End of an era for Cubs as Wendy retires

Published on: 15 Jan 2015

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The 18th December was the end of an era for the 1st Filton Cub pack as their leader Akela (Wendy Cahill) retired from Scouting after more than 20 years as a Cub leader.
Parents, leaders, Cubs and Scouts gathered to wish her well at the end of her final session. The young people presented her with flowers, cards and gifts to mark her 9 years at the Nutfield Grove HQ.
Wendy first got involved in Scouting back in 1992 when her son attended a summer camp at Weston.
The camp was abandoned due to torrential wind and rain blowing the marquee and most of the tents down. But there was still time, however, for the leaders to persuade Wendy to join the 204th Scout Group.
Three years later, she
became a fully-fledged Cub Scout Leader.
The group moved around a few times before settling into the old Salvation Army church on Filton Avenue.
After 10 years at this site, the group closed in 2005 due to the redevelopment of the area. It was at this time that Wendy moved to the 1st Filton group.
During her time, the group has had mixed fortunes. In 2008, it was very close to folding as experienced leaders left and the numbers of young people was very low.
Since that time, the group has built up in numbers and now has a full pack of 24 Cubs, two Beaver Colonies, a growing Scout section and a waiting list of more young people wanting to join in the fun.
Wendy has overseen many camps through the years, often wet and windy like that very first one.
Her last camp back in October saw every Cub in the Pack attending and for once weather wasn’t an issue as Wendy had finally discovered indoor camping!
There have been many highlights to Wendy’s time as a Cub leader. From driving a fire engine at BAe systems, to County jamborees to a sleepover with over 150 Cubs at @Bristol, life as a Cub leader has certainly not been dull.
Wendy said: “Mud is usually a feature of many of the camps I have been on. The most memorable has to have been the Ton of Fun camp in May 2007 to celebrate Scouting’s centenary. I still have the camp T-shirt with mud stains on it. Nothing can get the stains out.”
Although she is retiring as leader, Wendy will not be severing ties with the group completely. Her husband, John, is still the overall Group leader as well as leading the Scouts, so no doubt the young people will be seeing her again.
Reflecting on her many years in Scouting, Wendy said: “Scouting provides a variety of activities which can fire the imagination and enthusiasm of the young people. In all my years of Scouting I have found that Cubs love nothing better than sitting around an open fire toasting marshmallows, and if I’m perfectly honest – so do I!”
With Wendy leaving, the group is now in search of a new leader.
The group will continue to run with a mixture of the Group Scout leader, assistant leaders and parent helpers, but anyone interested in volunteering should contact John Cahill on jcahill@blueyonder.co.uk or 07986 053005.
Hazel Boyes

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