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Thread: Highs and lows at Cub Camp

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    Highs and lows at Cub Camp

    We have just completed our Annual Summer Cub Camp, with the largest number of Cubs there since I became Cub Leader in 1994. We camped at Denmead in Hampshire from last Saturday to yesterday (Wednesday).Altogether we had 35 Cubs, 22 from my Pack, Pythons, 12 from our other Pack (Cobras) and a Cub scout from Denmead, the nephew of one of my assistant leaders, along with 11 leaders, and two Explorer Scouts. We had 6 brand new Vango Oregon 800 tents, which we were reasonably happy with. They did leak a bit, but this I think was due to the amount of rain we had over the camp. We also took the Cubs to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, which although it is only a few miles from Fareham (where 1st. Catisfield is based), most of the Cubs hadn't visited it. While we were at the Dockyard we went to HMS Warrior, HMS Victory and Action Stations.

    The Highs
    The behaviour of 30 of the Cubs. They were exceptional, with most offering help when they saw when it was needed. One Cub (who is in foster care, and has had a really tough past) was the star of the camp.
    A cub from Cobras, who I had not met before, and who I was told was a pest, proved to be the most helpful one at camp, always asking if there was anything he could do. He certainly wanted to be with me, so much when I was sitting down making notes, he sat on my lap and hugged me. I had to tell him off for this, and told him not to do it again.
    Getting praise from people at Action Stations for the behaviour of the Cubs.
    HMS Warrior and Action Stations, both excellent.
    The following email sent by our new DC Tony Parkinson to our GSL (Hillary will know him, he was her predecessor)

    "I made a visit to your Pythons Camp at Denmead yesterday and I have to
    say how Impressed I was with the Camp being run with such
    Professionalism I was made very well come as they didnt know I was
    coming and although the camp Imspection are not compulsory anymore I
    was given a full tour of the site and all relevant paperwork was given
    to me. I also spoke to some of the young Cubs including the young girls
    and was very impressed the way in which they conducted themselves,
    especially one young girls who explained to me why she had moved from
    brownies to Cubs and this is what scouting is all about what we offer.
    Then I was given a rendition by another young lady of a song which was
    done the night before.
    This vist was great to see how the standard of our movement is in this
    District so please pass this onto your Leaders and I shall make this a
    prominent part of my words at your AGM in July.

    Regards
    Tony P
    DC


    The young lady that sang to him was my grand daughter, by the way.
    The Lows

    The behaviour of 5 Cubs. 4 were bad, 1 was atrocious. He damaged one of the new tents, denied any wrong doing (even if leaders saw him do something), upset all the Cubs in his tent, was last for everything, except when it came to giving out sweets. Because of the behaviour of these five Cubs, everything we do in the future, camps, day trips, etc., will be by invitation only.

    HMS Victory. There were no guides, too many people were allowed on at the same time, and we had a complaint. One of our Assistant leaders was telling the 4 Cubs with him about different things about the ship, when a member of the general public told him to stop as he was annoying every one else in the vicinity, and for the Cubs to be quiet
    Mick Baker

    Akela of 1st. Catisfield Pythons Cub Pack

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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    Account Closed Raksha's Avatar
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    Hi Mick
    Yes I know TP. He is still missed as the SL (Especially by me!) in the Troop. He then became our DC until he moved house over your way. Whenever people talk about our Troop and Skip they usually mean him not me!
    Tony loves seeing youngsters getting the most out of Scouting. He does sometimes like to embarrass people (in the nicest of ways) at AGM's though - so be warned!
    It sounds as though the highs far outweigh the lows so focus on those.
    Were the five in your pack or the other one? If they were in yours then perhaps you could talk to the parents? As for HMS Victory, why not write to the Historic Dockyard and address your letter to the Commanding Officer of HMS Victory (she is still commmissioned and has a CO after all). I think in half term they just try to get everyone through as best they can, they haven't had tour guides on Victory for a while now, just people in strategic points!
    As to the member of the public who moaned - well - several ways of looking at it:

    He obviously wasn't a Scout in earlier life - look what he missed out on!
    If he was the only one who said anything, then your ACSL wasn't annoying everyone else in the vicinity was he?
    It is a ship/museum - not a morgue, place of worship or a library (you can even talk in libraries these days - heavens to murgatroyd! what is the world coming too!)

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    Senior Member Ashbourne_Akela's Avatar
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    I agree with Hilary, focus on the good and don't let the bad get you down.
    If they were in your Pack, speak to the parents. If they weren't in yours make sure their Akela does. I run a very strict '2 strikes and you're out' policy as I have a long waiting list and 30-odd kids. I can't afford to have bad behaviour. I do understand the difference between bad behaviour and high spirits however.
    Take what you can from the experiance and build on the highs.
    GSL 1st Mayfield Scout Group
    And general dogsbody

    Ecamp 2008/2009

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    Were the five in your pack or the other one?
    Three were in mine, including the atrocious one.

    I do understand the difference between bad behaviour and high spirits however.
    I also know the difference between bad behaviour and high spirits. When the atrocious Cub deliberately runs from one side of the tent to the other, barging into the bedroom sections until one rips, that is bad behaviour.

    After taking the bedroom sections down to protect them, he throws something (I think it was a boot) at the side of the tent, that is bad behaviour.

    When he accuses every other Cub in his tent of doing something wrong, despite one or more leader seeing with their own eyes that he was the one that did it, then that is bad behaviour.

    When he is last for flag break, getting ready for hikes, campfires, pushing other Cubs out of the way, getting our camp cook to do a special meal for him because he is allergic to the food that he was going to get, and then refuse to eat it, then that is bad behaviour.

