Saturday August 7 was the WACKO (Waterford Area Canoe & Kayak) and Full Moon Four Miler races in Waterford. Any time you have events like this, lots of help is needed to make things go smoothly. As Scouts, we’re here to help ~ so we’ve enjoyed getting invited to help at these events and the lessons that the boys learn in doing so.

This year the Four Miler did something really neat – they brought in a few hot air balloons along the course. As the sun sets, the balloonists would fire their balloons causing them to light up in bright & beautiful colors as the runners ran by. After watching the start, we walked our boys down to a water station that runners had to pass by twice ~ once in each direction. Working with our friends the Girl Scouts, we handed out cups of water and then helped collect the cups from under the runners feet so that nobody would slip, and to help keep the village and the course beautiful!

But our real job took place early Sunday morning. It was raining, at times heavily. We had to clean up the village park where the race both began and ended, and also played host to the late night after-party. We swept the grounds picking up food, cups, cans and cigarette butts that had been littered on the ground. We loaded up both the garbage cans that were overflowing, and the ones a few feet away that were half full, and took them over to a dumpster to be emptied and returned. It was hard work, and we didn’t have much help.

My new-Tiger 6 year old son remarked, “that wasn’t much fun.”

That opened the door to a little discussion on what exactly “fun” was. It was my Webelos-2 Scout-veteran 10 year old who made the connection for him.

“Fun makes you feel good, right?” My 6 year old nodded.

“Doesn’t it feel great to help out and make the park look nice again? Without us picking up the park, there won’t be any more of these kind of things like last night. It’s just ‘a different kind of fun.'”