We know that the idea of taking a group of Cub Scouts abroad can be nerve-wracking, but we believe that the benefits to the young people in your group (and you!) are worth the pre-tour nail biting and outweigh the doubts you may have. We have enabled thousands of Cubs to travel abroad, many for the first time, and these are just some of our observations about what makes a trip a great success.
Make the journey part of the fun
We all know that the coach journey is part of the fun for young children but the fun can turn to boredom when the journey goes on too long. That’s why we recommend northern France. Whether you choose the gorgeous Chateau d’Ebblinghem or the excitement of Disneyland® Paris, you won’t travel more than 3 hours from Calais. Not only is a ferry crossing fun, it’s the most cost effective way of getting to the continent and it gives your group a chance to stretch their legs and get some fresh air. If you’re worried about letting them loose on a ferry, Eurotunnel is also an exciting adventure. Driving the coach onto a train that goes under the sea? What’s not to love?!
Give them experiences they’ll never forget
Although it’s not far from home, France offers a host of new experiences that will excite your group and broaden their horizons. Tasting snails, making crepes, watching a French baker at work; these are all fascinating for young people and make great stories to tell their friends and family when they get back! With the introduction of languages in primary schools, more and more of your cubs will be learning French in school and they will amaze you (and themselves) with their eagerness to speak the language.
Great bonding moments
We feel honoured to witness so many great Cub Pack moments on our tours. It can be something as simple as playing team games at your accommodation centre, or trying a new activity together for the first time but moments like these when everyone’s full attention and energy is focussed on the group can be difficult to achieve back home. Le Château d’Ebblinghem is close to the battlefields of WWI and that moment when you tell the story of someone from your village who fought on the very spot in which you are standing, will stay with your boys and girls forever.
Build their confidence
Being away from home is a huge deal for a young Cub and possibly an even bigger deal for his or her parents! There will be moments of home sickness but if you are prepared as a Leader, you can deal with these and not let them overshadow the trip. We guarantee that when your Cubs get back to school after their tour, they will be more confident, outgoing and more willing to try new things. Having tried so many new things whilst being away from their families, they will feel like they can achieve anything!
Capture the moments!
Designate an adult to take the photos (or videos) so you can treasure the special moments forever. Some of the most memorable moments for Leaders are the moments of wonder and excitement. That moment might be the first time they enter Disneyland Paris, the first time they see their favourite Disney character or simply, like for one Leader, the first time they see their accommodation centre: “The highlight of the week was seeing the children’s reactions as they arrived outside Le Château d’Ebblinghem. Their faces were an absolute picture and one of the children asked “is this where we’re staying?” The excitement when they saw that we were staying somewhere so grand. First impressions are everything!”
A photograph of that moment is a wonderful and lasting memento, not only of the trip but also of a young person’s time in Cubs.
If you’re thinking about taking your Cubs abroad for the first time, we hope that we’ve given you a few good reasons to do it! Next year is the 100th anniversary of Cub Scouting so what better time to take the plunge? A weekend at Cubfest at Le Château d’Ebblinghem is the perfect first trip – it’s close to home (just 45 minutes from Calais) and there will be other Cub packs, all celebrating and enjoying new experiences with you.