One year ago, I returned home from the best summer of my life. Over 21 days, I made new international friends, learnt about different cultures and was able to share my stories. Since my return a year ago I have been on a reunion camp, raised funds for EJ2020 (let’s not talk about that), met up with my Shropshire friends, been on a day trip to Poland, become Maths captain, written some more blog posts, been in lock down and finished year 12. I am still so grateful that it was COVID-19 and not COVID-18 but I never expected a year after returning from WSJ the world would be a completely different place.
Over the past weekend I completed online Strategy and Evolution. For the past 2 years I have helped out with Strategy and attended Evolution as a participant. The weather has usually been warm and sunny during this camp and this year also lived up to the warm weather.
During this weekend we would complete different activities on the Saturday earning points as a team. Different activities would include; nail painting, obstacle course, wire maze, first aid, bag check, ring toss etc. For the online version we were set 15 activities to complete. These included; spending a night outside, nail painting, first aid, drinking a pint of water, designing a new weapon, making ice cream, creating your own campsite, etc.
Blue and I both participated together and Blue tried to paint my nails in triple blue. I really enjoyed participating and so did Blue and we cannot wait until we can go camping again.
Today’s blog is going to be Blue interviewing Brian Florence Mount-Battenberg Winsor II.
Hi, Brian let us start with an easy question. Is it true you were stolen on the Jamboree? At first, yes. I was just chilling with my pal Nick when these British girls came to speak to him and kidnapped me in the process. It turned out to be quite fun anyway since I was gifted a bowtie and they put me on a pole so I could look out upon the jamboree site and say hello to everyone who passed by. It was not a very long kidnapping either since I returned to my fellow Americans later that evening. The fact I remain with my British family now was all a completely legal adoption.
I see, what is your favourite food? An easy win for vegan shrimp. It has been my favourite for as long as I can remember. Being vegan does limit my options and it is not the cheapest thing for mum to keep buying but man does it taste good. Thankfully, it does not seem to be top of many other people’s list so there is always a stack in the supermarkets.
Speaking of food, do your prefer double Gloucester cheese or Shropshire Blue cheese? Hmm, being vegan I have never tasted either so that is a limitation. Equally, one of my parents is from Shropshire and the other is from Gloucestershire so that does not help either. I do live in Shropshire though and it is a great place so for that I will say Shropshire Blue cheese. The colour blue reminds me of the sea as well so that is a bonus.
If you could have a superpower what would you choose? I can already fly, and I am convinced I am psychic so that would be pointless to have again. Maybe teleportation though? I know I can fly but it is a long way to Florida when I want to see my old family so that would definitely be helpful. Also seeing my British family would be easier as well but the world is scary without mum with me so it would have to be the kind of teleportation where I can bring people with me.
What is your favourite campfire song? Oh, you will never get to Heaven definitely. I have only sung it once, but it was a lot of fun. It makes fun of all my British family since they are scouts but not flamingos, so it is a lot of fun. I do like most campfire songs since they are a time that everyone comes together with smiling faces. One of the best parts about camping is the campfire to me.
Brian you sound like a brave flamingo so, do you have any fears? Well, I know I don’t like flying but I think that’s more because I have to do it with my legs in luggage below so that’s not fear so to speak. We did have a few lightning storms at jamboree which was very scary, and I had to go curl up with someone each time so that is probably my biggest fear. Second would definitely be supermarkets stopping selling vegan shrimp.
A controversial question, who is your favourite from Double Blue? This is hard! They are all this one big family who I all love. I mean my parents, Leanne, and Hannah, they give me food and are always there for hugs if I am scared. My godparents, Frankie, and Liv, they are awesome and are always fun to be around. Jess and Jess are great people too who always sneak my extra food when my parents say I have had enough already. One of the leaders, Justin, is pretty cool as well. Oh, and there is also Jacob who is the reason I have my fabulous bow tie. Yet, I do not think I can actually choose a single person from the unit.
Finally, to conclude this interview, do you prefer England or Florida? This one is hard, they are both so different. I love British accents so being in England helps with that. The weather in Florida is a lot warmer which I am used to and even when its sunny in Britain they seem to complain about it which is annoying. Vegan shrimp is easier to find in England as well which is important. So, I guess my answer is England, but I love both places dearly!
Thank so much Brian, go and eat some vegan shrimp.
84’s been a busy 🐝 recently, so I’ve taken over the reins again.
84 has told me that if I’m doing a take over I have to blog about something useful. Well I nearly said phnh to that but then I had an idea – I’m going to share with you how I make the perfect cup of tea.
Apologies in advance if I miss a few steps but I’m only a little bear. 🐻
Fill the kettle with water and turn on the kettle.
While waiting for the water to boil, get a mug and place a tea bag in it.
Now here’s the shocker place your desired amount of milk into the mug.
When the water has boiled, pour it into the mug.
Leave the tea to brew for a few minutes
Stir the tea to see how strong it is – check the colour I like mine strong so leave the teabag in for a while.
When the tea is the desired strength remove the teabag
Leave to cool for a short time – nobody likes a burnt tongue. Finally enjoy the perfect cup of tea.
Shh Howdy 84’s asleep ready for a busy weekend ahead of her. Today I’m with Sis84 doing a Q and A.
Lets start with some simple questions:
What section of Scouting are you in? I’m a Scout who goes to 84’s old Scout group.
What it like having 84 always going off fundraising every weekend? You would think it is great, but actually I’m usually dragged along with her to all the events she does.
Rumour has it you like to watch Christmas movies, which one would you recommend to all my fans? I do love all Christmas movies and it would be so hard to pick just one. Some of my favorites are Elf, The Grinch and The Christmas Prince Trilogy.
Blue what is your favourite Christmas movie?
