Teynham Scout Troop
1ST TEYNHAM SCOUT TROOP
TEYNHAM SCOUT TROOP REPORT
Well as we get ready to return to another year of scouting we look back at our Annual Summer Camp which saw 14 Scouts, 1 Explorer, 9 Leaders and a number of Committee Members join us at Broadstone Warren, one of our favourite camping sites in the Ashdown Forest.
For many of the scouts it was their first time camping and for some even their first time away from home. Thanks to Sittingbourne Community College we transported the equipment and scouts in two of their minibuses which certainly makes it a lot easier and much more fun all travelling together. We left around 10.45am from the hut in our convoy of minibuses, car & trailer and committee members cars with the sun shining brightly. It was a testing journey for my ear drums as El Sue and Myself were entertained by the scouts singing along to their favourite records being played on the radio. We did get some strange looks as we came to a standstill at some traffic lights in Forest Row, as a rendition of “Living on a Prayer” rang out through the open mini bus windows.
We arrived in good time and the temperatures were rising, it was hot, hot, hot. After a short lunch break we set about trying to work out the best places to erect the scouts tents, dining shelters, mess tent, leaders tents, toilet tent and cooking area. Each year we seem to end up taking more and more equipment and we are extremely grateful to Aileen, Gerry, Louise and Chris for coming up with us on the Saturday to help set up camp. I would also like to thank Karen who not only stays all week to help with the catering but done most of the food shopping before we even left for camp. Karen keeps me sane during not only all the preparation before camp but also helps me to survive the week.
Unfortunately our normal site was booked when we enquired back in January and therefore we were left with just the one site that was free. Apart from it being on a slope and a good 30 minutes walk away from the main activity area and 10 minutes walk to the nearest toilets, it turned out to be fine. Having propped my bed up on wooden blocks to try to level it out so I didn’t keep sliding down in my sleeping bag to the bottom of my bed during the night, we were all set ready to start our activity packed weeks camp.
Traditional scouting skills, was the first activity to be tackled for some badge work. One group erected the camp gate under the supervision of Hawkeye “Bill Smith” who joined us for the beginning of the camp. The second group were set the task of putting up the camp flag with El Sue and Megan and Ieuan supervised the rest of the scouts in making a washing up stand using knots and lashings. I was doubtful that they would hold the weight of a washing up bowl full of water once they were completed, but they proved me wrong!! and survived the whole week.
This was followed by an archery and rifle shooting session. Much to the delight of the scouts I did manage to hit the archery target at least once in my 3 rounds, and my efforts have been rewarded with a mention in a Scout Rap that one of the Scouts made up. The Zip Wire and The Cube were the next activities to be attempted. Just a couple of scouts decided not to participate in this experience and I can’t say I blame them as it was a very long way up!. One Scout decided that whilst travelling down the Zip Wire he would sing “Fly like a bird in the Sky” I didn’t have the heart to tell him that he wasn’t that graceful in his decent.
Bivouacking was interesting, and construction of the shelters using just wood that was laying around in the forest and ferns were should I say “basic”. It was a good job that it was a dry night as I think possibly we may have had some wet scouts. More scouts actually slept out than I expected, and nobody crept back to camp during the early hours of the morning.
Back into the minibus and this time off to Blacklands Girl Guiding Centre for Kayaking and we were joined once again by Chris Pike one of our occasional helpers. Megan and Chris joined two qualified instructors and the scouts on the water. It was great fun watching the scouts playing games in their Kayaks, trying to stand up inside of them and then falling in the water. Megan managed to stay afloat but Chris got a dunking, not sure how much of that was down to the scouts around him trying to deliberately capsize him.
As Wednesday night drew in one of Pauls famous Music Quizes could be heard across the site and more Scout singing.
