Sunday, September 30, 2012

A day in the woods.....

with a lot of good company!!
The first event I attended as a scoutleader was a succes, despite of the weather.
My job, together with another member of out staff, was to man one of the 20 checkpoints, checking the scouts' previously answered questions and checking their fireknowledge. This meant showing up at 08:00 in a cold, wet and darkish piece of forrest; the same area as the kolmila (which I have shown previously). The weather was grey, sometimes drizzly and the forecast was worse..... While we waited for eveyone to show up, I noticed a sign, written by one of the leaders;
The translation = Bearscat found fridaymorning...... in the direct area! Another one of our staff had met a hunter and he had found and shown him this. A very sobering thought to have a bear in the area, which will be my "backyard" soon.....

Given the fact that it would be a long day and that the weather wasn't playing along nicely, I had taken my precautions, meaning bringing a poncho, my finnbag and the means to make a hot drink. I hung up the poncho as a rainshelter and settled underneath it. I did get some surprised, yet positive reactions to that.
Because we had brought a pile of firewood with us, we could have a fire, too. The firewood was initially intended for the scouts to build 3 types of fires they frequently used (and tell about the main purpose of that fire), but I was able to "repurpose" much of it, without impeding the initial plan. We had to batton some of it, but the surface beneath us was a thick carpet of soaked moss, so some pieces disappeared into that during the process. I suggested to my accompanying staffmember that he should use a treestump as an anvil as I did befor, but he succeeded in doing this;

He managed to hammer the wood into the heart of the stump and eventuallyhad to take that one apart as well....

In between the scoutpatrols showing up at our post, we had plenty of time. We clowned around, had coffee, tea and lunch, had some good conversations or just sat there, listening to the occassional raindrops hitting the poncho, passing birds and hearing children's voices, barking dogs and gunshots in the distance. There were other groups active, too. Hunters and and a group of people doing their thing with Laikadogs.

As for the scouts turning up..... They ranged from somewhere between 6 and 13 or 14 and I was pleasantly surprised and impressed by their enthusiasm and will to participate, especially the older ones! I am still to much used to the superficial and lazy McDonalds-kids I used to know, I guess.
Unfortunately they did not show up in the numbers we had hoped for, but that didn't really matter. The ones that did, I guess about 100, were having fun and enjoying themselves and we had quit a few laughs with many of them.

Here's a pic of the patrol with my kids; sven standing with black cap and shoulderbag on the left and Annalena, the shortstop with camobeany on the right. I did not here one complaint from either of them all day, despite the rough conditions of the terrain and the plentyfull moisture all around!! And their patrol did well, too; ending up second in their class. All in all they had to complete around 15 practical situations, including a mockup accident (!) and around 50 theoretical questions. I am one massively proud dad, here!

And at the end of the day it started to rain harder and without further thought I hung my cookingpot with its hook underneath the corner of the poncho in order to collect the rainwater and refill my canteen. My companion looked at me amazed.... Something that was so logical and sensible to me was completely new to him, despite having had several years of scoutingexperience and having re-entered the scouting as a staffmember after a few years of absense. It struck me that, even after the short time I am actively out there, things are starting to become second nature allready.

The water ran straight into the pot and the heavier that one became, the more it weighed down the corner, causing the water to run in even faster.
This was made even clearer about an hour or 2 later, when we were all done and started to gather around the central firepit at the coaler's cabin. The fire there had died out, leaving behind some slightly glowing coals. I was asked to get the fire going again, so I went to get some dry wood and, together with some birchbark and a few thinner pieces of wood, blew the fire back to life, showing the others that there was no need for the matches and firestarterblocks they were handing to me.

Around 17:00 every group had finished the course and the prizes were handed out. As said my kids' group became second in their class and another group from our scouts came in first in the youngest class!

this picture was made by another staffmember, Ylva S.
Look for the nut in green.....
It was a relaxing day out in "the greens", despite being out there with a lot of company and actively using a different language all day long, some things I am absolutely not used to. I even met some of my to-be-neighbours, which welcomed me and my family into the community. One of them turns out to be my buddy from today! We went home tired, wet, hungry and satisfied..... all of us!

1 comment:

  1. I don't know, I think 100 participants sounds pretty good! Looks like you were able to demonstrate useful skills and knowledge you've gained over the years, which I'm sure they appreciated. Scouting seems to already be giving you lots of fulfillment and enjoyment, which is great. Good going, Ron!