Blue Star Posts

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.

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


Cub Scout First Aid KitNovember 20th Meeting – Cub Scout First Aid

The very first night I was with the Pack, we asked 2 teams to make up skits of what they wanted to do this year. One of the skits showed a youth getting hurt and the other Cubs helping before the hurt Cub went to the hospital. I don’t know about you, but that to me says First Aid night.

Community Involvement

Cub Scout Blue StarThis year, the 23rd Elsie Roy Cub Scouts are working on their Blue Star – Home and Community. A requirement for the Blue Star is to do a Community Service. For a Cub, that can be simple like cleaning up a park (but since I’m a firm believer in Leave No Trace, my Cubs do this every time we go to a park regardless of a badge requirement).

Above and Beyond

Nov. 20th 2014 Meeting – Toy Drive Segment – Above and Beyond

Over the last couple of weeks, I have talked to the pack about doing a toy drive and the importance to take a moment and think of other kids who don’t get to have presents because of things they can’t control. It’s not fair, but we can help them by donating gifts. Our toy drive will benefit two places for two types of donations. Used items will be going to a local shelter with children and new items will be going to BC Children’s Hospital.

A week after the Toy Drive is finished, a Cub Scout from each Six (and the Kim!) will be accompanying Scouters to make the donations so they can report back to their Six’s about the impact that their Six has made. We have 8 Toy Donation Bags (2 for each six in their six colour) so each six can take their bag in.

Meet Green Six. Green Six is a great six. Their Sixer is called Green Eyes. They are a cute, smart, Lanky, quirky, and exactly what a Sixer needs to be. Green Eyes touched me the first time I met him as a youth who is going to grow and going to end up doing great things. Give him a challenge, and he does his darndest to complete it.

Instead of donating a toy or gift, Green Eyes donated $300 in Canadian Tire Gift Cards AND an additional $300 to insert charity name. I am super touched by what he’s done. Of course, the leadership spoke to Green Eye’s parents to make sure that they were supportive of this.

Green Eyes did more than his best. When we thank all the youth for participating at the group potluck, we will be recognizing Green Eyes by giving them Ovation Chocolates, because they deserve and Ovation for going far beyond anything the team ever thought possible.

It’s truly amazing what can happen with the right inspiration.

Cub Scout Toy Drive 2014

*There was a little more than what’s imaged.