    Most of the Cubs had high spirits, and we can cope with that. Normally they calm down after a day or two, but this one Cub showed no improvement whatsoever.

    At the end of each day all the leaders sit down, with a list of the Cubs, and award them points out of 20 for their helpfulness, behaviour, etc.

    We gave maximum points four times, to three Cubs. On two occasions the Cub who was giving us the problems got 0 points. None of the 11 leaders could find any reason to give him any points at all. In 14 years of being a Cub Leader, I have never known this. This includes one camp where we had a Cub with Aspergers Syndrome. At least if he did anything wrong, we could talk to him one to one, and he would always apologise. At the camp we have just had, this Cub never apologised, and always tried to blame somebody else.


    What we do for points, to make it fair, is to total the points up for each tent, and then divide the total by the number of Cubs in each tent. We had four (girl) Cubs in one tent, six Cubs in four tents, and seven Cubs in the last tent,

    Because the tent this one particular Cub was in stood no chance of winning the best tent award, as he single handed was bringing their score down, we decided to take off the few points he had got, and omit him when giving out points. We then divided the total by 5, rather than 6. This tent finished 3rd, rather than 6th which is where they would have been if we included him.
    Mick Baker

    Akela of 1st. Catisfield Pythons Cub Pack

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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    aka "Old Battle Axe" tomahawk's Avatar
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    mick, I dont think you should exclude the kids in the future. Its not fair, and its not what Scouting is about, IMHO. I think you should ask the kids parents to pay for the tent, due to the damage. Explain how badly behaved he was, explain how he was seen to destroy the tent. Let them dicipline him after they have paid for the tent, Next time, they might decide not to send him, rather than having you exclude him. You look good, he "hates" them, not you.

    As for the other 3, I would have a chat with their parents, definately, and highlight what was wrong with their behaviour.

    I was the mum of that little s*d of a cub, who is now becoming a reasonable scout! And my new cub is warned up front to be on his best behaviour from the start!

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    The fact that the terrible one was one of your own Cubs - does he behave like this on a normal Cub night? Are you completely surprised with his behaviour?
    If this is so out of character to what you get on a normal Cub night, a certain amount of debriefing may be needed to see if there are some triggers for it e.g. food, homesickness.
    You are not obliged to take any Cub, but it would be necessary to speak to the parents of the 'bad' Cubs if only to say you will not take them again unless there is great improvement of behaviour. And yes, the parents should pay for the tent if you are certain that he was the one who broke it.

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    Grey but not that old Alfbranch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mick.baker View Post
    After taking the bedroom sections down to protect them, he throws something (I think it was a boot) at the side of the tent, that is bad behaviour.
    He would have had one warning (as would everyone would have been told at the start of camp) if it was my camp and if this continued he would have been sent home with his parents summoned to collect him.
    Alf

    Group Scout leader 1st Hensingham Scouts Western Lakes District
    http://www.hensinghamscouts.org.uk/
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    Only use sharp knives. Blunt knives are more dangerous.

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    The fact that the terrible one was one of your own Cubs - does he behave like this on a normal Cub night? Are you completely surprised with his behaviour?
    If this is so out of character to what you get on a normal Cub night, a certain amount of debriefing may be needed to see if there are some triggers for it e.g. food, homesickness.
    He is a bit like this on Pack nights, but not as bad as at camp. As it was his first camp I thought he might calm down and settle in a bit.

    He does have to avoid E-numbers and citric fruits.

    I dont think you should exclude the kids in the future. Its not fair, and its not what Scouting is about, IMHO.
    It's not fair either that the other boys in his tent get really upset by his behaviour. After the rest of the Cubs saw his behaviour, I can imagine a few not wanting to go to camp in case they have to share a tent with him. The tent leader asked if he could be put in a tent by himself (he did suggest the toilet tent), but I said we couldn't do that.

    Also it's not fair for the leaders to put up with his appalling behaviour either.
    Mick Baker

    Akela of 1st. Catisfield Pythons Cub Pack

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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    Do you not use a behaviour warning system in your pack nights?
    I use the red / yellow card system, so if they were given a red card on camp then their parents would have been summoned to pick them up, especially as it was a long weekend camp. Its not fair on the other Cubs or the Leaders to have one that is continually mucking around
    Dave Stockford
    Holy Trinity Cubs - Yeovil District
    Southern Stars SASU

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    Senior Member Ashbourne_Akela's Avatar
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    Mick, I wasn't trying to trivialise anything this child was doing, obviously you know better than we do how he was behaving compaired to normal.

    I definatly would make the parents pay for the tent. They will probably discipline him better than you if there is a monetory penalty involved. I don't know whether I would have sent him home, I probably would have threatened it.
    Maybe put all of them in the same tent next time and wait for the fireworks?
    GSL 1st Mayfield Scout Group
    And general dogsbody

    Ecamp 2008/2009

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    SL 1st High Lane Scouts JeanieJ's Avatar
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    It sounds like he's deperate for attention and to be noticed and he's realised that negative behaviour gets more attention.
    I've had a Scout like this and despite our best attempts to give him the attention he so clearly craved, in a positive way, without disrupting the others, we did fail in the end and he left during the tansfer to Explorers (they wouldn't tolerate him pulling the same stunts in the unit as he tried in the troop).
    There must be a way to motivate this guy positively but it might need an extra leader to do some one to one with him while you unlock the ways to get through to him - I wonder if telling him off may just be reinforcing the bad behaviour if he's just so desperate for attention.

    Completely agree that the parents should pay for the damage - but it may depend on the way you approach them and what their attitude is to their son's development as to whether you can work with them to sort the issue out (polite way of saying they may not give a monkey's and are just glad to pay camp fees to get him off their hands for the weekend!!)

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