Who would have thought that the Fire Service would prove to be such a cornucopia of hilarious comments from the scouts.
Actually... I'll get to that. First things first. Minty had done the honours of organising this trip to the Fire Service, a task that is not as straight forward as you would think. He ended up having to apply in writing over a month in advance, we got a written confirmation that they would take us and that they would cover the requirements for the fire safety badge that we had sent them.
This of course didn't necessarily mean that the message that we were coming got passed on to the guys on shift that night.
Fireman: Can I help you?
Minty: We're here for the scout visit
Fireman: errr.... what scout visit? Give us a minute...
The poor man. Not only did he have to take a group of kids round the station, but he had to do it with zero notice and nothing prepared!
He started off with the usual introductions, describing some of the things that they do and showing them the fire suits that they wear (seeing that they were right behind him). All this to then get interrupted with
sprogette: Were are the fit firemen?
Which must have made him feel so good.
Mind you the really gold was still to come. One of the best questions had to be when he was talking about the hoses that they have on the Fire Appliances, and that different sections fit into each other and lock together...
innocent sprogette: Whats the difference between the male and female hoses?
Needless to say the fireman gave us this "help me" look, us leaders were at the back trying not to giggle (with varying amounts of success), he said something vague about one fitting into the other and then quickly moved them round the corner to the pump controls.
Not that this was the only funny comment or question that the kids come out with during the visit. After going round the appliances we were taken to the break room for a little question and answer session.
"Can you set fire to your own car?"
"Why do you wear two tops?" (he had a t-shirt on under his shirt)
"Do the dorm rooms upstairs have there own little TV and kitchen each?" (we were in the room with the kitchen and TV at the time)
"Can I play with your nee naw?"
To his credit he actually did a very good job at dealing with all these (rather random) questions. He apologised to us saying that if they had known that we were coming then they would have set up more for them... so we are going to look into getting one of them down to the hall to finish off the requirements for the badge. But this also had the immediate effect of us finishing at the station just over an hour before the kids were due to be picked up.
Plan B not only had to be put into action... but had to be devised.
We managed to get them all back to the scout hall to run some games until there folks arrived, all of whom had to be called so that they would know to come to the scout hall rather than the fire station. And why is there always one parent who is incontactable when you need them! We ended up driving one of them back to the fire station to get picked up.
Overall, it was a good night. The kids all enjoyed it and the fire station did extremely well... especially when you consider that the guys involved had zero notice!