We have two Cub Packs at 1st Henley, both run between 6:15 and 7:45, one on Monday and one on Friday. There are up to 28 Cubs in each pack run by 4 leaders.
Our general ethos is to give the girls and boys involved with Cubs interesting, educational and engaging things to do that grow their confidence and their understanding of others and the world around them, giving them the opportunity to meet new challenges and master new skills. We do this through a combination of games, instruction, activities, camps and hikes. Our aim is that each session doesn’t feel like ‘school’ and nor does it feel like ‘home’ and instead is a unique space for the children. From the children’s point of view, we aim to have lots of exciting games and activities, to get out and about and to generally run around a lot and have fun.
And to collect badges! Let’s not forget the badges which generally fall into three types: activity badges which can be covered in one session (e.g. Chef badge or Fire Safety badge) and may require some activity at home to complete; Staged Badges which are awarded when a Cub achieves a certain level of proficiency at a given activity for example, Navigation or Paddle Sports and usually range from level 1 to 5; Challenge Badges which require completion of a number of activities around a central theme, for example ‘World’, ‘Adventure’ or ‘Outdoors’. There are seven Challenge Badges and when a Cub has earned all seven they receive the Chief Scouts Silver Award at an Oxfordshire-wide ceremony. Are aim is for a Cub to have the opportunity to earn their Silver Award if they attend consistently over a couple of years and our planning and syllabus reflects that.
Most, if not all, of our leaders have Cubs in the pack and whilst there is a waiting list to join, the sure-fire way to have your child join is to volunteer as a leader. That said, most of our leaders were in the Scout Movement themselves as children and for many it is the opportunity to rekindle those experiences that drives them to become involved and to get their own children involved too. We are always in need of more leaders so do get involved – it is very rewarding and great fun.
To give a flavour of what we get up to, we have had a packed year this year with 30 sessions from September to July covering a variety of activities including a number of hikes (Night, Winter Challenge, Summer Challenge), 3 camps (2 local camps and 1 County Camp with 1,000 other Cubs), First Aid, Disability Awareness, ice cream making (Chef Badge), Fire Station visit (Fire Safety badge), karate, box cart manufacture and racing, air rifle shooting, stop/go animation, fire lighting, making shelters in the woods, numerous games sessions both indoors and outdoors, Chinese New Year and several Challenge Badge sessions. We also participate in the Remembrance Day ceremony and the Henley Town Litter Pick every year.
9 of our Cubs were awarded their Chief Scout’s Silver Award this year.