Something for Us

Last night, my fellow Scout Leaders and I did something unusual. We did something for us and not for the Beavers, Cubs or Scouts! We had a BBQ at one of our houses. It was a time for us to all get together, with our families and have a nice evening  together without any distractions!

It’s a good thing for us all to get together socially and be able to chat and have a laugh in a situation where we’re not thinking about the next activity or who is doing the dishes and are they being done correctly.

I hate to say it, as it’s HR speak, but it’s a great team building exercise. We get to know our friends and their families better and as a consequence we get to work together better as well.

So it’s worth while taking time for yourselves once in a while, to be relaxed and recharge the batteries. In fact the BBQ was a perfect way to finish the summer holidays.

We’re all raring to go next week with the Autumn term’s programme!

Scouting Sunday at the Political Conferences

Scouting and politics don’t usually mix. Scouting is not a party political organisation, but can have some influence over our politicians. So with the party conference season upon us, the Scout Association have organised events at each of the major conferences to talk about youth issues like knife crime, obesity, volunteering etc. They’ve also asked that members contact their MP to ask them to go along. So I’ve contacted ours! It’ll be interesting to see if he goes and what he has to say about it.

He should write back to me as I wrote to him about the event, so I wait with baited breath!

US Presidential Election

I’m getting fed up hearing about the US Presidential Election on the radio, the TV and in the newspapers. It’s been dragging on for over a year and won’t properly finish until January. Now I’m all for hearing what’s going on in the world, but this is getting silly.

Can I vote for a US President – no. Does the US President affect me directly – no. Does the US President affect me indirectly – maybe. But I still can’t do anything about it.

The thing is the coverage is disproportionate. There’s about to be a general election in Canada next month, but is there any mention of it – no. Would the US media pay this much attention to our next General Election – no.

Does the average American know who Gordon Brown, David Cameron or Nick Clegg are? I doubt it, but we know all about Barack Obama and John McCain.

I think a bit of perspective is needed here. Yes, let’s know what’s happening in this election, but not to the point where there’s nothing else in the UK media.

 

I hope that none of my friends in the US take any offence to my above rant. If I have offended anyone, I’m sorry, but it’s something that’s been getting on my nerves for a while now.

Normal service is now resumed!!!

They’re Like Buses…

Nothing for ages, then two at once!

Just read Jerry’s blog and he’s posted that a friend of his has started blogging as well. Shawn appeared on Jerry’s podcast a few weeks ago and with their discussion, it helped me with a problem I was having with the Scout Group’s web site (see here).

So go to Commissioner’s Corner and see what useful things Shawn has to say.

Now that’s a blog from Africa and one from North America recently, how about a Scouting blog from one of the other continents?

A New Scouting Blog

I’ve come across an interesting blog by a Cub Leader in South Africa. Looks like Joy’s Pack have a really great time! I especially like the post about going on safari!

Take the time to look!

A New Sport for the Olympics?

With the British team doing so well at this year’s Olympics and the games in 2012 being held in London isn’t it time to introduce Mornington Crescent as an Olympic sport? 😉

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International Friendship Camp

I popped out to Kibblestone last night to see our Scouts who are spending the week with our friends from 36th St. Wulstan’s and a group of Norwegian Scouts and Rovers at the International Friendship Camp.

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There are Scouts from Ireland, the USA, Norway, Russia, Belgium and Germany being hosted by British Groups. This is a great opportunity for our Scouts to mix with Scouts from other countries and cultures. Of course, the slightly embarrassing thing is that virtually all the visitors from abroad who speak English as a second language do it very well, where as we are very poor at other languages. Of course, my Scouts all now know how to swear in Norwegian – it’s the first thing they / we always learn!!!

All the Scouts from both UK and Norway are having a great time, despite the poor weather (it’s been raining a lot!)!

The Happy Couple

We went to the wedding of old friends of ours on Saturday. I’ve known Dave since he was about 11 and he used to be one of my Scouts along with his two brothers. It’s quite odd to think that I knew them as kids and now one is married with his own children, one has his own family and had another daughter about three weeks ago and the other brother is now in the Army!

