16 Scouts from both troops went to Scarefest at Gilwell Park for the last weekend of October. It was a bitterly cold weekend, but we wrapped up warm and enjoyed ourselves. There was lots to do. During the day they went on activities such as climbing, tomahawks, bumper cars and the Cage. In the evening they went in mazes. The highlight for most Scouts was the fireworks and laser show.
The camp with Mr Swan, the Gandalf of the swan world.
Scouts from Snowdon and Scafell camped together at our 2018 summer camp.
On Saturday we drove up (took around five hours). We arrived with a nasty wind. It was a big challenge to get our event tent up. We had Scouts and adults weighing it down to prevent it taking off and other leaders storm lashing it as we went. We got it up with no incidents, just a dent in the time plan and our adrenaline.
Icelandics (patrol tents) were also a challenge to put up. Four scouts could not hold it against the wind. But with a bit of perseverance, up they went. It started raining just as we were finishing, but we kept our kit dry. After the resent scorching weather the rain was welcome. By the time we had pitched and unpacked it was dinner time. We had a wide game. Then cocoa, cake and bed.
Sunday we had a day of kayaking on the Derwent. That was good fun. Most Scouts did a capsize drill. The beauty of camp is that we have time to spend encouraging the Scouts to try new things and to develop their skills – we needed this time to persuade some of the Scouts to tip themselves in! The canoe slide was also proved a big hit for some of the Scouts. It was also a chance if a shower – for some the only shower if the week. They did have lots of opportunity to use the showers on our camp site, they just chose not to use them.
Monday we did a hike to Mam Tor and Cave Vale. It was a bit of a late start. There was no real reason for it, just getting into the swing of doing all the tasks needed to successfully and comfortably camp. The hike went well, slightly slower than planned. The views at the top were amazing. And we managed to get one leader to his train on time as he was back to work the next day (so now there were three leaders). But we were eating our fish and chips a bit later than predicted.
Tuesday was our big ticket day. We went ghyll scrambling from Snake Road towards Kinder Scout with Lost Earth Adventures. The scouts loved it. There were lots of smiles. Whilst waiting for others to climb a waterfall at the base of Kinder Scout, in order to make sure the Scouts did not get cold, Claire was leading a rendition of “Hamburger, cheese burger, lettuce and tomato” camp fire song, with all the actions, minus the half jump. The bizarre things you do as a leader.
Tuesday evening we had a patrol cooking competition. They got to plan their meal, buy the food and cook it on a double gas burner in specially constructed field kitchens. We must allow space for more of this in the future. The Scouts got so much out of this. Not only learning how to feed themselves in conditions more challenging than your average kitchen, but they were also having a lot of fun with it. For at least one scout this was the highlight of the week. Both patrols produced some interesting food.
Wednesday we stayed on site and did pioneering. One scout said it was his favourite thing of the week. We built a tower using ropes and poles and hauled it up using a pulley.
On Thursday we went kayaking on the river Trent. All the Scouts improved their paddling technique with the majority actually understanding what they were doing. We also had the incident that will be regaled in stories for a long time – Swangate.
