Many of you may not know this, but Free Range Mommy is also a Den leader for cub scouts.
How it started
When school started my son brought home a pamphlet on boy scouts and told me he really wanted to give it a try. Being a former girl scout myself I agreed to take him to sign up because I know scouting has a lot to offer young minds. Our first pack meeting the Scout Master asked for volunteers to be den leader of the Tiger Den. All the parents sat there looking around at each other when suddenly an all too familiar voice beside me speaks up and says “My mom will do it! She was a girl boy scout yunno!“. I could have died, my son had volunteered me again, this time for a year long commitment to something I had no idea how to lead. Luckily another mom volunteered as well, and that’t how FRM was thrown in to Scouting.
I will admit the first few meeting I was filled with anxiety as I had no clue what we were doing. Luckily for me the other den leader really stepped up and has taken the drivers seat at the head of the meetings allowing me to take a step back and really just monitor the boys. Although about 15 had originally signed up we only have 6 active Tigers in our den, but don’t let our small den fool you we are a fierce group of scouts. We’ve been very fortunate to have the amazing and supportive parents there at all times to assist us with snacks or requirements to earn badges as well.
Our Scouting Adventure
If you ask my son what his favorite thing he has done in scouting is, he will without a doubt tell you all about our camping trip in the National Forest in October. It was for all scouts, cub scouts as well as boy scouts and even the girl scouts were there. After a day of playing new games we took a hike led by the elder Boy Scouts and walked an trail where an old train had originally ran. We saw fox holes and lots of spiders (shiver…), learned about different plants and trees and my son started the whole line of scouts in a loud obnoxious howl. After returning to camp the Scout Masters and Weblos made everyone dinner while the rest of the cubs rolled down hills or played tiger ball. Later that night all the tents put lighted pumpkins outside their tent to draw in trick or treaters and the Boy Scouts invited everyone over for campfire stories and a haunted trail. Everything was great, except being left in the middle of the woods by our Boy Scout who was suppose to be leading us down the haunted trail and was the only one with a flashlight. Oh what fun that was!
It is only December but our boys have already earned their bobcat badge along with BB gun shooting and cyber chip badges as well as 8 other awards. In just 2 more months they will receive their Tiger badge and move up to the next rank. They have been working so hard these last few months.
I guess I am writing this to you because the person reading this may think someone like FRM can’t live that “normal” life. But we can, we absolutely can! When I finally told the parents that I was gay I made a bigger deal about it than they did! I was almost at the point of tears when I told them my wife would be arriving at the camp site later that night. I thought I would be removed from the den. But do you know what actually happened? One parent told me “I thought something was wrong, you had me worried” another said “I thought you had something important to tell us” and all of them told me “we don’t care if your gay, your great“. None of the boys stopped coming to scouts, none of the parents treated my wife, my son or myself any different. Thinking about it now still almost brings me to tears since I never thought I would encounter so much acceptance from such a great group of people.
So if you’re reading this and thinking, I could never do it. I want you to know it is possible to live that All American life even if you are part of the LGBT community. Times are changing and the possibilities are endless!