Widgets Magazine

Jun 13, 2011

All the Merit Badges

 Did I ever tell you the Dog Walker is trying to earn all the Merit Badges? At this very moment he has earned 122. If he finishes them all it will be 131. I know…9 to go and less than six months because he has to finish them before he turns 18. We passed off Energy this morning with one of our wonderfully kind neighbors. We have had some amazing adventures in the name of Merit Badges.
Can anyone see Sport?
Last summer we decided we didn’t want to leave the last bunch of hard physical ones (cycling, backpacking, etc.) until his final summer. So we started looking for ways to earn Whitewater rafting. Sadly, we couldn’t find a group in Utah that taught classes in Whitewater even though we have some fantastic rapids here. There was a place in Idaho, but they were incredibly expensive. Undaunted, we kept looking until we finally found a place near Denver called the River Runners. They would do a class for us at a very reasonable rate. They didn’t care if the class was all scout age or not so we filled the whole class with our own kids! I’m not sure how we did it, but we convinced the Gym Rat to take time off work and squeeze his long legs into the back of the van for a thousand miles so he could be the adult figure on the raft. I was extremely pregnant with Baby Doll so maybe he just felt bad for me since I couldn’t go on the raft and my sweetie really doesn’t like that sort of thing.
Dog Walker, Princess, Teach, Sport, Prima Donna, Gym Rat, Crafty
The whole trip was pretty spur of the moment with only a couple of weeks of planning, but we managed to pull it off. Because we were limited with time, Crafty and Sport ended up missing most of the first week of school, but both survived and came out with amazing report cards. We drove through the Rocky Mountains on our way to Denver. Curly loved all the tunnels and the kids were so excited every time we saw anybody on a raft…which was often! 

We made lots of stops (since I always needed a potty!) and we mostly just enjoyed being together. We made the entire drive in one day and stayed in a nice hotel in Denver. Then we got up early in the morning and headed back the way we came for an hour and a half to the rafting place…I know, counter-productive, but MUCH cheaper. We dropped off all the kids with their guide, even Sport was young enough to ride the raft, and my sweetie and I headed to a small park with Curly and Scout. They completed the class and they also took a half-day trip down the river. Apparently Sport fell out of the boat a couple of times and had to be hauled back in. Crafty also did a great job being the victim when they needed someone to rescue. The Gym Rat and the Dog Walker stayed near the front of the boat and kept them all afloat. The kids absolutely loved it! I was so happy to have that signed blue card in my hand, I didn’t even mind handing over fifty bucks for the CD full of pictures (ok, I minded a little…).  
Dog Walker, Teach, Gym Rat, Prima Donna. Scout, Sport, Curly, Crafty, Princess

Sport, Scout and Gym Rat.
We spent another couple of days in Denver, seeing the sights and enjoying the pool at the hotel. We gave the kids a list of free or nearly so activities and then we let them choose. We were disappointed that the Denver Mint was closed, but we still got to see the Stadium where the Broncos play (since that is my sweetie’s favorite football team), and the Nuggets arena. We went to the Valley of the Gods and saw some amazing rock formations and visited Tiny Town (that one cost money, but the kids thought it was great). 

We drove back home through Wyoming, just so we could see some different scenery. We stopped at the Little America for ice cream cones and had lunch in Laramie.The drive was long, but we have to expect a certain amount of pain and agony over each and every blue card. (They all wanted to go back this summer, btw.) Only 9 badges to go…cycling, backpacking, geocaching, automotive maintenance…water sports. Thank goodness we have many kind neighbors, my sweetie was worried that this summer we might have to buy a boat!


Laura@livingabigstory said...

I love the support that you are giving your son to fulfill his dream -- what an incredible example that is!

PRINCESS said...

I don't remember doing all those "fire powers"...

Lesa said...

What a great accomplishment!!


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