Thursday, March 18, 2010

Cub Scout's Pack 372 Blue & Gold dinner brings back memories

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Watching my son and dozens of other Orland Park Pack 372 Cub Scouts receive their badges and graduate to Boy Scouts at the annual Blue & Gold dinner brought back a lot of memories from when I was a kid.

Wow, have things changed.

My son is so excited about the Cub Scouts. He is earning and collecting his badges faster than I can keep pace with all that he is doing. His room is filled with Cub Scouts memorabilia and he's only been in the pack about six months.

Although things are different, in reality not much has changed. The scouts have lots of fun. They meet new friends. And, they enjoy projects, events, camp outs and even hikes.

I remember earning my Bear Badge. And then I went into Boy Scouts. I have one medal from the Hiawatha Trail, which was a 10 mile hike, I think that took us along the Lake Shore Drive and the railroad tracks. Lots of walking and having fun. We stopped at Wimpy's downtown and had a snack. And then hiked back.

In the old days, we had one parent run the entire den meetings. Parents didn't attend with their sons. Now, it's expanded for a lot of reasons and every Scout has at least one parent with them at Den meetings and Pack meetings. And that just adds to the time I can spend with my son who is growing fast.

We've only been on one overnight, but it was so much fun we're going to do more. And we're looking forward to our first hike and first overnight camp out. I have the cots and sleeping bags. With all the other miscellaneous gear, they weigh a ton. So I bought an collapsable "dolly" so that I can carry the load, since I'm basically not only my son's best friend, but his sherpa, too. (Do they have badges for the parents?)

I've also noticed that lots of women get involved with the Cub Scouts, too. The moms are very active and some Cub Scouts bring along their sister who enjoy the events as much as the boys. It's all good natured and lots of fun.

His badges go on a "Brag" vest made out of red felt. And he has dozens of more badges to earn. He just might even make it into the Order of the Arrow, which senior Boy Scouts performed for the Cub Scouts who graduated into their ranks.

I can't say I am an expert on scouting. But I can say it is a lot of great fun.

-- Ray Hanania

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