On the 27th of August 2020 we went to the ESSA Water Activities centre, near Broxbourne. To complete our stage 2 sailing qualifications. Most of us had been there in 2019, during our summer camp and completed our Stage 1. Five of the younger scouts came this year to do their stage 1 qualification, it was harder for them this year, as they had to go on their own straight away, we were able to go in pairs last year.
We didn’t camp this year, because of COVID restrictions, so we were driven from Cambridge each day. We were also kept in bubbles, with 5 scouts each and had to have our temperatures taken before we were allowed on the site.
On the first day we went over a lot of the things we had learnt last year. I could remember, about the dagger board and rudder and how to unfurl and attach the sail. We did lots of different activities, like trying to follow the instructors around the lake and collecting milk bottles that they had thrown out for us. We had to capsize our boats and then recover the boat, and ourselves!
I really enjoyed the sailing days, it was a fun thing to do, after months of lockdown. The weather wasn’t great this year, as we had very little wind and a lot of rain, but we still had a lot of fun and all completed our sailing qualifications.
Let’s start off with our introduction from Bear Grills; it all started with that first video that got us going on these fun activities. Here is a picture of a den that was built for our second activity. As you can see it wasn’t quite finished yet but just like the TGI weekender it ended up absolutely awesome
Then onto the amazing reaction rockets. This was a real challenge, at first, our rocket didn’t want to stand upright because the straws weren’t taped up correctly. This was soon fixed and then we were ready for the reaction. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get all the bicarbonate of Soda into the bottle quick enough so when we sealed it not enough pressure built up and it didn’t go anywhere! Then we added a lot more and it almost made it to Mars. NASA, are you listening? Check out these photos below!
The process of making one is hard so if you want to check out the TGI weekender website you can learn how to make one yourself.
After we completed the reaction rockets experiment, we moved onto a zoom call where we made matchstick crossbows, (I haven’t been able to complete mine yet). We also made chocolate tiffins, a hovercraft and more. Now that we had finished those fun filled activities it was time for dinner.
In the evening I had a great time singing camp fire songs (especially “I found a peanut”) – we could have won The Voice Kids! At the end of the day we were all super tired and some of us joined the bedtime stories zoom call where books like the jungle book were read. This was a fabulous camp and I would one hundred percent like to do this again. I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did.
On the 29th of February the Cambridge University Scout and Guide Club held the Forward Hike 2020. Our troop entered 5 teams to start around 8 in the morning. My patrol started at base B which was half way round the course, so we’d finish there as well. We started walking clockwise around the route through some extremely muddy paths which soaked our feet, to point A which was a puzzle station. The other bases included a quiz, an obstacle course and first aid. The whole hike took us 6½ hours for a 7 hour time limit but we managed to not get lost, which is a first for my patrol! Then, at HQ, we got doughnuts and hotdogs.
Me and my patrol really enjoyed this hike because we did well and the weather was nice.
A few weeks ago the 2019-2020 Night Hike took place in Cambridge, not on Holt Island due to flooding. This meant the Scout Leaders had to re-route the entire course and make a new one. We began the Hike at the Spinney School, Cherry Hinton and ventured through it for a small bit and then went further into Cambridge crossing fields and footpaths and checking our map and compass once in a while.
Throughout the Hike, there were waypoints which had stations including making popcorn with a few grains of corn, matches, two tin holders and cooking oil. another example of these stations was where we put a blindfold on and had to taste different kinds of crisps and guess them after, it was very amusing.
At the end of the Hike, we came back to Spinney School and had hot chocolate and hot dogs. We were excited to finally rest from the long journey and to top it all of, our patrol (Kestrel) had won the overall points rewarded for the stations.
This was a hard but fun experience, especially since our patrol had won the points. I enjoyed it a lot and hope everyone else enjoyed it too but we couldn’t have done it without the Scout Leaders, any parents who volunteered and their efficient re-route of the course.
