A few months ago Tot started Cub Scouts. All I could imagine in the beginning was how cute his little Tiger uniform would be and how much it would help him grow socially. I never thought I’d actually play any real part in it. When I thought of Boy Scouts of America, I thought of Dad and son bonding time. In fact, I remarked to my husband about how they could do it alone and I would just stay home; that it would probably be odd for Moms to be there. He was the one who pushed me into going to the first meeting where I realized that my concept of the Scouts was all wrong. My husband was the odd one out and I was comfortably immersed in the dozen or so Moms who began the journey with their sons.
We’d had a few meetings and no one stepped up to be the Den Leader. The meetings were kind of disorganized and the kids mostly ran around like kids do when they are up past their bedtime. After asking a question at one meeting I somehow got wrapped into being voted to be the Den Leader and after realizing that the only way to organize things would be to take the job, I did. I got a huge leader book with loads of information and lots of tasks to complete via online training, but the most important thing was to set up the next meeting. And this is where I had to swallow a a very difficult dose of failure.
I had assumed I had all the emails for the parents when I sent out the cancellation of one meeting time for another and I didn’t. I can only imagine what it must have felt like to have your kid all excited to go to Cub Scouts that night, rearrange plans or stay up late for it and then to go and no one be there. To hear that this happened to two parents, two kids, was really hard for me. I felt awful and I didn’t want to lose a few parents who really cared about their kids attending, parents who felt the same way that I did about so many things, because I failed my first task. I could only ask them to give me another chance.
I don’t like messing up things, but in a way having messed that first thing up it showed me that I wasn’t alone in how I felt about the way things were; why I decided to step up in the first place and why it’s important that someone did. I’ve never been a leader of anything and the position feels very odd to be in, but I have help from other parents and that makes it easier. We’ve been working on ideas on how to make things go smoother, to have more educationally directed fun that is driven by the key messages of the Scouts; to help the kids know each other better so they can learn to work together and team build. All of this would be a lot on my own, so I really hope those Moms stay with us.
Learning all this tonight was really hard, but necessary too. I suppose I can’t learn to be a leader of something if I don’t learn how to fail as well. Like I tell Tot all the time, you have to get up and brush yourself off. It’s okay to mess up as long as you learn from it.
Wish me luck on my first ran Den Meeting next week and my new journey into the Cub Scouts.