Blood from a stone

Ask any Scout Leader, or anyone else that works with kids for that matter, and they will tell you that there are certain subjects that are difficult to cover in the hall without the kids slipping into a small coma due to boredom.

For my kids, map work in one such subject, even if it is outdoors it can be a tad difficult to keep them interested in it.


guess what we did this week!

The main thing I had the scouts looking at was grid references, and while one of the other leaders distracted the kids with a game, I drew out a large grid on the floor. This was to be my map for the evening (I even marked on some Northings and Eastings)

I would stand in a grid and get them to tell me where I was standing using a standard 4-figure grid reference. This they mananged (rather grudingly) to do, I gather that they had covered it in school. So to scale it up I got some more chalk out and marked out some crosses that they had to give a 6-figure grid reference. This proved more of a challenge, but they got the hang of it.

Using the same grid I decided to have a game with grid references.

  • Split the group into two teams, each gets a side of the grid to start from.
  • The teams are told that they need to find the safe path through the mine field to the other side. There is only one path, so the start of team As route is the end of team Bs.
  • They are only allowed to write, or say numbers. (I gave them chalk to write everything on the floor) No pointing to squares is allowed or drawing their own map.
  • Only one person in the mine field at a time, once blown up the person must leave the grid and they will start again from the beginning (once the other team have had their turn)

Hopefully you get the idea!

They seamed to enjoy this way of doing grid references, rather than the boring classroom style.

But it was the small, quick team building game that Mim ran afterwards to got me really worried about the scouts. It wasn't that they didn't communicate, to a degree that is to be expected... it was more that they gave up entirely!

... actually quit and walked to sit by the wall

... needless to say,  I wasn't a happy bunny when I left scouts this week

This definition thing is getting out of hand

It wasn't that long ago that I lamented at the fact that the scouts didn't really get the idea behind the word BOIL

todays word is: HIKE
today is also brought to you by the colour red and the number 9

to make matters worse... it wasn't the scouts that had the mix up. It was Network!!

Gav and I hastily put together a hike for the Network to do (in about an hour and a half, and thats including visiting some of the way points!). They were to set off from Sudbrooke (local campsite for those of you not from Lincoln) and they had been given a point to get to. I would be waiting at this point with the grid reference for the next point they were to go to.

so on and so forth.... you get the idea.

Unfortunately the types of hike that Network has done in the past (across the South Common to get to the pub, and then back) kind of missled some of the Network members to think that we would have organised a short stroll. So weren't entirely prepared for the 3hours that they were out walking for. (one actually had to be picked up in my car and taken to the end)

I think they all know now that when Gav and I say hike we don't mean a stroll... the scouts and boiling on the other hand I'm still not so sure about!

Jamboree Training

Before I get started... just to warn you... I'm extremely excited about the fact that I am getting to go to another World Scout Jamboree, this time as an Assistant Unit Leader getting to share all the experiences with the participants!

I suppose I should really fill you in as a lot has changed since I last blogged about this stuff.

[clock appears on screen running backwards]

Let me take you back, back all the way to.... March (this year too, so it's even less dramatic really)

In March this year we ran an activity camp for nearly 60 Scouts and Explorers, all hoping to secure one of the 36 spaces on the Lincolnshire Jamboree Unit. I have to admit that I found the activity camp itself rather strange. Normally when I am at camp I try to make sure that all of he sprogs are having fun, are safe and happy etc etc. But this time there was other people there to do all that... the job I had was to analyse all 50odd of the applicants and take notes on everything.

Basically, between us, we were building up personality profiles for each and every one of them. It's not as easy as it sounds... and it doesn't even sound that easy to begin with! Its only slightly easier to take all the notes from all the staff working that weekend and to compile them (in less than a week no less!)

Anyway... from the weekend we were able to select our 36 successful candidates.

[imagary of calenders flying forward with the pages pealing off] I've been working on these special effects you know, although the budget isn't what it used to be

Last week we had our first Unit get together! yee haa. well, they eventually got together. Initially we weren't allowed in the hall (the armed forces are very particular about their lists so after a little bit of sorting we found another location, thus requiring me to hang around in the car park telling people where to go... even though I had never been their before and it was my first time in that car park! Luckily no one got too lost.

The parents all got the meet each other and come up with plans of action for fundraising while we delt with the kids. During the selection activity* weekend, they had had to get someone else to draw a picture of them, which proved to be a valuable source of a ice-breaking activity.

I was to get them to design a unit badge, I had dragged along a load of badges and my campfire blanket so that they could see what sort of things were possible in the world of badge design.

In the end this design one the vote(s):

Not too shabby

We're going to make a couple of changes to it tho, mostly the flag at the back (prob to the Lincolnshire Flag)

So I am currently chasing badge companies to make it... should be interesting (will post up pics when I get them)

*can't have the little darlings put under pressure now can we lol

Definition of Boiling

"Boil: verb: To change from a liquid to a gaseous state, porducing bubbles of gas that rise to the surface of the liquid, agitating it as they rise."

Its a fairly simple concept, boiling water... everyone knows what boiling water is...


don't they...?

ahhh, this could be a problem.

You see this week, we ventured away from the scout hall to the local campsite, where the scouts were presented with three matches, some tin foil and a tea bag and told to make me a cuppa. They all had to work individually, what with there being a prize for the first to present me with a brew.

Once over the fact that they weren't being given any pots/kettles/bottles they quickly set about picking out their spots and getting some fire. In their haste very few (if any) actually got enough wood ready before trying to use their matches, especially kindling.

This of course resulted in ALL of them needing more matches, and the vast majority needing help from the leaders to light the fire. This may seam like a set back, but thats what we were there for... to teach them how to light a fire!

The tinfoil creations that they produced were rather special if I say so myself... some of them were almost works of art! One or two were thin and leaked, but most were thick, about the thickness of a sausage, which just blocked out all the heat. Mind, I took a 40m roll of tin foil... and it was nearly finished at the end, and that was oly cause Minty took the foresight to hide the rest of it from the kids!

There was one in particular that was rather fantastic, it was magical. While on the fire the water was in it, when moved off the fire... the water all disappeared into the cracks and folds of the extremely thick tinfoil creation. Turning and tilting it slowly would reveal some of the 'tea'.

But the part that worried me was the fact we asked them if they had got the water boiling (like your supposed to with a cup of tea), and they would say that it had... but it would turn out that it had just got warm enough to start to steam.

Apparantly, in a scouts eyes, in a race to boil water... THAT is boiling!!

What do these have in common?

Guess the connection...

This blog...

That's right, things that were once dead but have come back to life!

... well that's the theory anyway, lets see if I can put it into practice and start chronicalling my scouty adventures properly!

The reason for my aformentioned absence of posts recently has been due to the fact that things have changed a lot in the world of Scotland (ie. me... am sure that the country hasn't changed that much!). I am about to start a new job, which is a fantastic thing as I was under the shadow of redundances since I last blogged (which wasn't so fantastic). We've selected all the kids that are going to the Jamboree from the county, our first meeting is on Sunday (am rather excited!). But the biggest change has to be My Little Eskimo (MLE for short, cause well... she is a tad short) my girlfriend!

yes!... that's right WOO HOO

*villagers rejoicing*

... wait a minute *regains composure*

anyway, I'll try to be on the ball from now on!

Things to look forward to: Firestarting, Jamboree Prep, Trip to Kandersteg, more stupid and downright weird statements and questions from the sprogs and sprogettes... and who knows, I may even fill you in with a little bit of extra stuff that grabs my eye every now and again!