Scouting for Dads

In which Formerly Blog Fodder goes misty-eyed at the thought of all those camp-burnt baked beans and random badges.

Ben’s half way there

Ben’s on his way to the moon!

Well, it seems he’s improved his chances of getting there because he’s just joined the Cub Scouts. And, did you know that eleven of the twelve men who’ve walked on the moon were Scouts at one time in their lives?

Even if he doesn’t make it to the moon he’s guaranteed a few adventures, and according to research into what became of kids born in 1958 and 1970, he’s more likely to be happy in later life, in a good relationship, have good qualifications and be earning a decent income, than children who didn’t join the Scouts.

Watching him being presented with his scarf and woggle at his investiture brought back happy memories.

British Bulldog was just a brilliant game.

The happiest memory of all though, was the threepenny bag of chips we used to buy at the chippie across the road at the end of each session. They were properly wrapped in newspaper, and no doubt absorbing some of the ink was one of the reasons they tasted so delicious.

But doubtless they wouldn’t have met modern-day health and safety standards and I guess that’s one of the reasons why Scouting is such a welcome throw-back.

It’s a world apart from TV, computer games and couch potatoes.

Ben’s proud of the uniform, even though Beta Mum, with her throwback “he’ll grow into them” parsimony, bought trousers at least seven inches too long for him and had to take up half the leg.

He likes the discipline but he also enjoys the occasional rowdiness and roughness. He can’t wait to go on a summer camp, sleep under canvas, bake potatoes on an open fire and whittle bits of wood with a sharp knife… or is that me?

I can’t help thinking they ought to invent an adult version of the scouting movement.
Perhaps that’s what the Territorial Army is for?

I couldn’t help noticing Scouting has changed since my day and probably for the better.
Flower arranging used to be the exclusive reserve of Guides and Brownies but Ben came home with a beautiful floral composition to give to Beta Mum for Mother’s Day.

I did get my badge for domestic skills though, despite going to the house of some hapless volunteer and peeling her potatoes to the size of peas.

Ben delivered his promise to do his duty to God and the Queen with more earnestness than understanding, but because the Scouts now define themselves as a “multi-faith, co-educational youth movement” there are variations for people of other faiths.
Nothing for atheists though.

Last year marked the 100th anniversary of the movement founded by Lord Baden-Powell.
It also saw the first increase in recruitment for 13 years, of which Ben is now among their number – soon to be joined by his sister who signs the pledge with Beavers this week.

Long may they continue to do their best.

Otherwise, where would all the astronauts come from?

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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4 Responses to Scouting for Dads

  1. Mid-lifer says:

    Glad he enjoys it.

    My boy joined Beavers first (you can have fun with that one), but once he got to cubs got thoroughly put off by a really horrible bully of a man who was ‘Bagheera’(!)in the pack. So he stopped going.

    Interesting what you say about the statistics, btu you have to wonder why some people become the helpers !!

  2. Potty Mummy says:

    So, no pressure on Ben for his future career, then? I say this as a woman who already has her eldest (aged 4) earmarked as a future ecologist who is going to save the world, and her younger son (aged 2) as a musician who is going to rock it. But without the drugs, obviously. Or the alcohol. Or the excessive women. Chris Martin, but cooler. So no pressure here, either…

  3. Omega Mum says:

    I’m still drooling at the thought of those inky chips……

  4. Iota says:

    Dib, dib, dib.

    I wish they’d think of a better word for a woggle. I used to find it hard not to giggle whenever I asked my son “can you go up to to your bedroom and find your woggle?”

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