Chipping Sodbury Scroll Issue 74 - April 2016
April 2016 Scroll Reports
April Scroll Reports are now avaliable to view via the link below.
Wow, Summer is just around the corner and with the lighter nights here now all the sections look to be getting busy with camps and evenings out. The scouts will soon be heading north for the Lake District, Tuesday Cubs are going to the Avon Jamboree, Monday Cubs and Friday Beavers also have weekend activities planned.
It’s been nearly a year since Simon Bateman took over the running of Wednesday Scouts and the troop has now nearly doubled in size, Even though there is a good leadership team in place we do really need a extra pair of hands to help with the growing numbers in the section. If you are able to help, or think you may be able to help please make contact with either myself or Simon to have a chat.
I am also after a Friday beaver parent that would be able to help out for quarter of an hour at the start of a beaver meeting to collect the subs and do the section accounts. You would need to be CRB checked but we really need someone to do the section accounts so the leaders can concentrate on running the section. Please drop me a line if you may be able to help.
The group continues to be full and I need to stress again the importance and need for you to let me know as soon as possible if you have preferred nights for your children to go to when they move on, (Beavers @ 8 Cubs @ 10 ¼- ½ ) We have again had a few people this term leave the group due to there not being space for them to move to the section of their choice. So please if you know your child for example has football on a Monday let me know they will need a place in Tuesday Cubs, and I will do what I can to accommodate them.
I want to start this report with telling you how amazing the cubs were on the cycle challenge a week or so before the half term break. They were amazing!
Up and down the cycle track they went, 16 times in all equating to 10 miles and all for Sport Relief. For some of the cubs it was a real challenge but they didn’t give up and completed it. I bet they were asleep quite quickly when they got to bed though. On top of that, they have raised nearly £500 for Sport Relief – Amazing!
The week before the cycling, as part of the fitness bit for the Skills Challenge award, we had a dance night. Yes, that’s right, dancing. We were lucky enough to have a couple of friends come and take the evening, well, can you imagine any of us leaders in our joggers and leg warmers running the evening? I think it was like Zumba. The cubs all joined in and had a go at copying the routines, all very energetic. It was good fun and we only had one wear pink leg warmers!
Right back in January we had a survival night. In their sixes, the cubs were only allowed on their island (groundsheet) for the whole night. Each day they were given a challenge, e.g. make a shelter, fish for food and could rest during the night. The days lasted about 10 minutes, lights out for night for a couple of minutes and then morning came again. One night it was very stormy and most got caught in the rain (shelters full of holes). The evening seemed to go very quickly and definitely one we will do again some time.
Do you know your Chinese zodiac sign? We had a Chinese New Year evening where the cubs were told the story of how the animals were chosen, given their names in Chinese (internet is great) and then had the chance to make something, lantern, do some origami or Chinese dragon. I’m a tiger by the way.
Back to our fitness bit, we took a trip to Tesco and went behind the scenes to do the ‘Farm to Fork’ scheme. This tells the cubs where some of our food comes from and how it is sold. One of the tasks was to investigate the fruit and veg and find out where it was grown. You’d be surprised at the number of countries are represented; Chile, Spain, Portugal and the UK to name but a few. Next time you’re in Tesco, have a look at the label.
The cubs also got the chance to go into the baking area and were told about how the bread was made, massive mixing bowls and even bigger bags of flour. They even got to walk through the proving oven. Unfortunately they couldn’t see any being made but did get the chance to try some different breads. The fish and cheese counters were also on the agenda and whilst there wasn’t any sushi on offer, cheese tasters were, including a fruit cheese and a goats cheese. Some weren’t quite so sure about the goat one.
This is a selection of the activities we did in the first term of 2016. There were also plenty of badges awarded as we get to grips with the new Challenge awards, introduced at the end of 2015. We have the Jamboree to look forward to at the end of May and the Activity Fun Day in June. We’re also looking at another camp, yet to be decided.
I can’t believe we’re already coming to the end of April but it does mean we’ll have the lighter nights from now on to get outside.
Troop nights in the New Year are generally dark and cold affairs, this year wetter than usual, so we decided to hibernate for January and explore the wonders of indoor flight. How much fun can you have with an A4 sheet of paper? Well, after trimming for pitch, roll and yaw, we performed aerial acrobatics and some managed to land their creations on an impromptu “aircraft carrier”.
Continuing our aeronautical theme, we set about making self-propelled models the good old-fashioned way. I am sure those magnificent flying machines have pride of place on bedroom shelves and are a joy to keep dust free.
Half of us made the trip over the bridge, to Fedw. After pushing the vans up muddy driveways, we enjoyed open fires, home cooked food and bracing hikes with terrific views.
Having determined it was safe to venture out, we had an impossible wide game: hunting for small bamboo batons in the dark and hiding them back at secret bases. This was followed by a couple of nights back indoors, perfecting our knotting and pioneering skills, before putting away our iPads and phones in favour of a more traditional way of communicating.
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The final challenge before Easter saw two patrols send signals over several miles to one another, using flashlight, relaying instructions as to the whereabouts of a chocolate stash. This provided the necessary motivation to perfect map-reading skills and, sure enough, in the middle of a hedge, in the corner of a dark field, there they were.
