Can you teach them sewing and self-restraint, please?

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So Bear Grylls has now been Chief Scout for more than half of his five-year tenure. What exactly has changed in the Scouting movement?

I was very much hoping that my son would have gained a sewing badge by now, then he would be able put his own badges on his sleeves intead of expecting me to do it. But no news yet on that front.

Now I know the movement is designed to develop young people and help them fulfil their potential in various different areas. But surely there’s space in there somewhere for an ironing badge? Particularly useful for doing neckerchiefs.

Or what about a ‘remembering to put uniform in washing basket or back in drawer instead of running around house yelling “where’s my shirt” five minutes before meeting’s due to start’ badge?

The camping trips are, by all accounts, great. My son is always happy, worn out and full of enthusiasm for the first five minutes back home, then falls soundly asleep.

But, like his friends, he packs oodles of kit and only ends up wearing one lot of clothing.

So what about a ‘changing into different clothes’ badge?

And don’t get me started on the one good turn a day thing. That irks me to high heaven because, quite frankly, I think we should all aim higher than just the one. Especially when the ‘one’ is bagged early in the morning and the rest of the day is spent in a battle to achieve anything.

Also, what about a bit of outside-the-box thinking, like noticing the good turns that other people – your parents in particular – do for you each day? As Scouts pass into the teenage years, a lesson in this would surely be welcome.

And then there’s ‘polishing my own shoes’ and ‘cleaning toothpaste out of the sink’. I could go on and on and on – oh, I am already.

What about a ‘self-restraint’ series for boys with little sub-badges like ‘SR in the fridge’, ‘SR when using aerosol deodorant’ and ‘SR with toilet roll’? Just a thought.

I know volunteers who run the Scouts will read this and think that what I’m talking about is actually basic parenting that we mums and dads should be doing. But we could certainly use some help.