Uniformed Organizations: In their Own Words
Mike Carr, Group Contact, 10th Crosby ‘St Faith’s’ Scout Group, presented these entertaining and excellent reports to the St Faith's Annual Parochial Church Meeting on April 6th, 2014. The people of St Faith's congratulate Mike and his Scouting Young Leaders, especially Alex and Lucy, for all that they do for the young people of our church and community.
A Year in the life of a Young Leader
Alex and Lucy
We are both Young Leaders in the St Faith’s Scout Group and have been for around 18 months. Both of us do all three sections: Beavers; Cubs and Scouts. We love it so much, it’s something we have to look forward to each week. The pair of us have both been in scouting for around 6 years and now we couldn't imagine our lives without it. We have so many amazing memories from our time with the Scouts at St Faith’s, and hope to have so many more.
Our meeting nights are held every Thursday, with each section meeting at different times. These nights are as much fun for us as they are for the kids, because we enjoy being with them so much. Our adult leaders run activities for them each week that we assist with. Some of these activities go towards badge work, and some are just for fun.
A great example of a badge work activity that we did recently was towards the healthy eating badge in Beavers. For this we made fruit skewers and healthy sandwiches, one each week for two weeks. We laid out a variety of fruit the first week, and salads the second week. We encouraged all the children to try as much as they could, and most tried everything. They had loads of fun making their skewers and sandwiches, and after a few other little things (like learning how to wash their hands properly, and understanding the difference between healthy and unhealthy foods), they all earned their badge.
We also take our kids on great day trips. One of the most recent was a trip to the local cinema where a screening of ‘The Sing-a-Long Jungle Book’ was especially put on for all of the Beavers and Cubs in the District. We sat amongst some of the Beavers and had a great time singing and dancing with them. Another trip we went on recently was to the Fun Factor in Maghull with the Beavers. As Young Leaders we got in with them and had an absolute ball. Getting stuck in to the activities and just having fun with the children is by far one of the best feelings in the world, they love us going mad with them. These are just two of the great trips we have taken them on. We also took the Beavers to Gulliver's World in September 2013 and the Cubs to Chester Zoo a while back. This is on top of all the unbelievable camps we take the Cubs on.
By far one of my favourite parts of being a young leader is getting to go on camps to various places. As well as taking our Cubs to places such as Tawd Vale and Llansannan, our brilliant adult leaders organise camps specifically for us Young Leaders where we develop skills as Young Leaders. Most recently, we had a camp in our very own at Tawd Vale in the summer. We were taught how to properly and safely light a fire, which we then cooked our own breakfasts on (in teams); we also learned to carve our own walking sticks from green wood, and (most surprisingly for a group of six teenagers) we built and slept in our own 'bivvies’… ALL NIGHT!
For this, we split ourselves into two teams (boys vs. girls) so that there was plenty of room in each for us to all get as decent a night’s sleep, as you can at camp. We spent the afternoon collecting parts for our 'bivvies’, such as leaves to pad the ground – and we were provided with rope and two tarpaulin sheets by our adult leaders.Admittedly, it was stressful trying to build our 'bivvies’. The rope wouldn't tie exactly how we wanted and the horrible, heavy downpour we faced didn’t help either. Nevertheless, we got one shelter built well, although the other severely flooded. Luckily there was plenty of room in the other bivvy to accommodate us all. So we started a fire beside it and ended up with a pretty decent night’s sleep after all the hard work! In the morning, we cooked our own breakfast again (bacon tastes even better after a night in a self-built shelter!) and we thoroughly enjoyed it.
Our previous Young Leader camp was situated in Llansannan, North Wales. We slept in the bunk rooms and made boats which had to successfully float (and they did), down the river in a race. Again we went in teams, boys vs. girls, and the girls won...obviously!
These are only the beginning of our specially engineered Young Leader camps, where we learn parts of the Young Leader training programme as well as our own activities. We enjoy them so much and can’t wait to go on many more. We are so grateful that our leaders do these things, and give up their time for us.
One of my absolute favourite camps has to be District Camp. All the sections get involved and it’s just a weekend full of fun, in the best place in the world – Tawd Vale. I have so many memories from the District Camps I’ve been on, both when I was younger and now, as a leader myself. District is always a themed camp, and the theme changes each year. In 2013 it was ‘Vikings’. Through the theme, each group creates a display, and we built a full size Viking boat for our one, sail and all. It was absolutely amazing and ours was definitely the best.
The Beavers also come up on the Saturday for the day and that is always great fun for us and them. My first ever day as a leader was with the Beavers at District Camp in 2012, and I'll never forget it. I can’t put into words how much I love the camps we go on, so you can only imagine how much our kids love them. We all have so much fun, it’s crazy. But my favourite part of District Camp has to be camp fire. On Saturday night, all the Groups join together (over 200 people!) at Camp Fire Hollow to sing camp fire songs. Our own Akela Mike runs this, so obviously our group are always the best and loudest singers. There is just such an amazing atmosphere during camp fire. The camps are such great experiences for the kids, and I hope we can leave them with the amazing memories that my leaders have left me with.
Over the course of our time as Young Leaders, all of us at St Faith’s Scout Group have been provided with opportunities to learn important and beneficial life skills. We have learned, and are continuing to learn, how to organise and run games and activities for the children, we’ve developed Scouting skills, we’ve learned leadership skills and finally, developed our social skills.
As well as this, we have achieved the seemingly impossible, in that we have been able to maintain such strong friendships for so long. Honestly, we couldn’t have done that without being Young Leaders together, as most of us attend different schools, colleges, and sixth forms. This means we only really see each other on the Thursday nights, and on days out and camps with our group. But all eight of us are such good friends. We are leaning to look after and care for children each week and on weekend camps which is highly beneficial for any future jobs involving child care we may apply for. For example, one of our Young Leaders wants to be a primary school teacher, so this experience is perfect. So, as well as the amount of fun we have and the memories we make, it looks great on our CV’s.
We couldn't be more grateful for our opportunity to be Young Leaders. It’s such a great experience and we love it so much. We’d be so lost without it and without seeing the kids. The St Faith’s Scout Group is our second family.
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