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“Be Prepared” - the motto of the scouting movement is as a pretty good place to start now as it was back when I was 9 or 10 years old. I never wanted to be a Cub until I was one and then I’m not sure that I really wanted to leave. I think in part that was to do with the inspirational “adults” that ran the pack I was a member of and that the learning we were doing was always fun. Looking back I’m sure that I learnt just as much messing about at camps, in the woods and in the village hall on a Monday evening than I did at school at the same time.
We went on Summer camps to all sorts of places with side trips at weekends to London and other places that were of interest. These were always more than just places to go. Whilst we might take a tour of London at night to see the lights of Piccadilly Circus or visit HMS Belfast on The Thames, we’d also do the more wacky things like going and standing in the middle of Tower Bridge with a foot on each side of the bridge split waiting for a routemaster bus to go by so that we could feel the bridge roadway move, and hope that they didn’t pick that moment to open the bridge to let a large vessel pass underneath.
I’m not sure how scouting has changed today I suspect with safeguarding and health and safety it might not be quite the same - not that that’s a bad thing - but I think we were probably generally safer then than now, which is a bit of an indictment on the modern world. We all had our share of grazed knees, cuts and bruises and I’ve still got a couple of scars that were as a result of things that ‘happened at Cubs’.
Regardless of those changes I still do some things today in a certain way that I learnt at Cubs; lighting a campfire, making a bed, using a map and compass and many more. Those lessons are hard-wired into my brain, because they were taught in a fun way rather than through a strict academic approach.
Thanks for reading.
Were you ever a Cub, Scout, Brownie, Guide or something similar ? What do you remember of those experiences? Leave me a comment, I’d love to know.