Tag Archives: Scouts

Serious Incidents and Merging Scouts

This week has felt incredibly long. The week began with the announcement that my Scout troupe will be forced to merge with another in my village due to low numbers. One week, only 8 kids came. I had to cancel a camping trip with them because only 7 signed up. On paper I have 26 scouts. In reality, an average of 10 regularly turn up. Both troupes in my village look large, however the numbers that turn up are very low. Unfortunately, this has forced me to step down. The decision of what to drop has been made for me and rather than having to weigh up the pros and cons to leaving each thing, it’s been made for me. I’m pleased in a way. I knew I wasn’t giving them my all because I was so tired and with the Friday group having more leaders I can step down without worrying.

On a more serious note, I was involved in a serious incident. I obviously deserved it. I told a student he couldn’t play in a concrete box full of  sand and probably cat urine, which other teachers have let him do. I dread to think what creatures have used it for a litter box and, considering I’ve asked for it to be removed repeatedly, it should not have been at our school site. Anyway, this particular student and I have a really positive relationship. As soon as he sees me he runs over to say hello, he instigates interaction and he generally follows my directions. Today, he must have just been filled with blind rage because he head-butted me a couple of times and pulled my hair. In case you’ve never been head-butted or had your hair pulled, it really hurts. If you looked at his face, you could tell that he didn’t really want to hurt me but he was so incredibly frustrated that I couldn’t understand him and annoyed that I wasn’t guessing what he wanted that he had to hurt me.

In all honesty, I wasn’t physically hurt that badly. My head hurt most of that evening but it’d gone by the next day. What really hurt was the fact that it was this particular student. I know we have a good relationship and I know that he picks me out of a crowd time and time again. It’s difficult when you throw yourself into each positive relationship. I don’t regret being full on in creating our relationship because he needs it, hell most of our students do. It just hurts all the more when they go for you.

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Spring Ahead

Third late post in a row and hopefully the last late one for a while. Once again, the lateness has been caused by something noble; last weekend I went to a district camp for the Scouts.

I was not looking forward to this camp at first. I was told for weeks that the weather was meant to be rubbish and I really didn’t want to be sleeping in a mud field, especially as I’ve had a cold for the past week courtesy of our Akela. Fortunately we had really lovely weather, something I hadn’t expected and wasn’t prepared for. I came home more sun burnt than I’d expected to in March.

The basis of Spring Ahead is that each group only has to organise sheltering and feeding their Scouts, with each group and network organising one or two activities for them to participate in during one day. It gives the Scouts the chance to try something new as well as giving them a chance to compete against each other and win a few prizes. Having the good weather and some super competitive Scouts meant that they rushed around as many bases as they could, regularly with me in tow with a camera to attempt to document our weekend. We walked away having won two of the challenges and with two Scouts winning a further prize for a “knock out” style game on the last morning. The best part of winning these challenges means that we won back the trophy we lost last year. On top of that, I became properly cemented in our Scout troupe.

There have been a lot of jokes about there being a “gap” between our group and the others and all the while I’d been with Scouts, I hadn’t really believed it. It’s a real thing. We are not liked within our district. I can sort of see why. For starters, we’ve got some of the youngest leaders within our district, with me being just 22 and the other leader being a few years older than me. Without our ages coming into it, we’re also possibly the most lax of the leaders who were there. We know we let our Scouts get away with a lot; discipline just isn’t high on our agenda. On top of us being the… “cool, fun” leaders, our Scouts are super competitive, are pretty good and know it. They’ve got this borderline arrogance which makes them challenge every other Scout possible. Even with my fiercely loyal pride to my Scouts, I can admit that this arrogance is our downfall. It makes them either not care about getting involved or it makes them too competitive. We’re connected as a district so rarely that it’s not something we ever consider stamping out.

My major issue with this “gap” is that everyone knows about it. Even the kids from other troupes are aware of it, only getting involved with ours when there’s a competition to be won. The other leaders don’t help by being less willing to talk to us and more harsh towards our kids. It’s strange because nobody within our troupe seems bothered by it. In fact, they embrace it. They like being the outsiders in this situation. I’ve just spent the best part of a year forcing my way into positions in groups where I wasn’t completely welcome. It’s harder for me to accept our position within our district because I didn’t grow up with it. It’s something I’m going to have to get used to, whether we become more accepted within the community or not.

