It has been confirmed! B-P was here!

A few years ago, one of our then cubs' father, who was at that time working at the local museum, found some old photos in their collections. The photos were to be thrown away, but he had a last look through them. He picked up this photo, that had the words (is Swedish) "B-P salomon fishing in Ätran" written on it.

We talked about it a few times, but for various reasons I never came to see the photo. He spend a lot of time trying to verify that it was "the real thing", but could only conclude in the end, that it wasn't impossible that B-P had once visited Falkenberg, that has been renouned for it's salmon on both sides of the North Sea for more than a hundred years.

In the process of planning our centinary next year, some in the group had a real rummage through the old "archives" in the basement of the hut. And found a similar photo. Also claiming to be of B-P, in Falkenberg, fishing, dated 1927. Now there was more to go on!

Last night, after spending several hours in the archives of the Scout museum at Kjesäter, the Scout movement's folk high school/leader academy, Marcus Agbrant found the proof he had been seeking for the last few months: An article from 1927, Saltsjöbadstidningen, 1927:

After a few words concerning the visit to Norway, the general writes about his stay in Falkenberg: “I visited here for two days for salmon fishing, but the weather was unsuitable and the water level in the river was too high for sport. I was however lucky and had a beautiful, good sized salmon on the hook, but it was to heavy for my line, that he broke, after which he disappeared. Nevertheless I enjoyed having had met him!" My translation

Hopefully, we can now get the local news paper interested, and perhaps find eye witnesses still alive from those days. The boys in the forground of the picture should be in their ninties, but might still be alive! Wouldn't it be wonderful if they could come forward to tell their story?


First meeting for 2009

Both Cub packs met today for the first time this year. We were very happy to have three new children joining us, and also one of our Cubs had brought a guest who might come join in too. So the Wolf cubs are now 22, where of 5 girls, and the Brownies are 17, all boys.

(You might be confused by the names: When we were able to form the second pack one year ago, we decided to use the old names Vargungar and Blåvingar, to somehow preserve the name tradition that was abandoned 1963 when scouting became "unisex" in Sweden. Also, our scout hut has a room called Brownie Hall.)

We also welcomed a new assistant leader, Victor, who is going to help us out during the spring.

After due introductions and catching up, we got down to business. Today, we were practising lighting our parafin lanterns and talking about the safety issues to think about when you light flames. For some, just lighting the match was very scary, while others are very comfortable around fire.

After a quick game to warm up (it was not only dark, but it was almost at freezing point too) the children walked with the lanterns to the field behind the hut and where a small campfire was lit. We sang some common camp fire songs, mostly in Swedish, but we also sang the "Pizza Hut-song" and BP Spirit in English.

Next week three of us leaders are off to the Swedish Gilwell House for our second long weekend, so unfortunately the Cubs will have to wait until the 5th of February, when we will go to the Great Outdoors Restaurant.


New Year - new program!

Wow, time flies! On Thursday it's time for the first meeting of this year. This Sunday the leaders gathered, had numerous cups of tea and put together the frame for the program of this spring. 13 meetings, 1 sleep-over, 1 camp, 1 cannoeing outing, and 1 district trip to the zoo. We're doing cooking, pioneering, woodcrafting, lots of fun and games. Now we have only need the Cubs themselves to put the finishing touches to the program.
See you Thursday!


Uncomfortable decisions

Sometimes you have to make uncomfortable decisions. Just so often there is a child that you just can't help fit into the group. Most often, these children leave of their own accord, because they don't enjoy scouting, and sometimes things work better after having spoken with the parents of the child. Sometimes they don't.

But what do you do, when "the problem" doesn't go away by itself, and communication with the parents only end in conflict, and both child and parents are adament that the child stay in the group?

Scouting should be inclusive. Scouting is for all. The general rule of thumb (at least in Sweden) is that you can be a child or an adolecent in the scouts, but not respect the Scout Law, but you can't be a leader. Exclusion is not an easy step to take, and should be considered only after every other option have been tried.

But when a young person has been through Cubs and Scouts, have been asked to take time out from scouts, for the safety and wellbeing of others, and because other children leave because of this person, and the leaders are at the end of their tether, is given a second chance to prove change after a year, only to come back non changed?

Do you have a choice?

It would be very interesting to hear your views on the subject, what rules you have, and what kind of behaviour you find unacceptable, how you cope and what procedures you take.
Akela L