I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas (even though it seems so long ago) we have welcomed many new beavers and sadly said goodbye to some that have moved up to cubs since January.
We have been working on lots of badges and have had lots of fun learning about different countries of the EU using our little passports, we have tried all sorts of food from each county and the beavers worked really hard to bring in some information about each country.
We also had a very successful chip hike which we luckily had good weather for and all the beavers walked well and all enjoyed there chips.
We made some very lovely Easter decorations and was very lucky that the lovely people on DOT.COM in Tesco Yate decided to start raising money for different charities and they very kindly brought all the beavers an Easter egg with the money raised which the beavers were very pleased with.
We have had lots fun and have loads more planned for the summer so for now I will say thank you to my fantastic assistants and if anyone would like an evening to share a skill or talent with us then please let me know.
After the Christmas break we all returned refreshed and full of energy, the scouts more so than the leaders. We kicked off the term with the World Challenge Badge This involved the new scouts doing a presentation to the troop on the villages they live in. The older scouts chose a country and did their presentation on several aspects of that country. I feel a special mention is needed for PJ who did Russia and did this presentation in a convincing Russian accent!
After the World Challenge we went straight into the Creative Challenge and we did a Come Dine With Me type thing. The scouts were give a budget of £10 and they had to plan the menu and all the ingredients for a 3 course meal that they would cook over the following three weeks. They would be scored on keeping with in budget, cooking within the one hour time limit and quality of the meal produced. So week one they planned there menus, visited Waitrose or looked on the internet for food prices and gave us a full list of ingredients to buy, there prices and where to shop. Week two they cooked their first course and all produced amazing courses, so top marks all round. The same was true for weeks three and four. The scouts produced really amazing meal that they planned and executed. I’m really impressed and proud of their skills at their age to be able to pull off a three course meal on budget and time. A massive well done to all that took part.
During the half term we went to Fedw, a cottage in the Brecons. As always we had an amazing time. We were very lucky with the weather and managed two hikes. One up the Sugar Loaf and the other along the Llangattock Plateau. All in all a brilliant weekend.
To finish the term off we had a look at knots, lashings and pioneering. First they learnt different knots and there uses, then how to lash and finally putting the two together built catapults out of staves.
I hope everyone has had a great Easter break. Hopefully the weather will improve as we are out most of the weeks this term.
On our first Pack night following the Christmas and New Year break, we decided that the Cubs should “blow away the cobwebs” and be encouraged to be a little bit wild so, kitted out in hike boots and waterproofs, they were taken to the fields nearby HQ and given the single instruction: to get as muddy as possible whilst playing wide games! Of course, my sincere apologies (not really ￼) go to the parents of those who had to deal with the result of those who faithfully followed orders, ie all of them, but be assured that they had a wonderful and memorable time.
On the following Monday, in their Sixes, the Cubs invented and named new activity games for everyone to play. Over subsequent weeks, they explained these games to all of the other Sixes – and then everyone played them! There was evidence of some really creative thinking which resulted in a lot of fun and excitement for all. It was a reminder for us all that great fun can be generated in the simplest ways, at no cost.
Another energetic night ensued when, with the help of Chil’s daughter, Alex we introduced the Cubs to the pleasures of Zumba – the cardio aerobic workout largely based upon Latin American dance music. By the end of the evening, we’d all shed enough calories to fill a skip! I hope the Cubs slept as well that night as I did!
After half-term we celebrated the Chinese New Year by making Chinese Dragons from cardboard boxes and tubes, paper, cellophane and foil. They learned of the symbolism, culture and legends surrounding the different dragons which guard the forests, wind, fire, lightning and skies, earth, crops and mountains, rivers, rain, wells and water, metals and precious gems. An educational as well as cultural night was had by all.
One of the corner stones of scouting has always been skits, ie comedy sketches. In the words of Baden Powell: "Singing and acting are excellent for training in self-expression. Also they mean good team work, everybody learning his part and doing it well, not for applause for himself but for the success of the whole show.". Thus, as we approached Mother’s Day, the Cubs spent one pack night writing, preparing and rehearsing skits on the theme of “just how great mums are” then the following week, they presented them to a specially invited audience of mums, dads, grandparents and siblings! The Cubs each made their visitors a cuppa – for most of them it was the very first time they had ever boiled a kettle and made hot drinks, so further proof that even a fun night has its educational side.
Our Pack nights are very diverse! We had one evening dedicated to a very contemporary subject, that of the effects of healthy eating – or the lack of it – upon the human body, during which the Cubs learned what ‘healthy’ poo and wee should look like (using facsimiles made from chocolate -including Lion Bars - as well as watery paint … I promise not to explain further if you promise not to ask!) and how they can tell if they are eating and drinking too much of the wrong things.
