Monday, October 19, 2009

Soap Carving at Parent-Son Camporee

I don't often have the opportunity to participate with the younger kids in Scouting activities as most of my time is spent with my own Troops success. Fortunately every October the Old Hickory Scout Council sponsors two Parent-Son Camporee weekends at the 3,200 acre Scouting paradise in northwestern North Carolina known to us as Camp Raven Knob.

The Camporee is a great opportunity for the Cubs who are about 6 to 10 years old to have an excellent outdoor camping experience with their parents and Cub leaders in a safe, fun, and educational environment. They can test their skills at shooting BB guns, archery, and slingshots in addition to making a personalized walking stick, scurrying up a 30 foot climbing tower, fishing on the lake, or attend a soap carving class.

In the video above I have described my experience at leading the soap carving class where Bear Cubs had an exciting opportunity to earn their "Whittling Chip" cards and obtain their Shavings and Chips Achievement #19 in the Bear handbook.

This was the first Camporee that I've attended and I was immediately asked to lead the Whittling Chip class after the regular instructor canceled out for the event. The experience ended up being one of the most enjoyable experiences of the year for me! I was caught a little off guard when asked to lead the class during the first Camporee because I only had a couple of hours to prepare. I then had two weeks to prepare for the next class and as the video shows, I invented a very effective carving knife for the Ivory soap fashioned from Popsicle sticks which have a two inch blade on one end and a nifty scooper-scraper on the other end for detail work.

I also started the class with a 20-25 minute lecture, discussion, and question period on pocket knife safety, carving methods, how to sharpen a knife, and a show-and-tell on many different carving ideas. Once again I was so humbled and impressed with the respectful attention and participation of all the kids and parents during this pre-carving time. These folks, both young and old, were really interested in what I had to offer. I would also like to thank all of the parents and Cub leaders who were there with their Cubs which was the real key to their sons' successful carving experience after I had planted the seed.

All of the classes were a great success and I was impressed with the enthusiasm of the kids to make a unique soap creation of their own, some of which are showcased in the video. We went through 234 bars of Ivory soap during the two Camporees and including the supportive parents and leaders I estimated that a total of 350-400 folks must have attended the carving class and that's impressive when you consider that BB guns, archery, slingshots, and fishing were also on their minds.

In conclusion it was my goal for everyone to have a safe, a fun, and a new learning experience. Finding ways for kids to have a lot of positive experiences in a safe environment has become a tall order in a time where gangs, negative mass media, and broken families present a challenge like never before. If you're a parent and have risen to the challenge of putting kids first no matter what, then I commend you for ensuring the success and happiness of the next generation. You are the real heroes of this generation.

1 comment:

  1. Great job! As a former scout, scoutmaster and current carver, I commend your work. You never know what impact you have on a child until they are grown. Thanks for steering in the right direction.

    David Reynolds, Circuit Judge
    1970 Class of Eagles