Evolution: #stravolution part 2

Many apologies for not posting on Sunday I’ve been very busy recently – apparently one of my jamboree unit has a secret blog and I’ve been trying to figure out who! I’ve also been visiting family-a big shout out to my Grandma ‘Happy Birthday’ it was great to see everyone at your party. One of my cousins couldn’t make the party she was in hospital having my new 2nd cousin.

So last week I posted about helping out at Strategy well this blog post is all about Evolution. It’s similar to Strategy but is for Explorers, Network and their Guiding counterparts.

There were 15 bases including moving a flag pole, an assault course, the caving bus, don’t buzz the wire, axe throwing, belay systems, catch the bean bag in hat, total wipe out and move the golf ball thought pipes. It was a hot and tiring day but our patrol leader kept us motivated and we managed to visit 14 of the bases.

The evening entertainment was a band called The Lost and they were good.

There were several jamboree units there and I’m quite jealous of Unit 82s hoodies, they look great. Unit 82 also took along a paddling pool – seriously cool! I’m also very envious and secretly hoping we steal the idea of the woggles that Unit 81 have.

The food this weekend was yet again delicious and I loved the curry, but didn’t get free chips this weekend 🙁

We got to sleep in some tents from the last World Scout Jamboree so I didn’t need to take my own this time. I think I must have scared away all the spiders as even though I came prepared with my peppermint tea bags I didn’t discover any.

How did we do? We didn’t win but my patrol were in the top 30 out of over 100 teams which I think is pretty good given this is the first time we’ve done something like this as a Unit. It’d be great to do it again next year, maybe I’ll have worked out who the secret blogger is by then.

Strategy: #stravolution part 1.

My Mum says how times have changed since she was a Venture Scout as the last words she said to me when dropping me off at camp this weekend were “have you got your charger cable?” Does she not fully appreciate the Scout motto! Well she certainly does now as next time I go camping she’s threatening to get the plumber in.

Before I write about this weekend, let me tell you about last weekend, when I helped out at Strategy, a event full of activities and challenges aimed at Scouts and Guides. I thought I’d use this blog to give you an idea of what that involved.

I arrived on Friday evening and, after pitching my tent, went to find a job to do as this was a working weekend. Unfortunately there were no jobs to do at the time so I went and explored the site and then investigated the disco. After a tiring evening (I had come straight from school) I went to bed.

We had an early start at a quarter to seven to go and get our breakfast, before working on the packed lunch conveyor belt. We then packed our day sacks ready to ‘man’ the bases.

For the morning I was at the Catapult base, at this base participants could score up to 100 points by catapulting 5 tennis balls and 5 soft balls into a variety of targets like buckets (an automatic 100 points), a paddling pool (20 points each) and a roped off area (5 points each) with bonus points if they ‘accidently’ hit one of the Young Leaders.

After lunch I moved bases to a giant “buzz wire” game. This time they had two minutes to complete the challenge to earn 100 points, but lost points every time they made it buzz.

I helped checked off the wristbands of each person as they came through for dinner and then had other tasks such as being on “hand sanitiser duty” and giving out pudding. After dinner was over I helped out in the café, scooping ice-cream onto waffles and taking payment for ice-cream cones. Even though I was on the ice-cream stand I somehow ended up eating free chips.

Once our set tasks were over we played with an American football someone had brought (well the Jamboree is in the USA) and generally wound down.

When we got back to our tents my Spidey-Senses kicked in. One of my tent buddies had left the inner tent unzipped and we’d been invaded during the day. My skill at spotting spiders no-one else had seen was incredible and we finally got to sleep.

After another early start on Sunday I helped run an “Escape Room” style challenge where they had to solve the puzzles to open a bike lock. After lunch we helped pack up until finally I was rescued and got to go home and rest. It was a lot of rest which is why my blog was so late last week!

The weekend was a good chance to catch up with some of my Jamboree Unit and also find out more about what to expect for when we came back this weekend to take part ourselves.

To end part one of this tale you’ll be pleased to hear that, thanks to a battery pack and the previously mentioned charging cable, my phone just about had enough charge until I got home.

