My eldest grandson  (aged 9) is a very committed member of the Cub Scouts and is busy working for badges.

The first badge was, unsurprisingly, the Astronomy badge, then came First Aid (genes handed down from his great grandfather who was a lifelong member of the St John Ambulance?)

Last week I was delighted when he rang to ask if he could come and “dust and hoover our sitting room, set the table and prepare and serve a meal for us and then wash up.” What grandma could refuse? 🙂

He duly arrived after school with his bag of food. He has been interested in the preparation of food since he was very young, but I have never seen him show particular interest in cleaning. His six year old brother is the one with a passion for cleaning!

He set about the cleaning and younger brother sat watching him with a beady eye saying, “I told you, it’s fun isn’t it?”

I’m not sure that was his favourite occupation, but he completed that part of his task, set the table and heaved a metaphorical sigh of relief and took himself off to the kitchen. Under the guidance of his Mum he made tuna and mushroom pasta bake and meringue nests with fresh strawberries and raspberries.

This was all finished in time for his father arriving and we all sat down for a delicious meal.

After the meal he served coffee to us and then, under Dad’s supervision, did the washing up!

Next day he rang me to say that Akela (Cub leader)  had been so impressed that she had asked him some questions about food values etc. and given him two badges. Not just the Homemaker he had been trying for but the Chef’s badge too.

I think it is great that the boys are interested in these “homey” subjects, especially now that more males are leaving home at eighteen and having to fend for themselves. When I was in Primary school we all, both boys and girls, learned to sew, knit and simple cookery. For many this education was expanded by our “stay at home” mothers and by the youth organisations to which many of us belonged.

 This gradually died out for many as mothers and grannies started going out to work and fast food and “ready meals” became available in the shops, so that todays children have had to be re-educated on fresh food, so I am delighted that Jennie is  bringing the boys up to help in the kitchen.

The next badge he has chosen is the DIY badge, for which Grandpa  is to be his helper! They have drawn out their plans and chosen their timber and will have their first session this weekend!

Both boys had excellent reports on their academic subjects and behaviour, and it is very satisfying to think that they are developing their practical skills too.

Three cheers for the Scouting movement! 🙂