24 Feb
2014

Cub Scouts: Blue and Gold Banquet

The Blue and Gold Banquet for our Cub Scout Pack held more significance for us this year. This year we watched one of our sons cross over to Boy Scouts.

Boy Scout slide and neckerchief - Blue and Gold Banquet

I don’t have brothers. My knowledge of all things Cub/Boy Scouts revolved around clichés. My husband and his two brothers are all Eagle Scouts, and their mom was extremely active in Boy Scouts of America when they were growing up. Scouting was something my husband hoped our three boys would participate in. I was a harder sell. Scouting is a commitment. There are weekly meetings, requirements for achievements, special meetings, fundraisers (popcorn anyone?) and pinewood derby races. Our boys enjoy Cub Scouts, which I have to remind myself of continuously. No Scouting would mean more “free” time for us, but would also mean the boys missing out on an activity that has taught them valuable skills. I’m not sure why I complain about the time commitment. While I led a den of boys one year, my husband has led one for five years. Boy Scouts brings optional monthly camping excursions and another weekly meeting. As crazy as it seems, I think my husband is looking forward to having a Boy Scout and two Cub Scouts. That man is one of the best.

Arrow of Light badge - Blue and Gold Banquet

My learning curve with Scouting has always been steep. I continually struggle to keep the lingo straight. I feel one step behind some of the other parents when they talk about Scouting. I stood and listened to a conversation about Boy Scout advancement requirements shortly after our son crossed over. I might as well have been listening to a foreign language. Once again, I find myself at the bottom of the curve. Surely by the time our first grader is a Boy Scout I’ll be able to intelligently take part in conversations. I hold little hope for that. My husband and boys know what they’re doing. I just hope to be kept in the loop and not embarrass anyone in the process.

Table - centerpiece - Blue and Gold Banquet

I was in charge of food and decorations at our Blue and Gold Banquet this year. My goal was to keep spending to a minimum. The centerpieces were decorated steel cans stuffed with tissue paper. I spent the day before slow cooking over 30 pounds of pork for pulled pork sandwiches. I think parts of our house still faintly smell of bacon. The pack provided the main dish, a lettuce salad and each scout’s family brought a side dish.

Dessert awards (spoons) - Blue and Gold Banquet

We also hold a themed dessert contest each year. This year’s theme was “Go for the Gold” in honor of the Winter Olympics. We give prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd as well as a Scout’s Choice award. Tradition for our pack is to award decorated mixing spoons. This year my youngest boys baked a cake and our eldest decorated it. They took first place.

Olympics globe cake - Blue and Gold Banquet

A few days before the Blue and Gold Banquet, our son warned me he might cry when he crossed over. This was the first thing he had worked on for years and was finally achieving (a goal he’d wanted since first grade). I warned him if he cried, I would blubber. He ended up too nervous to shed tears. I had no problem crying, but there was no blubbering.

Reserved table sign - Blue and Gold Banquet

We’ve always pushed our children to be well-rounded. Early on, it was clear our oldest was leaning toward throwing everything he had into athletics. While that may fit other families lifestyles, it’s not ours. The kids have their sports, but they also have passion in other areas. Cub Scouts, and now Boy Scouts, helps us teach valuable life skills while also pushing our boys to learn and try new things. Our boys are also benefiting by having an activity that belongs to them and their dad. We stood around our dining room table Saturday afternoon, listening to my husband and one of his brothers talk about their years in Scouting and show memorabilia from the past. One day we’ll add another generation into the talk, and that makes this mama’s heart full, even if it is a commitment.

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