Sea Scouts End of Season Report

Where the heck did the summer go?  Life seems to go by so quickly, it only seems like yesterday that we were driving down to Calshot with the car piled up with sailing gear for the Tribe to take part in the first sail of the season with the 2nd Andover Sea Scouts.  And now it’s finished until next year.  So, how was it?  Well, as we discovered the previous year, pretty amazing for all the children involved.

The Boy
The Boy

At the Calshot sailing club (with the most enviable of locations!), the atmosphere of parents trying to get excited Cubs and nonchalant scouts (far too ‘cool’ to get excited!) into wetsuits and ready for Paul’s briefing, is always chaotically happy.  The Solent is busy throughout the year, with all manner of craft: plenty of dinghys, larger racing yachts (cue wistful looks from Father of the Tribe), ferries and vast container ships.

Paul with a well earned coffee
Paul with a well earned coffee

Because of this, in his briefing, Paul repeatedly refers to the safety aspect of sailing – hopefully say it enough times and it will be engrained in all the children’s minds for whenever they’re on the water in the future.  The safety aspect of the sailing is pretty impressive – the scouts are out on the water with the younger Cubs in the boats with them and they are pretty much left to their own devices with the rescue rib constantly checking that everyone’s safe and  not heading towards the shipping lane …

The Boy righting his boat
The Boy righting his boat

Having spoken to a few parents, we all agreed that the confidence that this activity has given the children is fantastic – the difference in a year is amazing and the more the children go out the better their sailing and confidence becomes.  Watching the Boy handle a boat with a couple of Cubs as passengers  makes me feel very proud although watching him and the Eldest together on a boat on the windiest day in he Solent made me think that maybe they shouldn’t sail together!  We will see if that will happen again!

Even the Littlest gets involved
Even the Littlest gets involved

With the tide  sometimes being out later in the afternoon, the children were sometimes taken far out in the rescue boat and then told to swim back to shore in the shallow water – an element of one of their badges.  On the bank holiday weekend, there were so few scouts and Cubs, that those that were there, were taken in the rib to another beach for ice creams!  Other afternoons when there was plenty of water, the children would play games of chase in the boats.

Sooooo much fun
Sooooo much fun

At the end of the day, the children help the adults bring the boats back onshore, wash them down and pack them away before showering quickly in order to get into the kitchen to make mugs of hot chocolate – obviously a highlight of the end of the day!

Attitude
Attitude
Happy
Happy

It is a great organisation with extraordinary facilities run tirelessly by David and a very small group of helpers.  I would say that their end of season report should read ‘Excellent, 100% Commitment, A*’ (or should that now be a 9, under the new grading system??).

www.2ndandover.co.uk

www.calshot-sailing.co.uk

 

 

 

The Littlest Starts School

I haven’t posted for some time as the site appeared to have a gremlin in it and was losing everything that I attempted to post.  However, Father of the Tribe has managed to fix it so hopefully I can now attempt to update everything.

First day of 'Big School' for the Littlest
First day of ‘Big School’ for the Littlest with the rest of the Tribe

September began at a pace with the new term starting very early and this term saw all four of the Tribe dressed in school uniform; the Littlest was embarking on the adventure of school life. As the youngest, she has seen her siblings dressed in their uniforms, doing homework, reading and generally being involved in school life, so much so, that she desperately wanted to know when she’ll be able to do homework! Long may that continue. Her first day began with a great sense of excitement. Father of the Tribe even going into work late and all the Tribe are dressed and ready by 7 o’clock for some family photos before the older two are taken to the station.

The Littlest beginning her 'long walk'; I am completely obvlivious
The Littlest beginning her ‘long walk’

Just under two hours later and things don’t quite go to plan as she howled just outside the classroom and had no intention of being left by me. Any mother who’s been through this knows what it’s like; you know that your child will be absolutely fine as soon as you leave them, but every instinct that you have is screaming to wrap your baby in your arms and take her home.   Obviously I don’t do this and she is perfectly happy when she skipped out a few hour later. I spent the morning drinking strong coffee and creating some calm after the busy summer. Our Littlest is growing up and life has now started a new chapter.

... at all
… at all
Not happy
Not happy

When I look back at the photos from that morning I can see how her face gradually changes; school is the last place on earth that she wants to be.  We managed to miss that completely – great parenting.

 

 

 

A few weeks later all the Reception children are relaxed, confident and happy as they leave the classroom to be collected; cardigans and sweaters, book bags, a myriad of A4 ‘artwork’ and water bottles trailed behind them.  Perfect!

The little things in life, just make us smile
The little things in life, just make us smile