This evening I attended my second Explorer Scout Meeting. I was driven to the last meeting so this was the first time that I had to find the location on my own. Utilizing Google Maps and my Norwich A to Z to their fullest I calculated that it would actually be faster for me to walk to the meeting instead of taking a 21 or 22 bus (23 minutes vs. 29 minutes). This seemed like a great idea until it started, snowing, raining, sleeting etc. Nevertheless I bundled up, braved the elements and trudged my way over towards Bowthorpe Road hoping for the best.
Upon arrival (5 minutes early!) I greeted the troop leader, Lesley, and the scouts that I had met at the previous meeting. Glad to be inside I shed a few layers and prepared for the opening ceremony. When I was home over winter break I decided to bring my scout shirt back with me to wear at meetings/other events. The scouts found it very interesting and we spent a considerable amount of time discussing the similarities and differences between my uniform and theirs.
After witnessing a flag ceremony I was informed that the scouts would be working on making/decorating troop t-shirts at the meeting. My primary job consisted of cutting out cardboard squares for the scouts to mount their completed t-shirts on. This was so the paint they were using to decorate them would dry easier. This task took me longer than I expected since my pocketknife was getting a little dull.
As the scouts were decorating their t-shirts I chatted with them about various subjects. Two weeks ago the scouts attended Wintercamp at Gilwell Park, just outside of London. Since I plan on visiting Gilwell within the next few weeks I asked the scouts about their winter camp experience and about the park itself.
One scout was decorating his t-shirt in the colors of Norwich FC because he is a big fan. When I informed him that I was attending the Norwich vs. Hartlepool match tomorrow he was quite jealous.
We also spent a lot of time talking about education in the U.K. since a few of these scouts are preparing to take their A-Levels. They asked me what I was studying at UEA and if I was enjoying my time in England. Many of the scouts had very different academic interests but all seemed pretty sure of what they wanted to do as a career. I found this interesting. When I was 16 or 17 I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to major in at College, let alone know what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Even now I am unsure/change my mind from time to time. Since many of the students that I have met at UEA seem to have their future planned out as well I wonder whether it is simply a cultural phenomenon that American students are generally not as decisive at an early age as English students when it comes to careers. Maybe it was just that I, and many of my friends, knew that we wanted to attend liberal arts colleges but I think I am on to something here.
After cleaning up all the supplies I witnessed an awards ceremony and we concluded the meeting. I was given a “Programme of Events” for the rest of the spring so now I know what the scouts will be working on from meeting to meeting. After saying goodbye to everyone I put back on my layers and made my way back out into the cold. Having found my way there I knew my way back comfortably and walked at a brisk Kelley pace, returning to the village in just under 20 minutes.
Although I hurried back to the village because of the cold I realized on my walk back that I would really like to explore more of Norwich, especially the parts outside of the city centre. As I spent more and more time at Dickinson I began to walk around and explore Carlisle a little bit and actually stumbled upon some pretty cool things. I’m sure Norwich will have similar if not greater surprises waiting for me. Once the weather warms up this will be my adventure.
Volunteer Hours: 2.5