The date on both the entries tells me it’s been two weeks since I, and I quote, “revved up this journal.” Yet, it seems like only a few days. Life is being lived at warp speed compared to just a few months ago. Just this morning Paulette told me before she left for work that we had been getting, “too old too fast,” and that this was God’s way of bringing us back to a more active and youthful lifestyle. Yawn… personally, I’m ready for a nap, LOL!
Some might suggest that the title for this journal be changed from “Dock Lines…” to “The Trenton Chronicles.” When I think about why I started this journal originally, that would suit me just fine. However, in a more philosophical look at “the bigger picture,” I realize that no matter what the title, I have chosen to write about my life and this is a chapter that, though unexpected, I admit I am looking forward to write. I’m thrilled to have the little guy around for the full year and to be a close part of his life in these formative years.
His first week at school found Trenton bringing home a plethora of information about the coming school year including events and activities. Amongst the info was a pamphlet on the local Cub Scout Pack. I ended up taking him to the general sign up meeting two weeks ago and last Thursday Night we went to the first Pack Meeting. This Thursday night will be the first Den Meeting. By now you get the picture, Cub Scout meetings from now on every Thursday night. It’s not like the Boy Scouts where you drop them off and pick them up later. No, a parent or guardian must stay with the child during the meeting times and also must accompany the child on any camping trips that are scheduled.
I went through scouting as I grew up and loved the program. Now it is different in many ways. When I was in Cub Scouts it was run by mothers. We had Den Mothers and your parents did not stay for the meetings, but dropped you off. There wasn’t a Den Mother to be found at our first Pack Meeting. Nope, the men have taken over Cub Scout leadership.
To get the kids fired up about the coming year, the scout leaders were constantly touting how much fun the kids were going to have on the scout camping trips through the year. I started camping when I was eight years old with my family as we toured Europe. Dad was stationed in France and every break we got from school just about was spent visiting another country in Europe. We found that camping grounds were clean and friendly and heavy on the amenities throughout Europe in those days. They were far cheaper than hotels and camping afforded us the opportunity of meeting some really great families at the camp grounds.
I enjoyed camping in Florida as an adult. My best friend Ken and I outfitted ourselves with all the necessary gear and camped on all the barrier islands we could in the Tampa Bay area. We would set up camp sites anyone would be envious of and spend entire weekends on the islands leaving only to fish or scuba dive.
These days, my idea of camping out summons up a vision of a quaint A-Frame Chalet in the mountains with a log fire going in the huge fireplace, retiring to a bed filled with eiderdown, and eating out at the local restaurants. Imagine my surprise to find myself in the camping aisle at Walmart shopping for a tent and air mattresses.
Scouting is not cheap. My mother used to tell me this as a child and I had no idea of what she was speaking about. Well, brother, let me tell you, I do now! Just the scout shirt Trenton needs is over thirty dollars. There are about a gazillion patches and numbers and insignias and each one brings a dear price. Then there’s the neckerchief and the neckerchief clasp or holder, whatever it’s called. They have two part pants now. You unzip them and they are shorts for the summer and zipped up are long pants for the winter. One must rob Ft. Knox to own a pair. Oh, and don’t forget the books, they are a MUST!
Paulette bought him the book with what remains of her pay check and I bought half of the camping gear with what I had left over from my pay check. Next pay day I’ll get sleeping bags and whatever we lack as far as flashlights or lanterns are concerned. I’ve been told that at these campouts we will eat in a communal fashion and the food will be cooked at the Boy Scout Camp cafeteria. Thank goodness! I’d hate to be buying propane stoves and camp tables as well. Oh, Paulette will start assembling the uniform with HER next pay check. Disposable income is a thing of the past in THIS household!
Trenton is having a blast with the other kids in the barely controlled chaos they call meetings. He can’t stop talking about the first planned campout of the year, The Haunted Trail Camp Out scheduled for October 31st. The kids are supposed to bring their Halloween costumes and will go through what I’ve been told is the most complete and elaborate and scary Haunted House the scout masters have ever seen.
So voila… I’m now a Cub Scout again. Let’s all say the pledge together. “I promise to do my duty, to God and my county, to help other people, and to obey the laws of the pack!”