Gangshow Week 2022

A few weeks ago, I helped out with my districts gangshow. The following is what I got up to over the week helping as a member of the backstage crew.

On the Friday, I helped with the get in process. This required moving all the scenery from the districts hall into a lorry which would then be driven to the theatre. We had lots of Timbits to keep us motivated before then driving to the theatre to unload. I then helped the scenery crew completing some laminating (to make smiley awards) as well as tying lots of paper cranes onto string. At the end of the day, I had blisters after tying over 300 knots!!

On the Saturday, I helped to tie the previous paper cranes with string onto another piece of string in order for them to hang in rows on the stage. I then started helping on the stage where I found out my role was to move backstage staging and scenery – whilst also checking the staging was secure with tight clamps. We went through all the sets to check there positions with the producer and chair of the show, and when we were given the all clear, we marked the position of the set with tape. When setting hanging scenery, I got to help screw some wire rope clamps onto the metal wire which would be hung from the bars via. a carabiner: we had to make sure that this set hung evenly and was not wonky. At lunchtime, we had Chilli for helping out all day.

Over the Sunday and Monday, it was dress rehearsals with the cast. I became an honorary curtain puller, due to the designated curtain puller being unavailable. Luckily, I only went wrong once during the two rehearsals. On top of this, I helped to move set and was given a radio where some funny radio chatter happened.

The Tuesday consisted of a crew only rehearsal, where the musicians practiced whilst we quickly changed sets to become more efficient. It was a lot more relaxing during the practice and so we could get away with messing about in between.

Wednesday through to Thursday was the full show and it went well without running too far behind. On the Wednesday, I was given my new gangshow red necker which I was very excited for. I missed the Friday due to my university friends coming to visit however, this was when I made my gangshow newspapers gossip columns debut – all for hanging up some of the fallen set backstage in the wings.

Saturday was the longest day of the week but Blue came along for the shows. It consisted of two shows with a dinner break in between. We got free ice cream from the local ice cream factory during the break which was very kind of them. During both shows they were filming and so at the end we had to go on stage for our bow/ wave. The final show was the best show as we hid a pineapple during each singing number – it was a tradition dating back older than me. After the final show we had to have the get out process where we removed all the items, loaded up the lorry and unpacked at the districts scout hut.

Overall, it was a very fun week volunteering and I am already looking forward to next year!

hi 2022.

So a new year, a new resolution. I would say my resolution for 2022 would be to be more frequent in my blog writing but with university exams throughout January, I knew this would not be the case. I do not really have a resolution for this year other than to wake up earlier and be more productive during the day. My university semester starts back on the 31st so I currently have a week of ‘freedom’ and during this I am exploring the city.

This past week has been semi eventful. On Tuesday, I had the last of my exams after which I had my booster jab (as an end of exam present). On the Wednesday, I went on a walk along the local canals before starting season 2 of Cheer on Netflix (and subsequently finishing it by Friday). (see photos of canal walk below)

Catapult

Thursday was a quiet day, however in the evening I had Beavers and Scouts. The Beavers learnt all about Australia to help them with their international badge whilst the Scouts made their catapults in their patrols. I made my own catapult at the same time (which worked better than the Scouts’ catapults!). I was then invested as a leader into the Scout Group which I definitely was not expecting – I now have another neckerchief to add to my collection.

On Friday, I choose to go on a mini hike around Lickey Hills where I walked over 22,000 steps (around 15km). It was a very therapeutic walk even with the strong winds and in the cold. I thoroughly enjoyed being able to wander around the woods and find look out points to try and spot my University’s clock tower (Old Joe). As I was returning back onto campus I was proud of myself as pre-WSJ, 84 would never have done anything like this. (see photos of Lickey hills walk below)

On Saturday, I tagged along to visit the Guide shop. I found some old badges in a lucky dip bag as well as the county Guiding badge which I had to buy. I avoided saying the banned word Scouting in the store – though it may not actually be banned, I didn’t want anyone catching on that I was an imposter! I got back to my flat and one of my flatmates had returned from the Christmas break. We caught up before going out shopping to grab some food before watching the Incredibles 2 (I worked out the villain within the first 30 mins – my flatmates can back me up) and an episode of Dawson’s Creek.

Winterbourne House and Gardens

On Sunday, my flat and I headed to the Winterbourne house and gardens; where Blue has previously gone on a Bear hunt. We then ate some food before tidying the flat to have a small party in the evening. Look out for Blue’s blog where he heads on a Bear hunt!!

What does the Fleur De Lis mean to me?

The following blog has been sitting in my drafts for a few years now. I still agree with what I have written so it is as below.

The three leaves of the trefoil represent the threefold Scout Promise – Duty to God and Country, Duty to Self and Duty to Others. To me they also represent the 3 sections of Scouting I have already been through – Beavers, Cubs and Scouts.

The two small five-point stars stand for truth and knowledge but to me they also represent the two hours of volunteering I participate weekly.

The reef knot represents the strength of World Scouting but to me this also represents badge work such as the pioneering badge where I first learnt all of my knots.

The rope around the Fleur De-Lis represents units but to me it also represents the beginning and ends of the meetings where we face the flag and perform flag break.

The ring holding the petals together represents the bonds of brotherhood and so to me it represents my Scouting family. Hence all the friends I have made and met through Scouting.

