Radio Interview

Hey there,

I had promised to get the audio of the radio interview that I did on here if I got it... well, my Dad managed to record it. So here it is!

Not only was it our first interview, but it was the first one the guy interviewing us had ever done... so we were chatting away during the songs to try and figure out what to chat about next!

We will remember them

The other week we covered a subject that I take rather seriously. We were covering Remembrance Day.

Usually all a Scout Troop will do for Remembrance is to go to church parade, well... some of the kids would go on parade if they bothered or their parents made them... and that would be it. Nothing really on why we should be remembering or for that matter what and who we should be remembering.

I'll admit that I have never been in a war situation personally, none of my family have gone off to war... even my grandparents were excluded from going off to battle as they were engineers and were needed in the factories back at home.

And if I am honest I don't know if I could do it. I don't know if I would be able to lay down my life or my well being. And frankly, I don't really want to be put in the situation where I would have to find out. That's why I have the upmost respect and gratitude for those that do, and it's this point that I tried to get across to the scouts.

Not that that is a particularly easy concept to try to get across.

Last year (and I refer back to last year because I did something similar, but it was during a while where I fell out of the habit of blogging so it hasn't been covered online) I did a lot of searching. Going through loads of websites with activities to do, and tips and advice on conveying this rather large (and at times scary) topic. A lot of the activities I passed off as too childish, not conveying the right level of seriousness that I wanted to get across... other activities were at the other extreme. Nothing really seamed to fit, so I made up something myself.

But before I go off describing all that and forgetting to actually cover the scout night, well, the plan was going to be simple for tonight:
Getting some programme ideas from kids (as next so many weeks were blank in the plan and we also wanted to find out what countries they wanted me to look into for 2012)

pretty simple... but nothing simple ever runs like that.
flagbreak *tick*
Gam... *mphf... mphf... mplaaaahhhhhhhh*  <= that would be a sprog, vomiting all over the hall floor

... Where's the mop and bucket?


... Sprog, did you have pineapple for dinner?

The next 10/15mins were spent cleaning up the floor while the other sprogs played cards and tried to think up program ideas in another room (we didn't want a chain reaction starting).

Well, we were going to play dodgeball, but given the huge wet patch covering the middle of the hall it was decided to do a chair race where they wouldn't touch the floor at all. (I think it was appreciated)

And onto the main activity, trying to get the importance of Remembrance across to the Scouts.

Now a lot of numbers generally get batted about when it comes to casualities of war, some very large numbers which can be rather difficult to visualise. So last year I used sugar. I found out online how many grains of sugar are in a gram and from that figured out how many were in a bag. Taking one grain of sugar to equate to one life I got the Scouts to try and guess how many bags it would take to account for certain wars. To add to the effect I got a 1kg bag of sugar and poured some of it over the floor so they could actually see just how many grains are in a bag (that would be 15432 lifes roughly).

So how many bags would it take for different events?

Would you believe that it would take somewhere in the region of 2592-4666 bags of sugar to account for the 2nd World War?! To put that in perspective, the War on Terror claimed 3 bags (including non-allied forces... which believe me is difficult to find the numbers for) and the Haiti Earthquake would be 14 bags.

This year I tried to think of a different way to get these numbers across, my flatmate kindly suggested time. If you were to start killing one person a second when would you finish to match the different wars?

It's a long time, between 2 and 3 years for the 2nd World War!

After going through these numbers with them I got the scouts to lay out on the floor (which was thankfully now dry). They were to completely relax, clear their minds... and put themselves into the situations and stories that I would tell them. To imagine that they were there and what would they be thinking and doing. Last year I had given some general descriptions of conditions in war. This year I gave real life accounts given from survivors.

They could be rather powerful, especially when imaging yourself being there.

I'll post the spreadsheets with all my numbers and the true stories that I used in the meditation in the resourses page I have (I'll post a link when I have done it). Feel free to use and adapt it for your own scouts.

Just realised that I haven't actually blogged the week after this one. It was simple enough, we did some circus skills with the scouts... so it was just a fun night with the circus gear I take round other groups. Thanks to Gav for helling out as I was a little short on leaders.

Live on the Radio!

Today I, and three Explorer Scouts, are going to be interviewed for a local radio station and the World Scout Jamboree!

It's Lincoln City Radio, they have a live feed online. I'm not entirely sure exactly when we will be on air, but I've to show up at 4pm (UK time).

I'll update this with sound and visuals later if possible

Remember Remember...

... the 5th of November

So, todays post is covering scouts from 2 Fridays ago, but there is a reason for that. And it's a good reason as well...

You want the reason... okay I'll tell you.

What? Now? Well that isn't exactly patient of you.

I'll let you know what my super fantastic reason for not posting about this last week... as soon as I make up a reason.

Right you caught me, I forgot!

Okay, you happy now?! Forgetting, even with that Remember remember poem and everything!

