Sorry about the poor quality of the clip. Wasn't sure in what format to save it... But I hope you get the picture ;-)
We're still the biggest and most prosperous group in the district, although in the second smallest town. Albeit that it's a small district, only seven groups, but still.
Markus concluded his speech by saying how proud he is to be apart of the group, and how proud he is to be a part of the world wide community of scouting. It was truly awesome, standing there in the dark winter's night, lit up by carosene lamps with the International Peace Light in them, and fires, listening to the scouts giving their Promise, some for the first time.
After the ceremony the leaders, the Challengers and the Rovers gathered for a coffee, chat and lottery drawing. The prizes were left over from the market the other week and consisted of mainly sweets. The takings went towards the painting and decorating of our cottage in the woods that the Rovers are undertaking. They've been sponsored with paint from Beranders Färg, a local paint shop, who has donated 20 litres of paint. So the rooms in the cottage has changed from being seventies algy green, murky brown and greyish-not-sure-if-it's-dirt-or-design to fire engine red, basil green and all sorts of cheerful colours!
Everyone at the meeting got to by raffle tickets, and everybody won, at least something. The Rover mascout, Efraim, was really lucky, winning on all seven of his tickets! I'm sure he'll share the takings with his friends, the Rovers. They deserve it! Efraim, the Rover mascout
All in all, it's been a lovely scouting year, and the next will be challenging but even better!
For those of you who have a translation tool on your computer you can read the article here.
Our chairman finished his latest e-mail with "... Falkenberg Scout group, something I'm very proud of being a part of." So am I.
Ps. Nick, I'll send you one when they're done
So, at 11 on the Saturday everyone got together with ingredience donated by helpful parents and grandparents, to practice their baking skills under the supervision of Christian and myself. Hard toffee, butter fudge, sweet Lucia buns, swiss rolls.... The scouts worked extremely hard.
Oops! Not everything went according to plan.
I left them at seven in the evening. After that they were going to wrap everything nicely and decide on the prizing. And then play the X-box and watch a couple of films, the standard Challenger sleepover activities :-)
Not the common uniform, but very stylish!
Both of them are studying at 6th form, both specializing in Drama. They're one year apart, Victor being the older of the two, but Ida the one who has the most experience. She went to Island to a scout experience on her own initiative when she was 15, not knowing any one in the group. Last summer she took part in a three week hike, in part on a raft on a big river. I'm happy that they've chosen to team up, knowing that Victor will be in good hands.
Now the most important part of the project will start: The financing! The experience cost quite a bit, and us parents agree that they will have to get some of the money together by working. But they are both inventive, industrious and I am sure that they will have great fun getting the funds together.
I'm so greatful that my children are a part of a movement, that enables people of all ages to grow and experience adventure in this way! I wish that everyone really knew what possibilities lie in scouting and were able to participate!
On Friday evening they hung around the Challenger's café and mingled with young scouts from all over Sweden.
Your scribbler demonstrating the organisation of the scout movement locally, nationally and internationally.
The Safe Outdoors group cooked lunch for all on the Sunday. A yummy noodle wok made on a giant murrikka, the Same frying pan.
Your humble narrator learning to do rope tricks, overseen by Stefan, who confesses himself to be more of a pine-cone-and-twig-kind-of-guy than a sailor.
It gets very dark very quickly at this latitude at this time of year. At five PM it was already very dark when the Challengers gathered. After the opening ceremony the Challengers showed eachother the secret ingredience that they brought. There were apples, chocolate, a few variaties of pasta, sweet corn and salty biscuits. And on top of that, there was a whole table with other ingredience to choose from.
The task was to present a three course meal in 60 minutes; to work together to decide the menu, the way of cooking and divide the labour.
After about 10 minutes of negotiating, weighing the pros and cons of each way of cooking, and then finally deciding on using the Trangias. The other options were murrikka, the Laplandian, three-legged fryingpan, and a reflector oven.
The starter was a cordon bleu style dish with a mushroom and a strand of asparagus, fried in garlic butter, served with warmed up fetta.
Chef is laying her last hands on the main course.
We had laid a table with a white (paper) cloth and candles.
