We’ve been celebrating here with swimming lesson success and Beaver Camp fun as my son continues to surprise me at every turn. Monkey joined Beavers in April 2016 and although he still shies away from some of the games and boisterous play, he does enjoy a lot of the activities. For a boy who loves the outdoors, I’ve always felt that being part of the Scouts Movement was a good fit for him. I’m also keen that he does some sort of after school activity to help him come out of himself and socialise more.
I’m still not allowed to leave his side every Monday evening until the Beavers are called to line up in their Lodges. But that’s ok, that’s Monkey, let’s face it, it took 3 years of pre-school, Nursery and Reception classes for him to go into class without me in Year One! So I’m figuring that by the time he’s been in Cubs a year I might just be able to leave him at the door. Time will tell.
Anyway, we’ve either not been available or he’s point-blank refused to go on any Beaver sleepovers that have happened since he joined. When he went on the District Christmas Fun Day last December it was under the proviso that I had to go as the parent helper. That was ok too, it was lovely to see what fun activities had been put on for all the kids.
Before the Summer holidays an email went round about a District Beavers Sleepover with the option to visit for the day. It was to be held at Horley, the same camp my eldest nephew used to visit throughout his Scouting adventures. I decided to pay the deposit for the day visit, and then try to persuade Monkey to go. I know he’d never go for the whole sleeping over idea, but thought a day visit would give him a good idea of what fun he could have. I had eight weeks to work on him. It didn’t start well, with him point-blank refusing to go, but then he agreed he’d go, but only until lunchtime. Well it was a start, I didn’t have the heart to tell him a half day wasn’t really an option. As the weeks progressed I started talking about Mummy and Daddy picking him up after dinner and that seems to go down well. But I still wasn’t sure how things would go, when I paid the balance last week. His leader knows that Monkey is rather cautious about joining in with things which helps. I don’t know what was said at Beavers last week, but Monkey came home full of enthusiasm, telling me he wished it was Beaver Camp the next day. Oh ok, perhaps this might just go well. But with my son, you never really know until after the event.
We got his kit bag ready for his Beaver Camp day last Friday and he went to bed an excited little boy. It did help that the Beavers were all asked to take a teddy with them. Result, Biff could go too. I went to bed wondering if he’d last the day or not.
We were up bright and early Saturday morning and headed up the motorway towards the Camp, which is set in woodlands. He saw his favourite helper, Penguin, as soon as we drove in and that was just the start we needed. We met up with her and she explained what would be happening and pointed out where the Colony lunch tent was, where some of the other Beavers were already assembled. Penguin suggested that Monkey take his bag over to the tent but he didn’t want to leave me. I assured him I wasn’t leaving without saying goodbye but he still wasn’t keen. But then one of the youngest Beavers was asked if he’d take Monkey over to the tent, and after a little hesitation Monkey went with him. I expected him to drop his bag and run straight back. He didn’t, I looked round and there he was, sat down, chatting away to the other Beavers. Result. I went over and said goodbye, no tears, no upset, and away I went, not looking back so I didn’t tempt fate.
Yes, I spent the day glued to my phone, just in case it all went pear-shaped and I had to pick him up early. Lunchtime, no phone call, dinnertime no phone call. So that saw me and his Dad driving to Horley to pick him up at 9.30pm. The fog had come down and I was very glad I wasn’t doing the driving. We met up with one of the other Mums and headed down to the main tent where all the Beavers were assembled. There was Monkey sat, glued to the entertainment. He didn’t spot us until the end of the show when the Beavers returned to their leaders. It was instantly clear he’d had a good day. His leader told us he’d had a good time, been quiet to start with but then warmed up to it and now wanted to go camping on the next sleepover event. Result.
In the morning everyone had joked with me that he’d be asleep before we hit the motorway on the way home. Not a chance, he talked non-stop all the way home, telling us all about the great things he’d been doing all day. I got him into bed and within minutes he was fast asleep.
We’ve had swimming lesson success and Beaver Camp fun all within the same week.
The summer may be long gone, and certainly we aren’t having the heat wave we enjoyed in Spain last month. Monkey started school swimming lessons last week and from not wanting to go at all, he came out of school last Monday telling me how much he loved the lesson. I was really hoping that after all the fun he’d had at the local pool in Spain in summer that he’d be happier getting in the pool back home.His best friend’s Mum told me that she’d been and watched the lesson and that anyone could go. I had nothing planned for Monday this week, so headed down to the leisure centre as soon as I’d dropped Monkey off at school. I didn’t tell him I was going but he spotted me straight away, waved and carried on walking to the edge of the pool. It was clear he was having fun, but doing as he was instructed. He was swimming on his front and back without a float. Ok, his stroke is pretty interesting, but he was doing it and obviously enjoying it. Oh how my heart sang to see that, after the problems we’d had with paid swimming lessons before. What a difference. At the end of the lesson he waved to me and then headed off with his class to get changed. It’s hard to comprehend that I was looking at the same child, but it was so wonderful to see it. No stress, no heartache, and a swimming son. Just wonderful. I’m going to try to get to see as many lessons as I can, and hope that he continues to thrive.
Swimming lesson success and Beaver Camp fun has started September off with a bang.