My chance to be fantastic 4 a meeting

Recently me and my fellow Young Leader, Giraffe, ran our own Beaver meeting. 25 Beavers turned up for one Incredible meeting. If you hadn’t figured out the theme from my pun well it was Superheroes.
The Beavers made masks by decorating a mask template and then colouring it in, they were all Super. They also got their own superhero names.
They played many superhero themed games including saving the good from the evil villains, doing superhero stepping stones and stuck in the mud but with villains as the taggers.
It was a very good night but seemed to go by in a Flash.

A weekend of (fun)draising

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.

A Scout is to be trusted (but not on Beaver camp…?)

The 7 Scout Laws:

1) A Scout is to be trusted.
2) A Scout is loyal.
3) A Scout is friendly and considerate.
4) A Scout belongs to the worldwide family of Scouts.
5) A Scout has courage in all difficulties.
6) A Scout makes good use of time and is careful of possessions and property.
7) A Scout has self-respect and respect for others.

How many of these laws did I manage to break in a period of 5 minutes on Beaver camp. I think in the end it was about 4 of them. Here’s the story of how we pranked Beaver Leader on Beaver camp. I’ll be using our Beaver names to protect the innocent, you can decide who I was.

Lion asked Bat (the Beaver Leader) whether he wanted a brew (no laws broken quite yet but we have reinforced being friendly and considerate).
Snail proceeded to make the brew (coffee, white, 1 sugar) until Lion decided it would be funny to put in some salt and we all agreed eventually of the portion of salt (only a little spill as if we’d muddled up the salt with the sugar).

As Lion poured in the salt, Giraffe thought it be a good idea to tip the salt bottle in further allowing at least half the bottle of salt to submerged into the now very, very salty coffee (here I realised we had broken the laws of how a Scout should be trusted, loyal, friendly and considerate and have respect for others at least we didn’t break a 5th by dropping Bat’s property).

Once we agreed it would be absolutely hilarious to still give the very salty coffee to Bat, we waited for Lion to take it back over. According to Bat, he thanked Lion and noticed how Snail and Giraffe were virtually the Chuckle Brothers in the back and Lion had a huge grin on his face asked out of interest whether we had done anything to the coffee. Lion quickly said no and ran back to the kitchen quickly (yet again breaking the law of how a Scout should be trusted).

Once Bat had left the room we quickly called over Mole (another Beaver Leader) to tell her of our greatest achievement and how proud we were but quickly learned that Bat would not be impressed. He came back in after a sip out of his coffee exclaiming that there will be revenge.

So, that evening, Giraffe’s tent magically collapsed. I am still waiting for the revenge to be taken out on me but at least afterwards I will know I will be able to have courage in all difficulties.

Thunderbolt and lightning very very frightening

No click bait here, well ok I’ll admit maybe a little bit of click bait …

So last weekend I went to Beaver camp! My adventure started on Friday evening when according to my Mum I spent far too long packing for one night away.  Does she not remember the key rule – there’s no such thing as bad weather only bad kit! Well as the weather forecast was a mixture,  I wanted to ‘Be Prepared’.

Saturday morning arrived and I headed to where we would be camping and helped unpack the bacon (mmm yummy).

The Beavers arrived as we were setting up their huge tents, all prepared for their jungle camp.

First up was splitting the Beavers into their lodges each with their own young leader. My lodge’s first activity was putting up a tent, followed by archery and then fire lighting. They got a stamp for each activity they completed filling out their jungle passports.

After a ‘short’ break filling up everyone’s water bottles we did some more activities. My lodge did a blind folded maze, followed be creating the word Damboree using natural letters (Damboree is the Beavers version of a Jamboree) and then completed an endangered animal activity.  By this point it was time for dinner.

Dinner consisted of the Scout camp classic “Spaghetti Bolognese”. Whilst I refuelled on caffeine the Beavers played some indoor games as it was too wet outside for their campfire as some of the Beavers missed the memo about there’s no such thing as bad weather only bad kit.

They then sat round the small campfire and sang some classic songs. After this, they were read a bedtime story and got ready for bed.

The Beavers were specifically told to not wake the leaders up in the early hours of the morning or to stay up late all night talking. However, they didn’t listen to us. They stayed up till way past midnight and woke me up at 5:30 in the morning. This was officially the shortest amount of sleep I had ever had on any Scouting camp – even less than my very first Jamboree camp.

