Archive for July, 2022

How Am I A Functional Cub Scout Leader

July 12, 2022

Some days I’m not & others I push through to the detriment of .my health.

A Bit of Background

I started in the Girl Guide program at age 8.. I stuck it out earning my Wings in Brownies, my All Around Cord in Guides and most of my Canada Cord in Pathfinders before I got pissed at my leader for not giving me my badges. I was a junior leader for a year and then switched to the Dark side.. lol..

I joined Venturers at 16, continuing into Rovers and joining the leadership ranks as group committee, Scout Leader, Venturer advisor, Service team and finally as Popcorn Fundraiser Coordinator Then my health started to get really bad, I was no longer able to function in Scouting in any capacity & took a 10 year break. After going through hell with my health & my relationship, I returned home and to Scouting

My nephew wanted to be a youth leader with Beavers, so I joined with him. All I did was come to meetings & help. After 2 years he wanted to move up to Cubs, so I moved up with him. My first year was similar to what I did with Beavers, but our contact Scouter didn’t do planning very well and I wanted to expand my wings a little as did one of the other leaders (Raksha) did too. We set up a planning meeting. Akela told is last minute that he wasn’t coming which we were not surprised with cuz he’d only done a few meetings the year prior. So we started planning & an hour later Kaa, who was running our previous week to week program, called & let us know he was moving away & leaving the pack. Thanks for the notice guys.

So, Raksha and I took over the pack. Initially she was Contact Scouter, but I was the one interacting & teaching the youth the most. While it was exhausting, it was rewarding.. & just after our winter camp and spring break, COVID hit. Virtual took off alot of pressure in some aspects, but Raksha & I made a good team, comimenting each other’s strengths. We made it work. It took us 2 weeks to re-evaluate, but we kept going (that push is a whole different story) doing virtual then hybrid , now back full-time (for now) in-person. Unfortunately, we have amalgamated 2 other packs, dissolving them cimpletely. We are currently linked with another group working together as one pack

How I Cope.

I do not work because due to my health I can not be consistent or reliable. That does help. So Tuesdays are spent relaxing, with prep for meetings done on the weekend prior or the day prior.

We have very open communication & have a Facebook chat group for all the leadership. This is used to share information clarify details and to make sure the paperwork for each group is consistent when submitted. It also allows us to keep track of each other like if something comes up & a leader can’t make it, it’s posted there so everyone knows.

This year we have 6 scouters, 1 youth leader, and have grown to about 20 youth. Next year we will lose Raksha, & the youth leader but between the two packs, we will gain 3 Scouters and possibly another youth leader. So there is alot of support and shared responsibilities which makes things so much easier.

My key role is to run the meetings and make sure everything runs smoothly. This starts before opening and ended after closing The scouter who has this role usually has the name Akela. But, our Akela is named Koolaidūü§£.

My specific duties include making sure we have the proper equipment and supplies for the meeting. Flags, for outdoor meeting are stored in my garage or my car. Lol. Different leaders may be running the activity but I make sure we have organized what is needed . Sometimes this requires requesting donations, or actual prep work or some organization. I make sure this is in place for the meeting.

The running of activities is shared between us, so I’m usually in a support role during activities I could run almost the entire program, I have the skills, and knowhow to do so, but that would be too much.

I run the meeting At our meeting place (the other pack has a location we use too) or outdoors, I have the cubs set up & take down the flags & totem. I run the opening & closing. I organize the other scouters in their support roles.

The kids see me, despite whether they are registered with my group or the other, as the contact point. For example at Cuboree last week, one of the girls in the other pack came to my tent, passing 4 other leaders tents, 3 of whom were from her group to get help from me. So I’m in the middle of changing & I hear “Koolaid, I’m cold” That was an easy fix – I put her child sized summer bag inside my extra adult sized indoor bag. *Poof* problem solved.

On days where I am not well, I am honest with the other leadership. We have an open & ongoing Facebook chat, so I can let them know. If necessary, make arrangements for anything I have for the meeting to be picked up & to give specific instruction about the meeting. I’m upfront with the youth as well – even have had “Don’t touch Koolaid” nights when my Alloidynia acts up.

Camping with Cubs.

So I’m.sure you are dying to know how I go camping with 20 kids. Well, this camp we actually merged the other Oshawa group with ours for the weekend, so we actually had up to 24 kids at any given time. But we also had additional leadership, 7-8 leaders at any given time.

