Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Cub Scout Olympic Games an Animal Annecdote
Three community active men asked to meet with me about a community affair. It was to replace the Town Cub scout Master who was leaving Town. There were six dens set up each with a den mother and my job would be to work up a schedule of themes for each of nine meetings in the year. Scout headquarters would give me the suggestions for the themes.All I had to do was to attend the meetings and enjoy the results of how the boys interpreted the monthly theme. My wife had been a booster and active in the Girl scout movement. I innocently accepted the challenge. I studied the themes for the upcoming year and decided I did not like the subjects of the store-bought list.In place of King Arthur's Court that I could imagine the swards and shields and jousts etc I listed the Yale Brown opening game of football for both teams that Yale offered free for Scout groups. On my Theme List group was a hike in the woods, just the word "birds" and other nature subjects and a trip to NYC to visit the famous Bronx Zoo. Apparently the list was parent friendly as more and more boys showed an interest. We increased from the six dens to eleven that pretty well covered our Town and the original twelve to eighteen Cubs increased by the second year to almost fifty Cubs. I planned the International Amature Orange Olympic Games for residents only that was a smashing culmination of the nine months activity. Realizing the athletically developed boys would shine during the events I included a turtle race and such as the standing broad grin as events. The discus throw was using a flimsy paper plate that a small cub could, with a little training throw with a flick of his wrist where as the strong Cubs with a mighty heave found the plate dropping at their feet. On hearing about the contests for the games one father claimed his son never won anything. Could I suggest a way the boy might have a chance. I suggested he and his Cub son try to find a local mud turtle often called a stink pot and that turtle would be a good addition to the turtle race event of the Olympics. I hadn't limited the number of turtles each den could enter so there were about 25 brought to the event. I made a circle about four feet across for the starting point and fifteen feet or so outside the inner one the larger circle for the finish line. As the Cubs were removing turtles from boxes the father I had advises winked at me. I had the count down and when my cap pistol gun went off each turtle was released. Most of the turtles were the painted pond variety but there were many box and a few wood turtles but only stink pot. That stink pot turtle was across the finish line before all the others had passed the starting line. Of course the There was an agreement that all contestants would be released after the event in the area where they were found. The father of the cub winner of that race told me later he had a terrible time convincing his son to release his stink pot. At the annual meeting six years later I announced my resignation at which time there were almost a hundred registered Cub Scouts and not sufficient parents to maintain order.