During our AGM weekend we organised a family Monopoly Run challenge. Teams had to collect as many “properties” as they could by visiting the location and taking a photo there. Competition was fierce – we had 3 teams collect all locations. Well done to Team Laffling who won the Beaver category (they had the strategy to go over time, but they gained more extra points than penalties!), Team Sanders who won the Cub category on the cycle version, and team Napthen who ran round the walking version in a mere 1 hour 12 minutes!
With a few of our Scouts and leaders being regular parkrunners, it seemed a great opportunity to introduce the other Scouts and parents to parkrun. We agreed a day when our troop would “take over” the event at Coldham’s Common – this would mean we filled most of the volunteering slots as well as taking part in the run.
parkrun is a weekly timed run, taking place a thousands of locations worldwide on a Saturday morning. Encouraging fitness, fun, volunteering and community, it is a fantastic fit with Scouting. Anyway, after a slow start to signing up, we ended up with 26 volunteers and about 15 runners promising to come to the event.
On the morning of the event it was an early start: 8:30am. Luckily everyone arrived and were briefed on their roles. The marshalls set off to their positions and then it was the turn of Owen, one of our Scouts, to brief all the first-time runners on what to expect. Micah, another of our Scouts, was the (shadow) run director and briefed everyone on the course conditions before starting the clock.
It was great to have our Scouts out as marshalls – they did a really good job of encouraging all the runners. The finish funnel was also expertly managed by Scouts George, Esmé and Sienna.
Running 5km is always a good excuse for a treat and many Scouts and parents had baked yummy cakes which we were selling to raise money for Jimmy’s Cambridge.
Micah also wrote the run report which can be read here, and Finn and Otis have committed to running and volunteering at parkrun over the summer towards their Personal Challenge badge. All in all, a fantastic morning and we look forward to doing something similar next year.
This year, our Scout Troop took over the running of the Cherry Hinton Duck Race, an annual community event held at the pond at Spring Head/Giant’s Grave. 200 ducks had been on sale throughout the village for children to decorate and bring along on the race day, with the duck decorating session at St Andrew’s Church the day before being particularly popular.
We had originally planned to have a cardboard duck race between patrols in large ducks, but unfortunately the pond is quite shallow and the floor too hard. We still made some large ducks and used them for transporting the small race ducks and for decoration.
Braving the cold water were 3 Scouts and 2 adults who set up the course (we decided to use lashed together pioneering poles) and ran the races. Four Scouts, for part of their Personal Challenge, had been challenged to prepare and run a duck-themed stall. These were really popular on the day and the Scouts involved did really well. Scouts also ran the registration and announcements and helped with setting up and clearing down the site, so very well done to everyone.
We hope everyone enjoyed the event and we look forward to next year’s.
Yesterday the Scout troop went swimming at Abbey Pool, to enable the Scouts to gain the next stage of their Swimmer badges. We had booked two lanes of the pool, so the the Scouts had plenty of space. 5 Scouts attempted Stage 5, 8 attempted Stage 4, 1 Stage 3 and 4 Stage 2. After being tested on all the skills, which ranged from timed swims to swimming with clothes to treading water to retrieving objects from the pool floor, 17 Scouts gained their badge which is fantastic. Some of the Scouts who gained Stage 5 will be in Scouts for a while yet, so next time we come swimming we’ll have to think about how they can gain their Swimmer Activity Plus badge (or maybe the Scout Association will have developed a Swimmer Stage 6 badge by then!). Thanks to Abbey Pool for hosting us and for the two parents who stayed to help.
On Tuesday, Natalie from NHS Blood and Transplant came to visit the Scouts. We learnt some interesting facts about blood donation and how blood is used to treat patients with various diseases in hospital. Unfortunately, none of the Scouts are only enough to donate (you have to be 17) but fortunately their parents are old enough! So, a group of parents (and a leader) had arranged to donate together today at the Cambridge Donor Centre, which is on the Addenbrookes Hospital site, including a first-time donor and a couple of previous donors who hadn’t donated for a while. After health checks, we were led through into the donor suite, where there were already people there donating platelets (which takes a lot longer). Everyone’s donation went well, and we had a nice chat over refreshments. We even managed to send some “My Mum donated blood today” stickers home for the lucky sons and daughters!! One Scout who came along was able to watch the whole donation process and is hopefully inspired to donate when old enough, and many parents said that they will be encouraging their children to donate aged 17.
Scouts with the mayor at Cherry Hinton Festival 2017
It’s our Group’s 70th birthday this year. Well, sort of, as it depends exactly when you think we started. We were registered with the Scout Association in 1948, but we know we were meeting the year before that. So, is our birthday 1947 or 1948? And does it really matter? So, it was with that uncertainty that we decided to celebrate this occasion at the brilliant Cherry Hinton Festival. With a new flag ordered, display boards collected, old photos collated, cakes made, we descended on the festival early on Saturday morning. Pitching the event shelter was the usual challenge (why are there always more poles than there should be in the bag?) but we got there in the end. The Scouts set up some pioneering structures, we prepared the rope making and plate spinner making activities and were all set to go. And then it rained. Very heavily! But did it put us off? No of course not.
Scouts at the festival
The mayor of Cambridge came to visit our stall and cut the cake and spent a good time chatting with the Scouts which was fabulous. Photographers from local newspapers took photos and a couple of them appeared in the paper the next day. The District Commissioner came to present our Group Scout Leader with her 30 year service award. And, being the first shelter on the rec as people arrived, we hosted many of them looking to keep dry! The rope making activity was very popular (it’s quick and you get something to take away) and we had many enquiries about joining Beavers/Cubs/Scouts.
Display boards – our last 70 years!
We also like to give something back to the community and for the last few years have volunteered to litter pick round the festival site all day, which we did again this time. Cherry Hinton Festival has loads of great activities going on, and it was great to see so many people there despite the rain. So, all in all a great day, and we look forward to next year’s event.
2 weeks ago
Our Scouts enjoyed taking part in #jotajoti2020 this evening, connecting with Scouts around the world over the internet. Top tip from Beth: go into the French channels to meet even more people (Cote d’Ivoire ✅)