Foxes Programme – a story

My scouting magazine came today and flicking through the ‘Get active’ section the article on page 21 reminded me I had not yet written up the Foxes programme for next term. Foxes Cubs have been open since April and are giving 17 cubs the opportunity to explore and experience the magic of Scouting.

Around the May half term my mind turned to September, what could we do at cubs, what activities would we do for each of the programme zones, Beliefs and Attitudes, Community, Fitness, Creative, Global, Out door and Adventure? I had so many ideas… but Scouting is all about ‘learning by doing’ and for me and the Foxes Leadership team putting a balanced programme together is an easy, fun night, a chance for a chat and catch up, but for the Cubs would it be so easy?

On the 25th July the Foxes’ Sixers and Seconds met to plan their autumn term. The Sixers and Seconds made some animal footprints ready to make a trail for their six in September. This was done using permanent pens and cut up lemonade bottles, the Sixers and seconds then followed a trail from the nature detective website answering questions like ‘What wood are cricket bats made of?’ all the time the Cubs were talking and discussing if their six would like this sort of thing, the Sixers were taking the lead and learning to work with their second.

Making s’mores over tealights with a squash lead the conversation onto what they would like to do in their programme next term. A large calendar with blank dates was put in front of them and the room went silent.

We took the calendar away and we put a resuscitation dummy in front of them. ‘I know what that is for’ ‘That is CPR’ ‘I know how to do that’ ‘can we have a go’ the Cubs were vocal again.

We talked about 1st aid and how it could save lives, how important it was to learn. ‘Can we do first aid next term?’ ‘Do we get a badge for it?’ ‘Can we make fake blood?’ So first aid went on the Programme, Under Beliefs and attitudes we will be able to explore the cubs values and attitudes.

‘Messy Art we have done flick painting can we do it again?’ Messy art was added to the programme, it will give the cubs the opportunity for the Cubs to display there creativity, and show how good the young leaders are at getting the Cubs to clean up.

‘Can we put on a show?’ ‘Yes but like Britain’s got talent’ ‘What if we don’t want to be in the show?’ the Entertainer badge went on the programme, the cubs are going to put on a Britain’s got talent show with the Cubs not wanting to be on the stage organizing the show, making tickets and being back stage crew.

‘Community Service, what would you like to do?’ ‘Something for the environment’ ‘Something outside’ ‘Litter picking again’ Offering help and service to the Cubs community is integral to the Scout programme, The Foxes will be helping the Rangers at Savernake Park coppicing and general tidying (Risk assessment complete and first aid kit up to date and ready to use)

‘Can we learn Stop, Drop and Roll?’ ‘We went to see the fireman when I was a Beavers, can we go again?’ Foxes will be visiting the Bracknell fire station to meet White watch, discovering who lives in our community and how they help our community is all part of the community programme zone.

Discovering the out doors is a little bit harder in the September term, however Foxes are helping the Rangers and also want a cycle ride arranged at the look out. Alongside the other opportunities 2nd Bracknell are offering next term, a narrow boating trip and sponsored walk I think we have ‘Outdoor and Adventure’ covered.

‘Can we visit the police station?’ ‘How about a police station in a different country we could go to America?’ we expanded on this idea a little and the cubs will run a Global evening. The cubs will have time to choose a country and each six will decorate a table with information, souvenirs and items they have made about their chosen countries.

We have two weeks left I told the Cubs, would you like Christmas crafts and a party, smiles all round with lots of ‘Yes, yes yes’

My oldest Sixer looked at the programme ‘We don’t have any ‘Fitness’ ‘Okay’ I said ‘What are we going to do about it?’ ‘Horse riding’ ‘Rugby’ ‘Judo’ ‘Running’ ‘Go swimming’ ‘Instead of playing games at the beginning each week can we do a fitness challenge?’ The Cubs voted and a fitness challenge won. The District are also arranging a district Cubs athlete badge day so lots of exercise ready and waiting for the energetic Cubs.

So that is how Foxes decided on their programme for the coming autumn term, the Cubs can chose and put together a balanced programme, the Cubs ideas are balanced and have the Scout values at heart. As a Leader I discovered that the Cubs have very different ideas to me, that listening to them really does allow the Cubs to have a programme they can be engaged in from the start and will allow the magic of Scouting to, perhaps, continue to the next generation of Leaders.