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.
Hi all, to get into the spirit of Christmas (and writing more blog posts more frequently), I have tasked myself with taking part in a challenge I like to call BLOGMAS. It requires me to write a blog post each and every day counting down the days until Christmas. Blue might write a few blog posts as well here and there. For now, lets get into todays blog.
Yesterday evening I attended my County’s Explorer and Network ball. It was thoroughly enjoyable and I got to see my friends from across the County. I got to see Santa and sang many classic Scouting songs. To top off the night, the World Scout Jamboree Participants all sang Country Roads swaying together in a circle.
There was a Pick ‘n Mix, Buffet and drinks all to our delight. We even got a badge from the event (I can’t say enough how there is a badge for everything in Scouting!). It was a lovely evening and I cannot wait to see all of my Scouting friends again soon.
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 …
This past week 84 has been out and about sharing her Jamboree experience with a local Cub and Scout group and she also visited the little red ninja’s again.
I love going to see people, I especially like going to Rainbows as I get to hang out with Olivia. But boy were they noisy this week! They asked 84 lots of questions including asking, when shown any photo with boys in – “is that your boyfriend?”
Everyone really enjoyed watching the video and I think they’re leaders are going to have to do their best to make their meetings more adventurous. 84 has also been busy making and selling her crafts, I’m excited as 84 has been making Christmas things. Did you know that there are only 65 days until Christmas.
I have been selected to attend the European Jamboree next year (as I like to nickname it EJ2020). The Jamboree is based on ‘ACT’ which is the idea of acting upon the environment to make the world a better place. A few weekends back, I went on my first unit camp with my EJ2020 unit.
On Friday evening we set up camp. We helped to move bags up to the kitchen area before I set up my tent and sorted out my roll mat, sleeping bag etc. I then talked to other people before heading to help put up another tent. The thing with this tent was that someone got told to take down their one man and sleep in a 4 man by themselves. As clever Explorers, we put the outer side of the new tent over the old small one man tent to save time taking down one tent and putting up the whole of the other tent.
That evening we headed to the campfire where we were told who was in each patrol. We were told some of the programme for the weekend including that on the Saturday we would be helping clear some of the site as part of our ACT mini project. As my patrol would be cooking the next morning, we played 2 truths and 1 lie to get to know one another before we soaked up the rest of the campfire. We ate supper and then headed to bed.
On the Saturday morning, I had to wake up slightly earlier as I had to cook breakfast. We cooked bacon for bacon sarnies and then eggs for the vegetarians. After breakfast we washed up before helping put up tents as part of our ACT project. We had to check the quality of the tents before taking them back down again. In the end, the tent I put up was one of the worst tents as so we swapped the good poles of the tent with the broken ones from other groups.
After a quick snack break, we were then on weed cutting duty. My group cut all the weeds around the traverse wall as well as some near a car parking area. The rake I was using kept breaking so at first I fixed it with some rope, but that only lasted for 5 minutes before it broke again so then I used some duct tape which lasted for longer. After this activity, we ate lunch before proceeding to the afternoon activities.
In the afternoon, we stayed in our patrols during a rotation. Our first activity included going around the traverse wall and coming up with our patrol’s name. The name had to include the word ‘ACT’ so our current name is ‘PACT man’. Our next activity was tunnelling where we played hide and seek in the dark followed by a talk from one of our leaders. Our final activity was Tomahawk throwing before we had some free time before dinner.
During this free time, we went back into the tunnels and had music playing through the tunnels. For dinner, we had chicken curry, rice and naan – so a variation of chicken and rice. After dinner, we plotted grid coordinates onto a map for our hike the next day before toasting marshmallows on a fire to make smores. I then headed for an early night to bed.
The next day, we woke up slightly late for breakfast but fortunately did not miss it. After breakfast I packed my bag for the hike before heading off in our patrols. The walk was around 7 miles long and halfway through we met with another patrol and walked the rest of the route with them. After our hike, we returned to the campsite and helped move a few things to help finishing taking camp down. We moved a trailer of weeds before being rewarded with an ice lolly to then take down our tents. Our parents then had a meeting before we were collected and headed back home.
