Caldecote Scouts and Cubs offers our children and their parents the ideal chance to enjoy little and not-so-little adventures together.
Our group has been running for the past five years and continues to attract new members as they reach joining age (from around age eight through to fourteen). Scouts and Cubs now involves more than 40 families in our small village. We feel privileged to have had the chance to establish our ‘own’ strong group in Caldecote. Previously local parents had to negotiate (usually long) waiting lists in other villages.
Highlights over recent years have included:
- Horizontal bungee jumping
- Expanding our repertoire of silly songs
- Playing boisterous games
- Having no trouble at all convincing anyone that trooping over the countryside in the dark with torches and your mates watching out for zombie cows on a Friday night is fun
- Mud (we’re not even a little bit scared of it)
- Bike polo
- Cooking on campfires (Kirsten’s bread dough has developed a legend all of its own)
- Working with a motivated bunch of like-minded people and seeing how much you can achieve together
- Getting the chance to join our kids in adventurous activities – the sort you are lucky to get just a description of when they go away to do them at school
- Hearing the Cubs’ ‘grand howl’ rattle the village hall windows at the end of a Friday night
- Seeing kids grow in confidence, especially those who might not regularly have lots of other areas in life (like school or sports) where they expect to do so well
- Human hungry hippos
- Getting great feedback from parents (“It’s his favourite thing to do” “He looks forward to this all week”)
- Finding yourself doing things you never otherwise would have done or thought yourself capable of
- Overdosing on burnt sausages and marshmallows
- Real fruit ninja
- Hooraying around on a Friday night, blowing all thoughts of work away
- Competing to hit an old grey Subaru with bottle rockets
- Spending all afternoon on camp fishing with a trap made out of plastic coke bottles and gaffer tape
- Overnight survival camping off West Drive and Highfields Road.
In case you’re at risk of mistakenly thinking Scouts is somewhat old fashioned, we’ve discovered it to be the ideal antidote for children who might have been nursed on Play Stations. Our kids, without realising it, have found themselves part of a generation that’s not allowed to roam free outside on their bikes all day expected home for dinner. But of course they’re just as desperate as we were to be let loose to have a proper adventure. To provide that, most of what’s required is just manufacturing the illusory risk of genuine danger. Bottle rockets don’t really explode. We’ve found that we don’t have to work very hard to keep what we’re doing totally new and fresh for our children.
In Caldecote we’ve also come to realise that we’re part of a growing national trend. Across the country Scouting continues to grow in popularity, now involving hundreds of thousands of people every week. Our children want us to help them leave their living rooms, put their I-pads aside, push their own boundaries and surprise themselves. In Caldecote we’re part of something big.
Some of the leaders who established our group are starting to feel a little long in the tooth, especially as their own children migrate up and out of the group. We’re not seeing ourselves as Scouting ‘lifers’ so, if you think you could be interested in getting in on the adventure, please contact mark[dot]robson[at]keenadvice[dot]co[dot]uk for a no-obligation chat. Some of the current crop of leaders are finishing up this school year so this term provides the ideal time to provide a transition. In particular, we have a large bunch of Scouts graduating (the ones, sniff sniff, we first started Cubs with five years ago). That means now is the ideal time for new parents to join and complete a gentle apprenticeship with a slightly smaller Scout group.