I'm a newly single mom and newly moved to Madison, I'm pretty happy about both of those things. There are a couple of things I miss from Chicago, one is that we were involved in a really fun thing there, SpiralScouts. For those who've never heard of it, it's a coed and inclusive form of scouting. It was started through the Church of All Worlds, but like the UU, that's a sort of religious cultural club that is open to atheists and other freethinkers. (and recommended by the awesome Dale McGowan in his Parenting Beyond Belief books, so honestly, it's not a trick to recruit you into religion! heh heh heh.) Girl Scouts is fun, and open to everyone - our local troop has been just as cool and friendly as can be - in fact it's so much fun we'd like to do more scouting, and want our male friends to have the chance to get into the fun too.
What our old circle did, and what we'd like to do are typical scout type things - meet up for play-dates at nature centers, learn about the natural world, go camping, visit different cultural institutions and from museums to temples to art galleries, make group trips to seasonal & cultural festivals, have non-religious seasonal parties, and just widen our circle of friends. Some people seem to use SpiralScouts as a kind of Pagan Sunday School, we definitely do NOT want to do that - we're all about being freethinkers, learning about cultural and religions traditions as another part of learning about the natural world, not as religious adherents.
So.... I was an assistant leader in Chicago, I know loads of nice parents and kids here who want to join a circle, I have good venues scoped out for meetings, I'm basically ready to take the ball and run with it. What I need is a co-leader volunteer, ideally a male, because the organization prefers for there to be one adult leader of each gender, so the kids can benefit from gender diversity in leadership. (It's not a strict rule, just a strong suggestion, but it's one I definitely agree is a good thing to have.) I have met a couple of willing pagans, but have not yet found a person I feel comfortable with. I would very much prefer another rational freethinker type, who likes and is liked by kids. So if you are such a person, or know one, please get in touch. There isn't a lot of expense involved; you have to be able to pass a background check, get certified in CPR, and be willing to pitch in and help out with scouting events in and around Madison, maybe 2 weekends a month, more if you are willing. I'm sure not going to say "no" to a woman who is very interested & dedicated either, so don't let that stop you.
Check out SpiralScouts online if you don't know about them.
Thanks! Take care,