Sunday, October 17, 2010

A Proud Father!

I just wanted to slip in a small moment of excitement that gave me a small glimpse of the eternal joy that a father has in watching a child demonstrate abilities that will give that child success in the future. Tank is working on his first Boy Scout merit badge. The troop he belongs to has taken on the task of working on the Rifle Merit badge as a group. They meet at a ward members house and take turns in rounds shooting five rounds. Knowing that Tank has shot both long rifles and pistols before I have high expectations of his performance. When we show up together I try to take somewhat of a back seat to be able to watch him interact and work with those who are his leaders and the other boys. He seems to be ready to work with the unusual nature of his name as one leader asked him how he pronounces his name, he quickly responded, "You can call me 'Tank'." During the remainder of the three hour activity, Teancum demonstrated the usual performance of an emerging deacon by taking the opportunity, after eating a sandwich on the way to the meeting, to eat another three hot dogs. What really made me excited was his eagerness and steadfastness to work with the leaders and a little bit from me to work on his ability to shoot well. After an initial round of shooting, he was all over the target. I gave him a basic military class on marksmanship, trying to use words and pictures that he would understand. Then we watched a leader together and I pointed out the fundamentals that were visible. From this point I sat back and let Teancum do what he wanted to observe what he would do. Teancum was the first scout each and every round to take his turn to shoot; as the other boys would find other distractions either dealing with the activity or ones that were brought from home. Tank would follow all instructions from the range safety's and after each time he shot he would look for a leader to discuss his performance. I was afraid he would do too much talking but he was respectful and would listen well to each coaching. He stayed focused on the task at hand, taking the given breaks between rounds of shooting to grab a hot dog, drink some of the beverage we brought or talk to me about his shooting. In the end he was able to place two out of five three round groups with in the required quarter size grouping needed to pass off the merit badge. He is excited about continuing to practice, apply the coaching that was given and finish earning the badge. His ability to stay focused, respect his leaders and take control of his own actions make me a happy and pleased father and make me excited for all the success he will have in the future!