Are you one of 500,000 former cub scouts in Hampshire or maybe you’re one of more than 6,000 young people who are today’s cub scouts?
For all of us who have been involved with cub scouting, 2016 is a big year because it is the 100th anniversary.
It all started with Wolf Cubs in the middle of the First World War, offering ‘legalised mischief’ to boys aged eight to 10. Today it offers amazing outdoor and indoor adventures to girls and boys around the world, an escape from computers and cotton wool, and a whole lot of fun.
But what is cub scouting? It offers many young people their first taste of adventure – cooking sausages on a fire, sleeping out in a tent away from home, ascending a climbing wall. It teaches the life skills you need to grow up – independence, teamwork and leadership and it provides the chance to run around having fun with friends in a safe environment.
I was a cub scout once. I can still remember working hard to gain my gold arrow, the itchy wool jumper, and joining a camp fire as the sun set across the countryside.
Many of the activities are timeless, but many more are new. There are hundreds of activities which cub scouts can take part in, from archery to zorbing, and from bivouacking to raising money for Children in Need. Plus the uniform is a lot more informal and comfortable these days!
Hampshire has more cub scouts than any other county in the UK, and so we are going to do a lot of celebrating in 2016. Cub scouts will be trying to achieve 100 challenges this year, from spending 100 minutes on a community project, to toasting 100 marshmallows on a campfire.
Cub packs around Hampshire are joining together to run special Cubs100 weekend adventure camps, including one on Brownsea Island, where the first-ever scout camp was held. We’ll be bringing thousands of cubs from across Hampshire together at Winchester Cathedral in the spring, and at a secret countryside location in the summer.
And at 20:16 on December 16, each Cub Pack will come together to renew their promise to help other people.
Scouting is growing in Hampshire and across the UK and has been for the past 10 years and that’s because it offers young people the opportunity for adventure with friends, and adults the chance to make a difference for future generations.
To get involved visit hampshirescouting.org.uk, follow us on Twitter at @HampshireScouts or #Cubs100.