Witchford Scout Group's annual Halloween BallI don’t do too many kids parties these days. They’re bloody hard work from my side of the booth and I’m not getting any younger. It’s also a potential nightmare when it comes to some of the lyrics in the music they like.

However…this one’s always a lot of fun to do.

I must confess upfront, I’m one of the longest serving leaders for the Scout Group, and I may have accidentally mentioned the idea of holding a Halloween disco a few years ago over a couple of small sherries in the local pub.

This one is my way of helping to contribute to the group’s fundraising efforts. After all (and not a lot of people know this), most Scout groups are actually charities and rely on the generosity of donations (and of course membership fees) to survive. Everyone that “works” within a Scout group is actually an unpaid volunteer….we do it for the love of it.

So, this is the one and only party to which I donate my time for free every year.

This year was the fourth year of running the party…..and it gets bigger every single time. Tickets were sold out a week before the big day, whereas normally the group manage to sell tickets on the door as well. Unfortunately though, we’re limited on the number of people we’re allowed to have in the hall.

This year, we had 100 children from all over the village (and not necessarily associated with Scouting…it’s a party open to ALL village children). Add to this the sales of lottery tickets to win prizes generously donated by local businesses and it’s a win-win.

On the day itself, it’s hard work. Various volunteers take up different roles from selling raffle tickets to making the included afternoon tea for the kids. My job….well, that goes without saying 🙂

The difficulty with these types of numbers though is the types of games I can play with them. With ages ranging from 3 – 13 years old, just getting them into two straight lines can be like herding cats and take a lot longer than expected.

That said, once the games begin….they all have a lot of fun.

And it’s not just games: Add in the “party dances” such as the ChaCha Slide (with a couple of the older ones on stage with me demonstrating the moves), a couple of older tracks such as YMCA and Macarena for the parents to get involved with, and of course a generous helping of snow and it’s a really good (if totally knackering) two hours of fun for all involved.

The end result? After costs such as hire of the hall, the food for the kids and various other costs are taken into account, the Scout group added just shy of £400 to their coffers. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but to a small village Scout group it makes a LOT of difference….and that’s part of the reason I do this one for free.

Will I reconsider my stance on doing kid’s parties in the future? Watch this space! I may do, but they’ll be limited availability (for instance, I can’t justify doing a kid’s party at 7pm on a Saturday night when I could be doing an adult party for a lot more money….it doesn’t make commercial sense and at the end of the day…I’m a business).

That said, it was really, REALLY rewarding to see that many kids go home with big smiles on their faces