School sports day

Today one of the primary schools had a sports day for the kids to try out various activities, and one was scouting. I was just meant to help out a little, as I was at work, but with volcanic ashes and a turning of the world economy, two out of the three guys that were responsible got new jobs (Congratulations, guys!! And good luck!) and one is stuck in London. So my daughter took half a day off school for "leadership training" and my students were well into their projects (and they're going on 19 so they are very responsible most of the time :o)

We played games, cracked codes, learnt a couple of knots and put together the Trangias to make billberry soup. The kids seemed to enjoy themselves and at the end we handed out "I've tried scouting" certificates and some old badges to take home. My daughter did a brilliant job of it, and suggested doing a larger scale Trail Day for schools. As a teacher I'm not usually for students skipping school for fun, but scouting is more than just fun! Scouting is learning, while having fun!

As one of the kids today put it: "I've even did maths, and I didn't even notice!"


In between

At the moment I feel in between things, in a kind of limbo Not that there isn't stuff to do! No, there is plenty, and the phone keeps ringing, and the mailbox is pretty full of things that need to be addressed. But there's an empty space...

This last weekend I went to Stockholm to finish the book project. Almost all the authors involved and the project managers met at the Scout HQ to have a look at the almost finished products, share our trails and tribulations and note our thoughts about the process and the results. It was great seeing the book for the Tracker Scouts (younger Cubs), with the action packed tale about Tofs, the fox, who takes the scouts through adventures on land, on water and in space, addressing everything, from practical outdoor skills, to introspective questions about values and personal beliefs. The title will be, in translation: The Big Tracker Book.

The Discoverers' (older Cubs) book, to me, with the title (my translation) The Discovery, brought 50ies adventure stories like Famous Five and the like, and you get to follow a six through an adventurous treasure hunt in short stories that deals with different kinds of issues and problem solving.

The Adventure Scout's book, The Adventure Handbook, is more realistic, and therefor illustrated with photoes. Besides the further outdoor skills, it also deals with puberty and personal development through fact filled articles and short stories with recurring characters, while the Challengers' book, "my" book, is deprived of knots and filled with life skills like project methodoligy, group development theory and advice on how to organize charity events and to make the council representatives to see your way. The illustrations are dark and muddy.

All the books have their own colour scheme and style, and the tone, although adapted to the target group, doesn't speak down to the reader, and isn't simplified. It felt great! But then, after a closing ceremony, a lovely dinner in a restaurant, on the way back on the train, I thought: What now? There is a big whole in my life, that for the last 11 months has been filled with angst for not writing, writing, editing, writing, angst, editing, editing, reading, editing.... I've learn a lot, and gained a lot of new contacts, had lots of fun and is more convinced than ever that I should really take up writing more seriously. And translating. I've got hooks out, that might lead to something new....

The books will be published at the end of next month. So until then I can relax, until the readers have their say. I hope they will be as impressed that I am.