We had passed many, many swans on the river. Some were getting huffy and we made sure we gave them a wide berth. Those swans were happy with that. But Mr Swan was the Gandalf of the swan world, “Thou shall not pass”. Tony was the first to encounter him as he came round a bend. He and the scout that was near to him had to paddle back up stream to get out of the way and we all huddled in an eddy working out a plan. Mr Swan would sit in the middle of the river with his wings half up and giving us the evil eye, then he would glide over into the big reed bed at one side of the river, as Mrs Swan and two cygnets appeared from behind the bend on the other side of the river and glided over to her mate, Mr Swan crossed the river again, glaring and being assertive. This happened a number of times – we just had a pattern of criss-crossing of swans. Tony waited for an opportune moment then paddled through, but Mr Swan was not happy. He chased him down the river, including taking off from the water, which always looks and sounds dramatic, heading straight for Tony. However once he got past the territory, Mr Swan was happy for Tony to wait there so long as he did not venture in again. But Tony’s card was marked. He was now most hated human. The rest of us (eight scouts, Graham and Claire) were stuck. We had a few attempts at passing but were seen off. We could not get out the river where we were, it was a long way for the Scouts to paddle against the flow to safely egress from the river, we had to go forward, but…Thou shall not pass! Eventually we decided to attempt two at a time. We waited until all swans were out of sight and Claire paddled forward with one scout. Mr Swan was not best pleased and kept a close eye on them, all Claire could hear was “Just keep paddling!” and they got through. Now Graham had to do the planning on his own. We could shout but we did not wish to disturb the Swan family any further and the two at a time plan was abandoned. In the end Graham led a quick attempt to keep the bank and paddle down swiftly. The scouts were a bit like rubber ducks in a bath bumping into each other and Mr Swan didn’t know what to do as the Scouts passed his territory. But we did get passed and Mr Swan’s family were all safe, much to Mr Swan’s relief. It did mean a late end to another day.
Then Friday was all about packing up and going home. We were on the road within 40 minutes of the time we aimed for. But the drive back took 6:30 hours in the blazing heat.
We ate well. We had curry, pork chops with ratatouille, fish and chips, patrol cooking (mainly pasta), risotto and stir fry. We were also overwhelmed with cakes. It is a lovely problem to work out how to eat them all.
The Scouts were a pleasure to take away. They enjoyed the activities, the camping and the friendships. They also learnt loads. We are already looking forward to the next camp.
International chefs at the District Cooking Competition 2017
“That was so much fun” said one scout as they left the climbing room and moved into the caving room.
“Who is going to be the zombie this time?” Is met with a chorus of “Me!”. The rest of the scouts get a 30 second head start into the caving system and then the zombie goes in to catch them and turns them into zombies. All the scouts loved it, even the ones that were worried about feeling claustrophobic.
We want to say a massive thank you to the staff at Craggy Island. They were fantastic with the scouts plus they were a real help with our “little problem”.
Talking of “little problem”, I am sorry we were late back. As we were leaving the key got stuck in the door of the minibus. We were locked out of it. Plus we could not have driven it without the key. The staff were amazing trying to help us free the key. In the end persistence paid off and our ex-scout/explorer Joe patiently freed the key – we are looking forward to him returning as a young leader.
Every scout enjoyed themselves. They were well behaved and not phased by the “little problem”. We just had an impromptu game of splat whilst Joe worked his magic.
We are running a joint camp with the 29th Croydon Scouts this year – in recent years both our troop and the 29th have had less Scouts attend camp than they hoped for, this makes it difficult to run a full, fun programme at a reasonable cost – so by joining forces, we hope to get a good size group of Scouts together and have an awesome time !
As you will see in the initial letter – the dates are Saturday 22nd – Saturday 29th July. We will be camping in a field right on the border of the New Forest which will provide the venue for many of the activities we will be doing. It is a beautiful location, ideal for a brilliant camping experience.
If you have any questions, please contact any of the leaders – we look forward to a great camp and hope most of the Scouts will be able to come.
Five scouts from 28th Croydon and dozens of over scouts from other troops simulated a survival situation Pinewood Scout Centre on 9 April 2016.
The morning we spent brushing up our skills that would help us in a survival situation. Ask one of them what way is north just by looking at a mossy tree and they will tell you. Plus they may show you their spoons that they whittled themselves.
Then they had to survive for 24 hours.
Before we knew it, the shelters were built, their fire pits were going and they were butchering a rabbit for dinner. The challenging bit was the night. It was very cold. At one stage it was minus one degrees. So some of them warmed up around the fire in the middle of the night.
In the morning the scouts had to cross a “raging river” just using a rope. They got enough over and successfully earnt their fish for lunch. They gutted and prepared the fish. Wrapped it in wet newspapers and cooked it on their fires.
The end was in site. The parents were on their way. All they had to do was signal them. So they built a smoke signal which could be seen for miles and they were rescued hurrah!
