Saturday, January 29, 2011

Four Weeks and Counting

Today I confessed to the wife of my son's Cub Scout Den Leader that I was so burned out of Cub Scouting that I didn't respond to any of the numerous begging requests to help the Pack this year. I did help the Den do two activity pins.

I explained that I am so burned out that it's turned to a bad attitude, to the point where if I did volunteer to help put on the Pinewood Derby today, I'd have been toxic to those around me and may have caused more problems instead of helping.

I'm disappointed that I've arrived at this low spot. Looking back on these ten years of Cub Scouting there have been a lot more highs than lows. My years of volunteering as a Den Leader did a lot to burn me out.

My younger son was so patient, at three years old, going to the Den meetings after getting my strict directions on how to behave. He was more calm in his chair and better behaved than the kids three years older than him. We did Cub Scouting to the max with my older son. As a Den Leader with afternoon meetings I had no choice but to drag my younger son with me. He could participate which was good but he was so patient. He did it all, then when it was his time to be the actual Cub Scout and had to do all that rank stuff again, it was boring to him. We did so many Council based activities the first time around and multiple years in a row that my younger son didn't want to repeat it all. Who can blame him?

We struggled with issues with the first Pack with low volunteerism on the part of the parents. After two years of pulling teeth my husband and I called it quits from our Pack jobs and my Den job and moved to another Pack. No one told us that it takes a couple of years of that to build up the momentum so I was shocked that the month we left (the next Scout year) the fruits of our labor with increased marketing for new Scouts and repeated begging for help wound up doubling the size of the Pack and they were oozing with volunteers.

Fast forward to now. I didn't even want to go to the Pinewood Derby today. That's a crappy attitude I know.

I will say I was disappointed to hear that my younger son didn't even want to compete but last week he decided to do it, five days before the race to be exact. My husband decided to let him use all the power tools himself, and he was thrilled. My husband supervised of course. My son beamed with pride after using those tools. I was happy then, that he decided to go through with it.

As I stood and photographed the Pinewood Derby today all I could think was, "Thank God it's over, one more month and we're done".
My son can't wait to cross over to Boy Scouts. He's been dragged to the meetings for the last three years as an observer on the sidelines who was banned per BSA rules from participating with the Troop (the opposite of Cub Scouting which is defined as a 'family activity' and accommodates siblings). He's ready to be a part of the Boy Scout Troop.

Onward and upward to the more important and better lessons-teaching Boy Scouts. I am happy my boys are turning into young men.

Update: It's the next morning after I wrote and published this blog post. I re-read this and decided I should not have been so hard on myself for not volunteering more on the Pack level this year, or last year. I have a lot on my plate, one hardship that's affecting me right now that I've not shared on this blog, and that's on top of the unemployment situation we're dealing with. I have done far more than my fair share for volunteering with Cub Scouts in the last ten years and I also hold an important position in my older son's Boy Scout Troop and put in many hours on that volunteer position. I'm busy homeschooling my kids in addition. One person can only do so much. I don't know why I let myself feel guilty for not doing yet more and more when some parents in Cub Scouting do absolutely nothing, nothing at all but write the registration fee check and get their kids to some of the meetings. I hereby absolve myself from any self-inflicted guilt about this.

Now I'm switching channels to concentrate on feeling happy about moving forward and onto the next adventure with Boy Scouting!

1 comment:

sm said...

like you, this is our last year of cubs before my son leaves to scouts. i hear you about burn-out; it can make you resentful of the whole thing.
after volunteering for 2 years at our church's sunday school, i stopped going altogether. it was easier to say fullstop than to try and tease myself out of it! since i'd be teaching in another room, i'd miss the service and was getting nothing to feed my soul.. so much so that it became a habit and church stopped being integral to me (meanwhile I was the spiritual person in my family and was dragging the rest of them with me!)
HSing my children monday - friday, i resented having to teach them on sundays as well.
with cubs, i have not done a significant amount of volunteering (a spare hand at a few meetings using tools, driving a pack someplace, making my husband 'do' a weekend camp twice) and i - selfishly - mean to keep it that way. i can see my son going right on thru to ventures/rovers and in turn becoming a volunteer. hopefully his involvement will balance out my lack of volunteering...