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Cub Scouts Bring a Mini Jamboree to RNHH Residents

Residents at  Friends of the Elderly’s residential and dementia care home, RNNH (the Retired Nurses National Home) in Bournemouth, Dorset, spent a warm, fun-filled evening enjoying a mini Jamboree thanks to a visit from 30 Cub Scouts from the 21st Bournemouth Cub Scouts.

The 21st Bournemouth Cub Scouts pack has been visiting RNNH since 2018, and last visited the residents back in October 2022 when they worked in the care home’s beautiful gardens as part of their Gardener Activity Badge. However, their latest visit was to bring the spirit of a Scouting Jamboree to the care home residents.

To set the Jamboree scene, the Cub Scouts – supervised by their leaders – created a camp- fire in a garden chiminea. Whilst the fire was warming up, the Cub Scouts exhibited their sporting agility and abilities by playing tennis and volleyball and showed the residents their bow and arrow proficiency by demonstrating their archery skills.

Following the physical exertion, the Cub Scouts roasted marshmallows on the safe chiminea campfire for the residents, before tucking into the tasty treats themselves. “As everyone was sitting together enjoying the warm marshmallows, the residents were chatting to the Cub Scouts and their leaders about their own memories of being in the Scouts and Guides,” said Rob Paton, the Activities Coordinator at RNNH. “The conversations were wonderful to hear as our residents have such fond memories of their times in the Scouts or Guides.

“Many of our residents belonged to the Scouts or Guides,” Rob continued. “Joan Dowden who has lived at RNNH since August 2021, was a Guide Leader and Audrey Orvin who has been a resident since January 2022 was an Akela Cub Leader in Poole for many years. Audrey was especially keen to find out how things had changed since she was an Akela and chatted with Dan the Cub Scout’s Akela for quite a while asking questions about the badges they do now and how many Cub Scouts he has in the Pack.”

To finish off the mini jamboree, the residents joined the Cub Scouts in singing a selection of traditional campfire songs including Campfire’s Burning and two action songs, A Pizza Hut and Cecil is a Caterpillar.

“It was such a great evening, all the residents thoroughly enjoyed themselves. They told all the care team what a lovely time they had had and were still talking about the wonderful evening the next day, so we know it was a huge success and we’ll definitely do it again,” Rob added.

“It was lovely evening which everyone thoroughly enjoyed,” added Caroline Gulen, the Care Home Manager at RNNH. “The residents had a marvellous time, enjoying the tasty marshmallows, watching the activities, chatting to the Cub Scouts, their leaders and sharing their own experiences. Reminiscing and talking about their own adventures in the Scouts and Guides really focused our residents’ on some of the rewarding aspects of their lives and own unique life histories.  I’d like to thank Dan and all of the 21st Bournemouth Cub Scouts for coming along and making such a positive impact to our residents’ day.”

“I always learn something new from our residents and this time was no exception. I now know that Akela, the name used for a Cub Scout leader, actually comes from Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book as Akela is the leader of the wolf pack and that it was Lord Baden-Powell who introduced The Scout Association’s motto of Be Prepared. I wonder what I’ll learn next,” Rob concluded.

The Retired Nurses National Home (RNNH) has a rich heritage, originally built for the care of the nursing community but now open to all to receive high quality care and enjoy stimulating activities such as visits from the Cub Scouts.

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