A Pack In the Concrete Jungle Posts

Founders Day

A short 161 years ago in Paddington, UK – Lord Baden Powell entered the world. In his fiftieth year, Boy Scouts started, a worldwide organization that has helped, inspired, challenged, and I like to believe changed the lives of hundreds of thousands. I count myself lucky to be one of the individuals who has found a place within Scouts Canada to help carry on the vision.
Without being a Scout, I have no idea where I would be. I would have never met my friends, never mind my husband. I would have never found a place that accepted me for me (here’s a blog post I wrote ages ago on how Scouting helped me with my illness – http://oncearover.ca/2012/12/17/mission-based-healing-bipolar-doesnt-mean-a-pole-short-of-a-tripod/). I would have never started End2End Media – nor started half of the things that are a creative outlet for me.
In the 10 years I’ve been a member, I’ve worked directly with 180+ youth. I’ve watched them grow, have first experiences, and learn more about themselves in our time together than they realize. I’ve dedicated hundreds of hours a year towards Scouts. There have been a few that I’m pretty sure I crossed a thousand volunteer hours (camps are auto 48 for just the event, never mind the prep). I wouldn’t change a single hour I’ve given as it’s given me a reason to learn, grow, and a life time of adventure.
Today is special to me. Scouts is special to me. It’s my one thing that has been with me since everything fell apart. It’s how I get to flex my maternal muscle and have sweet memories I would have wanted to have with my son. I work hard because some of the kids have nothing else – and I know that feeling far too well. I give my all, because I have no idea if one activity sparks a career path or is the moment one of the Cubs trusted in my care needs more than anything else because of whatever reason in their world.
Without BP founding Scouts, I would be lost. I use to play the “what if” game, but it’s become impossible to come up with anything else I want to fill my time with. It’s been challenging the last two months as I have needed to focus more on my health. One of the key indicators of my mental health is when I don’t want to go to see my Cubs and team. When I was first working on a plan of action to regain my footing in the early days of diagnoses, Scouting was immediately slotted in. Because I was accepted. I was encouraged. I was welcomed with open arms.
Some days I can confidently say that Scouting is why I’m still alive and here today. Scouting showed me a new world (literally, I got to go to Australia!). Scouting gave me my new family. Scouting has given me a career and gusto to dabble in entrepreneurship. Scouting lets me grieve in a healthy way for my son who left this world too soon.
Thank you, BP for everything. I doubt you expected the impact that your program for boys would have on people all around the world. From an old, grateful, cranky Akela – thank you.

Lest We Forget

After attending 2 of our local Remembrance Day Ceremonies, the youth concluded that they didn’t like it. They like theĀ concept, but not the act of doing it. Why? They couldn’t hear anything or see anything. Being in a city, our services are packed. I’ve honestly never actually heard anything being said at a service aside from the firing of the canon, jets over-head and the trumpets. I totally understood what my Cub Scouts were saying.

We asked the Howlers Council a difficult question: “Then what do we do next year?”

A moment of silence. Another moment. One of the newer Cubs started to say something but stopped, saying it was stupid. Another one of the Howlers said that they’d like to hear.

“Have our own service?”

Done deal Cub Scout.

The Blind Cub Scout

English_braille_sample from WikipediaEnglish_braille_sample from Wikipedia

Sample of English Braille from Wikipedia

How do you teach Cubs about how lucky they are to be an able bodied person? Why, over two meetings to expose them to different forms of communication and have them go blind for the night. For the month of January, the Concrete Jungle Pack explored the world of the disabled.

Going around in circles.

Last month we had the pleasure of bringing in the BC Wheelchair Sports Association. Part of their program is educating youth who may not have disabilities, through fun learn-by-doing activities. This lines up with how we present our program in Scouts Canada and is important for the youth to see that there are other options should they ever find themselves no longer able-bodied. Plus, it exposes the youth to a different kind of sport where the focus is more so on coordination and not being fast or strong.

Irish Soda Bread

Teamwork. Communication. Accuracy. Math. Googy-grossness. Coordination. Critical Thinking. Fun. What better way to wrap all that up into one package than to bake something?

To Boff or Not To Boff

Boffing

Duct tape. Electrical tape. PVC. Pipe insulation Foam.

These make for one heck of a fun night. These materials make for homemade boffing swords, which is simply great for Cub Scouts. Inspired by St. Georges Day this year, the Highlander Cub Scouts had a Boffing tournament to celebrate the defeat of the dragon.