For Ages
6 to 9

Pee Wee Scouts: A Big Box of Memories is a part of the Pee Wee Scouts collection.

The Pee Wees have to fill a time capsule to earn their last badge of 2000. But what one tiny thing will leave a lasting impression for scouts of tomorrow? It's not an easy question, but the Pee Wees are up to the challenge—and eager to make their mark on the future.

An Excerpt fromPee Wee Scouts: A Big Box of Memories

Old Lady Molly

“This is an important year,” said Mrs. Peters to the Pee Wee Scouts. “Can any of you tell me why?”

The Pee Wees all frowned as if they were thinking hard. Molly Duff had found that if she looked as if she were thinking very hard and did not put her hand up, she didn’t get called on. Especially at school in classes she was not good at, like math. She always had her hand up if it was a spelling lesson or reading, no matter how hard the words were.

But now no one had their hand up to be called on. No one seemed to know why it was an important year.

“Easter?” said Tim Noon. “Or Memorial Day?”

“Every year has Easter and Memorial Day,” scoffed Rachel Meyers. “That doesn’t make it a special year. Just an ordinary one.”

“Was it the coldest year in Minnesota?” asked Mary Beth Kelly, who was Molly’s best friend. “My mom said it was the snowiest winter she could remember.”

Mrs. Peters frowned. “It may have been,” she said. “But that’s not why this year is important.”

“Maybe it’ll be the warmest year,” said Tracy Barnes to Molly. “Last summer was so hot we went swimming every day.”

“It has nothing to do with the temperature,” said their leader mysteriously. “Think harder.”

The Pee Wees did.

“I know,” said Tim Noon. “It’s the year my uncle got married!”

“Pooh,” said Sonny Stone. “My uncle got married too. That’s no big deal. People get married every day.”

“And divorced,” said Lisa Ronning. “That’s not news.”

The Pee Wees thought some more. Why didn’t their leader just tell them?

“I know why the year’s important,” said Rachel. “I really do.”

Before Rachel could tell everyone, Patty Baker waved her hand. She was Kenny’s twin sister. “It’s election time,” she said. “We elect a new president this fall.”

Everyone agreed that was important. Even Mrs. Peters.

“But this news is important to everyone in the world,” she said.

Now Rachel waved her hand.

“It’s the first year of this century, Mrs. Peters,” she said importantly.

“That’s right, Rachel! The twentieth century is over. And this year begins a whole new hundred years! The twenty-first century. Is everyone used to writing the year yet?”

The Pee Wees laughed.

“I keep writing 1900,” said Tracy Barnes.

“It’s a big change,” said their leader.

Rachel sighed. “It’s the biggest change in a thousand years,” she said. “Now it’s the year 2000. The new millennium.”

“Good for you, Rachel!” said Mrs. Peters. “One hundred years ago, we went from 1899 to 1900. Now it’s one hundred years later, and 1999 has changed to 2000.”

“My great-great-grandma was born in 1900,” said Molly. “My mom did our family history. We have a picture of her in a long dress. There were no cars, only horses then.”

“Good for you, Molly,” said Mrs. Peters. “Lots of changes have taken place in one hundred years. In the year 2100, pictures of our clothes will look as strange to people alive then as the ones of 1900 do to us.”

Molly tried to picture what people would look like in another hundred year. Would they have long dresses again, and horses? Or would they have antennas coming out of their heads, and little airplanes in their garages instead of cars? She shivered. She wouldn’t even be alive then! Unless she lived for more than a hundred years! She didn’t know anyone who had lived that long!

If she was 107 in the year 2100, she would be old and wrinkled and walk with a cane. Or not walk at all! Her hair would be gray like her grandma’s. She might even be in a nursing home! Molly’s imagination was wild, her mother said, and she was right. Molly got so lost in being an old, old lady that her arms and legs felt achy. Suddenly Mary Beth said cheerfully, “We’ll all be dead by 2100!”

“I don’t want to be dead!” cried Sonny Stone, who was a baby about a lot of things. He still had training wheels on his bike, even though he was seven.

“That’s a long time away,” said Mrs. Peter. “ And right now we want to think about being alive this year, at the turn of the century. We want to think about what the Pee Wee Scouts, especially Troop 23, can do to celebrate and mark the occasion. Does anyone have any ideas?”