The Kids Are Alright
OK, now that I've referenced Star Trek and The Who, I'll tell you what I mean.
Our nephew turned 6 this past spring, and starts 1st grade in September. I'm going to be his "adult partner" when he starts in Cub Scouts next year. I was never in Scouting, but I think it's something that would have been great fun and a great learning experience. He's excited about getting into it. The cool thing about being an uncle is you get to do the good "dad" stuff, but you can hand 'em back to their parents for some of the other things.
This morning, I picked up my nephew from his folks and we went to the state HQ for BSA where they have a store. We looked at the uniforms, patches, belt loops, crafts, and other cool things, and we bought the Tiger Cub Scout Handbook. Now this is meant for 1st graders, so he won't be the next Discover Channel host from it, but it's a great foundation. He looked through it and is really eager to get started. I wish we didn't have to wait until September!
After lunch, we went to the Bass Pro Shop where I got most of the things I'll need for when I go to Dave Canterbury's Pathfinder school next month. As I picked up items, I explained to him what they were for, and how they will help me be ready for emergencies. I also got a 6-pack of LED flashlights for $7.99 and let him pick out one. I talked to him about the Boy Scout motto, "Be Prepared," and how something as simple as a flashlight can help a person do that. He had noticed the MagLite I keep in my door pocket and he said it would be good to have if my truck broke down or got a flat tire at night. We also got him his first "big boy" fishing pole. His Spongebob one had fallen apart last week when he was fishing with his folks. We grabbed a tub of night crawlers and were on our way.
Next stop was my dad's place where we tried out the new pole. Using the night crawler and a bobber, he got a little board, but perked up when my rod hooked a young large mouth bass. He understood that we could eat fish if we couldn't go to the grocery store for some reason.
We ended the day at home cooking hot dogs on the grill with my old prepping buddy and his 5 year old son. After we ate, we had a bonfire in a brush pile out front. Both boys were thrilled that I was able to start the fire without a lighter or matches. Actually, I was thrilled myself, as it was my first time. I used a Sparkie Fire Starter, and tried with some Tinder Dust in a small pile of twigs and leaves. The Sparkie was easy to use, but I could not get the Tinder Dust to hold an ember. I then broke out the WetFire and shaved a little bit into the pile of Tinder Dust, twigs and leaves. BINGO! Caught fire instantly. I broke a Coghlans Fire Stick into three pieces and put that in the little fire. As those pieces caught, I moved them to the brush pile. Moments later, I had a roaring fire going. I always have a lighter and/or matches with me, but it is a huge confidence builder to be able to start a fire without them. To practice up for my Pathfinder school next month, I'm going to try a few other methods, and work on using found, natural tinder to get a fire going.
I had a great day working with my nephew, and as young as he is, he came away with a better understanding of preparedness, but without being scared or alarmed.
I'm really looking forward to helping him grow into a confident, prepared young man. Plus, I think we'll both look dashing in our Tiger Cub uniforms!