Dickinson College Humanities Program in Norwich

Scouting in the U.K. Part IV: Walking the Tightrope Towards Community

March 5, 2010 · 1 Comment

Last week I attended another Bowthorpe Explorer Scout Meeting. We spent the entire time working on the troop’s IT Badge.  I was in charge of leading three of the eight scouts present at the meeting through the requirements of the badge.

The first requirement we discussed was how technology can help make jobs easier to do.   Then we moved on to discussing computer viruses and internet safety.  After that came the fun part…

During the second half of the meeting each one of the Scouts had to create a spreadsheet and a powerpoint presentation based on a subject of their choice.  Since it was one scout’s birthday she brought in Celebrations to share with everyone at the meeting.  She was so excited about the candy that she decided to create her powerpoint presentation based on this subject as well.  Needless to say it was not the most scholarly of topics but she understood the point of the exercise which was to learn how to use a computer to convey information within a slideshow type medium. Overall I was very impressed.

After all of the scouts finished up their powerpoint presentations and spreadsheets we headed into the main hall where we played a rope game.  This was a “team building exercise” that I had never seen before.  All of the scouts except for one formed a circle around a large rope.  Then everyone picked up the rope and pulled as tightly as possible until it was taut and elevated about three feet off the ground. After the rope was elevated one scout climbed on top and the goal was for him or her to get all the way around the circle without touching the ground.  We started out with the smallest scout and she made her way around the circle with no issues.  Then things got a bit more difficult.  Before I knew it, it was my turn.  Climbing ropes/balancing in general was never one of my fortes in elementary school and entering the meeting last Friday I was still not very confident in my ability.  Despite my fear however I made it all the way around without touching the ground! I certainly do not plan on entering the circus anytime soon and I have to give the other scouts a LOT of credit for keeping the rope nice and taut but overall I was impressed by my newfound tightrope walking abilities.

No matter how old or experienced you are at something sometimes you need others to help you achieve a goal.  Without the other scouts helping me out I would never have made it around that circle, no matter how perfect or imperfect my balance is.  Scouting is an organization that has always encouraged people to learn how to work together and solve problems collectively.  This is a skill that they will need for the rest of their lives.  This was the first activity with the Explorer Scouts in which I truly felt that everyone worked well together as a group.   This was an incredible feeling.

At the conclusion of last week’s meeting I realized just how comfortable I have become with many of the Explorer Scouts and leaders that I have been working with over the past two months.  At first many of the scouts didn’t seem to know what to think of me but now they do not hesitate for a moment to say “hiya” to me and ask how I am doing.  While in Norwich earlier this week one of the scouts happened to see me and came over and said hello.  This was a very kind gesture and something that I would not have expected to happen even two weeks ago. I feel as though I am part of their community now and that is a wonderful feeling to have as I continue to volunteer with this group.

Hours: 3

Total Hours: 12.5

Categories: Henry
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1 response so far ↓

  •   Karl // Mar 6th 2010 at 09:10

    Mission accomplished. You have had an impact on some local kids, and it seems that they have had an impact on you. Well done. I’ll bring a nice big rope to our next class session.

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