Over the weekend we found a bit more about what our Jamboree experience would be like. We were informed that we would fly to Amsterdam, then travel by train to Berlin and then on to Poland. As part of the main Jamboree, there would also be a 2 day hike as part of the programme. We would then fly directly home.
So last Friday my county had our last meetup at my districts Cathedral. We all wore (apart from a few who ‘forgot’) our Jamboree uniform and hence mostly all rocked our UK shorts.
At first we got a tour of the Cathedral learning about the Edward Jenner statue and how his discoveries helped to prevent small pox. We also learnt of the structure of the cathedral and how the east window is the size of a tennis pitch. Our county was able to climb the cathedral tower where we were able to go into the bell rooms. Once we climbed to the top we admired the view as well as had a photo opportunity. There were also a few presentation’s to be given out.
As we climbed back down the tower I realised how tired I had become – this was not a good sign given that I would be on the Jamboree site in now less than a week. Our guide then took us towards the choir seats where we received a blessing to wish us well on the journey.
We then had a quick Q&A session but had to travel through the cloister’s (where part of Harry Potter was filmed). We had a few questions and later on was given an itinerary from our unit leaders (whom some had travelled from the other county my unit is made up from). This was proceeded by a short speech from our county commissioners who reminded us of who we were representing (UK Scouts and our own county).
There was then a few more photo opportunities and thank yous as we then parted our ways to all see one another the following Saturday.
Luckily, I was one of the only ones who did not wake up to the sound of the Beavers at 4:30am. I only then woke up at 6:30 am from the alarm I set myself.
Before breakfast, the Beavers painted jigsaw puzzles until they then ate bacon, scrambled eggs and baked beans. After breakfast, they then started washing up followed by a scavenger hunt on the campsite. They then made animals masks using paper plates and pens.
After this, they played a quick game of NESW but with a jungle twist. When called out ‘Make the sound of …’ they would sound like the animal and when called out ‘Act like a …’ they would act like the animal mentioned.
Finally, it was time for lunch – a banquet of sandwiches, crisps, fruit and veg. For pudding, they had slime (green jelly), bugs (raisins) and sticks (matchmakers). After lunch, they rolled up their roll mats and stuffed their sleeping bags as well as collecting all of their kit together.
finally, it was time for them to go home. Once all the Beavers left, we helped to dismantle camp by taking down the marquee as well as packing away our own personal tents. The weekend was brilliant and was a nice break from my revision.
This weekend, I’m on Beaver camp as a young leader. I arrived a couple of hours earlier to help set up camp – I helped put up the Beavers tent and the Marquee.
The Beavers soon arrived and I quickly are my lunch ready to start the activities. We all got given jungle books and then we were off on our first activity.
The first activity consisted of hunting for different tracks – the Beavers had to at first spot the tracks and then understand what each one stood for. There were a few challenging tracks to look for which I did not manage to spot.
After our first activity, we then packed our day sacks to walk to the obstacle course. Here, the Beavers completed the course in multiple variations and even attempted the cargo net. Luckily, no one fell into the stream which the course took place above.
Our third activity consisted of knot tying and putting up a tent. The Beavers learnt the reef knot and a clove hitch whilst the other lodge put up the tent. This was shortly followed by swapping activities before going to wash our hands before dinner.
Our dinner was spaghetti Bolognese, but due to last Beaver camp where I broke multiple Scout laws (https://explorerscout84.co.uk/a-scout-is-to-be-trusted-but-not-on-beaver-camp), I was expecting revenge. I was told that my dinner might become chilli infested but in the end, it was normal. Everyone then helped to wash up.
Me and my fellow Young Leader, then made a string trail. Originally it was too long but we managed to shorten it. The Beavers thoroughly enjoyed this before then proceeding to sit and enjoy the campfire. They toasted marshmallows and sang traditional songs.
Finally, it was time for bed after a long day. The Beavers were read a bedtime story.
I am currently writing this enjoying the silence. I have borrowed the campsites WiFi to upload the post – which I only discovered recently.
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!