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?”