When my son was growing up I did what any single mom might do…I let him join the Scouts. I wanted strong male role models for him and thought participating in Scout activities would help him safely explore the world around him. I still remember going to our first roundup meeting when he was in first grade. His group was called the Tiger Cubs at that age and imagine my surprise when my son decided to nominate ME as their den leader! I had never done anything like that before in my life, but with my son’s encouragement I decided to jump in with both feet and enjoy the ride.
While it was a little scary at first leaping into the unknown. I soon discovered not only were there others just starting out like myself, but also plenty of people along the way who were eager to show me the ropes. Soon I felt like an old pro at this scouting thing. I also learned some valuable lessons along the way…
I quickly realized the eight boys in my den just wanted to have fun. Whether it was cleaning up the local park or working on birdhouses at the local Home Depot, as long as they were enjoying themselves it was worth their effort to show up for the meeting.
Like the Boy Scout motto, I tried to always be prepared for each den meeting. I would do my research on the topic for that week, make sure I had everything I needed to have a successful night, and went into each meeting with the right mindset, even if that meant leaving the day’s frustrations at the door. Those children came to me with high expectations and they deserved the best of myself I could give them.
ASK FOR HELP
There were some times when I couldn’t run the meeting all on my own. The plans for the night required more than I could handle and I would ask for assistance from another parent. I’m a fiercely independent person but not dumb enough to think I can always do everything on my own so I wasn’t too proud to ask for help when I needed it.
In Scouting…as well as martial arts…you are expected to be courteous at all times. The world can be an ugly place to live in, but you can always be the one to shine a little kindness on someone else along the way. No matter where we went, I always expected my scouts to be remembered for their kindness and willingness to assist others in any way they could…even if to just say thank you!
My son had a good time during his years in the Scouts. He moved up in rank from Tiger Cub to Wolf, Bear, and Webelo before graduating into Boy Scouts where he went on to become an Eagle Scout at age sixteen. At his Eagle Scout ceremony, I was given a badge of honor as well for taking the journey with him. At the time I didn’t give much thought to all that I had learned during my scouting days but now I can look back and realize I was also being prepared for becoming a published author.
Outside of training and teaching TaeKwonDo, returning to my writing after a twenty-year hiatus is the most fun I’ve had in a long time. I can’t imagine my life without my writing now and look forward to what the next twenty years might bring. My time in the Scouts as Den Leader and then Trainer where I taught the incoming parents how to become the next Den Leaders prepared me for being highly organized.
With the upcoming release of my debut picture book, THE STORY CATCHER, there are certain things that have to happen in a timely manner in order to increase the chances of a successful book run. I’m currently working with my publisher, Anaiah Press, and my publicist to make sure all my ducks are lined up and ready to go come next January. I’m also reaching out to the many, many people I have met along the way these past four years and thanking them for all their love and support. I did not travel this path to publication alone and I would be remiss if I didn’t show my appreciation for all the kindness shown to me along the way.
Beginning next week I will be talking about what specifically Anaiah Press and I have been doing to get ready for my book release. As a new author I’m a little surprised to learn of all the “behind the scenes” work needed done before the first book rolls off the presses. It’s exciting and a little scary for an introverted spirit like myself but just like during my scouting days, I’m planning to jump in with both feet and enjoy the ride!