Dear Mom and Dad,

Can you believe I have now been gone five nights!!  I just want to thank you for trusting me to go so far from home on my own this week.  I am pretty sure you will wonder what has happened to your little boy when you see me get off the bus on Saturday as a seasoned Boy Scout.  The food has been so good here that I’m sure I have grown at least a foot! You might have to ask a leader which one of the scouts I am!

I told you last night that today would be the most important day of my whole life!!!  I was worried I might lay awake all night scared of what might happen today.  Our campsite has a new Eno village that holds 16 hammocks in a circle, and I got to sleep under the stars looking at a super bright full moon last night.  Boy was I wrong about not being able to go to sleep! Sleeping with the sky as my roof seems to suit me well.  When I get home, maybe Dad and I can put some posts in the back yard where we can hang a hammock for me and another one for Rover.  We can live out there all year! You might not realize this, but ENO makes a rain tarp to cover our hammocks in case it rains or snows, so we’ll be just fine counting those stars all year.  Of course Rover and I will spend Christmas Eve in the house with you, but we are thinking those stars will be calling us those other 364 nights.  Don’t you think that is a great plan?

I’ve been super excited all day. I have finished up my merit badges and graduated from the Woodsman Program! Sarge must have really served some good brain food for breakfast with those sausage biscuits because I have been spot-on with everything I worked on today.  I finished up my leatherwork and swimming merit badges and a few more of my early rank requirements in Woodsman.  It just all came to me so naturally – you  were so right when you told me how scouts would be life changing for me.

This afternoon has been a whirlwind.  All the first years worked hard on polishing our renditions of the Scout Oath and Law for our Scoutmaster Conference with Mr. Satterfield and then moving on to our Boards of Review with Dr. Dunbar.  We had to know that AND the Outdoor Code AND three knots.  You know how nervous I get when I have to talk to adults that I haven’t known very long.  I tried to remember everything you taught me and made sure to give my scout leaders a firm scout handshake and look at them straight in the eye instead of at the ground like. There must be something good about those traits you taught me – because you now have a very proud Tenderfoot Scout for a son!  I can’t thank you enough Mom and Dad for making me the man I am.

The older scouts have all been finishing up all their Merit Badges.  I even heard one of them say somebody slept though the canoeing badge period.  He was really lucky that one of the other boys in the class realized he was missing and went back to our campsite to wake him up.  Can you imagine what his mom and dad would have said if he came home without that badge?  I love that we take care of each other in scouts.

I am so excited now hanging out with my fellow Tenderfoots and loving our campsite of New Shirmer more and more.  Tonight is the Order of the Arrow night at the Council Ring and I cant wait to see which scouts have been elected for membership.  I think it might be late before we get back to the campsite tonight so Mr. Satterfield let me write a little earlier than usual because I know I will be ready to dive in my ENO under the stars again tonight when we get back to the campsite.  I will be sure to write you again tomorrow and tell you all about what it was like to be a Tenderfoot all night long.

Lots of love,
Your Tenderfoot

P.S. – I didn’t get to put this in the mailbox until after the Order of the Arrow ceremony. It was really cool!