Bratwurst, beans, brownies, and badges

There’s never a dull moment in these here parts, and that seems to be doubly true as we stagger through the final paces of the school year marathon towards that magical last day of bus rides. For the kids, of course. I don’t go to school anymore. I have to work. All summer. No popsicles for me.

Tiger Cub BadgeSorry. Anyway, tonight’s exciting adventure from the standard routine revolved around the end-of-year Cub Scout awards picnic. All the kids from the local Pack — which is made up of the Cub “Dens” in the area, one for each grade — got together for hot dogs and brats, pasta salad, baked beans, brownies, and badges. The Puddinpop officially earned his Tiger Cub badge tonight. His enthusiasm barely eclipsed my own.

The picnic was supposed to be held last week, but was postponed due to rain. To be completely honest, I am terrible person and had every intention of skipping last week in favor of finding some other way to spend quality time together with the family. Regardless, I got lucky and found out that there would badges awarded in time to commit us to attending the ceremony. I would not have selfishly deprived the Puddinpop of a badge ceremony even if it meant teaching a full night of knot-tying.

Here’s the thing: I’m not Cub Scout material; I’ve never been Cub Scout material. I endured the Den this year because the Puddinpop seemed genuinely interested in September. Of course, that was 9 months ago. He’s seven years-old and has to commit a lot of time to thinking about deer and learning how to moonwalk properly. His interest in all things Cub-related unsurprisingly waned rather quickly. What we were left with, then, was a regular Tuesday event in which neither of us really wanted to participate. However, because I’m apparently both part sadist and part masochist, there’d be no calling it quits.

No, sir, when you sign up for something, you’re committed, by golly, and you see it through…no matter how badly it makes you want to burn your eyeballs out of their sockets with a plastic soup soon and a Zippo lighter.

For the record, lest anyone think that I’m passing judgment on the quality of the Cubbery around here, shame on you. The Den and Pack leaders we had the opportunity to share time with this year are a very dedicated bunch of volunteers, committed to helping the kids have a great time while learning some valuable lessons. The fault here is NOT to be found with the Dan Beard Council.

The thing I’ve come to realize is that I’m just not the “crafty, always-be-prepared, leave-no-trace” type. I’m fond of air conditioning, keyboards, and solving logic-based problem. Not surprisingly, I myself was never a member of any troop, pack, or heathen horde as a kid. I used to think it was because my parents didn’t like me, were punishing me for…um…being born second, and generally just wanted me to be an outcast. Of course, I was seven at the time, so I hope I can be forgiven reaching those
rather spurious conclusions. It turns out that they didn’t hate me so much as they really just knew me better than I did. As a child, I would have made it exactly 1.3 Den meetings before being officially over it, at which point the lobbying to retire my briefly worn neckerchief would have began. As the weekly whining became incessant, my mother would have had to remind me – likely more firmly and at a higher volume than I found comfortable — that I had begged to sign up for it, and I was going to stick with it because once you commit to something, that’s what you do.

See paragraph 3… the sadism and masochism come naturally.

So, anyway, now that I’ve made it through a full year of Cub Scouting, I can saw in all earnestness that I wouldn’t have traded the past nine months’ worth of Tuesdays for anything. Because, let’s be honest, the days in which I can expect my sons to need or want me to do hokey stuff with them are numbered. So I’ll take what I can get. Still, I think the Puddinpop and I are both glad the year is finally over.

And oh, yeah, Mom and Dad still know best.


One thought on “Bratwurst, beans, brownies, and badges

  1. Yes, instead of a “pack” we provided you with unlimited and uncensored cable TV. That’s probably what rotted your brain and reduced your tolerance for most things “crafty” ( although there were some well built models along the way). To each, his own – Lol


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