Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Pablo meets the Leopards!

I've been helping out on Woodlife Trails courses as a course assistant as and when I can for a year now and was delighted to learn that Pablo and JP are keen to get the team involved with Scouting more. I was even more delighted that Pablo agreed to come and do an evening with my Cub pack as a one-off (Pablo doesn't live a million miles away from me so that's why I decided to approach him to see if he would be willing to come down to see the Leopard Cub pack (for whom I'm an assistant cub leader)). He was and said that Hannah would come too.


I was his little helper at the Gilwell Reunion recently and in between bouts of business we chatted over what to put into the hour and a quarter available at the cub evening. 

I asked him if they'd be happy to have a bite to eat (my shout) a hostelry that was a couple of minutes walk from the HQ. He was! Well the hostelry shut the Friday before so it was Shish kebab and chips all round as a more than acceptable plan B!

I'd briefed the cubs the previous week about what Woodlife Trails do and that Pablo used to be in the army and won't take any nonsense (anything to get them to behave!). After giving Pablo and Hannah a brief introduction and buildup I left them to take the floor. He's said in the past that kids aren't his preferred audience...Not true, he owned them!

He started them off with a game which soon turned into a talk about what sign animals may leave behind, the cubs did really well and I wasn't mouthing answers to them (well maybe a couple). Pablo then outlined the basic skills needed to be a tracker which they'd need later in the meeting.

He'd brought mini a selection of items from the table of death and did a quick talk about some selected pieces from it going through what animal they can from and certain physical features. He then invited the cubs to have a 'poo talk' at which point he almost disappeared under a see of cubs (bearing in mind there were nearly thirty of them). No surprise that 'poo talk' kept their attention. Our Scout Group's policy is to keep photos featuring the kids passworded so you may notice some zombie like Cubs in the pictures I've used where I've had to blur their features...Do not adjust your monitor.


Pablo needed a volunteer and that honour fell to our Akela, it's usually me so I could sit back and watch for a change, as Pablo used mud, burnt corks and a scrim scarf to disguise her white contrasting features for tracking.


Hannah then became a deer as Pablo challenged them to become members of the tracking clan.

Starting off in the opposite corner they walked, they crouched and then they slithered and did really well as they got to Hannah the deer. Pablo asked me to be a spotter to single out anyone not up to scratch...I wasn't needed.


Their tracking evening was rounded off with a final talk from Pablo and he invited them forward for a touchy-feely session on the mini table of death whilst Hannah and I rattled through the queue of Cubs wanting their faces 'painted' with burnt cork.


So job done but no, several Cubs stopped them to ask questions after we'd finished the meeting with Grand Howl which was great to see that the evening had opened their minds up and generated questions. Great evening folks, thanks!

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