I don’t remember a lot about Cub Scouts. I know we had regular meetings at one of the other kids’ houses, whose mom was our den mother, and I know I didn’t always get along with that kid but overall it was okay. I know we had activities as we worked our way through the Cub Scout badges, but don’t really remember much about them. I made a couple cars for the pinewood derby, with a fair amount of help from my dad. I wanted to have cool ones but never put that much thought, and didn’t really want to put a lot of work, into the design, so I was always a little disappointed in what I’d done when I saw some of the other cars. I also remember participating in a chuckwagon derby, which involved a few of us pulling a wooden wagon around some kind of park—I think it might’ve been on the high school campus, I forget—and trying to solve challenges at different stations.
One summer I also went to day camp for Cub Scouts; I believe it was a one-week program but that I went two weeks in a row, maybe it simply was a two-week program. I had to take a bus up to Manchester to Camp Carpenter, which seemed pretty far away. My impression is that I didn’t really know anyone else, although I believe in fact a few other kids from my troop also went, just none of my real close friends. The activities I most remember are shooting BB guns and participating in the “space derby”, which involved making a wooden rocket/spaceship model that flies along a wire and is powered by a twisted rubber band driving a propellor. The other thing I remember is getting caught up with a bunch of older kids, probably regular Boy Scouts, playing some kind of game of tag or football or something. There was an older girl there, who must’ve been a counselor, and a couple of the other older kids (who, again, may also have been counselors) had taken her shirt and tossed it in a barrel. Thinking this was just fun and games, I taunted her that I knew where her shirt was, and she chased me; but when she caught me, she held me down and shook me, demanding to know where it was, so I told her and she angrily stalked off to retrieve it. At the time I was hurt, I felt she was mean to me and I hadn’t done anything; now I wonder how they could’ve taken her shirt in the first place, it’s so wildly inappropriate even for ostensibly fun roughhousing.
I liked earning badges and rewards, but lost some interest as I got older. I know I earned my Bobcat and Wolf badges, but don’t remember if I earned the Bear badge; I know that I did not earn the Arrow of Light, which is the highest badge for Cub Scouts. At my final pack meeting at the end of fifth grade, as a bunch of my friends participated in the Arrow of Light ceremony and symbolically crossed over to being Boy Scouts, I could not participate in the ceremony, I just joined the group as one of the kids who would be moving on. And I did go on to join the Scout troop with my friends… but that’s another topic.