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!

Chaotic Week

For today’s blog, I will give you an update on my chaotic week. From no water due to a busted gas pipe to an exec meeting, I have experienced an untypical week.

Monday:

Last weekend, I went home to celebrate my mums birthday as well as to visit my cats. I returned on the Monday to celebrate one of my universities friends birthday. I caught the train home at midday (which was lovely and quiet) before making coffee cake and investigating the busted gas pipe which had happened over the weekend. In the evening, I headed out to Spoons to celebrate the birthday. I also had a district executive meeting which I attended.

Tuesday:

On this day, I woke up to no water due to the roadworks having hit a gas pipe, they needed to turn off our water supply to fix it. However, we got water around 5pm again which was pretty quick. I had badminton in the afternoon, so used the Universities sport centre to have a shower as well as claimed my free hot drink from Costa due to the inconvenience it had caused us.

Wednesday:

This was a fairly chill day, I visited the Universities archives with BUSAG to learn about the societies history and the surrounding area Scouting history. It was a very fun meeting. I also had my weekly shop delivered from an undisclosed supermarket where we had issues getting our shopping. We were told that you needed to be 25 for the delivery which was confusing as we had ordered previous deliveries with no issue. After speaking to customer services, our delivery was reunited with us.

Thursday:

Thursday was a fairly calm day with Beavers and Scouts in the evening.

Friday:

I had my only lecture of the week at 9am for Computing – due to it being Maths consolidation week. In the afternoon, I watched the new Batman movie which was amazing!! I then went to Nandos for dinner before heading back to my friends flat party.

Saturday:

Without going into too much detail Saturday was chaotic. I had a friend ill from midnight where, I managed to get 5 hours nap time as I was looking after them. Eventually we called 111 to ask for advice and they advised heading to A&E. Eventually they were seen and my friend and I headed to grab coffee before I went to my friends before going out clubbing.

Sunday:

After waking up on 6 hours of sleep (pretty good compared to the previous night), I ate some breakfast before attending a BUSAG event to cook a roast dinner. The roast dinner was divine, I helped to carve the chicken, peeled carrots, put Yorkshire puddings in the oven and did some washing up. Whilst the food was cooking, I nipped to Tesco to grab a chocolate twist and some orange juice. In the evening, I cooked fajita pasta before heading for an early night.

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!!

BLOGMAS ’21 (day 2)

Today has been a very long day. I woke up for my 9am lecture on Algorithms where the lectures spoke about SatNavs before learning about integration. I then ate porridge for my mid morning snack before completing some coding.

During the evening, I helped at a local Beaver unit to make Christmas decorations before helping at Scouts where we played the peel game. This was learning about capitalism and the unfair trade market. I then headed back to my flat and it was snowing.

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.

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.

BLOGMAS (day 1)

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.

The badge we recieved

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.

84’s Busy Weekend

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!

Final WSJ camp

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.

Blue watching the Rugby

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.

Blue writing down his favourite fundraising ideas

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.

Chicken and pasta for dinner

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.

Top 3 fundraisers

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 …