Before you say anything, no I have NOT just turned thirty... I have years between now and becoming old

The biggest change that I have found in moving to the explorers has to be the number of them.

For the past couple of years, while I was with the 9th Lincoln, I was dealing with about 9 kids... the explorer unit has 30. Thirty, three zero, that's a lot of bodies. And it's taking a while to get used to handling that many. I'm seriously having to think more about exactly how everything will run just because of the increase in people.

Suddenly having 30 explorers also means that I have about 30 names to learn, and about 30odd nicknames to boot. Unfortunately I am not one of those people that can just pick up names really easily. Give me at least a year and I may just be able to remember that your name starts with a J... Jim, James, John?... oh sorry Brian!

Regardless of the size (THIRTY!), any new group of scouts will react differently to the same activities. Which has been my next biggest change. I've had to learn how this set of 30 teenagers will react to activities. How would they be with Global issues? Crafts? What sort of games do they like? So, how better to find out than to try some different activities with them.

We've had a variety of different activities over the past couple of months. Everything from disability awareness nights, to market nights (which I have covered on here in the past) to egg drops, cake decorating and even a pub quiz.
They had to ID different muppets in the Pub Quiz picture round... this one is apparently me
... try not to laugh too hard
These, I will admit, had varying degrees of success... the disability night, for example, was a nightmare (but a valuable reminder on practicalities of running activities for 30). So, I'm not going to go into that really, there were plenty of other nights that were a success that I can talk about instead.

We had some interesting methods employed with the egg drop challenge.

We had crumple zones, and parachutes and shear dumb luck in abundance.
The drop zone... I was stationed under the stairs, like a egg craving troll
The cake night was, for obvious reasons, one of my favourites. But boy did it require a lot of prep! They all got 2 cupcakes to decorate each, we also did a team challenge where they had half an hour to decorate a 6inch cake, the winning team got to take home all of the 6inch cakes. Which, when you factor in that it is for 30people, makes for a LOT of cake. 60 cupcakes and 6 6inch cakes to be exact, and all home made (by me) to try and keep the costs down. We also got them making hot chocolate spoons and funnel cakes... mmm funnel cakes *drool*....

ahem, excuse me

Don't know what came over me there.

Anyway, here's some of pictures that I managed to grab between being coated in icing sugar!
The Guns n Roses 6inch cake... All the team cakes had to be covered in fondant

The team working on the Field of Sheep/Pandas

A yellow mothers day cake

This team tried to curry favour by making a scotland cake... they didn't realise that the other leaders were being independant judges

Some of the cupcakes

The final cakes, the green one won the challenge
Not that all the nights are messy. This week we had a Skills Night. Each of them had to teach a skill to everyone else.

All I'll say is that the demonstration on how to mow the lawn using another explorer as the lawnmower was PRICELESS!

Obviously, muppets etc don't belong to me... please down sue me!