Whilst waiting for the Beavers to be quiet we could see lightning lighting up the sky.

The next morning I packed my kit and tent up and ate the breakfast I was waiting for since the beginning of the camp, bacon.

They first did some backwards cooking by toasting marshmallows. As I was on putting the marshmallows on sticks duty once the Beavers had all had a s’mores one Beaver told me that I had to make one for Bat (one of the leaders). They then told me (after I had already made myself one) that I could have one so I replied saying that I was going to have one anyway.

The activities for that morning included animal mask making and knot tying. They completed both these activities and then went on to tracking where we set up tracks (made with sticks) around the field with the Beavers having to look for them.

After a busy morning it was time for the jungle banquet. The Beavers selected an array of jungle themed food with pudding savoured last. The pudding (might I say so myself) was the best. We had animal cupcakes with slime, twigs and dead flies.

Once lunch was finished, we returned any lost property to the Beavers and then it was time to go home…

… But not for me, I still had to take down the beavers tents and wash up in the kitchen.

I’m a Winner

So recently I won a competition with the Scout Store. This is the official store to buy your scouting stuff online with all profits going back into scouting.

I entered just by chance stating that my favourite food when camping is ‘Toasted marshmallows on a campfire – the jumbo marshmallows are always the best in the evening when everyone is sat around the campfire’.

I won one of their adult camp packs which included a new sleeping mat, sleeping bag, rucksack and torch. (You can see it in their shop: https://shop.scouts.org.uk/equipment/scouts-camp-pack-2017 )

The sleeping bag is an Vango Atlas 250, the rucksack is a Vango Pathfinder 65 and the headtorch was also a Vango. The sleeping mat is a Yellowstone brand.

All items look great and I especially like the colour of the rucksack as I received a blue one. The sleeping mat has a reflective coating for extra warmth which would have been great back in March!

My favourite item was the headtorch. You can easily unclip it from the headband to attach to your top or bag. It’s also really easy to change the batteries.

I used the headtorch this weekend and I was very impressed, I was easily able to see the Beavers when we were playing wide games in the dark. I’m so happy with it that I’ve now put my old headtorch (which I’ve had since I was a Beaver) into retirement.

I’m really pleased with my prize. Thanks Scout Store!

Here comes the bride …

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.

P.S. Please like and share my new Facebook page

A Slip-up Knot

So recently, I was running late to the Beaver meeting which I’m a Young Leader at. I grabbed my necker which didn’t have a woggle and quickly did a friendship knot in the car.

Here’s a photo of the finished knot- can you spot the problem?

IMG_20180423_172535538

Yes I did really tie myself to the seat belt!

So, I had to redo it.

Here is 84’s guide to doing a friendship knot if you do not know how to do one:

  1. Roll your necker and lay it out in front of you facing you as in the photo
  2. Fold the side on your right up
  3. Place the left side over the folded side (in step 2)
  4. Tuck the left side under the right side
  5. Fold the right side down
  6. Take the left side and thread over the end of the right side and through the loop formed by the right side (in step 2)
  7. Tighten it up and voila!

Friendship Knot Instructions.jpg

Another Muddy Meetup

Recently, I went on another meetup with my county unit. Some of the things we talked about was our personal developments (PDs), a typical menu and practiced some hand washing.
To start the day, we talked about our personal developments and what we wanted to get out of the Jamboree pre-experience. We will be awarded a badge after we complete our goals which have to be set in specific categories, such as physical, emotional and spiritual.
We also created a draft meal plan for a typical day out on the Jamboree. We planned the cost of a meal and portion sizes, so we had to work out how many ingredients we would need to get. We used the draft list of food which will be available on the Jamboree which included some weird food items to us British, like pre-scrambled egg in a carton.
Finally, we practiced our hand washing skills which will be how we wash most of our clothes on the Jamboree. We got split into teams to wash a muddy white T-shirt which personally I think our group did well, at even though we didn’t win. My group contained the others in the joint unit as well as myself, so we have decided to keep the T-shirt as our group mascot.
I hope everyone has had a great bank holiday weekend, the weather has been a lot nicer compared to my counties meet up last week.