Chief Commissioner for England's blog | Why we need to make the most of Cubs100
By Alex Peace-Gadsby, Chief Commissioner for England
Unless you’ve been hiding on Mars or hanging out in the space station with former Scout Tim Peake, you will know by now that 2016 is Cubs100, the centenary of Cub Scouts. It’s one of the most exciting events in Scouting for years and is already being talked of (not least by me) as a potential game-changer for our section.
So many great things are already in place. The unstoppable Steve Backshall is our Cubs100 Ambassador, helping us get the message out there – to grow the section, celebrate and thank our leaders and be as visible as possible in our local communities. We’ve got some fantastic partners providing days out for Cubs across the UK and there’s a brilliant new website packed full of resources to help you deliver an unforgettable year.
I’ve spoken to volunteers and met with young people across the country and I’m excited and inspired by the plans in place. By our reckoning, there will be more than 5,000 thanks events, Adventure Camps and Promise parties. Thank you to all of you who have planned these events to make the year special for our 150,000 Cubs.
The anniversary represents both an opportunity and a challenge; it's a great opportunity to inspire young people to stay to the very end of Cubs and make the jump into Scouts and it highlights the challenge we’re facing keeping our nine and ten year olds engaged and enthused.
As you’ll know, these are the ones most likely to leave if they find they’re not given opportunities to learn new skills, try new things or if they find they’re repeating activities they did eighteen months earlier. It is so important to keep providing fresh, adventurous and inspiring programmes – if you would like any ideas and inspiration, then dip into the Our Journey resources available on the Cubs100 website.
We also want to use the year to talk about Cubs to parents, members of the community and former members. It's a great opportunity to remind them what makes us so special – that incredible mix of fun, friendship, adventure and powerful Scouting values, you just don’t get anywhere else. It would be fantastic if we could all invite them to help at our local events, to come along to a party or to talk positively about Cubs with their friends and colleagues. Our Cubs alumni is 10 million – strong. Let’s use it to grow the section.
I’m so impressed and grateful at the way volunteers are using the year to provide an even more adventurous programme for our young people, with plenty of opportunities for camping and sleepovers – exactly the sort of thing that keeps Cubs coming back for more.
Whatever we do for Cubs100, we mustn't let this opportunity pass us by. Rather than celebrate behind closed doors we need to give the world a taste of the special fun, magic and optimism that has made Cubs such an incredible success over the last 100 years. Most of all, let's enjoy yourselves!
Find out more about 100 years of Cub Scouts and join the celebrations here: scouts.org.uk/cubs100