A passion for Cubbing and all that it embodies!

Last year the new Cub programme was rolled out and new materials were developed. Recently the Cub Workbook was released and new Programmes on a Plate shared online. The annual challenge is another Cub classic which is enjoyed by many children nationwide. And then of course we are celebrating the Cub Centenary through various events nationwide and the international Pack Scouters Pow Wow ‘Akela 2016’.

Can you believe that a team of four people is behind most of this fantastic work? Jeanette Angus, Rochelle Booyens, Jill Dickinson and Debbie Symons, four full time working ladies who volunteer all their time to the development of Cubbing and the children in their Packs. We spoke to them to find out where this enormous passion for child development comes from.

SSA: The Opportunity to join Cubs wasn’t available to girls when they were younger so they all joined as adult leaders. With an average of over two decades of Cubbing between them what keeps these ladies so inspired to be of service to our youngest members? “It is vital for the littlies to know what it is like to be treated with respect. Teaching that giving is better than receiving, showing love and integrity to our environment is very important”, says Rochelle. “Cubbing plays a very important role in the development of children” explains Jeanette. “Our aim with the Cub programme is to develop them holistically; to become independent, healthy, happy and helpful individuals.  Among other things the Cubs get the chance to develop a sense of belonging and a sense of achievement, they experience new things through the play way method and enhance their leadership and creative skills.” Jill agrees and adds “Watching them grow and learn is very rewarding!”

SSA: Cubbing inspires and helps children grow. What effect does it have on the adults who lead these children?  “Working with children is challenging but so rewarding!  As you watch the Cubs grow you also see the adults grow.  Scouting recognizes that everyone is an individual with something special to offer”, says Jeanette. ”Well I have always maintained that if it were not for Scouting I would not be where I am today” states Rochelle “I was such an introvert, you won’t believe.  But the Training Team and my Mentor showed me that I CAN do it, that nothing is impossible. I give Scouting a big hoohaa, for my leadership skills that I have gained.  I have even maintained this in my work environment and it has made me a better manager. I have gained knowledge, skills, stacks of friends, a Scout family, social activities, yes I am a better person because of Scouts!”

SSA: That Cubbing creates lifelong friendships can once again be shown as these four ladies, who met through Scouting, have developed a strong friendship. “Jill has been my mentor since I joined the Movement. After I got in uniform I met Rochelle as we did our Woodbadge together. Jill also got me involved in training and I met Jeanette”, explains Debbie. “I think we have a common force, a common denominator, which drives us as we are all passionate about youth and the Scouting Movement. We want to see everything work as we see what is does for youth in our Movement. We came together nicely and get on really well we are even going on holiday together later in the year.”

SSA: So how do they do it? How do they work full time, care for their families and yet spearhead the new Cub Programme, write the new modules, develop the weekly programmes on a plate, and continue to run Cub Packs? “It’s just a passion for Cubbing and all that it embodies!” says Jeanette with a smile. “With loads of help and support from my family, my work and also from my Scout family especially on the West Rand. I love to do things that you can see makes changes within other adults. It is so rewarding. That keeps me going”, explains Rochelle. Jill agrees by concluding “it is very rewarding!”

SSA: If somebody would want to join the Cub Programme team or would like to volunteer to help. What should they do?  “They can just pop me an e-mail on jeanette.angus@scouts.org.za!” “They need to be able to give extra time over and above what they currently do and have a passion for Scouting that comes naturally.  We will take them in with open arms!”