All the scouts participated in the Abseiling activity and what fantastic instructors Broadstone Warren has. One of our scouts who was not really sure if he wanted to do the abseiling decided that he would have a go after all. It has always been our policy not to false any scout to do something that they don’t want to do so we were over the moon when he said he wanted to have a try. On reaching the top, we waited at the bottom of the abseiling tower for around 10 minutes whilst the instructors reassured him that he was safe and the other scouts came zooming down the other side. Those of you who have abseiled before will know that leaning out at the top is the worst bit, despite reassurance from the qualified instructors this technique was not for him, so they tried a different approach. Kneeling down after three or four attempts of moving slowly back over the edge our scout finally was over the top much to the excitement of the other scouts who cheered further encouragement to him from the ground. Once he managed to get his feet flat on the boards he actually had one of the best techniques coming down. Needless to say there was no stopping him after that. This was team work at its finest and what a confidence boost for our scout.
The Scouts love our “Battle of the Chefs” Patrol Choice event. Each patrol was given £15.00 and they had to create a main meal and a sweet that everybody liked. There were extra points awarded for presentation, decoration of the dinning shelters and originality. Back into those minibuses we went but this time we headed for Sainsbury’s. My goodness, perhaps I should have pre-warned them about our very competitive scouts who were looking for bargains, keeping a total of their shopping as they walked around the store and then 6 of them at a time all trying to pack at the checkout. Ingredients safely stored away in the minibus we returned to our camp site. One group decided to go down the traditional route of an “international theme” whilst the other group went down the route of “Alice in Wonderland”. They had all been very resourceful and the food was judged by the other leaders. The winning group were Alice in Wonderland. Even the drink and food had little labels on them saying “eat me”, “drink me” and the shelter was decked in playing cards. Menu wise, the international group went down the Mexican route serving Chicken Fajita with salad & Tortilla Crisps with I can’t remember what for pudding, whilst Alice in Wonderland found bargain mini burgers, mini rolls served with salad and jam tarts and mini cakes for dessert.
Following on from the Patrol Choice the Leaders evening entertainment was provided by the scouts who presented a number of songs and some VERY BAD jokes!. The highlight of the evening for me was listening to one of our scouts “rap” a song that she had made up whilst at camp. All of the songs will be sung to parents on our first troop night back where parents will be treated to a camp presentation where they will see a selection of the photographs taken, see certificates presented to the scouts and see our first ever presentation by Bill Smith (Hawkeye) of our Camp Shield to worthy scout. The evening ended with some traditional Scout Skits which El Sue and Matt arranged and involved getting the scouts wet.
Before long Friday was here and just pot holing and pedal karts to go. We did have one heart stopping moment when I heard someone shout “Skip - .......... is stuck in the pipe!” what goes through your mind when this happens. My first thought was “Well if they think I’m going down there they’ve got another think coming, my derriere won’t fit that hole” my second thought was “don’t panic Amanda”. With the help of one of our experienced patrol leaders we managed to coax the scout who we could see and who wasn’t actually stuck but had just got worn out pulling himself through the pipe back out into the open air.
Saturday morning dawned and although overcast it was dry but rain had been threatened. Cath another committee member had joined us on Friday to help strike camp and we managed to get the Scouts Tents down and the Dinning Shelters as there is nothing worse than having to take home wet tents. Well it stayed dry until 10.15 and then that horrible light rain which seems to soak everything descended on us, and yes you’ve guessed it, home we came with the large heavy canvas mess tent wet, three leaders tents wet and two small scout tents wet, but never mind we are so lucky to have our own hut where we could hang it all up to dry.
Roll on next year where we will be at the KENT INTERNATIONAL JAMBOREE AT DETLING SHOWGROUND.
I hope that this report has given you an insight into the opportunities that our Scouts at Teynham have, but all of this wouldn’t be possible without our fantastic leaders. So I would just like to thank Graham Killick, Matt Killick, Megan Seymour, Ieuan Williams, Paul Seymour, Bill Smith, Karen Williams and Chris Pike for making this such a memorable camp for our scouts.
