Yep, I got “old”. 17 plus 23 years experience. 17 rather than 18 as my Explorers reckon my mental and sense of humour age is similar to theirs! The cliché says life begins at 40 but in the last week or so I have felt old. Nothing to do with creaking bones or aching back but all to do with attitude. It’s like someone clicked a switch on my conscious and made me even more grumpy. I have to state that I will never listen to radio 4!
I don’t, however, feel it’s time to stop learning. Here’s a few things I have learned in the last week:
- Dave is a messy bugger. I don’t need to give Dave’s surname, those Scouters who know me will know Dave.
- No matter how many times you tell them not to, Explorer Scouts think they know best and will refill their water bottles from a nearby stream. This will cause the runny stuff to come out both ends at three am the next day.
- When at Scout camp, you’re out and about doing a few chores off-site. You spot a nearby Tesco and want to make use of the facilities. Not a wash or shower unfortunately, but certainly a facility with a decent seat and no mud on the floor. It means you can take your trousers/shorts down without fear of them being muddy when returning them to their proper position. What did I learn? When relaxing after doing your business, do not lean back and relax! The toilets have a touchless flush mechanism and will turn into a bidet causing you to jump off the seat and bang your head on the toilet door.
- Old Man Mode Zorbing is great fun but is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay over priced.
- One of my old annual appraisals said “does not suffer fools gladly”. This appears to extend to anybody that opens their mouth to speak every thought without actually thinking about it first. For this I apologise to the Explorer Scout that caught my wrath (no, I did not swear at him!) when my stress level was increased.
- My Explorer Scouts are some of the best young people I have ever had the privilege to work with. I am really proud to be associated with them and if the next 12 months are anything like our week at Camp, it’s gonna be a fantastic year!
- The modified Trucker’s knot with a slippery half hitch. Used to make a temporary cinch line in a guy rope on a tent, holds beautifully, quick and easy to tie and adjust. I can’t find anywhere on the ‘net that demonstrates this knot simply so might make a tutorial on how to tie it.
- Carving a simple spoon is easy. Carving a decent spoon seems, at the moment, like it might as well be voodoo…
I’m sure I learnt more without even realising it, these are just the highlights of what I remember.