A Pack In the Concrete Jungle Posts

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.

From the Heart

This morning was the donation drop for the Cub Scouts. I had Green Eyes, Yellow Fur, R3 and Kim join myself and another Scouter in donating the Toys collected from our Toy Drive in November.

It was an early morning for us (if you call 9:30am early on a Sunday) where we meet up at our regular meeting place. There was excitement. My father-in-law (and retired Scouter!) was kind enough to offer to shuttle us around since I don’t have a lot of experience driving with a vehicle full of youth. As we piled into the mini van, the youth chattered about something to do with Minecraft, or something.

First stop, BC Children’s Hospital.

Cub Scout DonationIt was a few of my Cub’s first time seeing the hospital up close and personal (thank goodness for that). Before we went in, I explained a few basic things:

  • use the sanitizer when you enter and before we leave
  • keep out of the way of the staff, you never know if they are on their way to save a life
  • try not to stare at the youth we may pass

Why did I make a point of the last one? Well, to get were we needed to donate the presents, we had to pass the oncology centre and cardiovascular centre. Wasn’t exactly my personal favourite way to go, but the other option was to go through the ER.

Cub Scout DonationWe met with a lovely Volunteer at the hospital, took a moment to show off what the Cubs had brought, completed the donation and took a group photo. Our volunteer told us that if the gifts couldn’t be used for Christmas, they would hold on to them and give them to children on their birthday or after a really big surgery. Hopefully, we helped make a few sick children’s Christmas with our gifts.

Without any time to reflect, we were off to our next gift giving – Springhouse. Singing carols as we drove across town feeling uplifted and empowered.

On a scale of 1 to a lot, Springhouse got about 70% of total the total inventory. Ranging from clothing for childs and mothers, to board games and kaleidoscope. Of course, there was Green Eye’s donation. Before entering, I reminded the Cubs not to stare at the guests of the place for donation.

We were warmly met by my contact and shown around the reception area.

Cub Scout DonationAfter learning more about how our gifts will help the different families at Springhouse, the Cubs (and Kim) present couldn’t have been prouder. They showed off the Pack had donated with smiles and chattered with excitement. There was this little girl that poked her eyes around a corner, looking at us scared. One of the Cubs noticed them and waved. With just that little bit of encouragement, she came out and started to glow. My heart broke a little as I took note of the black bruise going from her jaw line to under her eye. That’s when it hit home for the Cubs.

What happened with Green Eye’s generous donation? Well, it was packaged nicely and he had the honour to present it.

When all was said and done, the pack was pleasantly surprised when they were given something in return – a certificate of appreciation from the managing company of Springhouse. While we were departing, we happened to pass a resident of Springhouse who was wearing slightly worn clothing. Silently, we knew that they didn’t have much, but on Christmas that would change.

And that made it all worth it for the Cubs.

I can’t wait till our Christmas Party to have the four youth who came with me today present the certificate and talk about what we did and the impact we made on what I estimate to be at least 40 families (for 20 kids donating stuff, that’s 2 families per Cub. THAT’S AMAZING!)

Cub Scout Donation

Want to learn more about how you can help? Read about some ideas in my post: Community Involvement