Skip – Amanda Seymour
January saw us training our 4 new Patrol Leaders and Assistant Patrol Leaders and all of our scouts are starting to put into practice the things that were covered during the Friday night and Saturday morning training session. We have been practising our knots and our lashings and great fun was had with the troop being split into two groups competing against each other for the best teamworking and tidiest square lashing using benches. We also enjoyed knotting using strawberry laces always a favourite amongst the troop. The strawberry laces I mean not so much the knotting.
We made our own pancakes at the hut and in February we saw 3 of our scouts represent the troop in the District Night Hike. It was a very wet and wild evening and as myself and Paul sat on a checkpoint in the car in the pitch black, down a dark country road, with the wind howling and the rain lashing down. I was so pleased that it wasn’t me actually walking. However our 3 scouts arrived back at Bexon Lane about 5 hours after they had set off still smiling despite being a little wet. This was great experience for them having to map read their way from Lenham Square back to Bexon Lane in the dark across fields etc. At the bases that were set up at various intervals the scouts had to carry out various activities and the leaders on those bases were allowed to nominate just 1 scout from all the groups that went through 10 extra points. I am pleased to say that Grace Kitt picked up 2 x 10 points from 2 bases one for perseverance and the other for trying to motivate all of the team she was in to join in the activity. Katie Pike also picked up 10 points for sheer determination to finish, originally she was bribed with sweets but then used her initiative and told them she needed the toilet so got a lift back for just the last ½ mile. The whole Saturday was spent preparing the Scouts for this hike by District and although I was extremely apprehensive about such young scouts going out on their own in groups of 5 or 6 in the dark map reading their way back I have to say that despite one very anxious moment were 6 out of the 7 groups were all lost, the speed that they were rounded back up again and set off in the right direction again was impressive. Sometimes we just have to let go of the reins and put our trust in our young people. Grace Kitt’s team received the runners up trophy.
We also had success at the District Art & Crafts Competition with Jessica Nock winning the collage category. The collage consisted of all of the badges that scouts can achieve and was decorated with scrabble letters spelling out various scouting terms. Jessica also got a certificate for her drawing of a Teynham Camp and Daniel Hill got 2nd place for his model of a camp site. We also had a number of other scouts participate and they all received certificates. It was great to see these scouts supporting the Founders Day Service and participating in the actual service itself.
For the past two weeks we have been busy with the help of Mrs. Longley making a beautiful card and gift for Mothers day. I think mums are going to be impressed when they see the end results and it was good having a parent come up with the ideas, prepare everything in advance and then turn up for two weeks in a row to run the evening. My husbands’ needlework skills need a little bit of work and as for one of our other leaders poor Chris Pike, every time something went wrong like the thread getting into a knot he was blamed for it, but it made us all laugh. The scouts were so engrossed they didn’t even bother to stop for a drink.
We are still looking for any astronomers who have large telescopes that they could bring down for our April Weekend Camp as part of our themed Camp.
We have so many activities both District organized and our own arranged for over the next few months that I feel as though I have done nothing but send out permission forms and do risk assessments recently.
You will find out more about what we have been up next time.
Skip – 01795 521744
There have been an awful lot of activities happening in the Scout Troop since my last report, most of it being held outside enjoying the lovely weather before Winter hits us.
Our May Camp at Thriftwood was a great success, with 20 scouts and 7 leaders attending. The Leaders arrived during the afternoon on the Friday which allowed them to set up their own tents as well as the mess tents etc. and to enjoy a peaceful night’s sleep before the scouts arrived on the Saturday morning. This was a camp with a difference as it was back to basics, which meant that the older scouts would be responsible for cooking and preparing their own food on open fires whilst our younger scouts some who had not camped before cooked on the gas cookers. Gone were the large patrol tents and the scouts used the smaller 3 man tents.
