This Scout has been in the troop for about a year and a half. Off the cuff, I may have posted about him, and all the troubles that we’ve had, which included getting suspended twice for his behaviors. The second suspension was to be his last…anymore issues and he was going to be asked to leave.
One of the conditions of his coming back from suspension was to write a letter, stating what he was doing wrong, and what he was going to do to fix it. Honestly, when he got suspended, I figured that was the last we were going to see of him. But when the time was up, he was back, letter in hand. He talked with me and the ASMs (the other ASMs were just as fed up with his shenanigans as me). We all concurred that he was turning the corner, and that with the letter, and answering the questions that we asked, he was starting with a clean slate.
In our council, We sign up for MBs online for summer camp. His were forgotten, due to his suspension, and me not hitting “save” on the correct screen when he came back and tried to sign up. Regardless, he was able to sign up for Leatherwork, Woodcarving and Welding.
On the same note, at last year’s camp, he spent all his money by Monday, and was trying to scam other Scouts to pay for stuff for him. Needless to say, he didn’t have any money to pay for his kits for MB work, and left camp with partials. This year, the only thing that I told him was “I don’t care what you spend, just pay for your kits” and he did.
So, imagine his surprise when I was in the welding shop and snapped this photo. The reason for the look is that I was wearing my welding jacket, gloves and welding helmet. He looked at me strange, and then I went into the booth with him and proceeded to show him how to weld.
I stood behind him, grabbed each of his hands, and taught him how to work the molten metal, explaining the process as we went along, and looking at welds that I did, and he did. I explained how he undercut this weld, or was too far away and the arc jumped or any other reasons why his didn’t look like mine. The whole time, I got this same look, as in the picture.
We finished up, he went to another area, I stayed in the shop and BS’d with the ranger and a couple other Scouts. Once free time was over, I went back to the site, and walked past this Scout…still staring at me like this, minus the welding gear.
I sat down next to him, and I said, “You’ve been staring at me like that since you saw me in the shop…are you a bit surprised that I knew so much about welding and metal?”
“Yea, I thought you did I.T. and computers and stuff…” he said
“Well, when (my sons) were very young, I did that, then decided to go to school for computers. And I have been doing that ever since. But when given the chance, I like to pound metal. It’s fun”
So, he completed the MB while I was away from camp, but couldn’t wait to show me his project that he did. I complimented him on it, and said that it was awesome. When we got back to the pick-up spot, he showed his mom, and I walked over to her, put my arm around the Scout and said, “well, we had our breakthrough…welding…who would have thunk it”
She was glad, but he was happier.
The next meeting, a couple days later, I was signing books. He came over, and we started to talk about what he needed to get done to advance to 1st class. We talked some more, about other stuff, and I made a joke about good he’s been and smiled…then he smiled…then I smiled more…then we both laughed. He said “I’ve never seen you smile!”
I said, “Well, [Scout], I am smiling because I knew that I would get through to you…it took what seemed an eternity, but we are there. Plus it’s a lot nicer when you aren’t getting yelled at, right?”
“Sure is…” and he walked away
This is why we do this…