I just completed our latest God & Family retreat: 21 hours in the company of seven 10-year-old Cub Scouts. To assist me I had a 20-year-old young man as my second adult and a 14-year-old Den Chief as third banana/semi-adult. The big people were outnumbered by the little people, and we're all the worse for wear. But still, it was great. We studied, we prayed, we played games. All seven boys have now completed their religious emblem awards -- a requirement for the Webelos Badge. My two helpers we will recognize with counselor badges.
Everyone has a favorite age group to work with. A lot of people I know who do youth work of one kind or another say that Junior High kids are the hardest to work with. I disagree. I like Junior High kids. I find High School kids much harder to work with, except in Venturing. The 1st-3rd graders are easy, too, but a little shy. But the 4th and 5th graders are the toughest. They're like little hurricanes. They have no throttle control and no brakes. This is especially true of those you haven't had a chance to build a relationship with beforehand, and most of these kids were fairly strange to me. For the first time since I've been doing these awards, I didn't have anyone from my own congregation sign up for the program, so instead of adding one or two guests to the mix of kids who already know me, I had to break seven wild horses. And I'm gonna feel that tomorrow.