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Cubs: Packing into Parliament

posted 11 Jun 2011, 09:44 by Stephen Harrison   [ updated 21 Aug 2013, 15:07 ]
Cubs James and Elli-May experienced a big city adventure as they joined the first ever Pack meeting in Parliament to promote Volunteers’ Week. MPs became Cub Scout Leaders for the day as part of the national promotion of the benefits of volunteering to adults, and coincided with Volunteers’ Week. MPs worked with 12 leaders to help the Cub Scouts enjoy a range of activities, including pitching a tent, reading maps and going on a blindfold trail.

For our Cubs the adventure started very early in the morning as they met Suzie in Oxclose to take a very early train to the Capital. After a crowded tube ride to Westminster, Cubs experienced the inside of the Houses of Parliament for the first time. The history of the building was instantly visible as we waited in front of a huge portrait of Betty Boothroyd for Cubs from all over the country to arrive. While the leaders from HQ were getting set up Elli-May and James were filmed for the BBC talking about what their badges were for and how they achieved them.

The meeting started with the traditional Grand Howl followed by parachute games. Cubs worked together to get the balls through the hole in the middle - it was harder than it looked! Cubs then formed four teams to take part in the "Indoor expedition" activities. Our cubs quickly made friends with some cubs from Gosforth representing Northumberland County as they took part in the blind trail. James was first to be blindfolded and the cubs from Gosforth did a great job guiding him round the obstacle course. Elli-May showed great leadership as guided an MP round the course, however later the photos show that he was a cheater peter because he could see out the bottom of his blindfold!

Our Cubs took on a map reading challenge next, finding where they were on a map of London and showing MPs how to find their way to London's top attractions using a compass to set the map. After the map reading, James and Elli-May demonstrated their camping knowledge by working with the cubs from Gosforth to pitch a tent.

The last activity was great fun but a bit sticky! The Cubs were challenged to build a bridge over a river (a little version of the River Thames) using spaghetti and marshmallows. The bridge had to be strong enough to support a sponge ball. Our group was one of two to successfully cross the river.

To finish the meeting the Cubs played more games with the parachute and finished with the Grand Howl and a group photograph. Our Cubs then toured the House of Commons (the bits you see on the telly) with the Cubs from Gosforth which was really quite interesting and there was lots to learn.
3rd Washington isn't a Group to miss an opportunities, so after James and Elli-May said their goodbyes Suzie treated them to lunch and a trip on the London Eye. The day was clear and with the help of the guide, Cubs spotted some of the most famous sight in London. Back on the Tube for one stop, Cubs were able to walk through to St. James Park to take in Buckingham Palace, the flag was flying so the Queen was home but she wasn't pottering about in the garden.

Suzie and our Cubs arrived back at Washington tired after a fantastic day. Our thanks go to them all for being such fantastic representatives of the Group, the District, the County and of Scouting.

If you’re interested in becoming a Scout volunteer, you can find out about local opportunities to get involved at www.hls-scouts.org.uk/volunteer. Suzie herself is a recent recruit and you can find out about what motivated Suzie to join our successful leader team.
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