Daniel’s last pack meeting was on Saturday. This was the official graduation. Daniel finished the requirements to become a Bear Scout a couple of months ago; we had the Blue and Gold Dinner affirm that. Still, this was where they actually got their new neckerchiefs and new books full of things to do for next year. It was a large party out in the conservation district under a new picnic shelter that looks like a church. Almost all of the kids in the pack from Tiger to Webelos were there along with their parents, brothers, sisters and so on.
All the kids went down to the baseball field to play a game of kickball (frequent readers will be relieved to know that Daniel was one of the first on the field). They picked sides and went to work. This was going to be a one-inning affair. It was basically buying time for the pack leaders to organize all the patches and awards for the ceremony.
One of the biggest challenges for the kids was coming up with appropriate taunts for the other team. “We want a pitcher, not a belly itcher,” was countered – halfheartedly in my opinion – by “We want a batter, not a broken ladder.” When that didn’t get the other team properly annoyed, they tried “We want a hitter, not a piece of litter.” There was the inevitable argument that the person awaiting the ball was actually the kicker, not the hitter… though – to be fair – batter was wrong too.
The game moved pretty smoothly, though the inning kept getting longer as more kids joined one side or the other. There were interruptions every now and then when someone lost the clasp to their neckerchief in the tall grass. Both teams would drop to their hands and knees and search the field like looking for a lost contact lens. The smaller kids didn’t know about staying in the base lines. One Tiger Scout kicked the ball and was chased all over the outfield and out past where the parents were sitting on rocks before – finally – making it to first base. The official word was “safe”, but he was the only one who was allowed to do that. The other challenge they faced was everyone was essentially wearing the same uniform. Daniel got a kick and ended up on first base. The boy behind him in the order got on base as well. However, when Daniel stopped at second, the other boy kept running past him to third base and was struck out.
Daniel’s team put up a commanding lead. I believe they scored about 47 runs though I have to admit I lost count. Once they were done kicking, Daniel’s side sort of evaporated away and the other team put up a lot of runs due to lack of fielders. The game finally concluded – as far as I can tell – a tie. Everyone got something to eat. We had a fast paced award ceremony (Daniel got his new blue neckerchief applied by Meka while I videotaped the proceedings in high definition). We finished up and even had time to help clean the picnic tables before the sky clouded up and the rain rolled in.