During the 3 days we took part in raft building, pedal car racing, sledging and crate stacking. However, the biggest success was the amount of open fire cooking the older scouts managed to do. The teamwork, communication and patience that is involved in open fire cooking shouldn’t be underestimated and the leaders were impressed at how quickly the scouts adapted to this and how well they organized themselves. The quality of the food they cooked was impressive, (I don’t remember too much getting burnt!). The scouts learnt how to light fires without using traditional matches and also experimented with some of the more unusual methods such as making and using charcoal cloth and Doritos Crisps and hand sanitizer.
We certainly went back to basics and it was great to see the scouts doing some traditional scouting activities, such as pioneering, axe and saw work, and making and sleeping out in Bivvy’s made from lashing wood together and covering them in groundsheets. On our return to Scouts parents were invited to attend a Camp Presentation evening where they watched a powerpoint presentation of the photo’s that were taken during the camp. Certificates were presented and a Special Award to George Vigeon for winning the Pedal Car Time Trials. A big thank you was given to to all the leaders and committee members for giving up their holiday to take the scouts away camping. As a result of this Camp, four of our Scouts have now achieved their Chief Scout Gold Award the highest in the Scout Section. Congratulations to Katie Nock, Victoria Bell, Ben Smith and Joe Crossley.
Before the holidays we concentrated on map reading, not one of our strong points in the troop!. On Saturday 27th June we joined Kent Scouts in trying to break the record for having the most scouts sleeping out over that weekend. We were kindly allowed to sleep out under the stars amongst the sheep at the Ancient Community Cherry Orchard in Lynsted. The Scouts arrived on Saturday evening with their rucksacks and were given the grid reference for the sleepout venue. Although they knew it was a farm they were heading for they didn’t have any idea that it was a cherry orchard or that they would be sleeping in amongst the sheep until they had map read their way there. They were quite surprised when they arrived to discover what lay ahead of them. Having put down the groundsheets, erected the toilet tent and the gazebo where of course the leaders would be sleeping (we’ve done our bit of sleeping on the ground without tents over the years) the scouts occupied themselves until bed time with a game of rounders and also a few games of Jenga. We also walked around the orchard reading the information boards and learnt a lot more about the History of the Cherry Orchard etc.. It was fascinating listening to all the noises around us in the countryside and a bit spooky. We were amazed as dusk fell to see owls flying around amongst the Cherry Trees. The sheep kept their distance and by around 1.30am the scouts were all asleep. Mind you around 4.00am most of them were awake again and at 5.00am just as the weather forecasters predicted the rain began. We woke up a couple of the younger scouts and put all the rucksacks under cover in the trailer and then proceeded to put on our waterproofs or squeezed into the small gazebo. After 15 mins the rain had stopped, typical as by this time the groundsheet was too wet to lay back down on. After some hot drinks we produced some excellent bacon sandwiches which the scouts devoured very quickly and after packing away all the equipment and doing a litter pick to make sure the site was left clean and tidy the Scouts were given the new route that they had to take to get back to the scout hut. It wasn’t a good omen when one scout group came out of the back gate and went left rather and started heading towards Lynsted church rather than right as instructed but hey ho that’s hiking for you. Eventually the scouts were all back on track and arrived at the hut in good time for their parents to collect at 9.30am. All the scouts who participated in the Big Night Out will be presented with a special Kent badge that was designed for this occasion. A huge big thank you for letting us use the beautiful Cherry Orchard for our sleepout. It was a good job the Cherries weren’t completely ripe otherwise I think there may have been more missing after our visit!. We have also done a second hike where the scouts were blindfolded and just dropped out at a secret destination. It was actually Norton Village Hall but it was amazing how many of them didn’t know where they were until they looked around for clues. The scouts had to map read their way back to the hut using the footpaths that we had marked on the map they were given. This type of map reading is more difficult than using the roads as often the footpaths are overgrown or not well signposted. After a few detours and the tracking down of some of the scouts as they hadn’t arrived at checkpoints we managed to round them all up and they arrived back at the hut bang on 9.30pm which is our normal finish time. Map reading is something that we certainly want to do more of when we go back after the summer holidays.