Our camp under canvas at Conygres, Wotton-under-Edge was a huge success for which we must thank Tuesday Akela, Mr Fox, Shere Khan, Explorer Tom Millar as well as Scouts Jack Rawlins and Ben Keeping. They are all amazing leaders who helped the Cubs pitch Patrol Tents in record time for the very first time – most of the Cubs had never before even seen a Patrol Tent let alone erect one! My husband, John had prepared in advance their dinner which meant that, with the help of Rachel Bennett in the kitchen, the Cubs were able to eat a hearty meal in very good time. The Cubs were all then far too excited to sleep so we took them on a night hike to Nibley Monument after which they settled in their sleeping bags and were asleep in seconds! The next morning, they cooked breakfast then made dens in the woods. They all practiced fire-lighting and each of them had their own tiny fire to start, each of which was used as a base for their Six cooking fires on which was cooked their tea and eventually pulled together into our camp fire around which we sang and of course, toasted huge marshmallows! We know that they were all very tired upon their return but we all had the best time together.
Before the Easter holidays, there were planned another couple of activity evenings. Despite the unavailability of Alex, due to illness, we had an evening of yoga, led by yours truly, Baloo and Sarah – our wonderful parent/helper. It’s fair to say that none of the Cubs succeeded in attaining the intended state of deep spiritual insight and tranquillity, despite our best efforts. In fact, one or two probably ended a little closer to Yoda than yoga.
Arranged by Raksha, we ended the term in the very capable hands of the coaches from Chipping Sodbury Rugby Club who organised and controlled a fabulous evening of Tag Rugby – a non-contact version of the sport. Who knows, we may have set a future international rugby player on the road to stardom!
We are pleased to welcome Lorraine or “Baloo” as the Pack decided should be her Cub name. Lorraine’s son is one of our former Cubs who enjoyed many happy hours as part of our Pack, and thus she has volunteered to give back some of her time to the Group.
Overall, it’s been a very busy, active but immensely fulfilling start to 2016 with much more still to come!
Akela (Sharon Cross)
Friday Beavers enjoyed a variety of activities during the Spring term. We said goodbye to a group of beavers and welcomed some new ones.
We have had a couple of games evenings focusing on teamwork and log chews to share ideas for the rest of the year. During one evening they all worked as a team to create a huge snakes and ladders board and play a game in teams.
The beavers began working for their cook badge, learning about kitchen and hand hygiene. Fun was had seeing how effective hand washing was by using a light box. They cooked pancakes over tea-light candles and decorated biscuits. Just a little bit of cooking at home to do now to complete their badge.
Another evening we had a parent come with lots of bandages and pieces of equipment to talk about her job as a nurse. Recus Annie also visited that night and lots of first aid was learned and practised.
After the half term break the beavers had a musical night, learning a song and making up music to accompany themselves. A very noisy, but enjoyable evening.
We then had an evening learning different knots followed by a sleepover. The beavers had to use their knotting skills to build dens to sleep in. this was a great success and nine beavers got their first night away badge.
Just before Easter we had a night to learn about maps and the compass. Followed by a night walk to navigate around a route on a map. Finally we ended term with a craft evening, making cards, decorating biscuits, painting eggs and making chocolate nests.
Again, many thanks to all our parents who give up their evenings and nights to help us. We really appreciate your continued support. Also thank you to the rest of the team:- Squirrel, Stag, Snake and Bat who help make Friday beavers a success.
BSL-Badger ( Sally )
In a change from the usual report I’m going to let you know about our two camps that have taken part this year. First Fedw, then survival camp.
Fedw took place a little earlier this year, at the beginning of February. We had a small group and were joined by an ex Explorer now mountain leader, Byron Payne. The Explorers were amazing and extremely organised. They sorted out their own work rotas and were the cleanest most organised group I’ve ever seen. On the Saturday we went up the Sugar Loaf. We had a lot of rain, in fact I’m sure in one of the farms we passed I swear I saw an ark being built! Despite the horrific rain the Explorers got on with it and had an amazing time. It is also good to walk in this weather as you learn so much about kit and knowing what is possible and I hope they all learnt a lot from the walk. On the way back we stopped off in Crickhowell for treats before the final climb up to Fedw. The footpath was a river so that was entertaining. The Saturday meal was organised by Ines as part of her programme activity. The meal was Portuguese (Pork cheeks) and was outstanding. All cooked, prepared and served by the Explorers. On Sunday we had sun!!!! So we did a short walk to the cave on the escarpment. In the cave we invested the new Explorers, Ollie, Will, Ines and Tom – welcome. All in all Fedw was amazing this year and I can’t thank all the Explores and Leaders enough for everything they did.
Our second camp was survival camp in March. We only had four attend (James, Tom, Will and Cameron). However they really got stuck in. On our first night they had a cabin to sleep in. On Saturday they got stuck in to building their shelters, and cooking their meal. The shelters were amazing and so well made the camp warden asked if they could be left so others could see how it should be done. Our meals were cooked….. again all done by the Explorers and all very well cooked! On Saturday night the Explorers slept out in their shelters. Luckily it didn’t rain and they all had a comfortable-ish night. On the Sunday after, shall we say a fiery breakfast we headed out on a hike along the Offa’s Dyke path. This ended in Tintern with cake, lush. All in all an amazing camp and a huge thanks to all the Explorers who took part