For those of you not from the UK, the 5th of November is known as Guy Fawkes night. He had planned to bomb the Houses of Parliament (you know the building with Big Ben), and he nearly managed it too... but he was discovered the morning of the planned bombings, the 5th of November.

To celebrate the fact that the Houses of Parliament (and as a result the King who was due to open Parliament) were saved we... errr... blow stuff up!
Ooooo..... sparkly
.... I like fireworks

The 2nd Lincoln were holding a fireworks display and BBQ on their grounds to raise money for their group. I we figured that we would invite the scouts and their families along to enjoy it. Turns out that most of them had their own plans for watching fireworks as a family elsewhere... we only had 2 scouts (and no other family members) show up!

O well, I was going to enjoy the whizz bangs all the same. I mean, what's not to enjoy, it's explosives!

In fact, I enjoyed them a lot more than I thought that I would. If I am honest I thought that it would just be a guy going round with a taper setting off some bog standard fireworks that were bought in a garden center. Turns out that I was very very wrong. It was a full on proper display, about 15minutes long and jam packed full of fireworks.

Well done 2nd Lincoln, I was very impressed.

I was going to include this weeks scouting exploits in with this post, given that it was about Remembrance Day and would have tied in nicely with the whole 'remember' thing I had going on. But seeing that it is a rather large topic and I want to explain what I did (as I found researching stuff to do for it a tad difficult, for stuff that would have any effect anyway- I ended up giving up and making up my own thing, which you are more than welcome to steal) I've decided to put it into a separate post.

International Man of Mystery

Or to put it more accurately... International Mystery of this Man.

That man being me of course, well, not him in the picture. That's definately not me!

And that International Mystery, well, hopefully you guys can give me a helping hand with that. As part of my grand plan, my evil plot or even my cunning ploy (depends on how you want to view it) for my scout troop I want to alternate having summer camps abroad and in the UK (but not in Lincolnshire).

Given that this summer we went to Kandersteg in Switzerland, one of my evil compatriots (aka. Assistant Leaders) will be organising 2011s summer camp somewhere in the UK. I would organise it, but I'm going to be a tad busy what with the Jamboree. But, as unbelievably far in advance this sounds... I'm going to have to get my finger out with summer camp 2012.

Yes, you read that right... I'm going to start organising summer camp 2012. Which will be abroad...

... somewhere...

... and that is the difficult part. WHERE?! I'm trying to pick three sites that I can get details for and present to the scouts for them to vote on. But which three?!

Do you, people of the interweb, have any good suggestions?

I'm looking for a campsite that would preferably deal with international scouts regularly, have a load of activities (on and off site) on offer that would be suitable for 10-14year olds... oh, and not cost a small fortune! I know, it is a lot to ask.

So please leave some comments to this post with recommendations of campsites. I asked nicely and said please after all

NOTE: Image is of Austin Powers and belongs to however in the film industry it belongs to

Warm and fuzzies

The Scouts can be confusing at times. Sometimes the Scouts can be really annoying... but then they do something that will really surprise you, throw you for six and remind you why you do it all in the first place.

Well, here I am currently sat at my desk at work (during my lunch I might add before you say anything) and I get an envelope through the internal mail.

Now, I know that that doesn't sound like much... but I never get mail. Everything I deal with is sent via email, but I recognise the handwriting as one of my scouts parents. In it was another envelope.

"To Scotland, Sorry it's late- I would have given it to you at scouts"
  Inside said envelope was this:

"Get Well Soon" and it has a picture of her saying 'Hope your feeling better'... and a flower, and some juggling balls and some fire poi (yeah that's right, my scouts rock!)

"Dear Scotland, I hope you're feeling better:) Can't wait to see you at Scouts soon. Love from ..... xxxxxx"
And get this... it wasn't even from the daughter of the woman that put it in the internal mail... she gave it to her to get it to me!

I can't even start to say how this cheered me up. THANK YOU SPROGLETTE!

Media Darlings

I said that I wanted EVIAN... not this, this, TAP WATER!

I don't know how you expect me to work under these conditions... seriously... TAP WATER!

Do you know who I am?!

That's it! I can't handle this anymore... I'll be in my trailer

Not the face!
Well... That's what generally springs into my head when told about getting media training.

Well, to be honest it wasn't even me getting the media training. As part of the preperations for the World Scout Jamboree, we sent 2 unit members to Kettering to be trained by the UK Contingent media team on how to be spokes people for the Scout Association.

They got to learn about the media; how to prepare to be interviewed, for newspapers, radio and television. They even got to have a go and see what they look like on telly and how they sound on the radio.

They also got taught about the Scout Associations branding and how it is used to try to actively promote the Scouts, and what they should do to make sure that any media coverage that they are involved in is 'on brand'.

What they were doing sounded like it would be rather fun and interesting, I was to go along and get a briefing on what they were doing and how we could support them. I also got to get a couple of details about the Jamboree! WOO HOO for new knowledge.

Can you tell that I am getting more and more excited about Sweden?

NOTE: image is from the film Anchorman and all rights belong to those people... not me, obviously