Stick another one on the Barbie

No... not the plastic doll... and you ain't sticking that anywhere!

The barbie was hosted by COLDnet for the local explorer units. So that they would know that we exist and hopefully be tempted to join us. Not only were we going to feed them, but we said that we would entiretain them aswell with a good old fashioned game of rounders.

After arriving at the wrong part of the park (woops), we quickly managed to get ourselfs sorted out with the gear, which was handy given that the explorers started arriving shortly afterwards. Dirty Scout and I quickly took some sort of register and collected money (£1 a head isn't too bad for food and entertainment of an evening), while GI made sure that the area was ready for rounders.

And then the race began... we had about 40odd kids playing rounders while Dirty Scout and I cooked burgers and sausages on the barbie. There was, of course, the odd sacrificial burger that disintegrates (damn you Birds-Eye). But in the end we managed to get them all fed! (although I will admit, they won the race and finished the game before I finished cooking)

Given that it was dark, I got some of my light up circus equipment out and they got to have a go of some poi (weights on end of chains that you swing round) and some staff spinning. I also did a bit of fire poi... but don't worry, none of the explorers got their hands on that!

All in all the night was a success, I'm not entirely sure if we actually raised any funds with it... but it has certainly raised the profile of the network.

my apologises for this being so delayed in getting posted.... life has been rather busy to say the least recently!

Bowling for Network

This is all rather late and for that I apologise!

Monday night was bowling with COLDnet (City Of Lincoln District Network). We managed to get a bit of a discount seeing that one of the guys in network works there. We even got on the shiny, glo in the dark lanes... oooo... shiny

I don't have a clue how I managed it, but I actually managed to win the first game! The second game on the other hand... well, I lost... rather badly. I blame it on the fact that my food arrived part way through the game, but I doubt that anyone else fell for it.

Going... going.... GONE

*please imagine in your snootiest English accent*

Hello, and welcome to Life Auction Ltd.

Please, make yourself comfortable. You are, of course, here because your life is lacking that Je ne sais quoi... that x factor... anything to be honest. You are as they say, a blank canvas and you are here because you want to buy the life you have always wanted!

Hell yeah...

Yes, sir... please... sit down. I do realise that you are trying out that 'enthusiasm' before next weeks auction, but please, try to restrain yourself. That reminds me, unfortunately one of our deliveries didn't arrive which means that we are now out of patience.

But do not fear, your auctioneer this evening is a Mr. Minty... known to his friends as... well he's doesn't have them as he has never been able to afford to buy them.

Any other Life products that you may have been sold or experienced in the past are now nul and void that you have entered our quaint auction house. You can have any life that you choose, provided that you are able to outbid your counterparts..."

This Friday featured the Life Auction, where the scouts were presented with 25 positive personal attributes... which they would then have to buy auction style. How much they would spend would depend on how much they valued that particular lot over the other items and against each other. It got some rather interesting results.

With Good Memory being the highest priced, lots of them fighting over a Loving Relationship and Sporting Talent being rather popular in the end.

Its all in the planning

Its days like this that I am reminded of the old addage:

"Success is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration"

... which obviously doesn't help when you are trying to get ready for a program planning meeting! Personally I would rather have everyone at the meeting was full of inspiration than being a big sticky mass that's going to leave sweat stains on my sofa!

ewww... mental soap. Might want to by in some fabric cleaner on the way home tho, just in case

Anyway, this evening we are going to be having a program planning meeting to try to arrange what on earth we are going to do with all these sprogs for the rest of the year. I have a couple of ideas that I noted down during some down time at work yesterday... wait let me check...

wow... that new lynx stuff must be working! but I'm going to keep quiet just now, but I will prob give you a run down on the type of stuff that we are going to do (a kind of preview of posts to come on here)

Plus side to planning meeting is ordering in pizza and cake etc!

Cause the drugs don't work...

... mind you the vodka does!

Friday night was a success.

We started everything off (after flag break etc) with a quick game of Poison Ivy just to get some energy out of them before moving onto the main activity. Minty got them gathered round the white board and asked them to start listing the drugs that they knew of...

sprog: "Coca Cola"
sprog: "Tea, coffee"
sprog: "cocaine" quickly followed by "that's not my favourite" by one of the others!

Stacey and I stayed at the back of the group and tried to only step in when some of the sproggage started to act up (that and so that we could have a wee giggle and drugs convo of our own... mind you I think that scared Stacey, what with my knowledge from school in Glasgow)

They made up three lists in total, and they had to guess why they were grouped together. Several of them were convinced that it was in drugs classification (A, B, C etc)- which would have made coca cola a class A drug. In reality it was in the effect that it had.... Uppers, Downers and All arounders. Minty then went into some of the drugs that they had listed, showing them some example (fake of course) from the police case and covered some of the physical and social side effects

Including a photo tour of a prison: kind of like a slide show of someones holiday

*in frail wee aunt Edna's voice*:"And here is the bus we were on. And there is the view from our seat on the bus, then this is us arriving at the door, ooh and look, here's us at reception...


... and here's the hotel room, and here's another one of the room, but the other side...."

