Bronze Award All But Done
I have a troop of 20 juniors and 14 of those girls have pursued their bronze award this year. This week we finished up the sewing for the APA and will deliver the finished items in early May.
It was hard to let go and let them do the work, let me just say that for the record. Staying in the background to help rethread a needle or reload a bobbin, but not sitting at the machine coaching every second? Nigh impossible. It would have been better if they'd chosen a project that didn't have quite so much sewing involved. Something that wasn't my area of expertise, for instance. But on the other hand, I was able to give hints and ideas and shortcuts that helped everyone.
We're going to have a bronze award ceremony in early June. The 14 who stuck it out, I believe, had a good experience.
But what of my other 6?
One girl didn't join the troop until January and it was understood that it wouldn't be possible to get it all done with everyone else. She's a 4th grader so she could work on it next year if she chooses.
But the other 5 have dropped away in one way or another. Two new girls stayed through the camping trip in January and even sold cookies, but let my coleader know that they were done with scouting. Why? I'm not certain. Another girl has been in my troop from the beginning but has barely been a part of things this year. I have a feeling there are bigger things going on in her life, and her family's life, than just missing some scout meetings. A fourth girl is super busy and comes to meetings when she can but has missed so much of the work on the bronze award that there's no way she would be able to make up the difference. Her mom is one of my great volunteers and I kind of scratch my head at the whole business but I don't push. And lastly, I have one girl who has been involved for several years but as Grandma loses her grip on her (she and her mom have moved out of Grandma's house, for instance), she comes less and less. She sold cookies (I think Grandma sold cookies), but she's only been to one meeting.
I looked around on Sunday at the 14 who were working at my dining room table, at the living room coffee table with two sewing machines, working well together, chatting, bonding across school boundaries, and I thought about next year. Adding in the new girl, a troop of 15 would be quite nice. Manageable in size and I would know everyone was happy to be there. I hope they all come back next year, and I privately hope nobody else joins (save one other girl in my daughter's class who has asked me about next year). We've got a good set the way we are.