A Lifelong Study of Citizenship

The Modern Pioneer Farmer Boys are embarking on a new and exciting adventure into learning about Citizenship, Friendship, Leadership and Growing from Boyhood into Manhood.   Along the way they will learn many skills that are just plain fun… like camping, hiking, fishing and how to whittle (eventually).  Of course I am talking about Cub Scouts and later on, as they get older, Boy Scouts.

The Farmer Boys’ Cub Scout uniforms arrived this afternoon via the UPS’ brown delivery truck, about an hour before the younger one arrived home from school.  Henry couldn’t wait to try it on!  About an hour later, his big brother arrived home and was so excitedly jumping around I thought the family pictures were going to bounce right off the baker’s rack in the dining room.  We finally slowed him down enough to try his on as well.  (FYI… these Cub Scout shirts run a little small and are about 60 or 65% cotton, so if in doubt, order the next size up, they’ll eventually grow into it.  The come with the embroidered Boy Scouts logo and a patch of the US Flag (or I assume a Canadian or other flag for scouts outside the US.)

Henry went to his first Tiger Den meeting 2 weeks ago tomorrow.  Both boys attended the local Cub Scout Pack Meeting on Monday night and found out all about the Boy Scouts’ Popcorn Fundraiser, Grandpa attend with us, since Pa had to work very late and we have to Cub Scouts to keep an eye on.  Charles’ Bear’s Den meeting that was to be held this evening was rescheduled for next Thursday, due to several of the other boys being ill or having other activities (he was slightly disappointed, but agreed we probably should wait, so as not to trade germs as little boys usually do.)  The Popcorn Fundraiser began tonight and grandma drove us to town to pick up their popcorn starter packs. (My “modern covered wagon”  aka my little green Kia Sportage is at the mechanic for a tune-up, since Pa has been having to put in so many hours at his town job, training new employees who work the late night shift.)  Each boy needs to sell at least $300 worth of popcorn (with strong encouragement to set even higher goals).  Our Bear’s Den has 6 boys in it (group goal of $1800) and our Tiger’s Den is twice that size with 12 boys in it (goal of $3000… WOW!)

On a somewhat oddly-related note:

I was reading an article today regarding the decline in reading skills and literacy among males in the United States.  The statistics quoted in the article showed a steady, but alarming decline in both the interest and ability to read among American Boys as compared to their female classmates and sisters.  Our country has been in the cultural pattern of infantiling it’s young males for almost as long as I’ve been alive and developed an educational system that very strongly favors girls… sad, but true.  It got me thinking and wondering just how closely this educational decline in boys, overlaps not only with the advent and rise in popularity of video gaming, computer gaming, cell phones and other electronic gadgets and the “sports groupie parents'” quest to produce the next Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan or Babe Ruth… but also in the declining numbers of young boys joining in Boy Scout’s activities, 4-H and other activity groups that teach kids wisdom, resourcefulness, honor, obedience, effort, diligence and responsibility like Awanas, Girl Scouts, Campfire Kids etc… I am wondering if those declining scouts statistics would very closely match this  educational decline in our boys???

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