Our friends across the pond

We keep in regular touch with our friends at our twin group, 12th Cambridge in Ontario, Canada. Here we report on their latest service project, bring some cheer to their neighbours living in a shelter for the homeless. Scout Leader Shelly Dyet reports from across the Atlantic…..

To mark Good Turn week 2015, the Scouts and Venturers arranged to make cookies for the local homeless shelter.  We were told to prepare for around 100 clients at the Shelter, and we probably ended up with at least 150 cookies.
In order to make this work, we used the kitchen at our other church, Wesley United, where 1 of our Beaver Colonies meets.  They have a large kitchen with a commercial oven, so we were able to cook 5 commercial trays of cookies at a time.
Scout cooks in action!

Scout cooks in action!

We divided the kids into 4 groups, trying to balance the skill level.  Each group was supplied with the recipe, a bowl, and mixing spoon.  The ingredients were in the middle of the room, on an island, and groups took turns gathering the items they needed.  When they had their batter ready, they dropped the cookies onto a cookie sheet, and started a new batch.  Once the ingredients were all gone, we stopped making cookies.  Some of the kids had clearly never baked anything before.  It was entertaining to see them try to figure out why their batter was so running, and then have them discover they didn’t add any flour.
All of the sheets of cookies were given the okay by me, except for 1.  The cookies, although eatable, looked more like hard candies, which again, I think had to do with the flour being omitted.  We had the kids eat this ‘bad’ batch.
While the cookies cooled, we discussed homelessness, and the reasons why someone may need to use the services of a shelter.
We put the cookies into pie boxes, and walked 5 minutes down the street to the shelter.
Some of the kids were terrified, and suddenly became very quiet when we arrived. The clients at the Shelter were very appreciative and took the time to thank the kids for their efforts.
When we arrived back at the church, we talked about the experience and how it differed from their expectations.  Many shared that they expected it to be dirty, messy, and the clients rude.  They had expected to be swarmed with people all grabbing cookies at the same time.  A lot were impressed by how tidy, clean, and organized the building was, and many expressed interest in helping out again.
So, Goodturn week 2015, was a success for us.  Now that the youth have done something like this, as opposed to picking up garbage, I can see them organizing a similar event for next year.