Monday, 5 December 2011

Clever Cubs and Eager Beavers - Flying the Flag for Scouting!

The flag painting projects have been very successful in schools but they are not the only venues where you might find eager flag-painters. If you'd have been visiting 1st Morden Scout Hut over the last week, for example, you might have stumbled across a few familiar flags adorning the walls of the hut and covering up all the summer camp photos on the noticeboards. At both Beaver and Cub meetings they were there to help illustrate how designing and painting flags might help both groups to earn various activity badges so everyone was alert and eager to find out more!

I had been lucky enough to (accidentally) gatecrash a monthly management meeting of the 1st Morden Group a couple of weeks back so I had been able to explain what the flag painting project to all the leaders and support staff in one go. Much easier than talking to them individually! They were very open to the possibilities but we all thought it would be a good idea if the project could be directly linked to scouting activities - in particular to the earning of activity badges. I thought this was an excellent idea and I believe there are several activity badges that AFC Wimbledon could facilitate in this manner and if this initial project is a success then I can't see why we couldn't then offer similar projects to cub and scout groups throughout the south west of London. Their flexibility is a bit of a change compared to the time and organisational constraints placed on primary schools so I hope this works well for all concerned. 

Anyway, that's for the future. This week it was time to break out the trusty womble and iron a few flags because it's SHOWTIME!!!

Ist Morden Beavers - Team Photo
First up were the Beaver pack who are looking at using the collaborative nature of the design and production of flags to help them with their Community badges. They are probably the youngest group ever to produce a flag so I'm looking forward to seeing what they might come up with. We took the obligatory team photo to get the ball rolling and you can see how eager they are to get started!


Monday evening, so now it was the turn of the Cubs, and in their case things are a little more structured. Our aim  is to use the flag painting as a way for them to earn their Artist Activity badge but in order to do so they have to complete three activities from a list of creative tasks. Luckily we can cover the requirements as part of the design and painting process so in order to achieve their targets they will have to do the following

  1. Design their own flag in full colour on a template provided. The designs will then feature on this blog as part of a power-point 
  2. Help decide on the final cub flag design from the submitted designs and fully participate in the flags painting. The flag will then be flown at the Cherry Record Stadium, Kingsmeadow during a match.
  3. Design their own poster for a cub scout event. In their case it will be the day  the flag is on display which will also be the day that they are awarded their badges .
I am hoping it will be possible for all the cubs who achieve the requirements of the Artist Activity badge to be presented with both the badge and an AFC Wimbledon Certificate of Achievement on the pitch at half time. I am not sure if this might be a first in the history of the cub scout movement, but if not it will certainly be unusual and a memorable event for all those involved!  We thought that Scouting Magazine might well be interested as well so we'll let them know nearer the date as well and it might help put 1st Morden firmly on the scouting map!

At the moment both the cubs and beavers have taken home their guidance notes and flag templates and they will have a couple of weeks to work on their designs. We'll collect them in by the 19th December and start to work on the flag itself when everyone's back from the Christmas break. I expect the painting will take a week or two (or three), so we won't be seeing the results for a while. This means that when you're least expecting it, one half time in March, you might find a mini-cub pack meeting going on in the centre circle and some very proud looking cubs receiving their well-earned awards!

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