Dib Dib Dabble

dib dib dib

The children have started beavers/cubs.

We suggested it, as the venue is just at the back of our house.
We don’t have to take them or fetch them, and we’re anticipating lots of weekend campouts for them, without us.

My first flicker of doubt as to the wisdom of this new activity came after Ben’s first session.

We were chatting to Brown Bear or Tabby Cat or whatever it is the leader calls himself, when he thrust two pieces of paper into my hands.

By way of explanation he said,

“Could you fill these in and bring them back next week please?”

I looked at what was being shoved at me.

Two CRB police check forms.

“Shouldn’t it be you who fills this out?” I asked, hoping he would understand I was making a joke – sort of.

“It’s so you can help out…” he replied, “… on occasion, of course,” he added, noticing the look of horror scuttling uncontrolled across my face.

In the end we didn’t take the forms, as we don’t yet have the necessary local (said in hushed Royston Vasey tones) paperwork to prove our identities.

But however we managed to stave off the inevitable, it would have been nice to have been asked whether or not we’d like to help, on occasion of course.

My second moment of unease came when reading the Cub Scout Promise that Ben has to fill in and sign.

I promise that I will do my best, to do my duty to God and to the queen, to help other people and to keep the Cub Scout law.

I was never a Brownie myself so I was only dimly aware of the militaristic overtones of the Scouting movement. I hadn’t twigged there were also strong religious and patriotic aspects to this camping lark.

I have no quarrel with doing your best and helping other people, but I’m afraid I’ve already been subtly undermining the rest of it.

I was very impressed with his activities last week though: – ironing, sewing and window-cleaning.

I have yet to see any evidence of these new skills at home, but he has a Good Turn Diary to fill out, so perhaps when he gets around to putting pen to paper he will remember the endless fun to be had with an iron and ironing board.

I won’t hold my breath.

Especially as his first query about this diary task was to ask me –

“Can’t I just make things up for it?”

About Beta Mum

Here you can find the ramblings of a trapeze artist turned journalist who ran away from the circus to join the BBC. Cathy "mine's a Kir Royale" Keir then spent thirteen years working in Jersey, Guernsey and Devon, before downgrading to what you see before you. She has contributed articles to The Guardian, The Stage and Television Today, Junior Magazine and both the BBC and Bad Mothers Club websites. She has two children who think women can’t be prime ministers. She blames herself.
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7 Responses to Dib Dib Dabble

  1. jameshigham says:

    Why not? I make my life up as I go along.

  2. Potty Mummy says:

    I was a brownie and a guide and loved it, but Husband – being Dutch – has strong reservations about these things. His comparison between Brownies and Brownshirts seems a little far-fetched to me – but not to everone…

  3. Expatmum says:

    Yes, over here in the States, we have the background checks AND the skin test to prove we don’t have TB or something. Makes you not want to do anything.

  4. Beta Mum says:

    James – I shall make sure Ben doesn’t read your comment, as I’m insisting he actually does the 7 good turns for the week. At the moment we’ve struggled to list 2, so that means he has to do 3 a day for the rest of the week.

    Potty – I would have gone for Woodcraft Folk, but they don’t exist outside places like Totnes!

    ExpatMum – quite right – let them run their own clubs if they’re that keen on other people’s kids.

  5. Mopsa says:

    I know heaps of adults whose parents wouldn’t let them join the brownies/cubs/guides/scouts because of the military approach and the weird attachment to religion and monarchy. Whole thing highly dubious and my proudest moment was being thrown out of the brownies – I should have known better than to try and join something so waspish in the first place.

  6. Lynne says:

    Thankfully my parents were down to earth ordinary joe blows and allowed me to join the guides when I was younger.
    Wearing a uniform was part of the fun,we got to march in all the town parades :)

    Camping was a blast, and we had some place to go two nights a week. We made crafts, learned how to tie a rope (can’t say that’s helped in later life, but it was fun) played games, learned songs, and my only aim in life at the time was to earn all those badges which I learned to sew on my sleeve myself.

  7. Dick says:

    A proud moment for me was when my (now grown up) son presented himself to Brown Bear (or Tabby Cat) to say that the cubs weren’t really for him after all. He didn’t even make it as far as duty to God & Queen or the ducky uniform that would have had him blending into field & woodland.

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