I honestly do not know where this decade (and year has gone).
Within this decade I have started (and completed) Secondary and Junior school and completed many exams. I have been on residentials to an RAF camp for a week as well as a Cyber camp.
This decade has also seen 2 Summer Olympics (including one being held in the UK) as well as the Winter Olympics. The Rugby World Cup in 2015 was also held in the UK and I was lucky enough to see the match of USA v Japan. I then saw the similar match held this year from watching it on the ITV app during school.
I have been on many Scout camps this decade in different extreme weather. From Snow camp, to my first Evolution camp in the high temperatures. I have also camped across the country including camping at Gillwell, up and around Shropshire as well as around my own County. I have attended a mini Jamboree near Birmingham (called BrumJam) as well as attending the World Scout Jamboree – my greatest achievement this decade.
This year I completed my GCSEs, attended the 24th World Scout Jamboree, started Sixth form, kept writing blog posts and been up and discovered many new music, shows and information. I also continued taking my many different photographs as well as adopting Blue the bear.
I am very grateful for all the people I have met this year and within the decade and wish everyone the best for the new year!
Yum, recently at Explorers we completed a £20 challenge. We split up into small groups and our group decided to hold a cake sale to maximise our funds.
We were lucky enough to have our own personal chauffeur service in the form of my fellow Explorer’s older sister, so we were able to go shopping to buy our ingredients without relying on parent help. We bought lots of ingredients at the supermarket ready for the Great Explorer Bake Off one Sunday afternoon.
On Sunday afternoon we made fairy cakes (which were expertly decorated by my fellow Explorer’s younger sister), a lemon drizzle cake, a coffee cake, a banana and chocolate cake, crispy cakes, chocolate crunch and peanut butter and chocolate cookies (made with cutters from the Stanpit Company, another WSJ fundraiser). Plenty of yummy treats for our whole unit from Beavers through to Explorers to enjoy. Except there was a slight problem…
The evening of our cake sale coincided with the Beaver and Cubs bowling trip, so we had to rely on the Scouts and Explorers buying our delicious treats.
We sold a fair few cakes despite having two sections
missing. We were able to give our £20 starter fund back and when the ‘profits’
were split we each had raised a small amount. Mine is going towards my Jamboree
We’ve also learnt the valuable lesson to plan and check the programme in future!
Last Friday I had a break from my own fundraising, to go along to a quiz being held to fundraise for my sister’s gang show. I didn’t really want to go but I was reminded that Sis84 has been dragged along to multiple fundraising events for me.
So off we went braving the icy roads to get to the scout hut. It turned out to be a very popular evening as they had to sort out extra tables as there were so many teams taking part.
It started with a table quiz of picture questions on Christmas best selling toys and an alphabet take from sweet wrappers which we had to name the sweet. We started off great, with Dad84 naming all the Lego variations and Mum84 doing well on the sweet wrappers due to her sweet tooth.
The first challenge came with the title of the first round ‘Sport’ well Fam84 are not particularly into sporting events so we dreaded this round. The first question was a complete guess, but had they listened to me they would have got it correct – cricket. Mum84 excelled in her sporting knowledge, knowing the answers to a few including who first ran the four minute mile.
We did so well that at the halfway point we were in 2nd place. Amazing …
The second half was also fun, yet again we guessed a few (OK more than a few!) Dad84 disappointed us by getting the name of the newspaper that Peter Parker works for wrong and Mum84 had a good stab at the musicals and film theme songs. The last two rounds were our best – dingbats and logos. I hate to say it but I just don’t get dingbats even though its say what you see. Thanks to my celebrity big brother guess for one of the logos Mum84 correctly got ‘Bird’s Eye’.
We had a great evening and ended up coming 3rd! Not bad for an amateur team. It has to be noted that the winning team consisted of the family of my Beaver Leader. Congratulations.
Guest blogger Blue here. I’m Blue the Bear and I’m the official mascot of Unit 82. At our last unit meet-up I got the chance to hit the road with one of our more distant members and I was shocked to find out they were the secret blogger! I though I’d hijack their blog and tell you a bit about what I’ve been up to.
