- #Never give up
Last weekend saw me and the Scout Leader’s from my scout Group take 30 young people aged from 5yrs old to 14.5yrs old for a weekend camping trip.
This Camp would be our 1st as a whole Scout group camping all together, comprising of Beavers, cubs and Scouts, it also was my 1st camp as Group Scout Leader.
You can never predict the weather when you camp in Autumn, come to think of it any time of the year when you camp in England. Some of my previous camps have been during the hurricanes 4 yrs ago, torrential rain and also camping in snow in February. But this Camp we had to with stand a storm which was nickname by the met Office as “Storm Brian”. Storm Brian managed to rip roofs off houses, cars thrown meters down the road and up root many trees. Thankfully for us we never had anything like that, we had to don our waterproofs as we had a number of rain storms and some strong winds, but nothing that us tough Scouts couldn’t survive through.
My sessions for the weekend camp I was asked to run “Extreme fire lighting”.I had a few ideas when I was given this title, I was thinking of fire lighting blind folded, 3 “armed” fire lighting for example. But storm Brian confirmed my final idea which was fire lighting in the rain, quite appropriate I thought.
After explaining to the Cubs and Scouts different techniques they could use to light a Fire in the rain, such as splitting the wood to reveal dry wood in the middle & stuffing their pockets to dry out the tinder they have collected in the forest. I then set the young people their final challenge of the “extreme fire lighting” session which was the Kelly Kettle challenge. The winning team had to boil the Kelly kettle and produce a nice boiling hot mug of tea for me- you should know by now I looooooooooove tea!
The cubs and Scouts split into 2 teams. The whistle was blown and the 2 teams started to light their tinder using their fire steels and silver birch.
After approximately 4mins the winning team presented me with a lovely hot mug of tea. I was rather impressed with the team delivering me a cuppa so quickly, but as I looked over to the other team, they were really struggling keeping their kelly Kettle alite. what ever the issue was, they couldn’t produce a steady fire to enable the water to boil.
I noticed a number of frustrated faces so I walked over to offer some assistance to the team. I noticed they had plenty of wood, so much they would not struggle to keep the evening campfire going in the predicted thunder storm which was predicted for the evening , so this wasn’t the problem, the problem was “storm Brian” and his weather. I got 2 scouts to hold their coats up over the Kelly kettle area to create a make shift shelter to protect us from the elements, this would hold back the rain enough for the fire and also for the Cub and Scout who were trying to light the fire. After raiding their pockets for silver birch and dry tinder and kindling, the Cub and Scout got the fire lit and started to fed their Kelly Kettle to boil the water.
What seemed like hours for this team which in actual fact was probably 15 or so minutes, the water started to steam. “ keep feeding the fire” I heard being said from the team members. A few minutes ticked by and before they knew it, they finally had boiling water and produced a nice cuppa tea.
Ok, this team lost the challenge that I set them, but in my mind they actually won the Challenge. Yes this team procured a cup of tea last but as I explained to them they never gave up. This is a motto I personally use hen I’m struggling doing something challenging to me and I also teach this to the Scouts to live by.
This team could of given up ages ago. Looking across to their competitors producing me a cup of tea within minutes of the whistle being blown, seeing them all dry and not struggling trying too get their fire lit in the rain.
But this team learnt more in this challenge compared to the winning team, they learnt that with a bit of patience, thinking outside of the box and working as a team they did something that the other team didn’t do and that was to keep persevering and not to give in.
#Nevergiveup is something that we should all try to remember, getting frustrated with the scouts for not getting their tents up quick enough for example to not being able to complete the daily crossword for example.
If we all took moments out of the frustrating moments and took a breather and not quitting we could achieve some amazing things.
#Never give up