What was the best bit? Most of them said, “Fire”. Some said, “Meeting new people”.
What was the worst bit? “Someone following me around with a camera.” See if you can guess who said that from the photos below.
Six intrepid scouts traipsed to Hook to represent 28th Croydon scouts in Greater London South West county cooking competition.
The theme was A Meal Fit for Today and our scouts choose menus based on that.
Team A choose a start of mozzarella cheese and tomato which was beautifully presented. Followed by chicken casserole which was a challenge being prepared in a small space and on a gas burner. And for dessert they made Eton Mess.
Team B chose mackerel, halloumi and salad for a starter. It was a shame that the one piece that the judges tried had a bone in it even though the fish had bought deboned. Their main course was breaded chicken and salad in wraps. Finally for dessert they did home-made icecream. It must be the only recipe that calls for duct tape and woolly gloves.
The competition was fierce and there were lots of teams. Team A came joint fifth and Team B came 18. Well done both teams.
Snowdon Troop Summer Camp 2015 – Drum Hill Campsite Derbyshire
We departed on Saturday morning in a van and minibus loaded to the gunwhales for a week of fun in Derbyshire. The site was beautiful and very quiet – we were the only group there for most of the time. We did a number of activities including kayaking on the River Derwent, the River Trent and a canal, Gil Scrambling near the Snake Pass and a hike up Mam Tor.
Please remember that the deadline for reserving a place on the Snowdon Troop Summer Camp at Drum Hill Scout Activity Centre inDerbyshire is Friday 23rd January – please return your form with the deposit ASAP.
12 Scouts and 4 Adults from the Snowdon Troop spent the weekend of 24th – 26th October at Downe Scout Activity Centre. We were promised horrible weather on Friday night and Sunday, but it turned out to be pretty good all weekend.
Activities included Pedal Go-Karts, Rifle Shooting, Archery, Leap Of Faith and Ariel Trek. The Scouts also made Pizza from scratch and cooked them in “Dutch Ovens” on a fire. The boys spent a lot of time running around in the woods chasing each other and, I believe, the plentiful Deer !
We were woken on Saturday morning at about 5 am by some interesting noises – initial diagnosis was Wild Boar, but the site staff suggest Badgers !
Thanks to Sarah Turner for giving up Friday night (after a bad week at work) to run a Rifle Shooting session !
All Scouts from 28th Croydon Scouts were invited to take part in three sessions of water activities at South Norwood Lake. Recently unofficially renamed ‘Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Lake’, the local beauty spot provides an invaluable local resource to learn skills in sailing, canoeing and kayaking, as well as general safety in open boats on the water.
Each session was held on a Saturday morning and gave the scouts three hours of time on the water (for only £6!). Everyone agreed it was a great success, even Troop Leader Tony, who ended up in the lake!
How to survive a capsize!
Bringing the boats home
Putting the boats away
Tony slips into the lake!
Snowdon Troop Programme (Jan – Apr 2014) Published
Another exciting term lined up – we are discussing other weekend activities and badge sessions that we hope to run this term and next. We will let you know if there are any additions / changes to the programme.
On Sunday 12th May, 3 teams from the Snowdon troop took part in the District Checkpoint Challenge.
This is a short hike where the teams complete a challenge at every checkpoint – that and attempt to transport a Pringle round the entire course without breaking it !
Some of the challenges the teams undertook were lighting a fire to burn through some string; build a sedan chair and carry a member of the team round a course; matching a flag , country and Scout motto and a minefield made of cups !
The teams from the Snowdon Troop secured 2nd, 3rd and joint 4th place – our lowest scoring team was only 5 points away from the winner – if only they hadn’t broken the pringle !!
A BRILLIANT result from all of the teams WELL DONE
We are a thriving Group with approximately 180 members providing scouting five nights a week to young people between the ages of 6 and 14.
We offer our members a very wide range of activities and give them the opportunity to develop new skills and enjoy the company of friends in a well organised and safe environment. We work very closely with parents and encourage them to become fully involved in the life of the Group.