The scout troop spent a weekend surviving off the land – making fires, skinning rabbits, carving spoons, cooking without utensils, sleeping in shelters, making nettle tea & nettle string – and more.
Very impressively every single scout got 100% involved with skinning the rabbits, and sleeping in shelters, despite being somewhat out of anyone’s comfort zone.
Warning – these photos contain photos of scouts learning to skin rabbits.
We took the scouts for a weekend of climbing and abseiling in the Peak District. Despite a shocking weather forecast, we managed to have two days of climbing in the sunshine, and headed home on Sunday five minutes before it rained – perfect!
Our Winter Camp marked the first camp of the “Camp a Month Challenge” and it went off with a bang! Putting the tents up in 50mph gusts of wind in the dark was a challenge, but eventually everything slotted into place!
Throughout the weekend the scouts cooked what I honestly believe was the best camp food we’ve ever had! Chicken curry (no jars of sauces, just spices/chillies/garlic etc) with mango chutney and poppadoms on Saturday night, and home baked “normal” pizzas, cooked in the new camp ovens that we made at the start of the term. Phenomenal! Even the fires were a roaring success – thanks to Josh’s tumble drier fluff, Simone’s fire steel, and the home made firelighters that we made the previous week, we lit two fires without matches!
[simage=329,200,n,left,left] On Saturday we split into two groups and went on a mammoth bike ride in the New Forest. On Sunday we tried something different – the new High Ropes course at Ferny Crofts; and after our delicious pizzas, we invested Max into the troop.
A brilliant camp – and we raised £13 towards our first twinned toilet.
Next camp: March indoor camp/sleepover.
[simage=228,512,y,center] Thanks to Paul Jones and his brother Nick, 13 scouts and 2 leaders went sailing on two 41ft boats on the Solent for a day. With aims to get to the Isle of Wight and have several races, we actually ended up floating locally for a few hours before lunch waiting for wind!! During that some of us experienced “Halyard Swinging” – it was great fun!! After lunch the wind picked up, so we returned with a couple of races.
One cheeky stowaway scout swapped boats during lunch and was discovered below deck on the way back – and conveniently managed to claim victory for all races – either “his” team won on his original boat, or “our” team won when he was with us!! That’s scouting initiative for you 😉
All in all, a great day – amazing to be out on the water in sunny, calm weather in November!
The troop set off to Chelwood Scout Campsite, near Bath/Bristol for a week of fun and games! The scouts set the camp up in record time on the Sunday afternoon, leaving loads of time for exploring, fires and games. After a decent breakfast on Monday, we headed into Bristol for a bike-ride along the canal. On Tuesday we pioneered a couple of bridges over a stream, cooked pizzas in a cardboard oven (can’t see the flaw in that idea) and cleaned ourselves in a swimming pool! We then went caving in the Cheddar Gorge area on Wednesday, and hiking in the Mendips on Thursday.
Some scouts decided to spend the last night under a bivouac despite the terrible weather forecast – but got off lightly – no rain! We packed camp up on Friday morning and then demonstrated how not to communicate effectively as we attempted to take the group climbing! We split up and I drove the minibus up a recently closed tiny road (thanks SatNav) and did a million point turn in a driveway, then were given directions to the Split Rock by a resident and turned up there to find no other leaders and were told to meet somewhere else – several phonecalls later and many wrong-turns we found the others and followed them to our destination – and no guesses for where we ended up – Split Rock, an hour after we were there before! Anyway, we managed to do some fantastic climbing and scary abseiling, and drove home (without getting lost!)
The camp marked an end of one era and a start of a new one for the scout troop. We said goodbye to several veteran scouts who are moving up to Explorers, and we also kind of said goodbye to Stuart, who handed over the troop to me on the last day so that he could take on the district role of ADC Scouts. The patrol leadership has also changed, with Peter & Thomas continuing to be patrol leaders, joined by Chris and Adam. A new generation of APLs are joining the team – Finn, Michael, Matthew and Nina – congratulations to everyone!
Roll on the winter term – we already have a camp planned, two incident hikes (one overnight), a swimming gala and lots of Friday evening fun!
[simage=177,200,n,left,left] 14th Highfield scouts seem to be making a habit of winning! Joined by various other scout groups in the district, we pioneered a raft out of barrels, poles and plenty of rope. Powered by four scouts with four make-shift oars, we paddled ourselves into victory! Not only did we win the overall competition, we ended up totally undefeated in every single race! Congratulations to all that took part!
Some of the troop spent the evening on the water – it was a great, wet, and for some, very muddy, evening enjoyed by all!
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Fourteen scouts, three leaders and a few frisbees went on camp for a weekend in June. Despite getting the frisbees far too high up the tree to be safely collected, fourteen scouts, three leaders and the same number of frisbees safely returned! The photo on the left isn’t a pile of sleeping bags, it’s a pile of scouts who “slept” under the stars, and amazingly, even managed to stay awake for the rest of the day!
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We “stretched” our scouts with a hike on Saturday then a bit of flag-pole pioneering for investing people, then on Sunday the scouts split in two and took a bucket of incredibly valuable water round an assault course, and then climbed/abseiled on a tower.
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Some of the scouts and leaders also managed to answer the popular question “what can we do with 4 scouts or 2 leaders, a huge 4mx0.5m concrete water pipe, and a big open field?” Fortunately there are no photos to prove anything!
All in all, it was a great camp – roll on the Summer Camp!
Here’s when we invested Ed. Ed has been helping at Scouts for a year now and after summer camp he is going to take over from Stuart as our Scout Leader.
The Southampton City District annual six-a-side football competition took place between six troop teams at the sports centre on Saturday 8th May 2010. I am delighted to report that after a tough competition, the 14th emerged victorious and in style with a 5-1 win in the final! Well done team!