St Lucia celebrations

Last year I had a surprise visit from the Rover scouts. This year I had offered to drive the Challengers, but as it turned out my services weren't needed. Exept for some motherly support, as my oldest son had been chosen to act as the focus festivities: St Lucia. This isn't at all strange accually, if you know anything about the origins of the festivities: Before religious groups introduced the Light Maiden into the earlier heathen traditions (that were rather wild and boisterous) the first Catholic convent schools used to dress one of the school boys up as an angel at the end of the autumn term choir concert. When I arrived at the scout hut there was a flurry of activity: The Christmas tree was finishing his costume in one corner, Rudolf was improvising on his guitar, the Pressie was decorating her costume. I got the full report today at the meeting (Challengers challenge silly things like end of term). After a couple of visits in the cold winter's night they had stopped for a pizza break. Unfortunately, the thermos flask with the non-alcoholic sweet mulled wine had leaked all over the Christmas tree, who got rather sticky, so a slight remediation was needed before the group got back into the two cars and continued their tour around the town and the houses of the group's leaders. At one house the inhabitants were very slow waking up, or perhaps the singing wasn't loud enough, but the neighbours apparently were woken up and curiously watched from their window. At 2 am they came past our house, still looking fresh. The dog found them very interesting, but returned inside after having had a quick sniff. We got to enjoy four more or less traditional carols before they turned to go home and to bed. We enjoyed it enourmously, and I can imagine that they are more tired than me.

Sorry about the poor quality of the clip. Wasn't sure in what format to save it... But I hope you get the picture ;-)


End of term

Tonight the group celebrated end of term by a torch lit walk from the town centre to the scout hut, were Markus, our Scout master, held a lovely speach where he summed up the year. It has been a trying year in some respect, having to deal with the scout hut being vandalised almost every week periodically. But it has also been an inspiring year, working towards our centinary, landing the deal to arrange next year's major scouting event in Sweden, new leaders aboard, new scouts of all ages...

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!


Industrious scouts

Funding is always an issue as it seems you can never get enough money. Some scouts in Scania applied for funding from the EU Offices and got a grant for developing the sustainable thinking around their activities. They will also arrange a "green" camp this summer.
For those of you who have a translation tool on your computer you can read the article here.


Peace Light

The Peace Light reached Sweden on November 25th, but noone from the group was able to meet it, but today we had a special delivery: Gjermund, the treasurer from Varberg, drove down with the flame and I met him in an unceremonial parking lot.

It is always breathtaking recieving the Peace Light. This little flickering flame, that is said to have been kept alive for thousands of years in the Birth Church in Bethlehem, that has travelled time and time around the world in the caring, careful hands of scouts and others.

I'm not a religious person, and the Peace Light is not formost a religious symbol, but a wish for peace among all men - like you can accidentally blow out a flame by treating it carelessly, friendship can die; like you accidentally can loose controle of the flame and it will destroy all in its way, your actions and opinions can have disasterous effects on the world and the people around you. Therefor, I enjoy sheltering the flame, caring for it and sharing it with all around me who are ready to care for it too.


Centinary emblem

Marcus Agbrant, the new DC as it happens, has just finished the design for the Centinary emblem. It will be printed on our stationary and made into badges, and hopefully other collectable items too.

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