Last summer when Bean turned eight and was able to join Cub Scouts at our church, Fish was really jealous. It was extremely hard for him. I figured he'd get used to it after a few months, but he never really did. Up until yesterday he was still absolutely crushed that he couldn't be a Cub Scout yet.
Bean is still eating Cub Scouts with a spoon. He loves it. Here in Utah the Badger and I have been called to be his den leaders and so we're all very involved in Bean's scouting experience. This has been great for Bean, but not so great for Fish.
Last Friday I was in the local Scout shop buying some patches for the uniform shirt I bought the Badger on ebay. I mentioned to the store clerk who was helping me how my six-year-old was just dying to be in scouts. Then he mentioned to me that he had personally chartered a Tiger Cub pack and Fish would be welcome to join it.
For those who don't know, Tiger Cubs are the youngest Cub Scouts. They are first graders, ages six and seven, and have to have an adult partner with them at every single den meeting (boy, do I understand why!) For this reason, it is very impractical for the LDS church to be involved in the Tiger Cub program and the LDS church does not charter Tiger Cubs in their packs. In the LDS culture Scouting begins with wolves at age 8 but in the scouting world at large that is not the case.
The more I thought about it, the more I thought that Tiger Cubs could be just the thing for my poor downtrodden Fish. I discussed the idea with the Badger and he wholeheartedly endorsed it, agreeing to be Fish's adult partner and go to his meetings with him.
It is so satisfying and thrilling as a parent to consider carefully the needs of your children and then to find something that you can do to supply their needs. I just get so excited whenever I can provide my children some opportunity which will provide them both growth and enjoyment. This is especially the case with Fish, who has always been steamrolled by his dynamic, outgoing older brother. I have a tender spot in my heart for Fish because I see the middle-child issues he goes through and so I am over the moon about him being able to be a Cub Scout NOW.
But here was the kicker-- the next meeting of this illustrious pack of Tigers was to be their annual Pinewood Derby. Talk about jumping into Scouting with both feet!
Fish, of course, was thrilled. His first Scout meeting would be an exciting race! I was a little concerned: we had two days to make a car for him. "No problem," said the undaunted Badger. And so we put our heads together and innovated.
The next couple days went like this: No power tools? No problem. The Badger is pretty handy with a pocket knife. Hmmmmm... it looks kind of like a shark. Wow, the only color of paint we currently have on hand is neon orange. Hmmm.. a neon orange shark. Why not give it black stripes and make it a .... tiger shark!?
Fish came home from the Pinewood Derby triumphant. His Tiger Shark car won quite a few races. And the Badger overheard a couple of the other dads talking about what a cool-looking car it was. It is a really groovy car. Fish loves it. I think this is an experience he will never forget. It was definitely a strong start to his Scouting experience....
...which will be looooong and glorious!!!!