The Bad and the Good

Over the last week or so we’ve had three events which have brought out the worst in some of the Scouts and the best in the rest of the Group.

To start with, the bad (and then improve). Last Tuesday, the Scouts went to the cinema for their Christmas party. I was not able to go as I was at home with a temperature. Anyway, some of the Scout’s behaviour whilst in the cinema was appalling. They were throwing popcorn, talking through the film and running up and down the isles. From what I understand they would not listen to any of the Leaders and were lucky not to get thrown out. The Leaders later told me that they had embarrassed themselves, the Leaders, the Troop and the whole of Scouting.

Not good. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while now, you’ll know that just after Easter, we had some problems with the behaviour and attitudes of some of our Scouts and this caused our Scout Leader to leave (he hasn’t left to be honest, just stepped down to Assistant – he would have been a great loss). We thought we’d knocked the problem on the head, but in the lead up to Christmas, behaviour etc was getting poor again. The cinema was the straw that broke the camel’s back. So after Christmas, there will be some demotions as some of the trouble makers were PLs and APLs and even after some strong words and home truths, I suspect there will be a suspension or two. We don’t want to do this, but for the sake of the rest of the Scouts who can behave and who deserve to do interesting activities and not have to wait while we wait for the messing to stop, this will have to happen.

I was talking to a Scout Leader from another Troop who are close to us on Saturday and he told me that they are having the same issues. This both saddened and ‘pleased’ me at the same time. I was ‘pleased’ to learn it’s not just us and saddened that this seems to be getting more common.

I think in the New Year we may lose a couple of the Scouts and this will feel like we’ve failed them, but when we compete against some of the other major influences they have in their lives (parents, friends, TV), we are the one that sometimes has the least impact.


A Scouting Christmas Bauble for your tree

That’s the negative bit over. Here’s the good news.

The Beavers and Cubs went to the cinema on Friday for their Christmas party and had a great time! There were about 30 Beavers and Cubs there and they all sat and watched the film and were as good as gold! The Leaders who went on Tuesday were there as well and said what a complete contrast they were and what a pleasure it was to be with them!

And then on Saturday and Sunday we were doing some fundraising by bag packing at Sainsbury’s supermarket. As I said before, not my favourite way of spending a weekend, but a very profitable one for the Group!

A good cross section of Beavers, Cubs and Scouts came and helped and we also had some of our local Explorers helping out as well, so they get a slice of the money raised for their Unit. Of course, the best people to have packing bags are the Beavers as they have a great ‘ahh’ factor – who can resist a six year old helping to pack your bags?

Everyone did a great job and, considering they were working 3 hour shifts, didn’t get bored and that’s a long time to be standing at a checkout in a supermarket for anyone, let alone the Beavers and Cubs!

I was proud of all the hard work the Beavers, Cubs, Scouts, Explorers and Leaders did and we raised a grand total of just over £1000! The other great news is that one of the Scout’s Dads has said that his company will match what we made up to £500, so that gives us just over £1500. This is going to buy some lightweight tents for the Scouts amongst other things.

I banked the money this morning and I can tell you two things about taking that much cash to the bank- 1) it’s quite worrying walking through town with £1000 on you and 2) £1000 in loose change is very heavy!

So a week with bad and good things, but it is heartening to know the good well outweighs the bad!

Happy Christmas

Sainsbury's Hanley - just thought I'd try out this new feature on Windows Live Writer!