This is Ethan before going to work at Camp Ireland Cub Scout Day Camp. He is a staffer who will help Cub Scouts learn and have fun throughout the summer. It's been his dream to work at Camp Ireland, ever since going as a Cub Scout himself, eight years ago.
As part of his uniform, Ethan got a coat and hat that say, "Camp Ireland," and "Staff." He wears them, along with his Scout socks, pants, belt and shirt (two Scout shirts, actually) each day with pride.
I think the hat has magical powers.
The hat has caused Ethan to start tucking in his shirt. It has caused him to--dare I say it--act responsibly by doing things like packing his own lunch and practicing magic tricks he'll be doing at camp. The hat has made him wake up on time each day and get ready without any nagging or prodding from me.
The hat has caused him to mature several years in just one day. It's boosted his confidence and changed his attitude. He wears the hat even when he changes out of his scout clothes. He wore it to light fireworks on the 4th of July and when we went shopping for a tiny tube of toothpaste for his own week at Scout camp.
I arrived a little early to pick him up yesterday and listened as they practiced the Camp Ireland song. They were pumping their fists and shouting in unison the words to the song. There was this feeling of belonging and camaraderie that was so uplifting. And every staffer was wearing their special hats.