This week’s Project Spotlight is on Scouts, a nationwide organization that equips 400,000 children with the skills to undertake challenging activities, unique experiences and everyday adventure. Having been part of the Scouts sister organisation, Girl Guiding, since the age of 7, I was really excited to go back and to see what the equivalent Scouting side was like and what was offered in Coventry. On a Monday evening the Scouts host both Beavers (6-8 years old) and Cubs (8-11 years old) for a mix of boys and girls.
On arrival, Joan, who has been part of Scouts for over 50 years, introduced me to the children who all call her Kim, her scout name and they call the main cub leader Akela, (although her real name is Michelle). This is because all the Scouting names are based on the jungle book, which got me thinking, if I ever got the chance to have a Scouting name, I would definitely be gunning for Baloo!
Joan today was leading the Beavers in getting a badge (an award for completing certain activities). On the menu today was Fairtrade, which meant chocolate tasting much to the excitement of the kids and the adults. It could have been a very messy affair but the kids were perfectly behaved and were treated with a game afterwards.
Soon enough, it was time for the goodbye song and off they left to tell their parents about their chocolate tasting evening. This wasn’t the end of the night for the adults though, next up was Cubs, led by Michelle (Akela).
All the cubs were clearly great friends because as soon as they entered they started chatting, running around and playing games. I finally got a chance to properly speak to Matt, a volunteer from Warwick who made me feel instantaneously at home. I asked him about his experience with the 36th/51st Coventry Scout Group.
“I am a Cub leader at home and help as a Beaver/Cub leader at a local group in Earlsdon. It is great being able to help the local children, especially as many come from disadvantaged backgrounds and so seeing the difference that Scouting has made in their lives is incredible. The leaders are fantastic, they are happy for whatever time you can spare, so when you need the extra hours before an exam/deadline, they will not mind you missing a week. The great thing about Scouting is the variety, one week you may be cooking, the next doing art and the next canoeing. Volunteering within the Scout Association has given me the chance to have fun and learn new skills, such as Mountain Leader training, running of camps, being in charge of budgets etc. Finally, being part of the Scout Association is great because of the international reach of Scouting, it is great to link up with Scouts all over the world and learn about different cultures and how Scouting varies across the globe.”
With the cubs we spent the evening talking about chinese new year and made some incredible monkeys and dragons out of recycling.
Once again, the evening was over far too soon for the Cubs who all saluted each other good night.
This is a project with whom I definitely want to keep volunteering because they are so welcoming, the kids, the leaders and of course the Warwick volunteers!
To join a local Scout or Guide group contact Warwick Scouts and Guides at firstname.lastname@example.org