The Squires of Don Bosco…..I thought it was a great name. And so did Angelo, though he found it hard to pick between St. John Bosco and the holy and incredible young man we have been learning about…Pier Giorgio. In the end, he decided to name his Boys’ club on the long-time family favorite, Don Bosco.
It was heartwarming and satisfying to watch my ten-year old son get ready for his weekly meeting of the Squires of Don Bosco.
Angelo was excited….he is a motivator! I didn’t know that about this good-natured, phlegmatic – type, lovable fellow of mine. Usually he is just going with the flow and besides an invention here and there (actually inventions are an ongoing passion), his motivation wasn’t astounding. You know the bear in the Jungle Book, Baloo?. Well, I have an Angeloo!
That’s what I thought until these past months. I have seen this wonderful leadership quality and drive develop in him in the past year. I have watched with interest and mild astonishment as it blossoms…
Anyway, he was busy getting things ready for his first meeting. I didn’t like that he wanted to have it in his bedroom upstairs. Upstairs is off-limits on Sundays with so many young children around. It could end up being mayhem up there and my daughters would be picking up the pieces afterwards….not very happy that little fingers were into their rooms and into their things.
Angelo assured me they would not terrorize the rooms and would clean up afterwards. So….after some hesitation, and reminding myself that “people are more important than things”, I agreed.
Every Sunday, our married couples come over and that is the opportune time for Angelo to have his meeting because his nephews would be over, too.
He bought himself some cheesy little badges over eBay as rewards. The boys get a badge for the different good deeds they do….learning the Act of Contrition, giving money to Pro-Life, doing certain chores at their homes, etc. Then once they get 5 badges they get a stripe on their sleeve (made diligently with duct tape).
Angelo made sure and gathered up camo shirts for all of the boys….there could be up to 8 of them if everyone shows up. And he will snag any unsuspecting boy who happens to be visiting that Sunday!
What a motley crew they make….from button-up, long sleeve shirts with baggy shorts to T-shirts and rubber boots!
We have our very own F Troop (for those who remember)!
One of our grandsons, Jacob, couldn’t stop talking about the meeting all week at his home! He was getting the grand honor of being promoted…..to SERGEANT! His mom, Elizabeth, was telling me all about it, while smiling from ear to ear! The irritation of Jacob incessantly asking “Can we go to Grandma’s yet?” didn’t surpass the joy of seeing such eagerness!
Hearing all the noise above in his bedroom, I asked Angelo what was going on? He informed me that he had them all doing lots of jumping jacks and extraordinary amounts of other exercises…. I thought it was funny….I have a real Sgt. Carter on my hands! 😀
It is so refreshing to have the young boys doing what young boys need to be doing! They should be using their imaginations, motivating one another, marching, playing outside, thinking of ways to do good deeds, etc.
So much of what is offered to children these days stunt this growth. We give them things to pacify them from a very young age. They need to learn to pacify themselves….with technology taking a backseat to their growth in character!
It’s amazing what they think of and come up with when given the opportunity, the space and the lack of “things” to amuse them. When they have to think on their own….they do it!
So let me encourage you mothers to seize the opportunities to cheer your children on in what they are interested in. Even if it means putting up with a messy house for a bit, using some material you had stored away for “later”, or using up every bit of the school glue! It’s worth it!
“If you mostly ignore your children, turn them over to computer games, audio and visual media, telephone pals, and social events, they may continue to live in the same house, but you won’t find them on the same page. When a parent allows their child’s course to be set by the wind of chance, or the vapor of mere academics, they’re either praying for an unlikely miracle or are guilty of neglect. I think we can all agree that raising children is the greatest challenge and, potentially, the greatest blessing on earth. If children are in your care, your heart must always be on them, for their souls are in your hands.” – No Greater Joy