I joke, but it actually worked really well to show that prison isn't the PS2 and SkyTV its cracks up to be (cracked up... get it!)

Minty then brought out something sure to put them off smoking for life. First of a healthy set of REAL pigs lungs and a set of lungs that have been treated with cigarette smoke.
Sprog: "How did you get the smoked lungs if they're from a pig"
Minty: "Well you get the trotter and you attach a cigarette..."
Scotland: "It's tricky at first, but once you have them addicted then its dead easy"
The lungs really were rather disgusting, I think Stacey was happy that she quit recently!

We then moved on to the effects of alcohol... now remember alcohol is BAD, isn't it...

... what do you mean you don't believe me...

...we all know its bad and should never touch it, its evil evil stuff...
oops sorry for prodding you with my telescopic nose!

We got the kids to do a walk the line test with some wonky glasses on that would simulate whats its like when drunken. The kids found it rather funny to see each other staggering around... I just found it well needed practice for later that night (went straight to a works BBQ after scouts)

And with that we wrapped up the night, all in all I think that the kids enjoyed it and that they learned something, but hopefully nothing too 'practical'

First Week Back

Well I should be starting back tonight with a bang.... or should that be a crack?

My first night back at scouts is going to be a drugs awareness night (hence the bad pun). Minty, our newest assistant leader (who also happens to be Scottish weirdly enough), works for the Police and does these drugs awareness talks in schools. So when he suggested that he does it for us at the scout hall we quickly agreed.

Now don't worry, we won't be teaching the sprogs how to take how to shoot up, giving out any free samples or getting them to do some E-learning... but we should be able to dispel any of the myths and rumors that they may have heard on TV or in the playground. We have sent a notice out to the parents tho, just in case they have any objections.

To be honest am not sure exactly what is going to happen tonight, Minty is organising it all and I am more than happy to leave it in his capable hands! I'll report back on how it goes tho over the weekend (prob not tomorrow tho... have got a party after scouts tonight and another party tomorrow night, nothing scout related tho)

now to get the rest of these puns out of my head...
I'll cook up something for you to throw into the pot at your next planning meeting, where you should deal out some jellies, brownies and coke... as long as your not a dope and make a hash of it all should be fine

phew... that's better!- but did you spot them all?


As mentioned before, we recently changed the structure of the troop.

Here are some condensed notes:
Running Order
  • Flag break
  • Duty PL recites Scout Law
  • Inspection
  • Get changed out of uniform
  • Program
  • Get changed into uniform
  • Flag down
  • Prayer
  • Dismissed

Points System

We wanted to really encourage the patrols to work together as a team, so we created the points system, so all the games and activities they would do (as well as inspection) could gain them points for their patrols. At the end of the scouting year we would award the winning patrol with a DECENT prize (you know... not just a bar of chocolate and a certificate you printed off last minute at work, but something they would actually like!). We also made the point to make sure that this was not used as a punishment for bad behaviour.

Patrol Leaders

A lot of responsibility was going to land on these sprogs shoulders. We told the troop that they were the new point of contact between the scouts and the leaders. If they had problems they should go to the PL, not us (except for in the obvious exceptions), and we would give instructions to just the PLs for them to pass on to their patrols. They would also make sure that their patrol was ready for inspection and that the patrol boxes were present and correct at the start of each night.

At the end of the 'launch night' we invested the PLs into the role of Patrol Leader. We've found that it has really helped with giving the PLs that bit more confidence and authority with the other scouts.

We also went through all the ceremonies with the kids, explaining them all etc. The rest was all fairly standard to be honest... it wasn't major changes, but they have made a huge difference!



... now that my blogging cherry has well and truly been popped, I suppose I should give you some background details so that you can put things into context!

I'm an Assistant Scout Leader in Lincoln helping to run a section of about 15/17 sprogs. The group is relatively new and I, along with the rest of the leader team, are really starting to push the group towards bigger and better things. We recently restructured the group as the previous set up just wasn't working for the kids that we have (I'll post my noted about the restructure in a separate post).
We're going to have to have a program planning meeting fairly soon... so need to get the good old thinking cap on yet again!

I'm also in COLDnet (City Of Lincoln District Network), which is the section for 18-25 years olds. We have a fairly active program and meet every two weeks. I also get to go along to some national network events too.

As for exactly why I am doing this, well:
  • I've always found it rather difficult to find some decent tried and tested program ideas out there
  • I think that some of my experiences should be shared to help encourage others
EDIT: The idea behind this blog has changed a tad since the early days... before I was trying to make it kinda information based and more of a resource than anything else. And to be honest... even I got bored of that, so why should I expect you not to! Now its a heck of a lot less formal, and more focused on the lighter side of scouting, all the funny bits and the happy memories.

Happy Emergency Services Day!

Hello, welcome to my blog and Happy Emergency Services Day!

Yes, today is 9/9/9... it also happens to be the day that I decided to write my own blog about what I know and love (the Scout Association) after reading the comic genious that is Jen at you have a lot to answer for Jen!

The new scout year is about to start and this time I want to log it all. Well... to be honest it started last week, but I had family down and had to miss it, so for me it starts this week.

Hopefully you'll enjoy sharing my time in scouting with you!