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Cubs/Beavers Activity Badges.

(31 Posts)
Misfitless Mon 21-Jul-14 23:22:00

Can't believe I care enough to start a thread on this, but I do! (What has my life become?)

Anyway, just browsing through the activity badges for cubs and am a bit peeved that there appears to be an activity badge for sports like martial arts, equestrian sports, ice skating, but not one for your common-a-garden, good old fashioned, accessible to, or netball, for that matter! confused

Does anyone know why, or does anyone else care? (In other words, is anyone as sad as me?)

EduCated Tue 22-Jul-14 21:37:03

There's Physical Recreation and Sports Enthusiast which can be any sport.

Misfitless Wed 23-Jul-14 00:32:55

Thanks for replying, Ed. That's sort of my point!

My DS has already got his Sports Enthusiast Badge and will soon gain his Physical Rec Badge.

I don't see why certain elitist sports, which are accessible to only a small percentage of cubs, such as equestrian sports or ice skating have a specific badge, when a really popular and accessible sport such as football does not.

There is even a martial arts badge.

Not sure how the association can justify it tbh. If you have the money and the resources to go ice skating/horse riding, you are entitled to gain a specific badge, but if you play in football team, the only relevant badge is the one that absolutely anyone can get for any sport confused. What's so special about martial arts, too, that it merits a specific badge?

My DS would be really made up to get a football badge, and he's no less dedicated to his sport and his team than someone who goes to riding lessons once a week. In fact playing in his team requires a lot more dedication than that. Why are football, and other sports, such as hockey and netball seen as less worthy, do you think?

BackforGood Wed 23-Jul-14 01:02:59

They aren't - indeed, the physical rec one has a ref's whistle on it.
There are loads of sports you could get it for - you can earn it more than once, for different sports if you want to.

Seems an odd thing to be worrying about, tbh, that there's a badge for some unusual sports, but not specific ones for all the different more common sports.
What about hobbies - are you happy that there is a general 'hobbies' badge, or do you think they need to list every possible hobby that a child could ever partake in ?

Misfitless Wed 23-Jul-14 02:48:19

No, of course not! But why single out some sports/hobbies and not others?

It's just not equal is it? I imagine that football, for example, is probably one of the most popular sports played among members, it's also one of the most accessible of all sports, so it seems a bit odd that there isn't a football badge, but there's one for horse riding.

I've nothing against people who do equestrian sports getting the relevant badge, just think that if you can get one for horseriding, I think you should be able to get one, with a football on, for example.

Are you a leader, BackforGood?

I know that the Physical Rec Activity Badge has a ref's whistle I don't see how that is relevant, apart from perhaps reinforcing my point, i.e. netball, football, hockey, rugby, badminton, tennis are all very different sports, but are all represented by a non-specific badge. It sort of makes it seem less important and /or recognised than equestrian sports, which are less popular and less accessible.

I know it sounds petty, and that no one else probably cares, I did say as much in my OP smile

EduCated Wed 23-Jul-14 10:11:47

The skating one actually covers ice skating, inline skating, rollerblading and skateboarding, and there's a huge range of martial arts, so each of them covers a wide range of sports. There's also the athletic one, which again covers a huge range of disciplines.

I'm actually Brownies, rather than cubs, but in Brownies for a lot of the badges you can get them more than once, e.g. if you play more than one instrument you can get another music badge for each one. Is it the same for cubs?

I think equestrian is enough of a different skill to warrant a badge.

BackforGood Wed 23-Jul-14 11:27:25

Yes, EduCated - it's the same for cubs.

I am a Scouter Misfitless but not a cub Leader - I know about this from having dc go through cubs. Why do you ask?

EduCated has put it better than me - they are 'groups' or sports if you like and all the Team Games comes under phys rec. Swimming is separate, but all the martial arts get grouped under that badge. I don't know anything about equestrian tbh, but maybe there are different disciplines within that? I know you can get a 'paddle power' badge which starts with the basic skills across a wealth of different boating skills, again, all lumped into one. I suppose you could put a case for 'racquet sports' which might make sense, but I think they tend to be more likely to be played by people older than 10 more than the other team games ?

