My boys’ Webelo den just had their Raingutter Regatta; being new to the boy side of Scouting, I had never heard of – much less participated in – such a thing. The boys brought home their boat kits, we painted and assembled them, and the night of the regatta they lined up with the other boys and raced their boats by blowing on the sails. Every scout who participated received a ribbon. Even my daughter got a ribbon because she helped paint her brothers’ boats. Of 25 boys, there were 4 first-place winners…and 21 second-place winners.
The point of the race was to reinforce individualized team building and to promote good sportsmanship. There were no losers that night; every boy who participated was a winner. Each boy who participated won the event, whether he won the race or not. And none of the kids was upset about not winning his race; they all cheered each other on happily and then chanted for any boy who had trouble getting his boat to sail down the gutter. Some boys were brand new and didn’t have a boat – all of the other boys volunteered their boats for extra races, just so everyone could be a part of the fun.
More and more these days we see evidence of selfish, greedy business practices, people who look out for themselves and a generation of “what’s in it for me?” lifestyles. Maybe things would be different if we adults all got together and had a raingutter regatta. If we hung out with these very cool kids, maybe we could learn a thing or two about how to treat our fellow man.
Job well done, Pack 413! Thanks for the life lesson.