Alex Rider left yesterday morning at 7 AM for his first, week-long Boy Scout Summer Camp! He and 3 others from his troop plus 2 Assistant Scoutmasters headed towards Chester, CA for a fun-filled week of adventure at Camp Fleischman. Along with their troop are some teens from the Venture Scouts as well (a co-ed group of 14 to 21-year-olds that grew out of the Explorers that were also sponsored by the Boy Scouts.) We have all been there the past 3 years for the Cub Scout Family Camp, so he knows basically what it’s like being there. But this is the first time going as a Boy Scout on his own. His best friend is also going and one of the Assistant Scoutmasters is his best friend’s father, so I know he’ll be fine. But it is still a little strange having him gone all this week. This is the first time he will be away from his family for this long. I know he was a little nervous about it because I could tell by some of his comments the day before as I tried to spend some extra time with him for a little extra bonding before he left.
What was nice was that Friday night, Dragon Rider spent the night at another friend’s house so I got to spend some one-on-one time with Alex Rider. We don’t get to do that very often as he is usually the one over at some friend’s house and when he is here, he does not “join us” in the family room as much as Dragon Rider does, so this was a nice opportunity. The 3 of us (Dad included) went to dinner, went out for ice cream, and then after we got home, I played a game of chess with Alex Rider. He is showing interest in the game again and is starting to enjoy the challenge to match wits with his “old ma”. I told him how most of my 7th grade year, I played chess just about everyday at lunch time because a group of us really liked playing that year. And here he is getting ready for 7th grade and starting to enjoy playing, too! I figure that it must have something to do with the brain development that happens around this age – supposedly around 12 years old is when the brain starts changing to be able to think abstractly. It’s why it’s not recommended to teach Algebra to someone younger than that. And the same goes for logic courses – most recommend not trying to teach them to children younger than 12 as a rule. I know that many children aren’t ready right at 12 and will take even longer to reach this stage. But maybe this new resurgence of interest in chess is an indication that Alex Rider is reaching that point! I think I will have to capitalize on that and use it as a way to keep us close as he enters adolescence full-on! Like starting a weekly challenge of chess as a new tradition for a while! Sounds like fun!