Misfitless Wed 23-Jul-14 12:16:11

Yes, when you put it like that I suppose it does make sense, actually.

I just thought, Back, that if you were a leader you might know the processes of new badges being introduced, that was all.

I suppose I'm splitting hairs. Good point about racquet sports, maybe there should be a differentiation between raquet sports and other ball sports.

And as for equestrian, yes there are different disciplines.

EduCated Wed 23-Jul-14 13:25:00

I'm just surprised how much easier the Cub badges seem to be compared to Brownie badges. The Brownie ones seem to have a lot more clauses!

Pantah630 Wed 23-Jul-14 13:57:52

We do Equestrian Badge with our Cubs maybe once every three years. We take a group of them, as many as want to do it for a small charge, we subsidise it from Cub funds, to the local Riding School. Those that want to do it can, nothing elitist about it. Those that can't afford to do the badge but really want to, we can cover costs for them. We don't like anyone to miss out.

We're really lucky to live on the coast and have some great water activity venues locally. This term our Cubs have had great fun raft building and testing them out, the 6ers and 2nders have tried scuba diving (in a pool) and been kayaking. All our Cubs get these opportunities and for the majority of them it's about having fun, not collecting badges that's for the parents to worry about

Misfitless Wed 23-Jul-14 14:10:28

Pantah your group sounds amazing!

My son's group does kayaking, and loads of other brilliant activities. Haven't heard of any of the groups I'm aware of enabling cubs to do horse riding, though.

I must admit, my DS isn't as bothered about the badges, but I want him to achieve as many as he can, to experience as much as he can, and get as much out of cubs as possible!

Pantah630 Wed 23-Jul-14 14:23:43

That was my reasoning too. I couldn't afford to send my boys to lots of different activities but the Cubs/Scouts managed to get them to do lots and lots. That's why DH and I stepped up as Leaders when our pack needed us, DS1 is now a Beaver Leader and DS2 has just joined Explorers and comes to Cubs to assist as a Young Leader.

If you have a local Riding Stable ask them to cost you for a group lesson, doing the things laid out in the badge requirements. Work on a 60-80% turnout of Cubs for your costings, it's unlikely they'll all want to go or may have other commitments. If it's reasonable your Cub leaders may go with it. smile

titchy Wed 23-Jul-14 14:31:27

I think the idea behind badges is to get them to try something new that they wouldn't otherwise do. As you point out OP every Tom Dick and Harry does football and those that do it regularly get the public recognition of that when they play a match.

Scouts and Guides badges are really recognition that the young person has tried something out of the ordinary, that wouldn't otherwise be recognised, and have managed to learn the basics.

Everyone sees little Jonny when he scores for Bash Street under 10s, but no-one sees him skating round his back garden for hours on end learning a few basic tricks.

Misfitless Wed 23-Jul-14 15:35:08

I suppose so, but why should that point be relevant to 'every Tom, Dick and Harry' but not to 'Quentin, Jemima and Hugh'?

<Tongue in cheek, I know two of those names aren't even posh anymore, and I know not all horse riders are wealthy!>

To children whose parents can afford the riding lessons, horse riding is their football, isn't it? I.e. they do it every week, get the public recognition at the horse shows/when all the parents stand around watching.

Yes, it is about trying new things, and giving it your all. And when Tom/Dick/Harry first start playing for a team, it might be nice to then work towards a specific badge, in the same way that Quentin can when he first starts riding his pony! wink

Pantah630 Wed 23-Jul-14 15:45:32

We only do taster sessions of all these activities though, it's very rare we have a Cub get signed off on Badgework done outside the group to be honest. You may get a couple of readers but it is very, very few and far between. Therefore it makes no difference if you're doing judo, football, cricket or riding, if you haven't told your leaders and brought proof in that you've covered everything required, you're not getting the badge.

When working on the pet or fitness badge for example, we give the Cubs a diary that they need to keep a record of what they've done and ask the parents to monitor it.

