These little critters (about 5 cm / 2″) are pretty aren’t they? Party goers across the globe will likely know both them and their larger siblings. But this past weekend, we used them for scouting… There you have it, we do more than guiding elderly ladies safely across the street!
The exercise was one where the troop scouts (aged 12-16) were out in the forest, well after dark. That is not so unusual – but here they were challenged with facing a route individually and without being allowed to talk with each other – and so without the usual comfort in the patrol. A true challenge for some!
Then, not to overtask them, we had marked out the route so that finding their way was not the main thing. The purpose was that they were met with various questions and tasks all designed to make them reflect on their own capabilities, strengths and interests – in a setting where they were somewhat outside what they normally do.
So the approx. 4 km route was marked with close to 400 of these small friendly, glowing thingies – and the only other light they had with them was a larger glow light. At the last count, we believe that everybody did return home 😉
The challenges they were faced with spanned from a physical exercise – first answering how many pushups, squats and crunches they believed they could do in 1 minute. And then, of course, try it out. No pressure to make it a high, beyond your limits, number – just a measure of knowing yourself. Or not. Most actually guessed pretty well. And two of the boys correctly guessed and did a rather impressive 40 pushups (in the forest, late in the evening) in 60 seconds.
Second one: A sheet with 6 questions about scouting, ranging from the typical prejudices scouts face and how they counter them to what their personal goals and ideas for their scouting “careers” are.
Then, a mental exercise: a Soduko to solve (yes, in the forest; using the light from your glow stick, alone under the stars) and finally, a “tactile test”: identify by feel only what odd things were hidden in a large bag.
All went well, the scouts found it a good challenge and also a good variation on the way things normally are done. And we learned a bit more about the fabulous kids we have in the Troop 🙂
We were very pleased to hear – when we had a feedback and discussion session afterwards – that the “scouting reflection” contained lots of good points. Teamwork, friendship, outdoor life, experiences to tell (and brag) about were all high on the lists. As was development – with the extra touch that both “developing myself” and “help developing others” scored nice and high. This is where it all ties up to the headline of today’s post: with all we do with the scouts, we try to provide them with means and guidance to grow, to find their way, to figure out which path is theirs and where they are on it… Lighting the way in more ways than one!
And as a side effect, this is now a regular Monday with a sleep deficit of about 6 hours collected over the weekend. Well worth it, though!
Blues In The Night – Katie Melua
Black Magic Woman – Santana
The Song Is You – Katrine Madsen
Go Your own Way – Fleetwood Mac
I’m So Afraid (live) – Fleetwood Mac
Solid Rock – Dire Straits
Photos by me.