Eli is very active in Cub Scouts. He is a Webelos I this year. As we are in a very small town with a very small pack, volunteers are minimal. I decided to partner up with our cub master this year so that we could combine the Webelos I and II boys together and make scouting a little more exciting for the boys. Shelly was so overwhelmed with her responsibilities in the pack (her husband heads up the whole Boy Scout program, she is the Cub Master over all the cubs, and they are pretty much in charge of everything!). I love to plan, so, it only seemed natural to step up and help.
This month we are working with the Webelos I boys on their Citizen badge. One of the activities included meeting with a city leader for a description of his or her job. To make it a little more meaningful we, instead, took the boys to a Town Hall meeting last night.
Again, our town is so small. And, it's a pretty poor town. We have been informed that because of mishandling and oversight, our ambulance service is in extreme debt and is on the verge of collapse. If the service shuts down, all citizens of our town will have to rely on ambulance services in towns 20-30 miles away. In a life or death situation, 20-30 minutes (and we all know it would be much more) could be tragic.
The boys, in full Class A dress, marched to the front of the Town Hall meeting and sat on the floor. They didn't understand everything that was going on, but they had an opportunity to see what citizens of a small town do when there is a crisis. There was talk of fundraisers, donations, restructuring of billing and collection, lawsuits regarding the mishandling of the revenue, etc.
When we left I had Eli tell me what he thought was going on in there. He summarized the meeting pretty well, or at least understood that the ambulance service didn't have any money and might have to shut down. We talked about how the people of the town were being good citizens by coming to a meeting to discuss options and volunteering to pitch in to help with some solutions.
It was a really great lesson and wrapped up our unit so well.
Here are some other things the boys did in their Citizen unit:
- We used the U.S. Flag unit study from SchoolExpress. (Do you get e-mails of their free weekly unit studies? All you have to do is enter your e-mail. This was how I got the U.S. Flag unit for FREE. It is now $2.00.)
- They made U.S. Flag neckerchief slides.
- They practiced folding the American Flag.
- The boys worked together to make a poster about what it means to be a citizen. Then they each drew a name of one of the other boys and said a way that they have seen that boy be a good citizen.
- They memorized our president, vice-president, governor, and the mayors of the towns in our area. For this they were awarded a patriotic bracelet and star cookies!
- They are currently learning the 50 Nifty United States song that they will sing at our next Pack meeting. We are planning to have them make red, white and blue tie-dye shirts to wear at that meeting.