Group Scout Leader update

Scouting aims to support young people to develop strength and character, compassion and resilience – to gain Skills for Life and be their best selves. Alison from Millstones Beavers shares what happened this week when her section talked about health and feelings:

This week, Beavers was a little different. There was still the craziness and fun and we did lots of activities – but sitting with our 20 Millstones on Friday night, I asked a question and got a response that I wasn’t ready for and that saddened me…

We did our usual silliness and I asked about physical health. The beavers were having a great time when I asked if they had had any of the following problems: “really disgusting cheesy feet” – hands up and laughter; “explosive diarrhoea that left you with a burning bum” – again, hands up, hoots of laughter and rolling around on the floor; “a disgusting cold with green bogeys that make you look like a gremlin” – they claimed their snotty badges of honour with pride!

But then I asked whether they cried … the two girls, who had been firmly sitting on their hands throughout the previous questions, put their hands up without hesitation. From the boys, only two or three admitted ever crying. Not one of them is older than eight. My own son, who less than an hour before had sobbed when he came in from school because he was tired and grumpy, now refused to admit that he ever cried.

I know that these children come from homes where feelings can be expressed and where they are nurtured and loved. I know that they can cry without judgement. So, what’s the problem with admitting it? Is it perhaps the influence of the media, or images and ‘influencers’ on YouTube…?

What about the child who has nowhere to cry – who’s told to ‘man up’ or ‘stop being a girl’? Society needs to tell them it’s fine – that they can talk and they can express how they feel, and they can have a good cry if that’s what they need.

We need to break the stigma for our youngsters. We can’t have more generations coming through with the shocking statistics about suicide for men in their 30s and 40s. Our children need to know that it’s ok to get help with your mental health, just like you would for a physical condition. The next generation need to see strength differently, and it isn’t found in the ability to push down your feelings. Our mission in our homes, schools, sports clubs … and yes scouts should be to help children become emotionally aware, so that we don’t have to fix so many broken adults.

Sometimes it’s the little moments that really make you think.

The week ahead (14th October 2019 onwards)


Section meetings

Castors, Boomers and Millstones will be using all the plastic pop bottles you’ve been saving to make poppies. Beavers should come in clothes that can get paint on them. No uniform.

Future Beaver events

Leaders will be asking the beavers to plan their personal challenge badges, so if you’ve ideas for things your child might like to have a go at, please let us know.


Section meetings

Alegre will be cooking the meal that we planned last week. We’ll be setting tables too, and even washing up afterwards!

Bella Vista will be pricing up a healthy homemade takeaway meal this week. Next week we’ll be cooking it!

Raptors will be meeting back in school this week. We’ll be completing some badge work about helping in the home and we’ll also be celebrating national cake week.


Section meetings

Enigma will be hosting our very own bake-off night with face painting and mocktails. Please remember to fetch in your cakes ready for decorating, as per the email sent out last week and let us know of any allergies. It will be a non-uniform evening – instead, the dress code is ‘Simply Fabulous Darling!’ There’ll be a prize for the most Fabulous!

Wibbles will be having a challenge night run by the young leaders. We’ll be trying to gain patrol points while working as a team to solve puzzles in the style of ‘The Cube’.

Viernes will be carving pumpkins. We’ll also be learning the history behind why it’s what we do at this time of year.


Section meetings

For the next few weeks explorers will be looking at things that would help them to stay fed and hydrated in the wild.

Future Explorer events

Explorers are looking for a community project to help with so that they can work on their top awards. If anyone has any ideas, they’d be very welcome. We’ve got lots of willing young people, so please get in touch!

Adult volunteers

Parents / Guardians 

Bonfire Night – Thank you to everyone who offered to help staff stalls at the Round Table bonfire night and fireworks display in November. More details soon …



Castors, Boomers and Millstones all had sessions this week talking about mental health and dementia. We had fun making stress balls out of corn-starch water and balloons – sorry for any messy accidents that may have happened later!


Bella Vista enjoyed making stress balls and we talked together about mental health and dementia.

Alegre continued working on our home help badges.

Raptors were back in the warm of the school this week. We started working on our home help badge, as planned. The week before last, we were put through our paces by the Wortley warriors junior coaches. Raptors showed lots of enthusiasm and potential – if any cubs or older siblings want to train with the Wortley warriors, contact them or ask next week.


Enigma welcomed our new leader Jim at the start of this term. Jim is joined by parent volunteers Nicky and Katie. This week we got busy chopping wood and making fires from scratch.

Wibbles had a visit from the Sealed Knot re-enactment group last week. Our visitors showed off their costumes and gave us a whistlestop tour of the history books. We learnt lots about pikes, armour, helmets and muskets – we even got to experience using them and wearing the traditional woollen clothing.

In previous weeks we’ve tested our navigation skills, using technology to follow a route through Penistone. There were some really good results and the winning team had patrol points added to their team total.

Viernes talked about climate change and the difference between scientific facts and people’s theories.

Scorpion Explorers

Recently Scorpion held a young leader training evening. Everyone was given a young leader log book to record their training modules and completed missions in. A separate team also planned activities for a future camp.

Last week, a visitor from the Yorkshire Air Ambulance gave the explorers a memorable insight into the day-to-day work of the air ambulance teams.