Archive for the ‘Scouting’ Category

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….

Cub Camp – The Aftermath

June 17, 2022

So I did do cub camp I wasn’t feeling great, but I ended up doing it. The kids had a blast I’m still recovering.

So, as you can see, it was a very physical weekend. Both Jenn & Wendy are runners & Cecile is one of my other Cub leaders. And I out paced them all. I I am still recovering.

I am hurting I am reeling. I have been physically sick. I am exhausted. I am mentally unwell. I don’t know if I can do this again. I don’t even know if I can camp at all again.

I dont know if I want to.

Cub Camp with Fibro – First camp after COVID

June 10, 2022

This weekend is Cuboree, which is our first in person overnight camp since February 2020. This means most of our kids have never camped in-person as a Cub. Of 21 youth, we have 2 who have.

Normally each group would be running independently with their own food and kitchen and supplies and such. Fortunately the Cuboree Committee decided to offer a meal plan The Scouters who are in the participating groups have planned the menu, supplies, equipment & food. The kitchen is being organized & run by council level Scouters who have no group . From us, they only require one Scouter from our group to help with food prep. Not me! Yay!

Normally for camp we would plan the menu, organize our equipment, shop for food and supplies as well as having food preparation done with the youth. We have, fortunately, none of that this year. We’ve been flying by the seat of our pants this year’s so I just gotta say Thank God The most prevalent leaders both have Fibromyalgia & the related cognitive issues so it’s been an interesting year.

& its supposed to rain on Saturday. *Sigh*

my apologies if this doesn’t make sence cuz it’s a busy week & my brain is now fried & I still gotta run the camp!

Allodynia

April 8, 2022

Allodynia is a type of pain that many of us with Fibromyalgia have. It is basically a extreme sensitively to touch. People with this can have extraordinary pain from simple every day contact like combing one’s hair.

My Allodynia

I don’t know if my situation is unique, but mine seems come and go, and it can vary depending on the amount of pressure.

Some days I’m golden. I have zero issues. Other days, I will shed a hair from my head and when it falls on to my unsuspecting arm I am in excruciating pain. Other times I with just come in light contact with something and the pain is agonizing, but I can have firm contact like a hug and there’s nothing. I don’t get it.

There appears to be no rhyme or reason as to which circumstances will crop up on any given day. Fortunately, it does not change from one to another on the fly. I’m more likely to switch from one to another on different days. So on one day I’m good, but the next day it hurts to brush my hair or even my teeth (yes, it can impact my gums).

I have found that the most noticable instigator of this type of pain is from a hair touching my skin, either stopping, caught on hard or leg hair, or feeling it as the single hair strand bounces on my skin as it falls. Because of this, I tend to brush or comb my hair fairly frequently. My sister was surprised when I mentioned that I will brush my hair several times a day, vs the once or twice she brushes her hair. I also tend to pull my hair back or up to prevent loose hairs from falling.

The other way it frequently hurts is a casual touch. A light hand on the shoulder. Someone brushing by me. My mom no longer touches me because of the number of times I have flinched unless I have asked her to, like rubbing A535 into my back. My sister is the same. My neices & nephew tend to forget. My intimate relationships don’t seem to be impacted as much cuz those touches tend to be more firm.

The hardest part is incidental touches by others who don’t know me as well. I am a leader in scouting. I’ve had youth come and touch my shoulder from behind so I’m in prepared, or a hug from a child who forgets they aren’t allowed to touch without consent.

There are also times when I know to expect contact. A perfect example is another scouting situation. As the ‘head’ leader (usually called Akela, but the Scouts named me Koolaid before I went to Cubs) I do opening & closing. This includes the challenge. I yell “Pack! .. Pack Pack Pack!” and the youth come running to challenge me, as I am the head wolf (hence wolf cubs). They come to a tight circle around me, but every meeting someone will run too far or have a hand out or jostle with another youth & contact is made Because I know it’s likely coming from somewhere, I can prepare for it and it’s less of an issue.

Lately, it doesn’t seem to be as much of an issue as it has been in the past. I don’t know why. Is it the improvement in my overall health? Is it my weight-loss? Is it than my activity level has changed? Is it that my pain levels had dropped? Is it a change in medications? I have no clue.

if you experience this condition, how does it impact you?