A few weeks ago the Oldest Island Boy had a Webelos meeting. Normally, his Dad takes him but the Island King was out fishing so I went instead.
They were going to work on earning their Engineering badge, which they broke down into 2 parts, mechanical and chemical. For the mechanical part each boy was to build a marshmellow catapult and when they finished there would be a contest and the boy who's catapult worked the best would win a prize.
The man leading them showed them a model he'd built, explained how it worked and then gave each boy the parts to make his own. The key was to figure out exactly how to put it together to make it shoot the marshmellow a long way.
The Oldest paid close attention, got his parts and then came over to where I was sitting. He kept asking where I thought he should put the holes for the vault and did I think this was better or that was better.
I realized that he wasn't having a hard time with the concept but that he was trying to get me to help him so it would be a really good one. Which is not the point of what we're doing here so I asked him if Dad would help him if he were there instead of me.
"No, he would say that I should do it"
Well ok then.
So I told him to study the prototype, think about it and then he had to decide how to put his together.
Which he did.
Once the design was set there were some dads who helped drill the holes and tie the rubber bands but the boys did all of the "engineering" themselves.
When the catapults were finished they all lined up and took practise shots.
And then it was time for the real deal. The den leader held the platforms steady and one by one the boys lobbed their marshmellows.
A few went pretty far.
The Oldest's turn came around, he loaded his marshmellow and off it went. Literally half way across the room.
I love the looks of surprise on the faces of the boys next to him while he looks like he doesn't believe that just happened.
Needless to say my boy won the catapult contest and will get a prize at their next meeting.
The second half of their meeting was about chemical engineering and they made green slime. Which they LOVED.
The meeting came to an end and the first thing the Oldest said was "Let's go home and catapult green slime onto the Island Girl!"
On our way home I told him how proud I was of him for making the catapult by himself and that he won because of his work, not mine. He thought about it for a minute and told me that I was right, if I'd have helped him he would have won but it would have been our win, not his.
Yes! He got it.
And I couldn't resist letting him catapult slime onto his sister - just once.