On a Tuesday after school a small group of Scouts went to the Apple Store and made some jingles and some icons for their podcasts. We were creating podcasts as part of the Media Relations Badge. So far we had interviewed various different people but we needed to create icons and jingles to make the podcast sound and look more professional.
Ryan was our instructor for the session. Firstly we made the icons for the podcasts on an app with an iPad. Ryan showed us how to work the program and make interesting backgrounds. After 45 minutes of making the icons we went onto GarageBand and made some tunes to go at the start and the end of the podcasts. On GarageBand you could use different instruments to make a cool tune. We also got given a certificate and a nice magnetic badge with the Apple logo on it.
The trip was really fun and I hope that others in the Troop will be able to go sometime in the future.
The event was very interesting and there were a lot of people there. It was interesting though that most of the people were adults. We were the only children that I saw. This perhaps shows that adults are more interested and involved in Politics.
There were six candidates running to be the MP for Cambridge, including Daniel Zeichner who is the Labour MP at the moment. The Brexit candidate Peter Dawe turned up in a cloak which was very surprising – it was actually an academic gown. He hardly talked about Brexit and mostly talked about green issues. The Liberal-Democrat candidate (Rod Cantrill) and Daniel Zeichner seemed to have very similar views on things like climate change and Brexit. What was interesting was Daniel Zeichner said that he would always vote to stay in the EU even though the country had voted to leave in the referendum. He was able to justify this by saying that the people who had voted for him knew he would vote in this way and he was following the views of the people in Cambridge. Although Jeremy Corbyn seems to be a very unpopular Labour leader Daniel Ziechner said he was a good man and the Labour party policies would be good for the future.
There were some interesting questions from the audience about our relationship with the EU when we leave. The SDP candidate Jane Robinson was surprising because she was very similar to the other parties like the Liberal-Democrats except on Brexit which the SDP believes is a good thing and should happen because the people voted for it. The Conservative candidate agreed with this and said that Britain would be able to do very well in trade and the economy when we left as we would not be tied by their rules anymore. The Green candidate was obviously supporting green issues but as so many of the others were also supporting green issues he didn’t seem to have an issue that was unique to him. Maybe this was because environmental issues are very popular in Cambridge and so all the candidates were strong on this.
I certainly learnt a lot about the different ideas of the different parties and how a debate or hustings is run. It was good to see many people involved in politics.
Written by Luke
(Ed: the Scouts also interviewed four of the candidates for their upcoming podcast)
So we landed at camp ‘Lesley Sell Activity Centre’ Bedford at 6.30pm. First job was to put up all the tents, by the time we finished it was dark. Instead of finishing before the dark as planed we carried on in the dark. Putting tents up by torch light is not as easy as it sounds, there should be a badge for it. After flag pole we played a game that no one understood, but one of the objectives was to collect carrots – my team got 3! Then we met for hot chocolate and hot dogs, they were very good. Around 10.30pm it was lights out. It rained quiet a bit in the night so we didn’t get much sleep. Most of the tents were put up in a rush so we finished them off in the morning. Breakfast was good, Eggy bread and cereal, lucky for me as eggy bread was my favourite.
We then all split into our chosen badge groups. Mine was astronautics, I paired up with Kabir. The first half we made model rockets with instructions and launched them. I launched ours, it went really high. You launched them by putting a gunpowder engine in the bottom, closed it with a cap and then pressed a button which sent an electric charge down the wire which ignited the engine (gun powder). We have a lunch break – with a choice of sandwiches (cheese for me), crisps, penguin & fruit.
After lunch we made our own rockets which were supposed to go up quite high because we used a bigger engine, but none of them did. Most of them span around in circles and smashed into the floor. These rockets were meant to protect a quail egg and most of them did believe it or not. But the funniest thing was when one rocket launched and left the egg behind, we all burst out laughing, it was funny to see.