Simple views but with my own personal connotations. What does the Fleur de Lis mean to you? let me know in the comments below.

Hi again

Hello blog, recently I have not been very active with my blog due to being back at school (in real life) rather than on online school. This has meant that I have been very busy, especially getting back into the school routine, as well as preparing for exams. Hopefully, by the end of May, I should be back to blogging weekly as I should be finished with school for the Summer.

snail shield

On Monday the 19th of April 2021, we had our first Beavers meeting outside in over a year after being on Zoom since March 2020. This was really enjoyable and the Beavers seemed to enjoy the evening playing games, sat at a safe distance apart, as well as learning about the patron saint of Scouting, St. George. We played games such as Splat, Heads and Tails and Simon Says before finishing the evening by designing our own shields – which mine had a snail on.

Virtual Games

Today’s blog post will be discussing different games you can play via. Zoom or any other online Scouting meeting. These are different games I have played with Beavers however, they could be played with any age group.

The bean game:

The leader or young leaders call out different types of beans and the young people will act them out once called. You can call out more than one beans so they act two or more at the same time. The different beans are as follows:

Runner bean – run on the spot

Jelly bean – wave arms like a jelly fish

Broad bean– stand with arms out in a star position

String bean – stand with arms up in air long

Jumping bean – jump up and down

Baked bean – crouch down in a ball

Beans on toast – lie on floor with arms out

French bean – say ‘oo la la

Mr Bean – say ‘where’s my teddy

Finally, you can combine different actions together such as jelly bean and French bean.

Simon said:

Use your Leaders name and play Simon said. For example, my Beaver name is Snail so if I say ‘Snail said clap your hands’ and the young people will follow and copy. However, if I say ‘stop’ then the young people will continue clapping as I/ the leader did not say “Snail said”

NESW:

This game uses the North as pointing your fingers up, East as right, South as down and West as left. You can also incorporate different ‘pirate’ actions including:

Scrub the deck – kneel down and pretend to scrub the floor

Climb the riggin‘ – move arms up and down as if you are climbing up a ladder

Captains coming – salute and stand to attention

Crocodile – snap your arms in front of you like a crocodile making a snapping noise

Life boats of *insert number here* – hold the number on your hand using your fingers i.e. lifeboats of 3, you will hold 3 fingers up

Walk the plank – lie on the floor off camera

Shark attack – pretend to have a fin and become a shark

True or false:

For this game, you will say different facts and the young people will decide if they believe they are true or false. If the young people believe they are trues, they will put their thumbs up and if they believe the fact is false, they will put their thumbs down. You can vary the facts and questions to make them more difficult for older groups.

Alphabet game:

For this game, you go around the young people asking them to name something beginning with A. The next young person will say the previous A word and add a word beginning with B. This can be done with a theme such as animals, household objects or even items you would take camping.

If you have any games which I have not mentioned feel free to comment them on this post!

Founders Day

Happy Founders day to all of my Scouting friends or World Thinking day for all Guides. Today marks the 164th anniversary of the birth of the founder of Scouting, Lord Robert Baden Powell.

In today’s Beaver meeting we held a quiz to discuss the history of Scouting as well as had a few Beaver investitures. We retold our promise and played a few games.

Microwavable mug-cakes

The final result

This week at Beavers we learnt ‘virtually’ how to make mug cakes. Here is the recipe we used.

Ingredients (dry)

  • 1/4 cup of flour
  • 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
  • a pinch of salt

Ingredients (wet)

  • 1/4 cup + tablespoon of milk
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

Ingredients (optional)

  • 1 tablespoon of mini chocolate chips

Instructions:

1/ place all dry ingredients into a bowl and mix together

2/ add wet ingredients into the same bowl and mix until smooth

3/ place into a microwavable mug (you may have to scrape sides of bowl to get all mixture into mug)

4/ sprinkle chocolate chips (or extra ingredients) onto top middle of mixture – no need to stir them in

5/ with a microwave of 950W place into microwave for 70 seconds or for an 850W microwave place in for 80 seconds etc.

The final result

6/ take care when removing mug from microwave as it’ll be hot

7/ if your cake does not feel ‘cakey/spongy’ place in microwave for an extra 10 seconds

8/ wait for cake to cool down before eating

EJ2020 Update

Today’s blog is going to be slightly different- it is an update on EJ2020. A few weeks ago we were told that it has been postponed until next year due to the current pandemic however, due to turning 17 recently, I will be over the age of 18 next summer. At the time, we had to wait for our national organisations to respond with what they will do and on Saturday (2nd May) I discovered that UK Scouting decided that over 18s will not be able to attend as participants whom if the Jamboree was put on this summer would have been.

I am very disappointing by this decision made due to having spent the last year fundraising with many of my peers. This action has not been taken very well by all year 12 students as other national Scout organisations are still allowing those who will turn 18 to attend including UK Girl Guiding.

I would like to challenge this as why should we be disadvantaged after all our hard work fundraising?

Happy Founders Day!

Today across the world we celebrate Founder Day. Robert Baden Powell was born on February 22nd 1857. However, previously I have celebrated World Thinking Day – which is the Guiding version of Founders Day after, Robert Baden Powell’s wife, Olave – whom also has the same birthday just in 1889.

I like to spend today thinking about my fellow Scouts and Guides from around the World. Having had the opportunity to attend WSJ2019 I feel honoured to be part of such a giant group of people.