In my younger days, at about the age of 8, I a had an interesting neighbour. He’d be friendly and also somewhat distant? I’ll always remember the times he used to standby and watch the other kids ride by in their bikes throwing stones at us. We once set-up a tent in the back garden and all I can remember is his very smelly burps!
One day he asked me to go to the Cubs with him. The history of the Cubs is that in 1908 Baden-Powell created the Scout Movement, it was designed as a programme for boys over the age of eleven. But very soon younger brothers wanted to be part of this Grand Adventure. In 1916, Baden-Powell published his own outlines for a scheme called Wolf Cubbing. These days both boys and girls can become Cubs and eventually Scouts.
Back to the story. Innocently, I went along to Alexandra Hall just no more that 200metres from our house. There was no Cub master present, instead approximately 20 boys all under the age of 11 kitted out in badge laden caps and green jumpers. My neighbour then joined up with one of his friends and collectively they rallied the rest of the boys together into a herd. They descended like a set of bees returning to their hive. They’re stings were in the form of kicks and random hands pulled at my turban. Eventually, they pulled my turban off and proceeded to wrap it around my body, kicking me and leading me out of the hall at the same time! Crying and alone in the dark I walked back to the house. I never forgave my neighbour for his dastardly deed.
In January 2010 a friend of mine called me up asking if I would be interested in attending a Cub event. The Cubs have invented a new badge that requires them to learn about different faiths – consider it as a kind of global awareness educational accomplishment. The suggestion was that I could present a five minute overview of Sikhism and if I could get some people together, the Cubs could each try on a turban.
Attached is the presentation and also a worksheet they used when we divided the 32 Cubs (boys and girls) into groups of 6. After trying on a turban each could also have a picture taken (NB In advance we obtained consent from the parents and Cub organisation for the taking and use of all pictures).
In all the excitement I only took a few pictures but the nicest comment was from a Cub master who said that at the end of the evening, one of the Cubs said to him, ‘Sikhs are cool’!