Before I start I should let you know I am going to break with the usual format of this newsletter, if I had one that is. I am going to try for an easier reading more conversational style. Let me know what you think. Like anything in life, it is often the journey, and not the destination, that is most interesting.
It definitely has been a busy time Scouting-wise over the past month. I'm sure you all looked forward to school going back so things could return to normal. All of the sections have been extremely active, even during the holidays, which isn't the norm. Activities have included Group Camp at Dunn's Swamp, Cubs attending District Camp and their annual snow trip, Scouts camping at JOTAJOTI (that's Jamboree of the Air / Internet, where Scouts from all around the world get together over the net and radio to talk to each other). The Joeys went down to JOTAJOTI to have a look around and see what the other youth get up to. The Cubs even had to take a weekend off because they had so much on, they thought the youth needed a rest. Not that any of leaders had time to rest, they were busy planning programs to the end of the year. The Scout section is already getting excited and has started making preparations for the next Australian Jamboree, and that isn't until January 2013.
I’ve got some other highlights to tell you about, but first I would like to take this opportunity to share some of the theory behind scouting and ask ourselves some questions. Every once in a while it is worth reminding ourselves why we are involved in Scouts. It gives us the opportunity to reflect on things and focus on what’s important. Have a think for a minute? It's all about the youth right? The mission of Scouting after all is to contribute to the education of young people using a value based system. Have a look at the Scouts Australia website if you want to read more about the mission, aims and principles of Scouting, or have a chat with any of the leaders. But for now let me try and explain with the help of your drawing skills!
- Grab a blank piece of paper and draw a small circle. Write the words "youth members" inside.
- Draw a larger circle around this one. We will call this one "scout leaders."
- Now draw another circle around the other two. We will call this one "scouting families."
- And last but not least draw one final circle around the existing circles. Lets call this one "broader community."
So what else has been happening around the group? There are three things I would like to share as each of them made me feel proud to be part of the group, and as group leader they're the icing on the cake to show what I was talking about earlier.
- The first one is the return of a couple of members who had left us earlier in the year. Losing members is sad, getting new members is great, but seeing members come back is even better. This comes down to the youth members talking to their friends staying in touch with them and letting them know what a good time they're having and getting them to come back and give it another go. This means we can put a big tick next to what the sections are doing.
- Next we have the Brookvale Show that was on last weekend. The show had been advertised in the Manly Daily for weeks and Council had contacted me quite early about having some sort of involvement. What they needed was people to assist on the day with displays, giving people directions, handing out guides. In the end we had about 14 youth members and four leaders come down and help for the day. This was a great opportunity to show ourselves in the community and make people remember us. It helps make us visible, a fantastic way to build relationships with the broader community. A big thank you to everyone who came down and helped out, especially the families who took time out of their already busy schedules at very short notice, including the families that let me know that they couldn't help due to the short notice.
- The third is as recent as yesterday, the community barbecue at Bunnings Narrabeen, and probably shows the way the the four circles come together best. It shows the youth, leaders, families and community working together to raise funds for AJ2013. The other benefits are much harder to put a price on - the social interaction between different youth and familes, getting to know each other, getting out there and showing themselves in the community, the youth putting what they've learned to use such as taking money and giving change, and generally having fun! Another big thank you to everyone involved, from the youth and their families to the leaders, who gave up their time to coordinate, cook, buy food, sell snags, etc. The next (and last) Bunnings BBQ is on 12 November. If you can spare a couple of hours to help out please let me know.
Until next time, yours in Scouting,