I got to visit the Beaver Colony that 84 helps out with and see some of the fun and games they get up to. I met their own mascot Barry the Beaver. We were taught about some of the things to take on a camp and the following weekend I went along to their winter camp. I wonder if any of the beavers I met will be a participant at a future World Scout Jamboree.
I’ve been to visit a museum all about the history of jet planes. It was interesting getting close to the planes. I can’t wait until we fly out for the Jamboree although I imagine the plane will be a lot bigger than the ones I saw. Talking about flying I was really excited when 84 told me about the travel details that had been released.
With Christmas coming up 84 has been out fundraising at Christmas Fayres. I’ve been along to some of these where I was on guard duty looking after the collection pot and keeping an eye on everyone looking at the things she had been making to sell. Fortunately no one tried to buy me because I’m sure I overheard her discussing with her sister how much she could charge for me.
You may have noticed in some of these pictures I’ve been sporting a Double Blue Bow-tie. While I’ve been staying with 84 there was a winter ball for the Explorers and Network members in her county. She went to this with some of her Explorer Group friends, but there were also quite a lot of other Jamboree participants as well and there are some nice pictures taken of them all. 84 made me a bow tie so I could dress the part as well.
As well as all things Scouting, 84 also took me along to a Rainbow meeting. There I met Olivia, the Rainbow mascot. The Rainbows were doing a craft activity with lots of glitter. I think we need more glitter at Double Blue unit meetings. The Rainbows taught me a new song while I was there, a Christmas Nativity song to the tune of the classic campfire “Pizza Hut” song.
This week 84 has been poorly and so been off school and at home during the day. It was nice to get the extra time with her although I am also a bit sad that she is unwell. I hope she recovers quickly in time for Christmas!
Sadly my time with 84 had to come to an end. Today we went to a meetup of all her county’s Jamboree members where we learnt more about what to expect. At the end of this I hitched a ride back up North.
While I’ve been staying with 84 we’ve written some other blogs together to publish in the future so I’m sure this won’t be the last you hear from me.
So this weekend I had the amazing opportunity to help collect money and fundraise at the famous Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival. If you haven’t heard about this carnival before it’s one of the largest illuminated processions in Europe, with a history going back hundreds of years.
After heading south down the M5 we arrived and unpacked at a small remote Somerset Scout hut which I would be staying in overnight.
After braving the park and ride we arrived in the bustling town centre. We saw a steel band, a samba band and an amazing giant bubble display. It started to get busy and knowing we needed food before joining the procession we wandered of towards the start, grabbing a hotdog along the way.
Walking around the corner to where everyone was lining up we were blinded by all the lit up carts, dazzled at how many lights each one contained. These were amazing – some of the larger ones were made of several long sections and had obviously taken a lot of work and time to create. In amongst these were smaller entries from around the country.
We found ourselves a gap to join in by one of the smaller entries and waited for it to set off. As we moved along I got the chance to collect change from some of the thousands and thousands of people lining the route. It was incredible being a part of it and seeing all the faces light up at the sights.
It took several hours to complete the route and once we’d done so I had a chance to see the rest of the procession as it also reached the end, but there was more to come.
The procession is followed by the squibbing. This funny sounding thing is where one of the streets was filled with 200 people each holding a long stick with a holder for gunpowder and when they were lit there was a fountain of sparks showering down the street. Bridgwater is one of only a few places in England to still take part in this spectacular tradition.
We started the next day with a traditional full English breakfast cooked in the scout hut, before heading off to start counting the money.
We arrived to a room already full of people and tables covered in small change. Before we arrived our individual collection buckets had been emptied into a single large bucket that was brought over to us. We were surprised at how large the pile of coins was when it was tipped out onto our table and then astounded when they told us there was a second bucket! We had no idea we had collected so much.
Then came the task of sorting and counting it all. Fortunately we didn’t have to count all the copper coins (over 5,000 of them) or the 5p’s as once we’d sorted them we had some scales and could split them into bags of about £20 each – when they double checked our weights none of our bags were more than 10p out!
We still had to stack and count all the other coins (along with a few notes, a screw, a chip, a packet of salt, some fairground tokens and a flyer for a gym!) . We spent several hours sorting, stacking and counting coins – almost as long as the parade had taken the night before.