My tent: I brought my own personal tent that I know how to set up, situated beside third year youth, hoping the younger kids will hit up the other scouters before me (& we know how well that worked). I have a double high queen mattress with a portable power source to run the pump. I have some actual bedding for the mattress. So I can use my sleeping bag more as a blanket, but also have a spare sleeping bag, a blanket & my camp poncho with extra sleepwear should I get cold.

We take advantage of the organizers running a group kitchen so we did not have the stress of cooking & cleaning up outside. Now with winter camp, in a cabin it’s easier to arrange cooking, eating & cleanup. At our last winter camp, our youth leader said he was an early riser, so we gave him kitchen duty both mornings so Raksha & I had some extra time to get ourselves moving

I do not drink coffee, nor am I a fan of tea.. So I’m sure you are wondering how the hell I manage without caffeine. I don’t. To camp I will bring 2 – 710mL bottles of Coke. One for each morning. So I get a slow regular infusion of Coke during the morning, but as soon as that is done, I switch to water, or Koolaid (about 3 calories) for the duration of the day. While I do enjoy hot chocolate, I’m picky plus it’s only offered at campfire. I do not need more caffeine at 10 o’clock at night before bed, bit I will take apple cider if offered. Since I’m exhausted from the day’s activities, I don’t need my body to be artificially stimulated to stay up later than need be.

I also wear ear plugs. Some of the kids get chatty at night and if they aren’t bothering the other youth I can just pop the plugs in & go nite nit.

To wake up, I set my alarm for a half hour before I need to be up for my body to adjust & to take any regularly required & any additionally required meds so that when I’m actually getting up, I have these helpful meds in my system.

More to come in the future….

Trifecta to Being Productive

July 8, 2022

I find there are three health benefits of being productive. I’m not necessarily talking about cleaning the whole house or an equally large activity. Even something smaller like getting X amount of laundry or dishes done. Something manageable but productive but nothing that is too much.

After getting something done & done well, I feel three things:

  1. More awake and alert
  2. More energetic
  3. Less pain

Additionally, I feel better about myself and accomplished as I’ve set a realistic goal & reached it.

Tattoos with Fibro

July 5, 2022

I’ve not had any tattoos prior to this year, so I don’t know what it’s like to have any ink done with a body that does not have pain. Honestly because I’ve been dealing with chronic pain issues since adolescent, I don’t think I could have even had the opportunity to do so.

I have 2 pieces done thus far. They are both rewards for my weight loss.

On my upper left arm, a little bigger than I was expecting, is my Scouter Koolaid tattoo I was given the name Koolaid by a patrol of scouts in my early 20s. So, basically is the scouting fleur-de-lis with the Koolaid guy super imposed on top. With the cub sign shown in his right hand.

This tattoo was actually quite painful. I had a hard time tolerating the pain. I was gritting my teeth the entire time but I persisted because I knew it was temporary pain and would eventually stop

On the top of the backside of my right shoulder, I have a butterfly. This butterfly is similar in style to a monarch butterfly but instead of the orange, black and white, mine is coloured inshades of purple and white. It is unique & really cool in that it is almost 3D in nature and you can see the shadow of it behind the butterfly. The text surrounding the butterfly reads “Fibromyalgia Awareness”.

This tattoo was significantly easier despite having more chronic pain issues in the area. For the majority of the work I was able to just sit and relax as he drew on the back of my shoulder. In fact, the upper lettering where I says “Fibromyalgia”, that actually tickled. Go figure There was one spot however that was a problem. Near the end of the work, the artist was adding white for highlights, he hit a flat mole on my back That sent a single big sharp jolt of pain through me. But that was the only pain I had from that one.

The artist, given that these two were my very first two and done right one after the other, he was not only surprised but suitably impressed that I only jumped that one single time. Apparently that is not the norm.

I do have one final one planned as my final reward for reaching & maintaining my goal weight. That one is going to be a collection of roses on my bum/ hip/ lower back in shades of bright pink & purple, maybe blue. The text to accompany that tat is “Neon Rose”, the online alias I have used since I was 16, so long long time ago.

When Lilly passes, I will be getting her paw print on me aswell in commemoration.

Canada Day

July 1, 2022

This day celebrates the anniversary of Canadian Confederation which occurred on July 1, 1867, with the passing of the British North America Act, 1867 where the colonies of Upper Canada, Lower Canada, Move Scotia and New Brunswick were united into a single Dominion within the British Empire and named Canada.

To all my fellow Canucks both home & abroad, I wish you a happy Canada Day