Man About Menifee: A Scout in Training Gets in Line

By David Baker

When I stop to think about the time spent with my kids, my perception just seems to keep speeding up.

I remember when Nikk (18) first started Cub Scouts at age 6. Alexandra (12) and Jeremiah (10) have been camping and going on scout outings for years. Now I find myself starting over with Joshuah (18 months) and I marvel at how quickly the last year and a half went by.

My weekly work schedule allows me to be home on Thursdays, which allows me to play with Joshuah and really connect with him. He has many words and phrases that he uses and he walks and toddle-runs pretty well. We spent this last Thursday together and we had a very long conversation. To be honest I’m not really sure what it was about, but he seemed to enjoy it.

Joshuah "helped" me pack for Webelos Woods this weekend. And by help, I do mean pull things out that I had already packed. I showed him what a flashlight was, tried to show him how a whistle and a compass worked. We talked about sleeping in a sleeping bag, in the tent, in the woods. I gave him a little toddler camping stool and he very happily walked around talking about his new "seat", showing everyone how to "sit".
For those who don’t know, Webelos Woods is for Webelos Cub Scouts (fourth and fifth grades). What makes this age group different is that they get to participate in events with older Boy Scouts (age 11 up to 18). Webelos Woods is special because it is a campout entirely hosted and run by Boy Scouts for the benefit of the Webelos getting ready to bridge from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts.

Typically the boys will arrive Friday afternoon, have a quick snack after setting up camp, and then head to bed, getting ready for the big day. The following day is filled with activities like obstacle courses, archery and even an atomic bucket. The latter is an exercise in teamwork where the boys are given some bungee cords and told they can use the cords to move a bucket from point A to point B, then back to A.

The only rule: the bucket is full of "radioactive" material so they can’t touch it with their bare hands.

Of course, Joshuah won’t be able to go on this campout. It is for fourth and fifth graders only. This weekend Jeremiah and I will be going to Boy Scouts of America Camp Emerson in Idylwild for what will most likely be his last campout as a Cub Scout. I am proud and sad at the same time, but mostly proud.

David Baker, our Man About Menifee, writes about his adventures in and around town every Friday in this space. You may leave comments for him here or email him at


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