Also there were some of my old Scout friends from when we were all kids. We’re all now ‘grown up’ and ‘sensible adults’, all married or in long term relationships and with a fair few kids around, but we still keep in touch and see each other (not as often as we’d all like) and are just as daft as when we were 14 or 15!

Once when camping with Scouts, we, as Leaders were setting up a game when we asked what the teams were to be. One of the Scouts piped up and said it should be ‘us against the adults’. It took a moment or two for us Leaders to realise that the Scouts were talking about us!

I think the trick is to keep a young outlook on life and even though you are now sensible and responsible adults, being silly every now and again doesn’t hurt and keeps you young!

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The Happy Couple

Anyway, here’s to Dave and Beccie, and the hope they have many happy years together!

40 Years Ago Today….

The last main line passenger train to be hauled by a steam locomotive was run in the UK. Well not quite technically, as many others have run since, but it was the last one run by, organised by and with locomotives and stock owned by British Railways.

There was a re run yesterday, which included one of the original locos (Oliver Cromwell) on the same route.

Being Prepared – Or Not!

Some of our Scouts are camping next week at the International Friendship Camp that’s being held at Kibblestone. They are going with one of our local Troops, 36th St. Wulstans. They are hosting a group of Norwegian Scouts and it looks set to be a great week.

As some of our Scouts are going, we were asked if some tents could be borrowed. Not a problem! So on Tuesday, me, our assistant Scout Leader and St. Wulstan’s Group Scout Leader went to get the tents. They were got out and I suggested we check them, but it was decided that they would have been put away properly so there wouldn’t be any problem.

Last night I got a phone call from St Wulstan’s GSL who was Kibblestone saying that the main guy ropes were missing! As they are using traditional Patrol Tents you can put you can put them up without the main guys, but it’s always best to have them in case of bad weather (the only time I remember one of these coming down was when we caught the tail end of a hurricane in 1986!).

So out we went with the guys. It did make a pleasant evening out! However, it proves the point that you should always check the kit before going out and therefore you are Being Prepared!

I can’t say that I’ve never done anything similar before. Once, as a Scout, we went backpacking and when it came to put up the tent, we found there were no pegs! It was my job to check the tents and somehow I’d missed the fact that there were no pegs. Luckily we managed to put the tent by improvising with sticks and rocks. I must admit I wasn’t too popular for a while that day!

Scouts Hurt in a Road Crash

It looks like a group of Explorer Scouts from the UK have been involved in a crash between a bus and a lorry in Ontario, Canada. Luckily there’s been no fatalities and injuries are not life threatening.

Let us all hope they’re all ok and can get on with their holiday soon.

Keeping Records

Over the last couple of years, I’ve been trying to ensure that all our Group’s records and documentation is up to date and accurate. And as far as I can tell it now is! However, this has lead to at least two bookshelves full of files and ringbinders full of paper and quite a lot of space taken up on my hard drive! What all this does mean is that everything is now quite organised (I wouldn’t like to go so far as to say totally organised as I’m not quite that efficient!) and I can put my hands on the right document quite easily. Of course, with looking more into our history, the amount of documents and photos have grown quite a lot, but now we at least know our own past.

Bearing all that in mind, I’ve just started to transfer all the Scout’s details onto their new record cards. Earlier this year, the badge schemes were slightly altered and new record card were created accordingly. One good thing is that now the kid’s personal details are now on a separate card, which can follow them from Beavers to Cubs and onward.

The trouble is, we haven’t been too good at filling the current cards in smile_embaressed.
So this means that once all the info is copied and when we start back, I’m going to have to speak to all the Scouts individually and make sure all their details and their badge work is up to date. Hopefully this should mean that a few more badges are awarded and that we can ensure that the Scouts who are close to being awarded one will get what they have worked towards.

Once we’re all up to date, then we must ensure that these records are kept up to date. After all, there’s nothing worse than a Scout working hard for a badge and never receiving it because the Scout Leader isn’t very organised!