wonderful water fight.

OJ, fell in the water which was very cold, he also managed to lose a shoe.

I'd ordered owl pellets from a company in Colorado. Along with the pellets came sheets of paper that had pictures of bones and other things that the owl might have eaten.

I had of course brought plastic tweezers and rubber gloves for everyone, but these were left in someones car! OJ was having a grand old time sorting through his owl pellet when he got thirsty. H found a near by tap and filled his unwashed hands with a nice drink of cold water!

We made foil packs for lunch. Over-cooked hamburger with crunchy carrots.

We ended the day with a game of camp cricket, a mix of cricket, rounders and maybe baseball.

We left the camp, stopped for ice cream and made our way home.

I don't think we'd gone a mile till all the kids were sleeping.

When we got home HWMBO asked me what we'd done? I said nothing much.

But the truth was I'd enjoyed a wonderful day with my kid and his pals.


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Being a former Cubmaster of a Pack "in transition" there was always something that needed to be done, and limited resourced to get it done. That took away a lot of time from my son. One of the things that I worked hard to do early on was getting a solid group of parents and Den Leaders that understood the program and would "run with it" in my absence.


When my son became a Webelos, there were 4 kids in his den. My wife was their den leader, so by default, I was the de facto den leader as well. Knowing that the other dens were running smoothly, and when I planned a Pack campout there would be enough hands to help out, gave me a lot more relaxing time to spend with those 4 boys. I would not trade the memories of the 18 months spent with those 4 boys for anything.


Probably my best day as Cubmaster however, was the day I realized that the pack could run itself with just my guidance, instead of having to "do it all". It was then that the real fun with the boys could begin. At that point, I started doing a lot more "watching from the shadows", both literally and figuratively.


Now as an ASM in his troop - watching from the shadows is just part of the job.


Kurt(This message has been edited by kurtb)

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CM/hubby was approaching burnout from us doing everything at every event. As a reward for great popcorn sales we rented a charter bus and took the pack to the nearest slopes to go snow tubing. While we were there a Pack of 100 scouts showed up. They were very rude and not well behaved. As we stood in the background making chili and peanut butter sandwiches, we gleamed with pride at how well behaved and polite our scouts were. CM said that was enough to recharge his batteries.

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