Over the past twelve months, we have continued to build on some of our key themes:
- Providing leadership opportunities for sixers and seconds
- A focus on developing programmes that provide a greater variety of activities for the cubs, including an emphasis on basic skills (such as knots) and badge work
- Encouraging parental involvement with meeting night & weekend activities.
Currently we have 28 children enrolled in cubs, all of whom regularly attend Tuesday night meetings. This number is around capacity for this hall – we physically can’t fit any more cubs around the parade circle and any more than this number of cubs engaged during activities/games becomes a logistical challenge. Most encouragingly, we presently have a further 15 children on our waiting list and earlier this year we leveraged the list to provide the Committee with two new members (Bin Lao and Rahul Maini).
Our healthier cub numbers benefit the scout troop, which is seeing the fruits of a pipeline of cubs going-up into scouts (we currently have 3 cubs linking and will send-up a further 7 or 8 later in term 4). As evidenced above, the broader Group also benefits from lots of helpful parents who step forward to take-on Committee and (hopefully) uniformed leadership roles. By opening up our doors on meeting nights and involving parents in our out of hall activities, we are trying to remove any mystique surrounding scouting and make it easier for them to involve themselves in the broader scouting family.
Kerrie Baguley (Bagheera) and Mike Kent (Baloo) are established leaders in the cub pack
and make great contributions to meeting nights and organisation of out of hall activities. This has given both Lungri and Akela the opportunity to enjoy a few nights off this term.
Both Kerrie and Mike have children moving into scouts later this year and may well follow
them (as leaders) into the scout section. Hence, we will soon look to tap the parent body
on the shoulder to provide new trainee leaders for the cub section. As all the leaders will testify, we get enormous pleasure seeing your children striving to “do their best” each week in cubs. Moreover, when we have at least 3 or 4 leaders in each section, it means we can share the load around and it is easy to accommodate a leader who needs to have a night off due to work or to attend to family commitments.
We have also benefited from the services of Thomas Baguley (Argo) a former Beecroft
Cheltenham cub & scout who is currently completing his gold Duke of Edinburgh. Argo will
be assisting the cub section for all of 2015 and we certainly appreciate his contribution.
Programming & Badge Work
We continue the successful formula that has been developed and refined over a number of
years. Each term involves a cross-section of activities both within and outside of the hall. We also include weekend activities that provide an opportunity for parents and siblings to be involved in cub-related activities.
In the last year we have devoted time during meetings to completing badge tasks. This
approach has been complemented with the development of badge work sheets, which allow the cubs and their parents to review and validate progress. Earlier this year cubs were able to complete their fishing, bushcraft & canoeing badges by completing the relevant worksheets at meetings and attending our Lake Macquarie camp. More recently, many cubs attained their cyclist badge with Baloo leading a cycling day at Homebush.
If parents are ever trying to find “non-electronic” things to keep their children occupied (particularly over the school holidays) there is always plenty to challenge and excite them in terms of badge work as set out in their Yellow Record Books.
Youth Leadership Opportunities
One of the challengers for cub (and scout) leaders is to assist children develop leadership skills. Over recent years we have implemented a series of initiatives designed to give members of the pack a taste of leadership responsibility. We have regular and structured Pack Councils that see the sixers and seconds having input into the term programme; making changes to how we run our meetings; and also sharing their leadership challenges.
The decision-making parameters we apply to appointing cubs to leadership positions are broader than those used elsewhere in the community. We are not simply after the smartest, fastest, most skillful or most assertive. Our belief is that in cubs, we can provide (to a greater or lesser extent) leadership opportunities for every cub.
It is an extremely important time in your child’s development as they transition from taking responsibility for their own personal behaviour, to monitoring and managing the behaviour of others in their six and the pack more generally. We continue to be proud of the way in which Beecroft Cheltenham cubs rise to the challenges of leadership.
Highlights & Thanks
The cub section was extremely well represented at the Group’s family camp in November last year and in March we all spent a magical weekend on the shores of Lake Macquarie.
We retained the Yanagin District swimming trophy and fell a mere 7 points short of the District Athletics carnival (which would have been the first time in our history).
Most recently, Lauren Baguley has attained her “Grey Wolf” badge – the highest award
available in the cub section. She is only the second cub in the Beecroft Cheltenham group
to receive this award.
Finally, and most importantly, we remain indebted to Lachlan May who has held down the role of Akela for over 14 years now, despite his children having long since moved on from scouting.
Stephen Morrow – Lungri
Lachlan May – Akela
Kerrie Baguley – Bagheera
Mike Kent – Baloo
Thomas Baguley – Argo
21 June 2015