We had vegetable curry for dinner and cake and custard for dessert. I don’t normally have cold custard, but it tasted really good. It really rained hard and we all met up in the activity hut to play the ‘city game’. It was okay, but we were all a bit tired by then. Jacob was so tired he fell asleep on the chair. We all went to bed, it rained again in the night and the tents took a battering. The girls one almost collapsed and another one leaked badly.
We had porridge for breakfast, which I don’t like so I just had cereal as there was still plenty of that. We made our packed lunches, mostly the same as yesterday and then did a multitude of activities…I was quite glad as I wasn’t looking forward to doing the hike. We stopped again for lunch and then carried on with all the activities. My favourite activity was when we all stood on a strip of cardboard and we had to flip over so we were standing on the other side with out stepping off onto the ground. Back at camp, the adults were putting down the tents and we helped to do the last few when we finished for the day. It was great fun drying out the inside of one of the tents, that was a cool game in itself. I thought we were going to take off! When all of the other troops had left, 27th played a massive game of capture the flag. We then went home.
Summer camp was very fun, it had to be one of my favourite camps. With sailing, wobble-boarding, dragon boating and raft building as activities it was very enjoyable and I would love to go again.
The walking journeys there and back were rather nice, not too far, but on the way there it was hot and drinks weren’t easily accessible. On the way back we took a shortcut through some woods so the journey was even shorter. On the train back we had to be shuttled on a coach to Stansted and then got a train from there.
We went to the ESSA water sports centre near Broxbourne in Hertfordshire where we did a range of activities.
Sailing was the main part of our activities. Running over 2 days, we did ‘RYA youth stage 1’. The first day, water almost completely calm. We split up in to two groups, the taller in the 3 man ‘Picos’ and the shorter in the 2 man ‘Toppers’, I was in the shorter. To start with we had a paddler and someone at the tiller. We had to do some challenges to get us used to the boat and balancing it. In the afternoon we learnt the parts of the boat and did capsize drills.
The second day was all sails out and off we went. We sailed around, some of us on our own and some of us not. We did follow the leader, sail to the buoy, getting out of irons and lots more.
On the third day of activities, we did 3 activities: wobble-boarding, dragon-boating and raft building. Wobble-boarding consisted of me and Jakob paddling around whilst standing up on a surfboard. We fell in lots of times and the surfboard capsized once when we were trying to get back on. Dragon boating is where you paddle in time to the drum which the drummer is beating. I was the drummer and the seat was very wobbly. Raft building was successful for some but not for my group. Our raft was falling apart on the first race and fell apart on the second.
The food was very nice we had a hot option for breakfast and always cereal and bread, at lunch we had normal sandwiches and at tea we had a range of meals.
Overall I think that everyone enjoyed summer camp and had a wonderful time.
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.
on the 7th of july the 27th scout group did an environmental project day in which there was 3 different activities.
1. A litter-picking session,
2. a church clean up and hedgehog home making session and
3. A garden makeover.
I was part of the garden makeover.
Before makeover, the whole garden, a bush
When we saw that we were meant to level this, i’m sure a few of us felt a little disheartened. But does that stop the 27th scouts? No it doesn’t. So we set of on the 2 hour makeover and sure enough, we started to make good progress. Discovering a part of the garden that had probably not seen sunlight for the better part of 3 years was interesting as there was a long forgotten water butt and a packet of unopened magic stars that were long out of date. Also, we had a little competition, Who can find the weirdest thing? Ranking 1st came a bird table which had been swallowed up by the bush. Ranking 2nd was a thermal jacket.
After about an hour we had finished a little more than half the garden and we were feeling proud. And for some reason, we were asked to keep the bush at the back of the garden. So we decided to keep it in style, we gave it a bowl cut (no bowls used). Soon we found that our Madingley Mulch cutting bags were full, so we did what was necessary and jumped on them. At the end of the session it was impossible to recognise the garden as it was before and we were ready for the AGM (annual group meeting) barbecue.