It felt good to get it totalled up and back on the road home again. I still can’t believe what a great experience it was, and so different taking part rather than just watching. I hadn’t really thought about what happens to all the coins that get collected at these events so I have a lot more respect for the people that do this sort of thing .
This week I have been helping the community by helping at my county’s Vintage Fair. On Scout Scarf Day (Wednesday 1st August), I wore my scout necker with pride whilst line painting out pitches – we measured out the distance of the paths and the roads and then painted lines on the ground. We also put up barriers in the afternoon to set out areas for the main event.
On Thursday we helped to park all the exhibitors into the pitches we painted on Wednesday. On Friday, we set up our free stall and helped to direct more people to their pitches and in the evening we watched as the vintage cars, tractors, fire engines, steam engines and trucks drive around the site.
On Saturday and Sunday, we helped to run our stall. There were a range of activities including splat a Scout (which was refreshing as it helped to cool us down from the heat), a donut challenge (where you had to eat the donut from the string without it dropping, using your hands or licking your lips), a tombola (where all the prizes were kindly donated by some of the stall holders), a balance the coin on the lemon (where if it held for 5 seconds or more you won 5x the amount you put on the lemon), a teddy tombola (where you could win a prize every time) and finally a surprise tube (where under every tube there was a different prize ranging from good to bad e.g. there could be a tin of mushy peas to sweets to toilet roll to bookmarks).
On Sunday, before my shift I looked around the fair and took photos with my camera. I saw a Dennis fire engine from Dorset, which we believe my Grandfather may have driven as a fireman. Mum says one of the “vintage” cars I took a photo of was newer than her first car.
So since Friday I have been fundraising all weekend. I have officially decided that after 7 months of fundraising it is not fun anymore so I’m am changing the name. I shall now call it draising! – to take away the fun of it.
On a positive note, I have nearly raised half of my final total of £4,000. I am also going on two camps over the next two weekends with my county and Jamboree unit.
Whilst draising, I have been in the cold, the rain, the wind and the sun. I have been to my District’s AGM where I talked about my Jamboree journey so far, displayed some of my photos and sold some of my craft items. I managed to talk to some of the ISTs who had been selected and talked to them about the campsite.
I have also met the Dulux dog, Peppa Pig and someone whose father helped to organise the UK Scouts going to the 13th World Scout Jamboree in 1971 to Japan which got evacuated for two days because of a typhoon (hoping this won’t happen to me when I go to the 24th WSJ).
A massive ‘shout out’ to all those who have helped me so far – I really appreciate it.
It’s been 9 weeks since I camped in the snow (there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad kit) and this weekend I experienced the complete opposite in weather. I had the pleasure of spending the last two days roasting in the glorious sun, relaxing by the river. Well not quite relaxing as I was busy fundraising but it was by the river.
I have made too many paracord bracelets to count this weekend and if anyone mentions the word paracord I might just get some and strangle them!
The highlight of my weekend was not seeing Meghan Markle’s quite plain wedding dress or Pippa Middleton’s can of green tea dress but the moment when I sold one of my hand made hair scrunchie’s and the girl who bought it took out her JoJo bow and replaced it with my scrunchie. Move over JoJo -84’s hair accessories are the future.
I recently did some eggcellent fundraising by holding a couple of Easter raffles. To make my prizes look pretty we grouped a couple of different sized eggs together and wrapped them in cellophane and tied them with raffia ribbon. The eggs were bought when the first offers were good earlier in the year with about £10 spent on each raffle.
I held one raffle through the Scout Group where I am a Young Leader. The Beavers were very keen to win and I sold raffle tickets at £1 a strip. The only downside was having to ‘turn out’ every Thursday for a few weeks so that the Cubs got to take part, but even that wasn’t too bad as I got to see the Cub Young Leader who I went to Scouts with but don’t see very often as we go to different schools – who is now begging me to lend her some walking trousers for her DofE.
I held the other raffle at my school and my friends really wanted to win the delicious chocolate prizes. At school I did it slightly differently so as too maximise my profits, 50p a ticket or 5 tickets for £2 (to get the odd change left over from bus money!)
Congratulations to all my winners.
Together the raffles raised nearly a 25th of my fundraising goal so I’m already planning on doing it again next year and have bought (in the Easter sale) some very large cuddly bunnies to include as prizes.