UK Cub Scouts International Experience
Ian Ford (ianford@DIRCON.CO.UK)
Sun, 23 Oct 1994 21:30:41 +100
Next weekend fifteen Cub Scouts from 25th Greenwich pack will have a Pack
holiday (indoor camp) with a difference. Three Scouts and two Leaders
from BSA Troop 401 in London will be helping to run a program with a US
flavor to help the boys meet the international requirements for their awards.
The boys will be in two dormitories, and each group will have a " Den
Chief " - a Scout from Troop 401 - as their leader for the weekend. The
Den Chiefs will help the Sixers (Denners) to get their groups organised.
The adult Leaders from 25th Greenwich and Troop 401 will be organising a
program which will include swimming , roller skating , archery etc. as
well as outdsoor and indoor games and activities. Buckmore Park Scout
Centre has a full-size heated indoor pool , a sports hall with
roller-disco and facilities for archery , climbing wall etc.
On Friday evening we will be trying activities from the various BSA Cub Scout
program areas. If you have any ideas which we could use for an hour-long
session for about fifteen boys indoors in a room about 20' x 30' I'd be
<delighted> to hear from you. I have some ideas, but the more the merrier.
We are also trying a few delicacies such as pancakes with maple syrup and
bacon for breakfast , a blueberry cobbler and cinnamon toast. These will
all be new to the British Cub Scouts.
US readers may be surprised at the fact that our Cubs will be going away
on camp without parents. One Leader has a boy in the pack, and he is the
Beaver Scout Leader who will be coming to help out. Apart from him, none
of the Leaders have kids in the Pack. For most of the Cubs a weekend away
with their mates is quite exciting. For some this will be their first
trip away from home, so that is an adventure in itself. The organisation of
duty rosters, etc. is up to the Sixers (Denners) who are aged about 9.5
and consider themselves veterans after two or three weekend camps. They
have the responsibility of looking after the new campers with the help of
the two " Den Chiefs " aged thirteen and fourteen. Obviously the adult
leaders will be around to deal with any problems , but we aim to keep the
little guys so busy that they will not have time to be homesick.
The two teams will be competing against each other during the weekend , with
points awarded for kit inspection , activities, bonus points for showing
" Scout Spirit " etc.
And as for kit inspection, the guys are expected to lay their kit out ou
their bunks like boot camp - sleeping bag and pyjamas at the top, then
clothing , wash kit, other equipment etc. all laid out in order. Points
are awarded for everything being neatly folded, shoes clean, etc. and
for the rooms themselves being tidy.
By this point I imagine a lot of you are wondering what we have got here ...
but a lot of parents have commented how pleased they are when their boys
come back from camp if not domesticated at least partially house-trained
<g>. We will follow up with the Home Help badge which requires them to keep
their rooms tidy , wash and iron their neckerchief etc.
The Cubs will help with the cooking, with each team helping to prepare,
serve and clean away for the different meals with the Sixer and Den Chief
doing most of the organisation.
It gives a <lot> of responsibility to the Cub Scouts, because the adults
will back off unless they are required , e.g. to supervise cooking or to
teach particular training sessions. It also means that the three Scouts
will have a unique leadership experience working with a younger age group
doing a job that can best be described as a cross between big brother,
mother hen and master-sergeant in equal measures. One of the BSA Scouts
was a Cub Scout in the UK program and earned the Camper badge , and the
other Den Chief has helped with our camps before, so I am confident in
their abilities. the third BSA Scout was a junior counselor at summer
Camp and taught archery , so he will be helping me with the archery session.
I'll tell you how we got on ...
Ian N Ford
Asst Group Scout Leader, 25th Greenwich Scout Group
ASM , BSA Troop 401 , American School in London
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City