Well Sis84, I have always loved the Home Alone movies, Kevin gets up to so much fun! But I digress we need to get on with this interview.
Just out of curiosity how well do you get on with 84? We go together like chalk and cheese.
We have time for one last question so, What’s it like having a world renowned blogger as a sister? Honestly, I’m not very sure as I don’t have a sister who is a good blogger. Don’t tell 84 but I think she’s kind of terrible.
Welcome to the first ever edition of Bluemas. (Did you like what I did there?)
Anyone else getting excited for Christmas? I’m looking forward to spending it with 84 and her family.
I’ve already made friends with the elves – Eddie and Eira, they report back to the North Pole magically each night, so I’m being extra specially good. It’s quite easy really, all I have to do is do as I’m told and clean my teeth and claws at least twice a day. I did try flossing my claws but ended up getting all tangled, maybe I should have just stuck to flossing my teeth.
Howdy readers, it’s me again. I’ve taken over the blog again! Which means that yes, I am now living with 84 permanently. I’m super excited as I know that we are going to get to go to the European Jamboree next year.
84 and I have had a fairly busy few days with Scouting activities – starting with the Remembrance parade on Sunday morning. 84 made paracord poppies and if I do say so myself they are marvellous. Not wishing to moan but she didn’t make any purple ones to remember all of the animals who gave the ultimate sacrifice. I think I’m going to have to raid the paracord stash and make one myself ready for next year.
The afternoon of Sunday was spent on the Young Leader’s module K first aid course. I stayed out of the way as I didn’t fancy being bandaged again.
On Monday evening 84 had an EJ2020 meet up, where they perfected their culinary skills and made meatballs and pasta. I feel a song coming on … On top of spaghetti all covered in there sat my poor meatball, until somebody sneezed. It rolled off the table and onto the floor and then my poor meatball it rolled out the door. (Note: no meatballs were harmed in the making of this blog post)
Last night 84 and I climbed a mountain at her Explorer meeting. It was a clear night so I got to see plenty of stars. I stayed warm in 84’s bag but did enjoy the sneaky burger she got on the way home. It made a nice change to chicken and rice!
My last World Scout Jamboree meet up camp stared with boarding the minibus and drinking custard – a tradition we have upheld since our very first camp as a unit. Soon, we realised we had no speaker to play music with so started playing I-Spy.
This did not last very long.
Soon, we got the radio on and began listening to BBC Radio 2 – at first the music was substantial until it soon became clear it was mostly 60s music (which none of us knew). We then proceeded to sit in silence for the rest of our journey.
That evening, it was patrol 1s cooking duty where we cooked hot dogs with onion – the onions were so strong that we were all in tears cooking. After supper, we watched a movie called Hot Fuzz before heading to bed.
The next morning we all awoke at 8 o’clock due to the sound of unfashionable music – to say the least. Personally I’m still loving golden hour from our journey up. We then waited for the rugby to be put on except that ITV hub seems to be down – due to the amount if traffic.
We watched the rugby – no spoiler but we lost which was disappointing. Nevertheless, we then played a game of ‘Pigs’ which some of our unit learnt on the Jamboree before doing some reviews. We reviewed our personal unit kit, selection process and then fundraising – which was followed by lunch.
After lunch we played an odd version of netball before heading back inside to review how many camps we had and whether this was substantial enough as well as reviewing our leaders leadership. Following this, we then listened to the county commissioner of Shropshire discussing the Queen Scout Award as well as other Scouting activities happening. We then a went back outside to play the odd version of netball.
In the evening, we were supposed to go on a hike to see a firework display except our dinner was running very late – I learnt a couple of new card games during the wait. After dinner (of chicken and … PASTA!), my patrol quickly finished washing up before we headed on a mini walk to try and watch the fireworks. We saw a few fireworks before heading back and eating pudding.
In the evening, we watched a movie of our World Scout Jamboree experience which included photos and videos from all of our pre-camps. Many laughs later, it was time to head to bed which was around 00:45.
The next morning, we woke up at around 8:30 and started to pack away. Breakfast consisted of pancakes with maple syrup – taking me back to Canada. This was then followed by free time as well as a whole unit reflection. We also played with frisbee and a a game of Ninja.
It was then time to say goodbye to everyone before we headed back home via the minibus. This was very sad with lots of I’ll see you very soon, before we grabbed some lunch and headed back home.
And so it’s not a goodbye, it’s more of a see you later …
I’ve been hanging out with 84 since arriving back in the UK.
84’s been busy starting 6th form and has settled on A levels in Maths, Chemistry and Physics. Which FYI is apparently exactly what both Mum84 and Dad84 did.
She has a smart new uniform and even gets to wear a tie; it’s a bit like a Necker but without a woggle. 84 told me she use to wear one at junior school and has had to teach her friends how to tie one.
On Wednesday she headed to a careers fair and has been looking at universities already.
Last week she helped deliver a presentation about the Jamboree at the county AGM. The presentation included a video produced by unit 82.
84’s also been telling local scout groups all about the Jamboree experience and has been fundraising for her own scout group by manning a carpark.
She took me along to a preparation camp for the European Jamboree and we had a great time, 84 blogged about this herself, but I’m in the photos, I was a bit worried when they put me on the tomahawk targets but it was just so I could pose for a photo – maybe I should become a model.
In between all of this she has kept busy by sewing the enormous amount of badges onto her camp blanket. 84 has continued swapping since the Jamboree sending unit badges to South Korea, New Zealand and Croatia.
It seems like she’s been keeping busy to avoid any post Jamboree blues, even resorting to baking brownies, (no not those ones, the edible ones). I had a nibble and they tasted great. In fact there’s a few left so I’m going back to check that they are still edible.