The scout binder revisited

Sarah and I had a skype meeting yesterday, catching up on life and wedding planning and re-energizing our blogging batteries. It's been almost exactly three years since we started this Nest & Launch venture and we started reminiscing on our early days. Remember how we used to post every weekday for the first year? There's a lot of content back in those archive stacks so we thought it would be fun to revisit and update some of the posts each week in a Throwback Thursday kind of way.

One of the very first posts I wrote (three years ago tomorrow, funny enough) still brings a lot of people here daily via Pinterest and various other mysterious-but-much-appreciated-pssst-pass-it-along social platforms. (Welcome, pinners!)  It was based on some some sage advice from a friend. She said, as I wrote in the original post:

"Start a Scout Binder. Now. She lamented how difficult it had been to prepare the Eagle scout application because all of the little signed badge cards and badges and earned rank cards and other sundry items had long been shuffled to the back corners of random drawers and pockets. She had no idea that they would need those again. So they had to gather it all up and, in some cases, track down old scout leaders for dates and signatures (or do some things over) to get a complete application submitted."  

Three years later, Sam's 7/8 of the way through his Eagle Project and the end is in sight. He's collected books for a women's/family shelter and built bookcases to hold them. I'm really glad we did our scout binder;  it really was a friendly, brilliant hint and it worked so well for us...
until
we
(he)
lost
it.
Sigh.

So much for organized foresight and the illusion of control! Oh well. Sometimes you put systems and prevention tactics into place and still end up with not a patch nor card in hand. Because bestlaid plans and teenage boys. And moving. Maybe there should be a merit badge for that.

But there IS an app for that if you'd like to avoid our old school quandary and add a failsafe: The Scout App. (And apparently there's no equivalent for Girl Scouts besides an app for the handbook and a girl scout cookie finder. Get on that, Girl Scouts!)

Scout binder

My husband grew up doing Boy Scouts with a group of a dozen or more boys in his neighborhood.  The momentum of that many squirrelly but focused boys pursuing scouting (not to mention the longsuffering and encouraging moms who nudged them along) meant that just about every last one became an Eagle Scout. Almost from the moment Sam was born, I think G has pictured him in a scout uniform and looked forward to the dad-son bonding era of scouting ahead.  

I, on the other hand, was a complete novice to this whole scouting thing. My two brothers had chosen other pursuits about midway through their teen years and so scouting wasn't as much a part of my household growing up. To help make up for my complete ignorance, when Sam was getting ready to start I asked around for hints from friends who had boys already in scouts.

One friend gave me this sage advice: Start a Scout Binder. Now. She lamented how difficult it had been to prepare the Eagle scout application because all of the little signed badge cards and badges and earned rank cards and other sundry items had long been shuffled to the back corners of random drawers and pockets. She had no idea that they would need those again. So they had to gather it all up and, in some cases, track down old scout leaders for dates and signatures (or do some things over) to get a complete application submitted. 

And so the Scout Binder was born.

NL scout binder 4.jpg

It's just a thick (3-4 inch) binder with different types of page covers: some full page for slipping in certificates, some pocketed (the ones for baseball cards work really well for badge cards and badges), and a big velcro-flapped one at the end for odds and ends. 

NL scout binder 2.jpg

Whenever he brings something home from scouts, we just tuck it into the binder. (Or, in other words, whenever I run across one of those little cards that he's thrown on the counter or floor or left in his pockets, I cajole Sam into putting it in the binder.)  

It's not rocket science, I know. It's a binder. But it's helped to know that, while I might not know where any of my camera chargers are and we all somehow have only rogue single socks but no pairs, we know where our scout badges are sleeping at night. And that's at least one thing we won't have to worry about down the line.


How did the scout binder do, three years later? Update here.