Quite a few years ago, I was asked by a visitor to the Pack how much I got paid to do this (it was during a particularly rowdy game). They were slightly startled when I told them that I was a volunteer, as were all the other adults in the room. Truth be told, I wouldn’t want to be paid: being part of the Cubs’ lives is more than reward enough, especially watching them pick up all manner of new experiences, skills and ambitions – which I hope we have given them over this past year.
At the moment, the Pack is bubbling away with 29 on our register, which makes for some very busy evenings. Due to a quirk of birthdays, we’ve had relatively few moving up to the Scouts, but when they do, I don’t expect things to be any less busy. Especially since there’s a very enthusiastic Beaver Colony just alongside us.
We went into Autumn with a visitor from Costa Rica, who set the tone by showing us that a different uniform and a different language doesn’t mean that Scouting is any different – although the tres leches cake we shared probably went down the best. From that sugar-laden start, we packed a lot into the following weeks: astronomy, pirates, giant Battleships, backwoods cooking, tiling, a slightly damp night hike and a little bit about St Andrew.
As an extra treat in the run-up to Xmas, we were delighted to welcome Max McClellan to the Pack as our newest young leader, alongside Sylvia Peacock. In the spirit of ‘what goes around, comes around’, Max used to be a Cub himself and has been on a crash-course ever since of learning what goes on behind the scenes.
Moving into winter, we filled the dark evenings with some Scottish culture (including haggis, shortbread and Irn Bru), disability awareness, pioneering, Roman history and more outdoor cooking. It was great to meet Gerry Clegg just before Easter, who has joined us to lend a hand during his weeks working in Edinburgh – welcome to the Pack.
With the lighter evenings, we started getting out for the spring-summer term, including my person highlight (and what felt like a theme): more outdoor cooking with the Cubs building, lighting and managing their own fires to roast some giant marshmallows. We’ve also been working on fire safety, thanks to a visit from Iain Farquhar from Marionville Fire Station, and getting out to do some tracking signs around the local paths. We were fortunate to get an opportunity to take some of the Cubs to the Longcraigs sailing centre to get out on the water – it’s good preparation for when they’re in Scouts.
As always, I owe a huge debt of gratitude to everyone who helps – particularly Andrew, who remains my sage counsel in terms of keeping things straight, and Gerry for joining us with fresh ideas and endless enthusiasm. Also, a big thanks to Sylvia and Max who are always enthusiastic and do their best to stay involved in the midst of their many, many other commitments. Further recognition goes to the parents who have chimed in as part of the parent rota, helping us keep things safe and fun (as well as occasionally learning some new things themselves). The biggest thank you is to the Pack, without whom I wouldn’t be writing this – keep up the good work, Cubs!
This leads me to a final thank you, which is a little more personal: back in November, I sadly attended the funeral of Jack Hewitt, who was the Leader at 1st Dinting Glossop when I was a Scout. It’s thanks to him that I realised that Scouting is about giving as much as it’s about taking part – and he was my motivation to become a leader. If I can inspire a few more Cubs to, one day, take my place…well, that would be a fitting tribute.
Yours in Scouting