Misfitless Wed 23-Jul-14 15:47:06

I really think that those children who get to try horse riding through cubs are in a minority, in which case such badges remain the achievable goal of the children whose parents can afford the lessons.

In other words, even with all the best will in the world, most cubs aren't going to get the opportunity to achieve that badge.

Pantah, thanks for that advice. I will speak to the local riding school asap, and to the leaders.

I think I'm perhaps the only one who feels this way. I don't begrudge those who gain the badge the opportunity (though reading back it sounds like I do, I think,) it's just that I think some more popular and accessible sports should have a specific badge, too.

I know that the Equestrian Badge incorporates several disciplines, but as an example, all those disciplines require you to be able to ride a horse, so they are clear common skills required. The Recreation Badge doesn't differentiate between tennis and rugby, for example...but they are completely different sports.

Misfitless Wed 23-Jul-14 15:47:56

Cross posted, sorry!

Pantah630 Wed 23-Jul-14 17:00:16

Generalising here, a lot, so forgive me but out of 32-36 Cubs, I'd say roughly three quarters of ours, regularly play football, rugby, cricket, tennis with other clubs. We have a few that are not sporty at all but by trying sports like volleyball, dodgeball, table tennis, etc.. they can gain fitness challenge badges. We don't fill in the blanks with stuff they do outside of Cubs so they all start with a level playing field as it were. I'm sure some groups do do this but we don't tend to. If a parent approached me saying my child's captain of the local footie team and plays every weekend and they want me to add that to our badge records of course I would but that rarely ever happens. I think our parents are overwhelmed with the amount of badges they earn already without asking for more to sew on to be honest.

We could do the martial arts badge for the whole pack by getting an instructor to give demos for a couple of sessions. I know I have Cubs that do martial arts, I've yet to award a badge for it though. Maybe one to try in the new year smile

EduCated Wed 23-Jul-14 20:03:09

And if we're talking expensive activities, surely the flying one tops that score!

Pantah630 Wed 23-Jul-14 20:27:14

No flying in the air activities edu we visited the local plane museum, made and flew paper planes and DH gave a talk on flight recorders, with examples (he works in the industry) and how planes fly and their various essential parts. Cost a couple of quid per head to go to the museum, from their subs so no extra cost.

smellyfishead Wed 23-Jul-14 20:38:28

wow im envy at your cub groups, they sound brill.
ours mainly do games in the hall, sometimes have visitors/speakers in to talk about stuff. the highlights of the yr are a woodland walk (often cancelled due to weather) and a (expensive) 39hr cub camp!

bitter. much lol. doesn't help I did brownies/guides and we did loads in comparison and our camps were 4/5 days long, so cant help but compare.

EduCated Wed 23-Jul-14 22:25:54

Yes, sorry, had moved onto looking at Scout badges at that point which are somewhat more involved!

titchy Wed 23-Jul-14 22:33:51

Don't forget a lot of the air and boat scout badges are for air and sea scouts who already have the facilities similar to cadets.

Permanentlyexhausted Wed 23-Jul-14 22:45:15

Well, football and netball are both team sports, whereas skating and equestrian are single participant sports. I'd imagine that is part of the criteria for deciding whether they merit an individual badge or not.

Misfitless Thu 24-Jul-14 08:35:11

Yes I had thought of that, Permanently. They each are team sports where there is a referee with a whistle.

If you take the martial arts badges though, I think those sports are much more closely related to each other than say, netball and football.

I've never heard of air and sea scouts. Tell me more if you can, titchy, please.

I'm undecided about it all now. On the night I posted the OP, I also e-mailed the Scout HQ general info centre, who forwarded my e-mail on to the team who deals with new badges.

The guy replied yesterday saying that he will put it into the red book where all the suggestions are listed. They have meetings where all the suggestions are considered and then put up for vote by members although they've only just recently had the last meeting, so it will be a while till they go through that process again.

Out of interest, if any of you are members, would you vote, or do you think that things should just stay as they are?

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