Scout Leader Badge Book
Badges are never far from a scout leader's mind. Whatever association you belong to there will be badges at the heart of the programme, but mostly only for the young people. Administering them can sometimes be a bit of a headache, not helped by one scout area that decided, each April Fools' Day, to come up with a spoof badge. The last one it dreamt up, the London Underground badge, included requirements such as, "Create a poster to celebrate the Tube's 150th birthday and have it on show at one of London's leading Underground stations." This spoof ended when one lot of scouts decided actually to complete the requirements - but now it look like it's sort of back!
Scout Leader Badge Book is an A to Z collection of badges for grown-ups to attempt, although it could be extremely damaging to the health and well-being of the individual if some of them were attempted. Written by a scout parent each badge is illustrated and comes with a list of requirements in order for the badge to be awarded. Over one hundred badges are listed, our favourites include Painball, Tent on Fire ("Try out your new flint and steel using the fluff from your tummy button. NB. Remove the fluff first") and Time in the Water.
Scout Leader Badge Book by Karen Shirore £9.99 includes a large colour poster showing all the badges.
Scouting for Boys
For those that have yet to read this book, it may well be a little outdated in places but this is hardly surprising since it was first published in 1908. More recently it has been republished under the editorship of Elleke Boehmer who has added an introduction and explanatory notes which help the reader enormously in negotiating a maze of names, places and events that Robert Baden-Powell tosses into the text. At times it is eye-raising, "I have eaten the huge kind of lizard called an iguana. He had his head and tail cut off to enable him to go into the cooking pot, and when he was boiled and put on the table he looked exactly like a headless baby... And when we ate him he tasted just like a baby too." Occasionally it is a little uncomfortable, "Alcohol is now shown to be quite useless as a health-giving drink, and it is mere poison when a man takes much of it. A man who is in the habit of drinking wine or spirits in strong doses every day is not the slightest use for scouting, and very little use for anything else." Throughout there is sound advice, "A great cause of illness nowadays is the amount of medicine which fellows dose themselves with when there is no reason for taking any medicine at all. The best medicine is open-air and exercise and a big cup of water in the early morning if you are constipated, and a pint of hot water on going to bed." Overall it's a fun, easy read for all ages with plenty of anecdotes, rules for life and practical advice that would be to everyone's advantage mostly to follow.
Scouting for Boys by Robert Baden-Powell £8.99
The Mischief-Maker's Handbook
A book that we love as much for the drawings as the 70+ plus descriptions of ways to make mischief. Some ideas you may have come across before; others are extremely brief; some we tried, such as Mini Paper Boomerangs, didn't work very well but the chapter on noisy toys was a delight.
To make a mini boomerang that does work, cut out an L shape with each arm being 4cms in length and 1 cm wide. Smooth the edges and outer corner, hold between thumb and forefinger and flick. Keep trying until it returns!
The Mischief-Maker's Handbook by Mike Barfield £9.99
Scout Leader Badge Book
For many years there have been embroidered badges available that depict wine glasses and the like but now a parent has gone one step further and produced a book of well over one hundred badge ideas for grown-ups. Each badge includes a description and a drawing. "Why should the kids have all the fun?" the book's author asks and with this book it's not just fun that the leaders will be having, it's evenings of mayhem and madness. There is a warning in the book not to actually attempt any of the badges and having read some of the requirements we would hope that no one would be so daft as to try. A great read. Each book comes with a colour poster. Not suitable for children.
Scout Leader Badge Book by Karen Shirore £9.99
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