Socks seem to be the in thing. Lots of companies advertise on the Net with "big winnings for your club or class". But it doesn't seem very Scouty, selling underwear?
In Britain a lot of groups have race nights, with beer and betting, but betting is state controlled in Sweden, and we don't allow alcohol at scout activities... I'm thinking, it's really more of a raffle than betting, as the races are pre-recorded, but have to look into the legalities of it before I go and order a DVD...
To me, it's important that fundraising for the group should be consistant with the ideals of Scouting, and should be easy and fun for the kids to parttake in. Anyone have any bright ideas of fundraisers that have been successful? Please, share!
(After the 12 of January, I will be back with all the (mad) ideas that we've come up with!)
In the olden days, people used to believe in all sorts of superstitions. Up here in the north, where seasons are very different from eachother, the solstices used to be very important. Before the Gregorian calender the winter solstice used to fall on the 13th of December.
All the scouts and many parents and syblings gathered in the market square. Some had candles or lanterns with them, others were given flaming torches. Then they marched together through town, in the perfectly still, winter light. It was exciting to walk off the road, onto the path through the wood surrounding the Hut, were there are no street lights and the only light except for the candles and the torches, were the almost full moon and some stars looking down on the procession.
The last part of the mile long walk was lit by torches stuck into the ground and storm lantern. By the outdoor theatre there was a fire lit and Scout Master Marcus was waiting for the scouts. In his speach he told us that this place had been used in "the olden days" (before 1963, when Guides and Scouts merged in Sweden) to initiate Brownies and welcome them into the group. So what better place to welcome all new scouts? 19 new Tracker Scouts were called up, four Discoverer Scouts and one new Adventurer were introduced and gave their Scout promise in front of the group (see upper right corner for explanations of the new names).
Then Marcus talked about the importance of doing to them around you, what you want them to do to you, and how bad behaviour and bad words bounce back onto yourself. He also gave out rewards to leaders who had been active for 5 and 10 years, and introduced our two new Tracker Scout leaders to the group.
When we dispursed, wishing everyone a merry christmas and everyone walked back along the candle lit path to the parking lot, the frost had begun to settle on the ground and the moon and the stars felt close enough to touch over the bare branches. The fire was dying. We made sure that everything was as we found it, only a little bit better and went home. For the Tracker Scouts spring term starts on the 22nd of January. But I will be back before then with some news on the program and other things.
The Swedish Guide and Scout Association, of which Falkenberg Scout Group is a part, is one of five directions within The Swedish Scout Federation. The other four are all part of some mother organisation, like The Mission Covenant Church, YMCA/YWCA or the Temperance movement. Although all groups accepts everyone, it's only natural that the Temperance scouts should promise not to drink and that the Christian scout movement should mission. But the SSF, Swedish Guide and Scout Association, should always be indipendent of any political view or belief. This doesn't meen that we don't discuss faith or get involved in the society around us, although the focus is on ethical issues, democracy and human rights.
I'm off to lovely old Oxford, England, for a few days, and will miss the market. I'll try and put the recipes, and a report from the market out when I get back at the end of next week. Have a lovely one!
In Sweden we have until yesterday had "minior", "junior", "patrull", "senior" and "rover" scouts. Today we are Spårare (Tracker scouts, 8-9 yrs), Upptäckare (Discoverer scouts, 10-12 yrs) Äventyrare (Adventure Scouts 12-15 yrs), Utmanare (Challenger scout 15-18 yrs) and Rover scout 18-25 yrs)
So, welcome to the blog of Falkenberg's Tracker Scout group!
Susanne got taught Viking jewellery by Sterner, our District Commissioner, who is very skilled with pairs of pliers and rings. Sterner in turn made good use of the old district badges and experimented, making stylish woggles.
Although the weather and the dark prevented us from being outside, we came away fulfilled and relaxed and at least a couple of kilos heavier than when we came from all the lovely food and smelling homely from the log fire.
