As Clear as Crystal?

As I've mentioned in the past, we are trying to include some of the Join In Jamboree activities into our weekly program. This month was all about water.

To highlight some of the problems with the supply of water we didn't just want to talk at the sprogs about them, we wanted them to experience them.

So, first challenge was to actually collect the water. Not from the tap like the sprogs wanted to, but from the  a local waterway. The walk was supposed to be 20mins if you follow the program idea, as that can be the normal length of walk for some people in the World to get their water, but the sprogs were rather quick at walking!

The water was obviously not safe to drink as it was, just as it isn't in many parts of the World. So the next challenge was to go through the process of purifying the water so that we could make a drink. And let's just say, we were leaving nothing to chance.

The water was put through colanders and sieves to get rid of the big bits...

... then passed through coffee filters to get rid of smaller stuff.

... then they used water purifying chemicals

... and then it was boiled... twice... just to make sure.

And for their efforts they were rewarded with some hot chocolate, with water they had purified themselves.

The sprogs were having a good laugh with the water and were surprised at how much the water needs to go through before it was safe to drink. Hopefully it will help them appreciate the water that we have so readily available from our taps, and to think of those that don't have the equipment to properly purify their water.

Ok, so I know this one is way late... but I've been a busy boy ok! Unfortunately it means that I forget the little jokes and stuff that the sprogs did... d'oh. But it was a good night.

Bomb Disposal (again)

Just who is leaving all these bombs laying all over the place??

It's careless is what it is... some would even go as far as saying dangerous.

Before I get to that ticking time bomb, we actually did another activity with the sprogs first (it helped give us some time to set up the detonators and rig the motion sensors). As you all know it is the Jamboree this summer, so the UK Scout Association has some Join In Jamboree activities... so that everyone can experience a bit of the Jamboree.

(by the way, free pdf downloads of the booklets are here... if any of you are looking for program ideas).- actually, do any other countries have something like this in place? Would be interesting to have a look at it, if you can then leave a link in the comments.

We chose the New Planet one, were they were to pair up and come up with a new planet and they were given a list of things that they had to come up with to help describe life on that planet.
  1. Name the planet and explain why it is called that
  2. Draw the flag for the planet, explain the design
  3. 10 laws
  4. Motto for the planet
  5. How will the planet make money?
  6. List 5 things that are banned on your planet
  7. Design your planets formal costume
  8. Draw and name the money used on the planet
  9. Write and perform a planetery song, at least 6 lines long (can be to a tune they already know)
  10. List 6 items you will take from Earth with you.
And all I gave them to do all that in was half an hour!

...cause those bombs are ticking you know.

Like the last time, they would have to use water to float the trigger out of the bomb. But this one is a different model.
See all those extra obstacles? They are the bomb-o-matics new 'features'... now with extra deadly. (and a free carrage clock with your first order)
With these Proximity Prevention Poles (PPP for short) water will need to be dropped from a height.
Infact, the pioneering project they had to build was a chariot, an A-frame. One of the patrol would have to ride the chariot, carrying the cup of water, while the rest of the patrol carried the chariot. Of course, you get more than one cup in a bottle... so they had to go back and forth a number of times to fill it.

They're getting so close!
Surprisingly, we managed all of this... designing a new planet, deactivating a bomb and clearing up... and we still had time to spare! So we played human checkers, Sprogs v Leaders (we had cones as our pieces as there were only 3 leaders).

The sprogs lost.... mah ha ha ha

Changing the World

Are you changing the World?

The official song for the next World Scout Jamboree has recently been released... here check it out.

Pretty good huh?

I can't wait to be singing it in the middle of the site with thousands of others!

Mothering Sunday

This week I had a bit of a problem.

Initially this week, the program had us down to get ready for camp, but camp has been delayed until the end of the month. Normally we would have simply have moved the program for that week forward to this week. But given that that week is connected to a certain wedding, we couldn't exactly move.

I mean, I could try asking Will and Kate to move it... but somehow I doubt they would go for it.

How selfish of them!

So their rudeness left me in a bit of a problem, what to do with the scouts on Friday. Luckily it would be Mothering Sunday that very weekend... the challenge with that being coming up with something different from all the other youth clubs and schools etc.

Here mummy, I made this card for you at school and these paper flowers at sunday school and this other card at science club and this....

So I got to thinking, and I remembered this post from a food blog that I kinda follow and I'll admit I have made some yummy things from it in the past. And then I remembered this post from a blog I used to follow. And I had a brain-wave. It's traditional to give your mum flowers and chocolates on Mothers Day right... I mean, that's what all the shops keep telling me (and why would they lie?)... so let's give them flowers and chocolates, but in cake form!

Yes, I am obsessed by cake recently!

So first off was cake balls, to look like chocolates. I missed some pictures of the process, but it is very easy. You get them to rip up some cake, I used cheap cupcakes, they have to turn it into crumbs.

Then you add some frosting, just a little bit mind, and get your hands stuck in to stick all the crumbs back together. With this you can grab a lump and shape it however you like.
You can see some of them just behind the bowl of melted chocolate... that's the next stange.

We got them to shape them like chocolates and then coat them in melted chocolate. It's best to use a fork to move them round in the chocolate as when you lift them out you can tap off the excess chocolate and it falls nicely between the forks teeth.
like this

The process was slightly messy
Once dropped in the petite four cases the sugar glitter was unleashed.
how pretty
And that's the chocolates done! We just needed to leave them out to dry. Now for those flower pots. Obviously the first thing to do was to thoroughly wash them. Well, hopefully that would be obvious. What I failed to photograph is that you need to get a small square of greaseproof paper and put it over the hole in the bottom of the pot.
Then cut up some swiss roll, and stuff it in the pot

Then top that with some frosting (i used ready-made Betty Crocker stuff.... *drool... I could (and have) eat that stuff with a spoon).

You can even mix up the types of cake... and stuff in some marshmallows if there are any gaps. Keep going like that til you're nearer the top.
Now get a whole load of Oreos, about 5 for each pot) and crush them with the end of a rolling pin, until they are crumbs. This is going to be the soil. It's rather convincing too, some of the sprogs thought i was eating soil initially.
Grab some flowers of your choice, cut them to length and strip some of the thorns and leave off the stems. Now, you don't put it straight in the cake, rather you insert some straws into the cake... and put the flowers in the straws!
The results, I think, are pretty cool.