Cubs and Scouts have been out practising their Scouting skills and knowledge at Strinesdale Reservoir, where they took part in Incident Hikes, testing their teamwork and leadership as they tried out different challenges. The weather wasn’t quite so kind to the 11 Cubs who turned out on Saturday, April 16th, but on the 17th the Scouts had lovely weather for their endeavours, and although we didn’t win, all of our teams had fun, and even learned a little bit!
Cubs were also to the fore at our St George’s Day service. We had a good turnout, and members of all sections took part, but their retelling of the story of St George was particularly memorable.
Over Easter our leaders team of Matt, Rachel, Tom, Erica and Freya took 8 of the Scouts up to the Lake District to stay at the Keswick Scout Hall for 3 nights. While we were there we kept them very busy completing all the tasks necessary for their Expedition Challenge and we also took the opportunity to get out on Derwentwater in kayaks and canoes. One of our Scouts, Adam has written about it for us and although we would take issue with the idea that Ordnance Survey maps aren’t “the most accurate maps ever,” it captured the experience pretty well . . .
Ahh, where can I begin? There was so much happening that it’s difficult to know how to start. I suppose I should start with the journey plus the first day. We boarded in sleet and hail, and I admit my hopes were not high. The journey was your typical journey, with the boys being stupid and the girls being not stupid. I chose to sleep for most of it, being tired as a bat in daytime. When we arrived, lunch was unpacked and so was the sleeping gear. No time to relax, however. We played a photography challenge game where two teams have to take pictures on things in Keswick. Our team was absolutely thrashed by the opposing team. That night I tried to get to sleep on a cold wooden floor, and ended up dozing off at midnight.
1st hike. Being the eldest in a group I was forced into the role of leadership. It started off well, the weather was nice and we had a good sense of direction. We were doing great until Toby decided to try and jump across a stream. He made it across fine, but hurt himself when he tripped and fell whilst landing. Nevertheless our fearless (or foolhardy) group trekked bravely on, pausing only for 5 minute breaks. Toby decided to take yet another shortcut. And I mean shortcut by the loosest definition. He fell into a stream and got both his socks wet. Thank goodness he was wearing waterproofs.
After several more infamous “Toby Shortcuts,” we reached a nice little spot where we decided to have our picnic. Then it started to hail. Very, very heavily. We sat there, glumly tucking into our lunch when we realised the end was only about half an hour away. We moved onwards for the third and final time, not even pausing for breaks, even when our feet felt like they had been injected with acid and set on fire. Nothing could stop the Flimsy Four this time! We plodded and plodded until finally, the jetty was in sight. We cheered and sprinted, finishing off my poor legs. We entered the boat, the captain sailed us back and hip hip hoooooray, we were done.
Cooking that night was simple for Adam the Masterchef and Hannah the Apprentice. Boil the pasta, secretly add some chilli powder to the bolognese and voilà! Dinner. It went down fine with my group, they didn’t even taste the chilli (Much to mine and Hannah’s disappointment). By then it was time for board games. I introduced the Scouts to a rousing game of Murder Cluedo, a much better variant of Cluedo, where the objective is to murder all the other players with the weapons whilst also trying not to get killed yourself. It was an excellent idea, if I say so myself. The Scouts were having a great time trying to bash each other’s character’s heads in with the candlestick or blast them to pieces with the pistol, but then the great Werewolves of Millers Hollow game was brought out and we had an excellent time playing that (highlight was Toby being a werewolf).
The second hike was not very successful. Within the first half an hour we had got lost. We, after actually consulting the map, found our way through the Foresty Hill. Soon after, however, we were lost again. The map wasn’t exactly the most accurate map ever and we had wandered far off track. We eventually found the way out and from there it was simple, far easier than the first hike. After we got back, it was chippy tea plus Werewolves (Aroooo).
The last day was the most fun, I’d say. We got up nice and early and packed away. We went off to the canoeing and kayaking centre and had tremendous fun knocking others into the icy waters. It ended on both a high and a low note.
High note - we all took a jump in at the end.
Low note - Ariane lost her glasses whilst jumping in.
From there on, it was just drying, gathering bags, then hopping on the coach and driving back. Pretty impressive for us to be so organised and for not one of the Scouts to die of drowning, food poisoning, starving, etc. Three cheers for the leaders.