Cub Report 2018

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



Cubs Report 2016

It barely seems like any time since the last time I wrote a report – I suppose time really does fly when you’re having fun. Here’s hoping the same is true for the rest of the Cub Pack.

Last time, I noticed that we were the busiest I have ever seen. Well, this year saw us take that even further. We have 26 on the register right now and, it’s fair to say, you can certainly hear it at our meetings. It’s great to see so much going on, even if keeping everyone busy (and within the acceptable sound limit for an airport) poses as much of a challenge as anything else.

Since last time, we’ve had a full spread of activities: from the ambition of the ‘learn-how-to-sew-ona- badge’ night (any luck?), to smoothie making and dancing, all the way through to learning how to play Australian Rules Football…and that was just the Autumn term. Alas, we had to say goodbye to Emma Byrne at this point, as she moved to start her teacher training. She will be much missed, if for no other reason than because she doesn’t shout as loudly as I do.

Once we were through the festive season, we welcomed a new face – Andrew Logue. With a wealth of experience from his own time in Scouts (including time spent at the Kandersteg International Scout Campsite), he’s brought a fresh set of activities and adventures. The Winter term saw us exploring the work of Rabbie Burns, enjoying a miniature Brazilian carnival and even having the first of our Centenary celebrations. A particular treat was an indoor campfire – much fun was had by all as we sang some old favourites and learned a couple of new songs.

As we move into the Spring-Summer term, we’ve been fortunate to have some glorious weather and to get out. The Cubs may-or-may-not have mentioned their challenges for the term, as they work their way towards the Our Challenge badge: just take a look at the line of coloured cards on the side wall for some of the ambitious targets they’ve set themselves (although I’ll accept best efforts for one of the Cubs, who was intent on learning how to say ‘Hello’ in every language in the world). We’ve also been getting stuck into our Athletics badge, which saw everyone trying their hardest to beat some pretty stiff targets over the races.

Of course, the highlight of any Cub’s time in the Pack is the chance to get away on camp, which we did just last weekend. We had 15 filling up the tents at Bonaly, spending their day across a range of activities, challenges and all-round fun. Apologies for those who came back in need of multiple showers; if it’s any consolation, the leaders were just as much in need of a good scrubbing as well.

Naturally, I really must say thank you to all of our supporters: whether parents, leaders or just friends of the Pack, it would be impossible to go on without you. Particular thanks for Andrew, who joined us and already feels like a central part of the Pack. Also, a final respectful bow to Ruaraidh Campbell, who has come to the end of his time with us – he’s off to University in August and will be sorely missed by the Cubs. Best of luck for his future…and a poignant moment for me as I see one of the original members of the Pack, when I first joined, making his way into the grown-up world.

Here’s to another exciting year ahead!

Yours in Scouting

Guy (Akela)

Cubs Report 2015

It’s another active year for the Cub Pack. If we could measure by badges, then I’d just point to the well-laden left arms that some of our Cubs have. As ever, apologies to the parents who have to spend the time sewing the latest additions to the uniforms.

Autumn 2014 saw a fresh start with a revolving cast of parents joining us to support and educate. There were some phenomenal new activities for us to try, with the programme including cooking, acting, exploring and even the rudiments of computer programming. Every week was an adventure for me as much as for the Cubs, so huge thanks for those who shared their hobbies, interests and careers with us.

Once we got into Winter, the opportunities to get out are pretty limited, so we starting thinking a little more about ourselves and our immediate world. Admittedly, a lot of this was taken up with baking muffins and making mosaic coasters, the latter of which I’m sure are the pride of every Cub’s family home. We also had a chance to tackle the Astronomer badge, with a phenomenal night spent using our new telescope to look at the moon. There was something a little more introspective with the Disability Awareness badge which, I hope, showed the Cubs that they shouldn’t take their abilities for granted…even if it is only the ability to make a sandwich with one hand.

The spring-summer term saw us having an opportunity to do something that we haven’t done for a while, namely get away on camp, thanks to our friends at the 104th ENE. There was only a small group that had the opportunity, but we were all kept busy during a showery weekend, just north of Glasgow. Once we get a well-settled leadership team, then planning will have to start anew to make sure that more of the Pack can get away.

As we move back into Autumn, it’s reassuring to see that we are a healthy, happy and enthusiastic Pack which is the busiest that I’ve ever seen – a full house with 24 members and a modest waiting list. It’s always reassuring to know that our work is being recognised by both the Cubs and their parents, who are happy tor recommend us to their friends.

One thing to be aware of is that the Cubs have a big celebration ahead of them: 2016 will be 100 years since Baden-Powell founded the Wolf Cubs (as they were then known), so things are gearing up for a year of celebrations. The current crop should be very proud that they are they are the latest members of a grand movement.

As always, I really have to say thank you to all the people support the Pack and help me keep the show on the road, whether parents or leaders. Particular thanks for Emma Byrne, who has joined the group as both Beaver and Cub Assistant Leader. Also, a huge acknowledgement to Ruaraidh Campbell, who continues to help out – it’s been a busy year for him, combining Cubs, school and his Duke of Edinburgh, so it’s fair to say that his continued commitment has been welcomed.

Yours in Scouting

Guy (Akela)