- I’m still the activity day leader,
- One of my dear friends is the current cub scout leader, and
- … well I was going to write a whole list of all the things that happened to make this possible but really that was about it.
Wait, I did think of one more thing. No one in a position of authority swooped in to shut the whole thing down.
I have never in my life been to one of these things, so I felt rather ill-equipped in guiding my girls through the process of designing, making, and racing their cars. Luckily their parents stepped in to help where I could not and, at the very least, no one left in tears.
At one point one of my girls raced against her brother. She happened to win that particular heat, much to her delight. Though ultimately her brother received a trophy for placing in the top three for his den.
It was also rather exciting to see that the overall winner for the evening was one of the girls (though I understand there are doubts about the extent of her her involvement in the creation of said car (something I understand to be a common problem in derby racing, and to be honest there were doubts about all the top cars)).
During the award ceremony all the kids were presented with a certificate* bearing an assortment of titles like “best paint job,” “most imaginative,” or “racer’s choice.” I made sure to get pictures of my girls with their certificates, and the delight in their faces can be seen plainly even, in one case, through the affected disinterest of a bored eleven year old. And if the certificates made them that happy, it was nothing to the sheer unadulterated joy of getting an honest-to-goodness trophy.
Watching my girls mingling with the scouts like it was the most normal thing in the world made me feel all mushy inside and happy for my girls. Though I won’t say that it didn’t sting to see the large fancy track with its corresponding computer program and timer, the pizza, and the trophies; all things that I could never hope to afford for my girls through just the Activity Day program. Even the consolation/participation prize of a certificate* with a blue ribbon stapled to it is more than my girls get after completing their Faith in God booklet in four years.
While the evening wasn’t an unmitigated success (one parent took it upon themselves to complain about the girls winning what was supposed to be the boy’s activity), it was definitely worth it when my friend reported that the bored eleven year old’s dad thanked her saying:
“Hey, thanks for letting my daughter participate. I haven’t had such a good time with my kids in a long time as we did building these cars.”
*I find it interesting that, of all the people in running/attending the race that night, I’m the one who ended up filling out and signing the certificates. (That’s me! “Starfoxy, Race Commissioner”) Even if you readers aren’t aware of my certificate angst, my husband will readily attest to the fact that grousing about certificates is kind of my thing.