A community created with every children’s activity

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Andy Sauer

Andy Sauer

About ten years ago, I hung out with a great guy named Mark. He always had my back and was quick to help out in a bind. I got to know his wife and kids, and regarded him as a person you could always count on, which I did time and time again on a weekly basis.

You see, Mark was the assistant den leader of the Cub Scout den I led for four years.

A kind of Shakespearean bond of brotherhood is created when you are faced with the daunting task of keeping a bunch of energetic elementary-school-aged boys on task yet still having fun. When the boys finally got their Arrows of Light, formally ending their time as Cub Scouts and ours as leaders, I don’t know who cheered louder, the boys or us.

Years go by, and the boys moved on to other interests. Several months ago, I ran into Mark at the grocery store. It was the first time I’ve seen him in years.

Today, social ties seem to radiate like spokes from a hub. We have our family, co-workers, close friends, and maybe our neighbors. And, then, we have the people we know because of our kids.

When you have kids, you want to provide everything you can to give them a healthy, vibrant childhood and you sign them up for everything. Along the way, you collaborate with other parents. You give rides, share information and chat to pass the time. Maybe friendship is overstating things, but a community tie is created.

I have three kids roughly spaced apart by six years each. Ergo, all the connections families develop via school, church, sports, scouts, etc. are tripled for me, which means when any one of them graduates, crosses-over or quits I lose an entire community.

For four years, my eldest daughter played travel soccer. After crisscrossing the state together, tromping through wet soccer fields, setting up collapsible chairs and cheering kids on, you get to know people. When my daughter decided she was done with soccer, I felt like I lost an extended family. Even today, the second season since she left the team, I still pepper team parents — when I run into them — with questions on how the team is doing.

Still, my youngest daughter just started playing travel soccer, and so I’ve been introduced to a whole new crowd with whom I’ll spending weekends on the sidelines of cold, wet fields.

And, so, another community tie is created, one that I hope lasts at least a few years.

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