Bob a Job week

miniature doll
© F H Powell 2012

This British tradition disappeared ten years ago after the Scouting Association decided to end it following fears over the safety of cubs and scouts. Bob a Job week was a tradition that had it roots in 1914 when founder of the Scout movement Lord Baden-Powell introduced good turn day. Bob a Job was officially recognised as such in 1949 for Easter week of that year. Bob a Job week therefore became Easter Week.

For those unfamiliar with the practice Bob a Job week was run by Scouts and Cubs and was a fund raising practice. Scouts and Cubs would offer to do tasks for people (car washing, window cleaning, gardening etc.) in return for, originally, a bob (a schilling in pre decimal currency or 5 pence in today’s currency). As time progressed so did inflation and the term stuck but the rewards increased appropriately.

Prior to it’s demise Bob a Job collections were adding about £100,000 per year to Scout funds, the money being divided up between Head Office and local troops. However, the benefits of Bob a Job were more than purely financial with some of the more unusual jobs, such as washing an elephant at a zoo, bringing in great publicity for the Scout movement.

Sadly it is perhaps understandable today that sending youngsters to knock on doors and ask for chores is not acceptable. No doubt there are many who will look back fondly on this lost tradition as being one of the highlights of their younger days.