Sharing and Service

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A discussion on why we (should) share and do things for other people (e.g. public service)


Video at and means to play it.


We start with a video and then some discussion of it, then we move on to some other related topics. This is presented as a series of example questions to throw at the cubs, with notes to bring up if the points don't arise naturally in conversation. It isn't a script! Bore them senseless to just sit and read it out.


At the start of the video, a boy is caught stealing from a shop by the shopkeeper (a woman). A neighbouring shopkeeper (man) comes along, discovers what the boy stole was medicine for his sick mother so he pays the woman himself for the medicine and gives the boy some food as well to take home.

30 years later, the man collapses and is taken to hospital. The hospital charges money to treat him, and the family doesn't have that so in desperation his daughter tries to sell everything to raise what money they can, knowing it probably won't be enough but having nothing else to try.

She then discovers that her bill has been paid. The invoice says "paid in full 30 years ago by painkillers and soup". The doctor treating the man was the boy he helped, who is now helping him back.

Talk about sharing and giving. Why should we share our stuff? Why should we give people things? Why should we help people? Surely it'd be better to keep our sweets to ourselves so we have more? Surely it'd be easier to only do things for ourselves?

By sharing and giving, we help other people. Because other people are part of the community, and society, by helping people who need it, or by helping where we can, we are directly doing a tiny little bit to make the world better.

Of course there'll always be the selfish ones. There'll always be people who don't help, who don't share, who don't give. Does that mean we shouldn't either?

When we help someone, or give something, or share something, we don't *know* that we'll ever get anything back in return. But if lots of people help and give when needed, and share when they have plenty, chances are we'll be helped, or given to, or shared with at some point when we need it. We say people should help out of kindness. To do the right thing. But it also means it's good for us ourselves because at some point we may- like the man in the video- need someone else's help.


What's the difference between cubs and a playgroup or after school club?

This isn't a playgroup. It isn't an after school club. It's a part of a movement that started over a hundred years ago, and now involves between 25 and 40 million people across 216 countries and territories in the world. Only 5 countries don't have scouting, and that's partly because the governments of those countries see us as a threat because they're not very nice.

UK TSA 'mission statement' is;
"The Purpose of Scouting is to contribute to the
development of young people in achieving their
full physical, intellectual, social and spiritual
potentials, as individuals, as responsible citizens
and as members of their local, national and
international communities. "

Who remembers the scout promise they made? Does it say anything about helping?

Scouting is all about making the world a better place- the slogan of World Scouting is "Creating a Better World".


Why are we- the leaders- here? Is it because your parents pay us to be?

Leaders aren't paid- we're volunteers. We give our time freely to help. To do our bit to make things better- by trying to help a little bit to make you grow up to be better people than if you didn't have scouting.

We all have different reasons to help. Some of us purely do it because we want to make things better. This area is quite wealthy- a lot of people have jobs. In some areas, many people are out of work, and Scouting directly helps the local community- scouts go and make sure old people are OK in winter, they help give food and shelter to the homeless, they help repair and improve public places because the local council doesn't have the money. And in some parts of the world, where there are earthquakes, floods and hurricanes, scouts help when disaster strikes and the local council and the emergency services break down. Even in this country, when there have been floods in the past few years, scouts have been there to help.

Some of us do it because, while we were children, scouting helped us develop and we want to "pay on the debt" that we owe those who gave their time before us. Some of us do it because our own children are being helped to develop in scouting, and again because other people are giving their time for our children, we in turn give our time for others.

As cubs, we know you can't do very much yet- though there are some things. You can help out at cake sales. You can do sponsored swims and other events. You can donate your old toys and books to charity, rather than just throwing them away. But as you get older, through scouts and explorers, you'll get stronger and cleverer. You'll be able to go out and help people more. Some of you will go to other countries and help there, for example by raising money first to buy materials and then going to build a school, or a well, or a library with them as part of an Explorer project.


  • service
  • sharing

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