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Daily Prompt – Traveller

Since I’m extremely late with this post, I figured I’d take inspiration from a (now really old) Daily Prompt post. As you’ve probably noticed from my previous blog posts, I like to travel. When I was leaving senior school, I said I wanted to travel. Four years on from that I didn’t want to have the time to. An extra year on from that and I am loving every travel opportunity  I can get.

Finding the right balance of organisation is frustrating for me since I’m always torn between wanting to do everything and wanting to just wander around and see what I find. The thing that changes all that is having kids around. As soon as you’re on a Cub or Scout or whatever camp, you need to plan things so that they don’t get home sick, are tired enough to fall asleep early at the end of the night and so that things actually get done.

Since I do a lot of travelling alone, I try to have one or two big things booked in advance, then wing the rest of it. Sometimes, winging it can mean that you end up sat in your tent or bed or whatever thinking about what you could be doing. Other times, you can stumble upon something amazing that you would have completely missed if you’d stuck to a rigid plan.

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Wrong Interview Dates and Behaviour Chats

I was supposed to go to an interview on Wednesday. I rushed to get there, all nervous that I’d miss my exit or wouldn’t be able to find the place. I got there ten minutes early, made sure I didn’t smell of horse, and strode confidently into the reception… where I was told I was an entire week early. At first I was confused, then I double checked my letter. It said 12th March, not 5th March. I’m not entirely sure what made me believe it was this week and not next. I think it’s something to do with never needing to know the date and something to do with the fact the date on the letter started with “Wednesday”. My own stupid fault really.

Last week, the youth group leaders agreed to discuss the young peoples’ behaviour with them. While it may seem obvious to adults what the rules of a certain group should be, it isn’t necessarily the same for young people. The rules at Scouts seem incredibly different to those at the youth group, although a lot of the values are the same. Bullying obviously isn’t tolerated in either place, however the Scout leaders almost encourage rough play and always get involved (I don’t think I’ve come home without bruises yet), while dodgeball is really the most physical the youth group gets. It’s difficult for me as a leader since I’m at Cubs and Scouts, where activities are more physical, for two days on the trot and am then expected to reign it all in and discourage the boisterous behaviour at the youth group. Our discussion within the youth group focused on what the young people thought the rules should be rather than just telling them off and it worked pretty well. One of the leaders is beginning to feel disenchanted with spending his evenings yelling at kids but, after the chat, he found the group more manageable. I actually think he’s almost too strict, although I know I’m too soft. I possibly try to treat them too much like young adults, much in the same way I treat the Scouts. If the Scouts don’t behave as adults, they miss out on games and badge awards. There isn’t that risk at the youth group, so I’ll be trying to start a young person of the month, to give them that encouragement.

Ok, enough of my rant about behaviour.

I think I’ve made a decision as to my future post-CA. I’ve half decided to get onto the first rungs in social work. The parts of my week that I enjoy the most are not dissimilar to some of the aspects of social work so I’m going to finally bite the bullet and make a move in that direction.

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This Last Week

This last week has been pretty mental. I went from taking a three-hour car drive to a potential teacher training opportunity to going to France on my own. This means I haven’t had much sleep and I can hardly recognise my own bed.

The interview wasn’t too bad, despite my 5AM start. It was really interesting being able to sit in on a class before you were interviewed. It allowed you to get a feel for the class sizes and how the school would expect lessons to be run as well as getting to know the school layout a wee bit. The school itself is huge. It was easily the same size, if not bigger, than the college I went to four years ago. It was strange being at a school which was so large. I’d always thought that my senior school had been enormous, but comparing the two, mine had been a pug stood next to an Irish wolf hound. Ok, I’m exaggerating a little bit. But not by much. Exaggerations aside, now it’s just that nail-biting wait to hear their decision. As they pointed out, the interview was for us both to decide whether we were interested in the other, and I was definitely interested in their school. Here’s to hoping I was as interesting to them!

The day after that, I went to France. Alone. If you know me fairly well, while I’m fairly outgoing, travelling alone isn’t really something I’m big on doing. I find it harder to explore alone. I’ll talk about the trip (AKA The French Misadventure), which certainly had its ups and downs, in another post.

The week also brought another invitation to an interview for a different teacher training course. This one is slightly closer to home and I’m pretty pleased that I’ve got the second offer. At least this time round, I’ll get to have two shots at it rather than having everything hanging on one single thread.

It’s the time of year that the Cubs and Scouts start planning their camps for this half of the year and I’m already looking forward to helping with several different camps before the summer comes in and, in theory, Camp America begins.

On that thrilling note, I’m going to leave you to continue knitting my (wonky) scarf.

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