I ended up doing exactly what I planned NOT to do: I waited until the last week of my scheduled time to finish the requirements for this rank. I could have done it earlier, and I had wanted to add the extra time to my next rank, but life got the better of me.
6. Demonstrate how to display, raise, lower, and fold the American flag. Last week I emailed the principal of my kids’ school and asked if we could use the flagpole for this demonstration tonight, adding that I have my own flag to use. He wrote back that it was fine, and this was the first activity in my family’s weekly home evening tonight.
As we drove over, I recounted all the material from the handbook about displaying the flag. When we got there, I showed the kids how to fold and unfold it, then one kid helped me attach it to the line, while the little kids helped me hoist it up and then down again. While it flew at the top for a minute, we decided to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Afterwards, the oldest child folded the flag, as I had shown them all, while I held the other end.
11. Identify local poisonous plants; tell how to treat for exposure to them. I went over the handbook’s section on this, adding my own warning about oleander, which are very popular in Las Vegas. Of course, one kid pointed out that it was unlikely that any of us would ever eat one.
12. Show first aid for the following: simple cuts and scratches, blisters on the hand and foot, minor burns or scalds, bites or stings of insects and ticks, poisonous snakebite, nosebleed, frostbite and sunburn. I paired up each family member with another and we all took turns demonstrating on our partner how to treat for each of these. I did my teacher thing and kept asking if this or that certain way I wa thinking was the right thing to do, and would either confirm or correct their responses as we went, then actually demonstrating what was in the handbook. My wife, apparently, knows a lot about first aid.
4a. Demonstrate how to whip and fuse the ends of a rope. I was actually dreading this one, because the illustration for whipping looked hard, but it was actually very easy–I did it fine on the first try. Finding a video on YouTube showing how to do it probably didn’t hurt. The kids each got to whip an end of rope, and everybody liked the fusing show, where I melted some rope under a candle lighter.
13-14. Participate in a Scoutmaster conference / Complete your board of review. I’ve gotten to sit in on a few real such meetings, so knew what to ask my family to do at the end of our night: I showed them the pages in the handbook that listed the requirements that I had now done, and said that they could ask me about the experiences or quiz me, or whatever they liked. A couple of questions from each family member satisfied them that I had truly finished.
But I realize now that I need to talk to my wife about how this project is helping the family–or not–or how it could do better–because it shouldn’t just be about me.
All that being done, I looked at the requirements for Second Class. My plan gives me until the end of November to do them. It’s more challenging, more specific, and builds on what I’ve already done. I’m excited.
I still have two more days of September, but I’ll start work on Second Class tomorrow.