Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Cub Scouts

Well, after years of Wife having to take the kids to all the kid functions, it's finally my turn to have a kid function. That's right, Boy joined the Cub Scouts. For a very long time I only had the odd birthday or two to attend, I now have a commitment to the Cub Scouts once a week.

The first week I really wasn't involved because I had parental orientation and paperwork. You would not believe the number of forms you have to fill out to join the Cub Scouts. We were there 10 minutes and Boy ran off with his little troop. He disappeared for 30 minutes and came back all excited. Meanwhile, while he's off having a grand old time, I'm stuck listening to how the pack budget is developed and spent. Sheesh.

Needless to say I survived the first week but it wasn't easy. The biggest problem is that Cub Scout goes against my nature. I understand that it will teach Boy lots about nature and honesty and respect and all those things but ... but it just isn't me.

Maybe it stems from the fact that I realized, Cub Scout Leaders were bigger nerds than comic book guys. They're really nice people and they're really into it but WOW are they nerds. It's hard to be nerdier than comic nerds but Cub Scouts manages to do it.

No matter my personal feelings, Boy loves it so we continue to go. Since I filled out all the paperwork, now I get to attend the little meetings. It's really cute seeing all the boys together. They all have their uniforms on, with little baseball hats, and badges of all sorts on their chest. Of the eight boys in his pack, there are five that are genuine nice boys, two that are easily influenced and just need a firm hand, and one that will eventually wear an orange jumpsuit instead of a cub scout uniform.

Pack Leader Dave is a really nice guy but he is so over his head it's scary. I think part of the problem is that most men don't know how to control a group of little boys. At my house, Wife runs the ship with an iron hand. We all do what she says and if I need to step in then I can but for the most part I'm just along for the ride.

Now, it's one thing to control a three kids but it's entirely different trying to control 8 small boys. They really are a pack of little animals. They just bounce off the walls and it's all Pack Leader Dave can do to keep them quiet for a minute at a time. Most of the parents are attending so we often lend a hand. Actually, it's more of a hissed "Boy! SIT" then a hand.

There were several times that I was ready to strangle a couple of them and I was just watching in the back of the room. Of course, I worry about the negative influence in Boy.

And, this week was the crowning jewel of learning bad habits. The one future criminal seems to thrill in teaching all the others bad habits. He started by knocking the hat off the boy next to him. The little boy would pick it up, put it on, then Criminal would do it again. And this went on for almost 10 minutes. I was ready to kill him. But, eventually the little boy fussed enough, and parents hissed enough, that Criminal stopped. Then came the crown jewel. Criminal stuffed a finger up his nose... oh yes he did... pulled out a plum... HUGE... and wiped it on the nice little boy.

It has got to be the most disgusting thing I have ever seen. My only hope was that Boy didn't see it and learn said "bad habit."

As I cautiously looked over at Boy, I saw him, eyes big as saucers just staring at Criminal. Yep. 1o minutes in Cub Scouts undoes years of parenting. Sheesh.

1 comment:

  1. Girl Scouts isn't any better. I took my daughter every other week for 3 years. Most of the parents did the drop and run, leaving as soon as they could and not coming back until an hour and a half later when the meeting was over. I stayed every time.

    The woman running the show was very well intentioned but neither she nor her assistants exercised any control over the girls. Disciplinarian that I am, this meant the periodic deep voice from the back of the cafeteria (they met at the school cafeteria) telling someone to knock off whatever stupid thing was being done.

    Probably just as well the other parents did leave, actually. As badly behaved as their kids were, and what I did see of them interacting with their kids, I'd probably strangle them first, then beat the kid.

    One thing that may be different about Girl Scouts is the power play. Not amongst the kids. For some reason it seems to be endemic that there's a power struggle in leading a Girl Scout troop. My daughter's troop, another troop in the area and the troop a friend from work's daughter was in all had power struggles among the various women in leadership positions of the troops. Maybe it's just my perspective, but I don't remember anything like that from when I was Boy Scout those many years ago.

    Fortunately for me, my daughter is no longer in Girl Scouts, having moved on to other interests, and my son has no interest in Boy Scouts, so I won't have to see first hand if it's as tortuous as Girl Scouts was.