We have also been working on our Athletes badge and thanks to ISP for allowing us the use of their field next to the scout hut where we done our 100mtr race, our blind assist race and our relay. The following week we were at Bexon Lane Rifle Shooting and whilst one group were shooting, the others were competing in the field events such as discus, shot put and throwing the cricket ball. Everyone who participated in both of the evenings will be awarded their athletes badge.
A BIG THANK YOU to Daniel Hill and Grace Kitt who helped me at Lynsted Fete in the rain. Although it was soggy we enjoyed it.
At Christmas we will be sad to say goodbye to a number of our older scouts and we hope that they will go along to the Explorer Unit in Sittingbourne to continue their Scouting, but whatever they wish to do we wish them every success in the future.
We now have places available in the troop for any young person between 10 and 14 years of age who would like to join us. We meet every Thursday from 7.30pm – 9.30pm in our own hut along the Conyer Road. We charge £10.00 per month which includes scouts personal membership to the association, covers cost of resources used on troop nights etc., helps subsidise camps and also contributes to the up—keeping and running costs of our own hut. If you would like to know more please do not hesitate to contact me.
Skip – Amanda Seymour
More (old) News .......
This term we have been concentrating on map reading, not one of our strong points in the troop!. On Saturday 27th June we joined Kent Scouts in trying to break the record for having the most scouts sleeping out over that weekend. We were kindly allowed to sleep out under the stars amongst the sheep at the Ancient Community Cherry Orchard in Lynsted. The Scouts arrived on Saturday evening with their rucksacks and were given the grid reference for the sleepout venue. Although they knew it was a farm they were heading for they didn’t have any idea that it was a cherry orchard or that they would be sleeping in amongst the sheep until they had map read their way there. They were quite surprised when they arrived to discover what lay ahead of them. Having put down the groundsheets, erected the toilet tent and the gazebo where of course the leaders would be sleeping (we’ve done our bit of sleeping on the ground without tents over the years) the scouts occupied themselves until bed time with a game of rounders and also a few games of Jenga. We also walked around the orchard reading the information boards and learnt a lot more about the History of the Cherry Orchard etc.. It was fascinating listening to all the noises around us in the countryside and a bit spooky. We were amazed as dusk fell to see owls flying around amongst the Cherry Trees. The sheep kept their distance and by around 1.30am the scouts were all asleep. Mind you around 4.00am most of them were awake again and at 5.00am just as the weather forecasters predicted the rain began. We woke up a couple of the younger scouts and put all the rucksacks under cover in the trailer and then proceeded to put on our waterproofs or squeezed into the small gazebo. After 15 mins the rain had stopped, typical as by this time the groundsheet was too wet to lay back down on. After some hot drinks we produced some excellent bacon sandwiches which the scouts devoured very quickly and after packing away all the equipment and doing a litter pick to make sure the site was left clean and tidy the Scouts were given the new route that they had to take to get back to the scout hut. It wasn’t a good omen when one scout group came out of the back gate and went left rather and started heading towards Lynsted church rather than right as instructed but hey ho that’s hiking for you. Eventually the scouts were all back on track and arrived at the hut in good time for their parents to collect at 9.30am. All the scouts who participated in the Big Night Out will be presented with a special Kent badge that was designed for this occasion. A huge bit thank you for letting us use the beautiful Cherry Orchard for our sleepout. It was a good job the Cherries weren’t completely ripe otherwise I think there may have been more missing after our visit!. We have also done a second hike where the scouts were blindfolded and just dropped out at a secret destination. It was actually Norton Village Hall but it was amazing how many of them didn’t know where they were until they looked around for clues. The scouts had to map read their way back to the hut using the footpaths that we had marked on the map they were given. This type of map reading is more difficult than using the roads as often the footpaths are overgrown or not well signposted. After a few detours and the tracking down of some of the scouts as they hadn’t arrived at checkpoints we managed to round them all up and they arrived back at the hut bang on 9.30pm which is our normal finish time. Map reading is something that we certainly want to do more of when we go back after the summer holidays.
