Sunday, July 8, 2012

Final Frontier of Scouting

Yesterday we picked up our son from summer Scout camp.  After a brief report on what was the best meal (steak), and what was the worst weather (the thunderstorm that threatened but never happened), we got down to business. “So, did you earn any merit badges?”  My husband was hoping Son earned the badge for Auto Care Including Oil Change.

“Well!” Son says, “I earned the Space Exploration merit badge!”  
Space: the Final Frontier.
My attempt to photo the Super Moon in March 2011

What?!  This is like when Oldest Daughter told me she had earned a state boating license by paddling a kayak around in the school swimming pool and taking a written test.  (It’s true.)  Our Boy Scout camp is not anywhere near Space Camp or Spacex, so the likelihood of earning a space badge was just ludicrous.  My husband said, “So how was it out in space?”

“Dad.  We didn’t go out in space.”

“What did you do, put on a spaceman suit and walk around camp?”

“No.  We shot off model rockets.”

“Ah, so it’s the Estes Rocket merit badge,” I said, thinking back fondly to my childhood, when my brothers narrowly avoided losing their fingers shooting off Estes® rockets in the back yard while I stayed inside and baked tiny cakes for them in my EasyBake® Oven.

My husband, at least in this respect, had a childhood similar to my brothers, and he and Son eagerly began discussing the intricacies of Estes® rocket engines.  The Boy Scout instructor ignited the rockets using a battery pack.  Great disappointment from my husband.  “No fuse?  That takes out half the fun.” And three-fourths of the danger.

My husband nursed an unreasonable hope that my son had also earned the Pouring Concrete merit badge, since one of the steps at our synagogue needs to be repaired.  “How about the Welding merit badge?” says Husband.  “That would be pretty useful.”  It turns out the Welding merit badge was just created this year.  I still hold out hope for the Sewing merit badge, but it hasn’t happened.

The other merit badges he did earn were Climbing, Motor-boating, Orienteering, and Fingerprinting, which is just as surprising a merit badge as Composite Materials, but probably less messy.

I’ve been saving the best news for last.  Just before he left for camp, Son passed his Eagle Scout Board of Review.  So we are the parents of an Eagle Scout!  This was due to his hard work and perseverance, and the same from many dedicated adults in his scout troop.  The only thing we did was show up with doughnuts and pizza at crucial moments.

We’ll have the formal ceremony a few months from now, but I couldn’t wait to recognize my son for his fine accomplishment.  And that’s not all - his patrol at camp got the second place prize in the Steak-Dinner-Cooked-at-Camp contest!

The Common Household Mom salutes you, Scouts.


Angie said...

Congratulations! to Ben. And you and Bob, too, cause I know Scouting is as much work for the parents as it is for the Scouts.

Cassi Renee said...

My husband is totally on board with that "auto care including oil change" merit badges :-)

Isn't "orienteering" a great word?

Congratulations to your son!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Congratulations on the board business!
T's doing climbing next week at his camp--and small boat sailing. He did composite materials a year ago and it SMELLED and burned grass--quite toxic stuff.
I need to get him on the oil change badge stat. Why isn't that required???