End of Year 1

Come be a pack leader, they said. It’s only a couple of hours a week, they said. You’ll enjoy it, they said.

And you know what, they’re mostly right!

Warning. Make yourself comfortable, get a drink, this may be a long message…

This Friday just gone marks the end of my first year in Scouting. I was invested at the AGM in 2017, was assistant leader for what seems like about a minute and a half before moving up to pack leader and I’ve loved every bit of it. It made me question the job I was doing and now I’m starting teacher training in September. I’ve got my Cubs to thank for that.

It has been a busy year. I could not have done any of it without the help of my assistant leaders, young leaders, and the leaders of the other sections who have helped keep me straight in matters of scouting about which I still know little! But it’s a bad day if you don’t learn something new.

I am extremely proud of each and every one of my Cubs. Sometimes it does feel like I’m trying to herd cats, but they’re the best cats I could ever want to try and herd.

Each of the Cubs brings something different to the group, something uniquely theirs. And that’s what makes every session special.

Now for the homework…

It’s a long time until September, and the worst thing anyone looking after kids can hear is “I’m bored!” So here are a few activities that I want you all to do between now and September:

Read books. You’re never bored if you’ve got a good book on the go. I’ve got a few racked up for my summer reading – “Horror in Honduras”, “Rotherweird”, and Jasper Fforde’s complete “Thursday Next” series. Your local library will be doing a summer reading challenge and those 6 books count for your Book Reader badge.

Take pictures. The Photographer badge project would make a great way to remember a day out you take over the summer – we could have a night when we get back where everyone brings in their pictures and we can all have a look at where you’ve been! Try to take an amazing photograph in your back garden!

Enjoy nature! Right now, everything’s coming into fruit. Raspberries, strawberries, backcurrants, redcurrants… The gardens are heaving with delicious things! If you pick some of these – with the aid of an adult who can tell you what you can and can’t eat – and then use them in a recipe that counts towards both your Naturalist badge and your Chef badge. I used to pick blueberries up on the moors at Brimham Rocks with my mum and brothers – never got a chance to cook with them, though, we picked and ate!

Relax, have fun, and enjoy your break. I remember when I was this age, growing up in Yorkshire, the summer holidays felt endless and yet over in the blink of an eye both at the same time. September and our new year will be with us all too soon.

Do and see something completely different. There may well be a special badge (completely unofficial and one for your camp blankets) if you say hello to me at the Lincoln Steampunk Festival, August bank holiday weekend…

Cubs, thank you. You’ve made this year very special for me. Leaders, thank you. Couldn’t have done this without you. Young Leaders? Thank you, you make the start of every session a gamble. Departing ex-Young Leader? Best of luck gallivanting around the globe. Do write that blog!

See you all in September.

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