A meeting without stress

I will confess to finally feeling relief while sitting in a meeting about Philmont. I am not sure what finally made the difference, but for once a meeting about Philmont did not stress me out. I was able to sit and relax and actually not feel a panic come over me. It was not about the money and how much it was and how much we still had to get or cover. I am not going to say that we have paid for the trip for the three parties from our family that are attending this summer in full as we have not, but today after church as we were sitting in the meeting I had a sense of calm over me instead of that sense of panic.

I am truly grateful today as I know I have pushed the boys to really to fund raise on their own to come up with funds above and beyond what the scouts would covering in their fundraising efforts. I knew that would not be enough to cover the trip alone. We needed them to take some “responsibility” and “ownership” in this trip. This was a big trip and they needed to “buy” into the fact that this was a big deal. Financially we were going to be sinking a lot of cash for the experience for them that we felt they really needed to have, but some experiences do not come free…or without work. Life is not a free for all.

The experience, the boys have learned, has been a series of trade-offs. We are realistic. We have traded expenses with one child once he met a certain point because we knew he understood the “investment” principle and he was working dutifully toward the goal we set. We are realistic. We ended up covering an expense for the other child because he got stuck in the middle of an unfair exchange in the store and ended up covering part of something in that. SO…instead of me paying the difference at the store, he paid it and in exchange I told him I would buy the “rain cover” for his backpack. In the end, he “wins” as the “rain cover” costs more than the difference he paid on the error in the exchange, but he made the payment without complaining.

I have to say that Lance in all of this has been quite the trooper because in the fundraising efforts he is not really benefiting anything except to send his brothers and father on an amazing trip. I have decided that he and I will wander off and on a trip of our own somewhere around here and go do something fun, just me and him. I have not decided where yet maybe San Antonio, Dallas, or the like. We might go down to Galveston or something. I have not decided but he has diligently worked to sell the cookies and pies to help raise money to send his brothers and father to Philmont and frankly he has earned himself a “reward” for being such a big help in the effort.

We have not raised everything we need to raise to cover everything for the trip. We are not doing too bad either. We have helped off-set the cost and that was the goal. With the boys being responsible for purchasing certain items on their own merit that helped to off-set the costs in other areas.

This helped to ease the stress for me. With Christmas for the boys and Ben being largely a Philmont gift giving fest, we went through the gear list and checked off a lot of the list. We got the bulk of the larger and most costly items off the list. That overwhelming “cost factor” has been removed and is no longer hanging over my head. I will not lie, there is still a LOT on the list still, but they are smaller things. I can walk in tomorrow and buy a handful of items and whittle a few more items off the list and not break the bank. It would not be cheap, but it would be do-able. I could do the same the next pay-day and still be okay without causing undue financial hardship for the fact that sending three people to Philmont is just downright expensive no matter which way you slice it.

We will probably do a little bit more individual fundraising as a family to push it up over the top and maybe cover some of the last of the gear and maybe some of the transportation costs, but I am pleased overall with what the boys have accomplished thus far. They have done a lot. With the group fundraising and this we have managed to help ease the stress quite a bit and that says a lot.

To make it so that I am not feeling this crushing stress about the cost is to say a lot.

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