Sunday, June 21, 2009

First Class Scout!

As I posted earlier, I went to pick Connor up from his week at Camp Alexander. The big thing he was supposed to be doing there this year was to work on passing the BSA Swimmer test.

Swimming has been a struggle for this child. Over the last year, since really becoming aware of the requirements to get to First Class, I have wondered if he would ever make First Class, just because I didn't think it looked possible for him to get to the point of swimming with a strong stroke.

So he took double swim lessons the two weeks before camp, and he signed up for the Instructional Swim at camp, instead of doing a fourth merit badge session.

Well, it paid off. He failed the BSA Swimmer test on Sunday, but he did pass it after doing the swimming during the week.

And not only that... but he made it over to the First Class Center to finish off the one requirement he hadn't completed, and to redo one that he hadn't gotten signed off... and he met with the assistant scoutmaster who was on the trip for his scoutmaster conference... and the camp staff does Boards of Review... so he did that too.

My scout came home with a new rank!

The other really exciting thing is that now all of the kids he started with (well, except one who quit scouts after about 3 months) have made First Class -- one did a couple weeks ago, and three others did Boards of Review at camp too. Sixteen months in scouts, and five of them are on track with some of the goals they set as a group back when they joined. They wanted to make First Class in 1.5 to 2 years. I'm so excited for all of these boys!

Okay, so he didn't earn any merit badges... we knew he wouldn't complete camping, as he needs another couple of nights of camping, and there are a couple other things he needs to do that really can't be done at camp. He should complete it in July when the troop goes camping.

Fishing -- he needs to catch and release a fish that isn't a bass... apparently the fishing wasn't all that great this year, and Connor chose to skip one of the fishing sessions to finish up the First Class stuff (good choice, I thought!)

Orienteering -- he has to teach other scouts something in order to complete this one.

So, one week, one huge sunburn, a new rank, and really close to three merit badges. Not bad.
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