My Scouting Adventure - What's your story?

 by: Rebecca Gonzalez, Armadillo Scout Service Executive, January 23, 2017

 Ten years ago, when my son Jacob was in first grade, he excitedly waved a flyer about Cub Scouts in my face while I was making dinner in our tiny apartment. I looked at it and questioned him. “You really want to join Cub Scouts? They wear uniforms and go camping and stuff!” He insisted that is what he wanted to do forever and ever in all of his life. I reluctantly agreed to go to a meeting, but then we realized the meeting was that night and we had missed it. I had questioned Jacob's enthusiasm only because he was (and still is) "mister laid back", refusing to wear anything more formal than a polo to church and had long shaggy hair. I was a single mom of two little boys at the time with no clue as to what Boy Scouts meant. In my mind they were the boys in third grade that led the flag ceremony on the blacktop every Friday morning and went camping with their dads. As a young girl, I was a ballerina and my sister played piano. 

Eventually we made it to a meeting in the Fernandez Elementary cafeteria. I was surrounded by Cub Scout dads telling me I needed to buy a book and a uniform and a Pinewood Derby Car and asking me if I wanted to step us as Tiger Den leader. I wrote a check to cover my sons BSA membership and joined Pack 458. In this whirlwind, I looked up and saw my boys running around with other boys having fun. Little brother James was having fun with them too. I figured this was what they wanted and I needed to find some “boy things” for them to do.
Over the course of the next few weeks, I bought his book and uniform and Pinewood Derby car. I even bought a “lil Cub Scout” tee for little brother James and a shirt for myself. I decided we were in this together. At a meeting one night, I was “nominated” to become the Tiger Den Leader and I reluctantly accepted. That I night I went home in a panic and Googled everything I could think of relating to Cub Scouts and Den Leaders. "What in the world do I do with a bunch of six year old boys?" 
Fast forward. My boys are now in high school and Boy Scouts with Troop 228. Over the course of the last ten years, I have served my pack and troop as den leader, assistant Cubmaster, Committee Member and Treasurer. We have had adventures that I could have never imagined. My boys have learned all about archery, BB guns, shotguns, horsemanship, blacksmithing, sailing, and this list goes on. I have spent time with my boys at day camps and summer camps all over Texas. These adventures and life experiences would not have been possible without the Boy Scouts of America. Individually, I could not give them the opportunity to learn these skills from great leaders, but being a part of the BSA has allowed us all to grow as a family together.