Over the last few weeks we have been working on our Athletes badge and thanks to ISP for allowing us the use of their field next to the scout hut we done our 100mtr race our blind assist race and our relay. The following week we were at Bexon Lane Rifle Shooting and whilst one group were shooting the others were competing in the field events such as discus, shot put and throwing the cricket ball. Everyone who participated in both of the evenings will be awarded their athletes badge shortly.
Wimbledon is upon us and each year we have our own competition at Sittingbourne Community College, this year we were lucky enough not only to have the tennis courts, but also the badminton courts and the table tennis. It was a fantastic evening however some of the leaders were a bit stiff in the morning from all the physical activity.
Skip – Amanda
Is it really nearly the Summer it doesn’t seem five minutes ago that we returned after the Christmas break. The lighter evenings are giving us more opportunity to be outside and make the most of our wonderful grounds at the hut.
We were very proud that some of our Scouts won certificates in the District Scouts Art & Crafts Competition that was held on Founders Day at Bexon Lane. There were various categories that they entered and as a section we done very well.
Our “which direction” evening was chaotic as normal as the Scouts planned their Winter Hike with a Sleepover. It was a very competitive Hike with half the troop going one way round the planned route with the others going the opposite way. I have to admit I was on the losing team and wasn’t impressed as Megan and her group past us at an extremely fast pace. It was slightly embarrassing as we were walking along the A2 back to Crispins Fish and Chip Shop to be met by some friendly banter by the other scouts who were sitting on the wall and had arrived back 10 mins earlier than us. We invested one of our new scouts in the telephone box on the A2. We got a few strange looks as two of us tried to get into the phone box with the Scout Flag, but we managed it.
We have been practicing our cooking skills ready for our May Camp and decided to cook a Portuguese dish, which for the life of me I can’t remember what it was called but it involved green beans ........
Active 8 a County Arranged event at Chatham Dockyard saw us take our Patrol Leaders and Assistant Patrol Leaders to have a look around at what scouting activities / campsites etc. they might want to go to and try in the future. An added bonus was that we were able to access the dockyard itself free of charge so we made good use of our time looking around.
Oh my goodness, when one of the leaders suggested we go aboard the Submarine - Ocelot I didn’t quite know what I was letting myself in for. If you could have seen me trying to swing myself through those small hatches well you would have laughed as much as I did. I think this was the problem, I had Megan pulling my feet and another leader trying to push me through by my shoulders. Once I started laughing that was it I couldn’t go forwards and couldn’t go backwards, what a sight. We also really enjoyed looking around Cavalier a World War II destroyer and the scouts have decided that they would like to do a sleep over on the ship which we are planning to do later in the year. I am telling you now, that I am not sleeping on the top bunk!.
Our Easter Egg Decorating Competition was a great success and there were some beautiful designs, using coloured icing and sweets, mind you some of them didn’t actually get home as I’ve been told they were devoured in the car.
We had a long break for Easter but this time was put to good use as the older scouts have now started to prepare for the Expedition Challenge Badge, the hardest of all the challenge badges in my opinion. We are now working against the clock as new badges are being introduced later in the year and we want to get these scouts their Chief Scout Gold Award before the change over to the new system.
We’ve tried our hand at tye-dying with varied success, I am hoping that the scouts will bring their T shirts and wear them at our May Camp. Let’s hope it doesn’t rain as I’m not 100% convinced that we did wash all the dye out at the end. We could have some very colourful scouts at the end of camp if it rains.
Preparing for our open fire cooking at camp, which we don’t do that often and aren’t actually very good at we spent one troop night practising lighting our fires. The younger scouts got matches the older scouts got a steel which they had to strike to get a spark. I think they would have gone hungry if we were waiting for them to light it before they could cook a meal but as they say practice makes perfect.
