Friday, April 27, 2012

Environmental Science

Yesterday was a crazy busy day.  So much so, that I didn't make it to A's last home volleyball game, had to pawn off J with someone else to basketball, missed Zumba, missed my wards Girl's Night Out, but....I did help G cross off several requirements for his Environmental Science merit badge.  He's going on a camp out tonight and needed to have some things done prior to going.  A was dumbfounded that we would do that merit badge on our own rather than at a week long scout camp out.  Thing is....I love the scouting program and have seen such growth in my sons that I will do whatever it takes to assist them in earning their Eagle Scout Award.

I remember sitting in a court of honor several years ago almost in tears after hearing that mothers shouldn't be making the phone calls, coordinating things for merit badges, etc.  I was sure at that point that none of my sons would ever earn their Eagles.  But, I explained to my boys that they needed to do this, and it was the best advice I have ever gotten.  I saw my boys grow more than I ever could have dreamed.  They developed an attitude of "I can" by doing so.  They became leaders.  That is why I love the scouting program.  It teaches my boys so much.  It teaches them all that I want them to be.  No wonder the church stands behind the program.  

So about this dreaded and boring of all boring merit badges, Environmental Science, we kind of liked doing it as we were racing around town trying to cross off what needed to be done.  

We went to Post Net and got packaging supplies and then did an experiment to see which ones were biodegradable.  The new "green" packaging peanuts really are.  The boys had a blast watching them dissolve right before their eyes.

We did an experiment with soil erosion and ice erosion.  The penny on the dirt was okay, but the melting ice, was a hit.  We'll surely see that one done around here again.

We thought long and hard about finding a place where there had been some erosion and what could be done to eliminate further erosion.  I then remembered a bit of sidewalk that I nearly kill myself on every time I go running or walking.  G remembered it too saying that he would trip on it when he would go running with C.  We ran and got pictures of the sidewalk and checked it off of our list.

For the last requirement we had to go to two very different locations and mark down what was different.  Well, very different where we live, is on top of a hill, and the bottom of the hill.  We're fresh out of rain forests and swamps so we did the best we could.  It was cute at the first location.  G had my pink measuring tape out marking off his 12 foot square.  Then he was counting the plants, all of which were the same kind. While walking around, we were nervous there might be rattlesnakes that jump out having recently watched some rattlesnake hunters show.  And yes, rattlesnakes do jump.  haha

For our next and very different location, we decided to drive up on top of a nearby hill.  Thing is, it looked exactly like the bottom of the hill that we had just visited.  So we continued on hoping we could get on top of another hill.  After circling around and thinking that it was probably best not to scale any walls since he was a boy scout, we continued on.  Then finally, we ended up somewhere that there was actually a real trail.  And it looked like it headed up. So, G, the three little kids and I headed up the hill keeping our eyes peeled for anything different than the bottom of the hill location.  It was fun seeing G and little g racing up the hill.  The girlies had fun hiking.  Who knew?  Once we reached the top, we were blown away.  Actually, G was blown over from the wind, but I meant how beautiful the view was.  Our little city was beautiful and green.   

I realized then how much I love racing around doing things with my kids.  Crossing things off our lists.  Finding surprise trails.  It was a sweet moment up there with my kiddies.  One that made me happy.  Just before he headed down, I caught the kids looking over at the hill next to us.  I saw their shadows and felt as though I was seeing them in ten years.  They're growing up.  Sometimes too quickly.  

B enjoyed the rocks trading them out for another and then another, until she had her prized "hammer".  

I loved the bright green moss on the rocks.  Kind of wanted to kidnap them and throw them in my back yard but I was a good girl and left them there.  

When we arrived home, G thanked me for helping him and driving him around.  I was grateful for that dreaded, boring of all boring merit badges.  There's no way I want my boys to earn all their merit badges at camps.  This is just one of the way we mothers earn our Mother's pin when our boys are awarded their Eagle Scout award.  And more importantly than that, we've enjoyed the time together, we do things we never would have done, and we're creating memories together.  I couldn't have done that if I had done all those other things on my to do list for the day.  

It was the perfect day and the perfect merit badge.  Grateful for Environmental Science.  :)


Angie said...

I'm just at the beginning of this scouting journey, and with no brothers of my own, it seems very daunting sometimes. I have one Webelos, on the cusp of finishing and getting his Arrow of Light, one Wolf--almost a Bear, and a third who is about 18 months from wolfdom and dying to get into a blue shirt. I don't always love working on the requirements with my boys, sometimes it seems like just one more thing in a too long list of things. But I do love your connection of teaching them to be leaders. I want them to be leaders in their own lives. That requires work and teaching and, apparently a fair amount of hikes, decomposing peanuts and knots. Oh the knots!

Erika said...

Very fun. I too love those moments that jump up out of nowhere and surprise you with how fun they turned out to be. Even though you were dreading them. What a fun little hike! And I need to get mine working on a Pinewood Derby car and an Arrow of Light!!