Woodcraft folk and cubs - Influencing a younger me

by DannyUK

Just reading through Twitter, which, by the way, is my far-and-away biggest time waster these days, and someone mentioned that they are trying to start up a Woodcraft folk group in Southend.  


I haven’t heard of Woodcraft for ages.  When I was in primary school I used to go to a Woodcraft group in Bexleyheath with a friend of mine.

Looking back, Woodcraft was supposed to introduce us to the outdoors, and be very hands-on and involved, though my only real collection of ever bring outdoors with them was when we had a week away camping somewhere, and even that wasn’t anything special.  Certainly from week to week our activities were indoors-based and ranged from playing games (some form of “he” or “it” as I recall was quite popular) and I even remember watching, though never appearing in a play or two there.

Woodcraft Folk badge - Original image taken from Woodcraft.org.uk, from an article by DannyUK.com

The Woodcraft Folk badge

I also went to cubs as a kid.  Given that my mum dragged me out of one primary school and put me in another when I was in top infants (Year 2 as it is nowadays), I was going to a cub group that had people from my old school as opposed to the one that everyone from my new school was going to.

Every week I’d see my new classmates boasting about what they had gotten up to at cubs, where they were going, what badges they had won and when compared to what I was experiencing it was very different.  I certainly won badges, but I only recall winning a handful, and certainly not the sleeveful that my classmates were encouraged to go after by their Akala (sic?).

I wonder now whether my life has always been that way.  With no-one to encourage or push me, I don’t really go anywhere, happy to just go along in my own little bubble, enjoying the moment and it never occurring to me that there is more I could be doing or achieving (as it was at Woodcraft). Or is it just that I don’t manage upwards.

At cubs I had the opportunity to see how another pack was operating, what they were doing, how I could, if I wanted, have more badges.  There’s a faint recollection that I mentioned this to my mum at the time, and as a result of her saying something to the cub leaders I got a couple more badges (swimming, for one, was a badge that I achieved after mum had said something, but even then I think that was mainly because we had a scout leader renting a room at our house at the time).

I wonder if, had there been more direction in these groups, I may have turned out more proactive than I did.  I doubt it.  I’m driven enough in certain aspects, and I doubt  that being pushed harder as a kid I would have been any different.  There is that nagging feeling in my mind though that anything I have achieved has been fairly easily done.

My 11plus exam, my GCSE results, meeting and exceeding sales targets, marriage, divorce, house buying and selling, bringing up kids. Looking back none of it seems overly difficult.  I’m sure there were stresses at the time, but I tend to just go along with life.  Even with the coffee shop now, there’s so much to do and so much to get sorted, but all I seem to find myself saying to others, as well as myself, is that “it’s all achievable.” In other words, there are ways of achieving what I want to achieve.

If I dwell on it too long I’ll end up stressing out and driving myself insane.  Whereas pushing things slightly to one side, I can deal with them bit by bit and things just kinda happen.


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