It's 8:05pm, chaos reigns, everybody runs round and Harvey, our leader, is mobbed by parents. "FALL IN" shouts one of our assistant leaders and all scouts rush to their patrols in their smart uniform and silence descends. (Well ok maybe saunter, and perhaps not silence but most people have uniform - you can't have everything!) Welcome to our troop night.
Each scout belongs to one of five patrols. A patrol is a small group within the scout troop and each patrol has a patrol leader and an assistant patrol leader. There is a different duty patrol each week.
At the beginning of each troop night we play a game. Our favourites are sumo, the tyre game and beanbags. In sumo everyone starts off in a large square and the aim is to be the last person left in the square. For the tyre game there are four teams (largely based on patrols) and each team member is numbered according to their height compared with the rest of the team. A leader calls out a number at random and the person with that number from each patrol has to run into the centre and try to pull the tyre there back to their team.
However, before the game we always have flag break. This is where everyone stands in their patrols and at alert whilst the duty scout releases the flag at full mast. At this point everyone salutes. This is a very important part of the meeting and it is vital that everyone looks smart in his or her uniform during this section of the meeting. Any notices are read out at this point by our leader, Harvey.
After the game, the main activities for the evening start. These may include badgework, awardwork or simply activities that are designed to be fun, make us think and provide a challenge.
The evening ends with flag down and a prayer. We do not salute the Union Flag when it is lowered.
Favourite Things in Scouts
"Little Geezers Only" Camp
I like camps in Scouts. My favourite camp was Little Geezers Only camp (for those of you not familiar with 2nd Monkspath lingo this translates to younger scouts camp!) I liked this camp because it was cool and we did loads of good activities. We made bivvis (shelters) which we slept in. That was fun.
I enjoy playing games in Scouts. Sometimes we go and play a game in the woods. Normally there are two teams and the aim is to get to the enemy base, somewhere in the woods, without getting caught by the enemy team. Everybody has a paper band on their wrist and this must stay intact whilst getting to the other base. Each band that a team gets into the opponent base counts as a point for that team and it is the team with the most points at the end of the game that wins. These are really fun to play and even more exciting in the winter when it is dark.
The best part of Scouts was when we went canoeing. It was good because I learnt a lot. I learnt different canoeing strokes and also how to capsize safely. Capsizing was fun although it was very cold. This first canoeing session was practise for a later camp called "Biblins Outdoor Activity Camp". This is an activity campsite in Wales which many of the Scout troops in the district go to for a weekend annually.