We are just starting our mechanics badge which will be interesting, but I can tell you one thing THEY ARE NOT PRACTISING ON MY CAR!!!! . The scouts will learn how to change a tyre, check oil levels, change window wipers, fill up the wash bottles, learn how a combustion engine works, tyre pressures and legal requirements for a tyre, how to change light bulbs and what’s involved in an MOT. I feel quite tired just thinking about it.
Well must finish now as I am starting to get ready for our May Camp at Thriftwood. We have one added task to do this year and that is to check EVERY label for EVERY thing and I mean EVERYTHING that we are going to give the scouts to eat at camp for Allergens. Even though parents notify us if their child has an Allergy. New legislation that came in last year means that we have to check EVERYTHING and produce a spread sheet listing all the products that we have found Allergens in so that parents can see. Perhaps I will take a leaf out of Bear Grylls book and just feed them insects and bugs etc. at least they don’t have labels to check !!!!
Granny Beaver was hoping to step down as Beaver Leader this year but despite advertising and asking around we have been unable to find anybody willing to come along to help out with a view to possibly taking over the colony at a later date. Granny doesn’t want to see her lovely Beaver Colony close and still wants to be involved in the weekly meetings in the future, and she is an excellent trainer, so she has agreed to continue for a little longer but there will come a point where if we don’t find someone willing to eventually take over the colony where we will be left with no alternative but to shut the Beaver Section which will result in many young people missing out on such a fantastic experience. Do you want to know more about what is involved?. Do you know someone at work that may be interested in finding out more or coming along to see what happens at a Beaver meeting?. If so please drop me an e-mail.
More news next time!
Skip – Amanda
Over the Christmas period 4 of our elder scouts were very busy with their Expedition Challenge, which is just one of the badges needed to complete their Chief Scout Gold Award. They were extremely lucky with the weather and luckily it wasn’t too cold either. This resulted in Ryan Smith, Joe Crossley and Katie Nock all now having completed the highest award in the Scout Section.
Our Science evening had a mixture of successes. Our sensory bottles were a great success and the scouts enjoyed watching the coloured bubbles appear which was the result of Alka-Seltzer tablets being dropped into a plastic bottle which contained glow sticks, vegetable oil, water and colouring. There were some beautiful colours. Back in January we placed some mushroom spores from Reading University into the middle of a wet toilet roll. The scouts have been nurturing them since, placing them both in a warm dark environment for a couple of weeks and then into their parents fridges (much to the disgust of some mums!), and then left out on a window sill in the warm. Some never made it and due to the stink ended up being thrown away, however I have been receiving some lovely photographs of the ones that have grown.
Burns Night was celebrated in the traditional way with the Hagis, Neeps and Tatties being paraded in from the kitchen and the address to the haggis made in a very dodgy Scottish accent courtesy of Bill Smith. I was amazed at how many of the scouts ate this dish which was washed down with Iron brew which represented the whisky which would traditionally have been drunk. The Scouts learnt all about Robert Burns and heard some of his famous poems. One of the scouts brought in a small set of bagpipes which everyone tried playing, and we laughed so much as the Scouts tried their hand at the gay gordons, and the highland fling. The evening ended with the Investiture of one of our new scouts and everyone joining in for “auld lang syne”.
Lastly, we have also looked at the changes that will be taking place in Scouting in September, where there will be new programs and badge requirements for all the sections. To achieve the Chief Scout Gold Award, Scouts will now need to earn 9 Challenge Badges and 6 Activity Badges, which will stretch our young people.
This is just another step towards Scouting Vision 2018 which is to:-
- Make a positive impact in our communities
- Prepare young people to be active citizens
- Embrace and contribute to social change
- Shaped by young people in partnership with adults
- Enjoyed by more young people and more adult volunteers
- As diverse as the communities in which we live
Members of Scouting in 2018 will feel:
Well that’s all for this time