Next week there will be more for the sweet tooth! Then we're making goodies for the market.
Most of the issues above stems from inexperience. Getting involved in the community, locally and globally, is fundamental to scouting, and scouts all over the world do it differently, and kids love to make a difference!
There are things to consider:
*Make sure that your help is needed!
This may seem obvious, but it is important that you do some research so you don't end up doing the wrong thing. Collecting clothes and toys is popular, but most organisations need money a lot more, and it is easier and cheaper to distribute.
* Don't go to big!
Find small projects, that you can manage and can see results from. Kids love to help, but they are impatient and forget quickly. Do a sponsored walk, a limmited collection, a garage sale or put on a show over a limmited period. Make sure that you give the kids feedback on the result, and that they know about, or are there when the money/collection is handed over. If you get a thank you, make sure that the kids hear, if possible: frame it and hang it on a wall in the hut.
* Find easy ways for everyone to help every day!
A good deed a day is a motto that has been in the scout movement from the beginning. Show the Cubs that a good deed doesn't have to be big and flashy: It can be something small like picking up a missplaced piece of rubbish a day, helping a school friend with a difficult math problem, standing up for someone who doesn't dare speak in assembly, sending a post card to someone who's ill or something as simple as putting a link to a charity web site on the group's web page or your blog. (i.e. see right margin!)
* Find good examples!
Show your Cubs that people help other people in many different ways! It's not just big, international, media covered events that count. LiveAid, Comic Relief, WorldHungerDay are great, but make sure your Cubs know that helping in a small scale is just as great; that world hunger is a big issue, but that there are other ways of looking at the world too, and that there might be people close by that need help.
Millions of thanks to Reino and SK6XJ; Henrik, Jocke & co for helping out with the climbing wall, Tompa, Eva, Michael, Marie and everyone else for pitching tents, lighting fires, smiling and being wonderful!
There was plenty to do around the little caravan that held the radio. Among other things our mobile climbing wall was up, and there was a quiz walk. When people got peckish, there was hotdogs and buns to barbeque over the fires.Next year we're definately going to do it again, but indoors! October on the west coast of Sweden can be very rough. This year it only rained a little bit, the winds were managable and it was just 9 degrees Centigrades. It could be considerably worse!
While the Akelas were dealing with the parents inside, all the sixes went on a trail around the world and answered lots of very tricky questions about continents, countries, flags and languages. The cubs also did lots of practical things like spelling, throwing balls into buckets and throwing an old fashioned life line. And of course some games and songs!
Meanwhile, indoors Marie and Lotta had the parents reading the scout law, explained how the law and the promise makes scouting different from Woodcrafters and football teams, how Falkenberg scout group is a part of a family of millions and millions. They also told the parents of the seven different parts of the scout method: Law and promise, symbols and ceremonies, the six, learning by doing, the outdoors, caring for oneself, the society and the world and supportive and listening leadership. Then the parents were put into sixes and told to plan a meeting for their children, using as many of the seven parts as possible.
When the meeting was over everyone sang the scout song. Next week the cubs will take home a nice course certificate for their parents as proof that they all have passed the first module of the basic scout leader course!
This week the hunt for gold and treasure took our Cubs around a good part of the park area around our hut. First, they followed the same kind of signs they learnt last term to find a written clue hidden in the undergrowth. The clue pointed them towards the play area where Susanne and Jessica were waiting with a strange looking message.
While the the others waited for their turn to go on the trail, they played pairs, using objects that they had picked on the ground in front of the hut. 'To the stage' the decoded message read. The cubs were off like lightning, but alert as they were they found and identified the native wild animals on their way: a badger, a bull finch, an hedgehog, a viper and a red fox were hiding along the path.
When they got close to the stage they got careful. A pirate was seemingly asleep on his treasure chest. He had a bottle in his hand and looked quite fears. Would they dare?