While lots of people are leaving the valley for spring break, some return visitors have already arrived. The sagebrush buttercup and spring beauties, the first of the season’s wildflowers, are already here! Next up, bluebells and glacier lilies. Keep an eye open and tread lightly!
Spring fever has hit the backyard, as the bunnies have been twitter-pated. This has nothing to do with Twitter, the social networking app that I don’t use. Twitter-pated is the endearing term used in Walt Disney’s “Bambi,” describing the fury of spring fever that leads to new creatures like chicks and bunnies. Well my bunnies have it, but thankfully our buck is fixed!
In keeping with other spring traditions, the local Cub Scout troop raced Pinewood Derby cars last week. This long tradition instills pride and creativity in kids as they endeavor to craft and build their cars. The rule is that the cars can’t be over 5 ounces. Weight is added by securing coins, washers, fishing weights or the like to add mass and acceleration. As far as design goes, anything goes. LEGO exhaust flames, pencil cannons, and decals adorned the cars. Even adults get excited. Recently, former Okanogan Sherriff Frank Rogers auctioned off his collection of Batmobile-inspired derby cars in a fundraiser.
This year’s winner was Weston Peterson, who can advance to districts in Wenatchee on April 13 along with second-place Grady Thrasher and third-place Gavin McAuliffe. Each boy received a certificate of recognition for varying degrees of hard work: best paint job, workmanship, judge’s choice award, etc. There are 16 scouts in the local troop ranging from 7-18 years old.
Hopefully, next spring we will have derby races. But the future of our local scouts is uncertain. Boy Scouts of America (BSA) recently allowed girls to be Boy Scouts, causing some turmoil in the sponsoring agencies who host troops. BSA requires a local partner/sponsor like a nonprofit group, religious organization, or school group to be the sponsor. Here in Twisp, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the local sponsoring agency. The church has been very welcoming to enthusiastic scouts, regardless of their faith, but it has been focused on boys. The church will no longer be a partner agency of BSA, choosing to form its own youth development program beginning in 2020.
I think there’s a place for all-boy’s and all-girl’s groups in society. While I support the efforts of inclusiveness and gender identity, there’s a magical freedom that occurs in exclusively boy or girl groups. Competition is evened and distractions are minimized. Most kids live in a co-ed world. Here in the valley, boys and girls play sports together until about age 12. I know for a fact that co-ed soccer has been the reason some girls have dropped the sport in elementary school because, quite frankly, playing with the boys can be a drag. The dynamic of co-ed competition is different. So, while the future of the local Cub Scout group is uncertain, what is certain is that it would be shame to see this spirited and eager group of boys not have a safe and supportive place for boys to be boys.