Cub leader tells how scouting allowed him to make friends outside his small community

Darley Dale scout leader Lee Corfield
Darley Dale scout leader Lee Corfield
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For many the first few days at secondary school are an exciting new start in a new environment with new friends you have yet to make.

But for others, particularly those who make the switch from primary to secondary in a new area, those first few days can be a little more daunting.

Watching fellow pupils greet each other after the summer break at the new secondary school can be rather off-putting for the unfortunate ones who do not know anyone at all.

In Lee Corfield’s case, joining the Cub Scouts helped him connect with peers from surrounding areas and gave him a vital lifeline when he made the move from a small village school at Winster to a big secondary school.

Lee, who is now cub leader 1st Darley Dale Cubs, said: “It made life easier growing up in a small village. I made lots of friends and did lots of camping - which I still do know.

“The cubs you work with are often kids you know when they were beavers and you see how they grow and how their confidence improves.

“It’s amazing how much they do learn how much they want to learn. We try and work towards better behaviour - rather than telling them all the time we encourage them to do better.”

Most people have heard of the badge system which Scouts use but this is the essence of how the organisation motivates young people.

Beavers, Cubs and Scouts undertake challenge awards which cover a vast range of pursuits - from outdoors to community-based or even technology.

Scouts, Cubs and Beavers can develop skills as specific as IT, PR or even mechanics and the badges allow them to demonstrate their progress and help them to form new interests.

But none of this would be possible without the hard work of volunteer leaders such as Lee.

He said: “We struggle as leaders for help. You spend all week planning for an hour-and-a-half session but if they are all sat there bored there is something you are not doing right.”

If you are interested in volunteering at 1st Darley Dale Cubs please contact Lee on corfieldlee@hotmail.com.