The main course was Spaghetti Carbonara with Crème Fraische.
And for dessert: Chocolate dipped apple vedges.
Except for all the washing up, it was a brilliant evening, though Alice was slightly cold. The meeting ran over almost an hour, but nobody minded.
I left the scouts to their own devices, worrying about the state of the car: If I were to be the responsible adult with a car, ICE, I thought it might be an idea to have a functioning one. There seemed to be a hose leaking in the cooling system, and Marie was going to arrive at six anyway, to keep me company over night.
The little black cat showed up out of nowhere when I was sitting outside on the stoop, having lunch. I had bought some ready made Swedish dolmas in gravy that I had heated in the microwave oven. The cat almost threw herself into the gravy, crying with hunger! It's so sad, how some people get a kitten for the summer holiday, and then, when the season is over, they leave their summer house, and the cat, and go home.
The cat was skin and bones. It wasn't bothered about the dog, but the dog was very vary about the cat, not wanting to leave it when I left the house to set up camp. All afternoon the dog ran back and forth between the house and the camp site. I think he was worried about the cat. I made a few phonecalls, but noone was interested in taking it, and there isn't a rescue center anywhere near, so I'm afraid we finally had to make the decision to just leave it.
Anyway, the guests arrived at 6, and was met down by the road by a couple of zombies with lanterns who guided their way to the cottage. Marie and I withdrew to the hilltop, and had a very pleasant evening, grilling gourmet sausages and dunking Italian chocolate rusks in mascarpone. We had a good natter in front the fire, and crawled into our sleeping bags at about 10, gazing at the starry skies in the moonlight. The dog curled up by our feet, and our breath rose like smoke in the cold evening.
At the moment I'm reading the Famous Five books aloud to my 10-and-a-half-year-old son. Enid Blyton is so scouting: The children are resourceful, brave and have great social ethos (even if they're very middle-class and sometimes stinking perfect) My son loves the books where they are out camping on their own, or as in this last book, with a supervising adult who lets them do what ever because he trusts them to do the right thing. The Famous Five always stay 11-15, which isn't true for our scouts, who grow from 6-year-old Beavers to 15-year-olds with spots and hormones. As leaders we're their to lead them in the right direction, to guide them gently into adulthood, and to safely let them try their wings and fly under supervision. But when is it time to let them fly on their own?
My soon 13-year-old daughter is tall for her age, has the vocabulary of a 25-year-old and lots of integrity. She is a dream, and a nightmare. All parents want their children to be independent and selfsuficiant. She is that, and she wants to fly on her own. Together with her slightly older friends she has organized a Halloween sleepover, booked the cottage in the woods, sorted a digital projektor, made a budget, a menu, a program and invites. Already a good few people in the group has confirmed. It will be a great sleepover, I'm sure.
As a scoutleader and parent I have very few qualms about letting the kids do this completely on their own. I have offered to be around as back-up, as invisible as I possibly can, as the cottage is a good 45-minute drive from town, and IF something happens it might be a good idea to have someone around who has a driver's licens. Now, my daughter and her friends have decided that they'd like to go to the cottage already on the Thursday, to prepare (and have a bit of fun as well I'm sure). As I'm not prepared to spend three days invisable in the woods, I've said that I'll be joining them on Saturday. They are definatly competent enough to take the bus and hike the last 5 km to the cottage along the country lanes (The Swedish country side is very desolate and peaceful, on account us having a country twice the size of Britain with only 9 million people in it!)
B-P encouraged "his boys" to explore and hike on their own, to practise their skills and to make independent decisions. Some parents might argue that they were different times, more peaceful, and safe, and they are right in some respects, but perhaps our fear of something happening is more crippeling than the accual risk of something happening? Sooner or later we have to let our children go, and if they haven't practised flying on their own at all, they are bound to crash into whatever lampost at some point anyway. What we need to teach them is to risk assess, to listen to their instincts, help eachother out, and to keep to their good values - that goes a tremendously long way!
But nevertheless I'm going to offer a compromise: They'd go on Friday morning, and I'll join them on Saturday afternoon. First flight shouldn't be too long.