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.
Congratulations to the two teams who entered the District Cooking Competition on Saturday 6 October.
Team North America cooked a vegetable chowder, shredded salmon in a tomato sauce on a bed of rice, and a lime cheesecake.
They narrowing missed nailing the chowder. Just needed to check the seasoning. Unfortunately the cheesecake didn’t set in time. But the judges praised the flavour.
Team Asia cooked Thai sweet potato soup, Stir fry with tofu and egg noodles, and crepes with exotic fruits.
Each of the dishes were of very good standard.
Team North America came fourth and Team Asia came second. Plus Team Asia were so close to winning best fancy dress as well. Congratulations to 6th Croydon with their Mexican team who won the competition.
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.
Empowering young people to make a positive contribution to society has been an important part of Scouting since Scouting began. 28th Croydon Scafell troop are getting involved.
The Scouts and the local community at Our Lady of Annunciation Catholic Church signed a petition addressed to Sarah Jones MP. It is a petition with a difference.
The campaign aims for mental and physical health to be viewed as equal priorities in the local community. The Scouts have spent time creating plasters to highlight that, while we know what to do when someone is physically hurt, things aren’t as straightforward when someone has a mental health problem. Two thirds of people with common mental health problems don’t get any help at all. It is much easier to get help for a physical health problem.
28th Croydon Scouts are taking part in the A Million Hands movement, a Scout community impact project that aims to mobilise half a million Scouts by 2018 in support of four social issues chosen by young people. As part of the A Million Hands movement, and together with Mind, SAMH and Inspire, 28th Croydon Scouts are taking part in the Sticking up for mental health campaign.
Mental health problems are common – one in four people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year. Just like we all have physical health, we all have mental health too, and just as our bodies can become unwell, so can our minds. Like physical illness, mental illness can happen to anyone, at any time, and a mental health problem can feel just as bad, or worse, as any other physical illness – only you cannot see it.
‘Twas the weekend before Easter when seven intrepid scouts headed out for the Surrey Hills on their expedition.
Two patrols walked some of the North Downs Way and surrounding villages to reach Bentley Copse, where we camped overnight.
Both patrols thought they understood navigation. They understood how OS maps and compasses worked. But one patrol found they don’t help that much if you are just walking along, singing a song, and scorfing Skittles. Both groups went off course, and eventually they worked out where they were. They got to the checkpoint, and later to the campsite a bit behind their predicted time.
They cooked their evening meal and breakfast over triangias – meth burners. Perhaps their evening meal could have done with a little more thought to make it a feast, rather than something to fill their bellies. Anyone fancy egg noddles, hot dogs and chicken cup-a-soup that has been on the boil for 30 minutes? There was flapjacks and hot chocolate as well. For breakfast they had porridge with Cadburys Flake and/or golden syrup followed by bacon and sausages. They did go to sleep and start in the morning having had enough to eat.
It did feel like a constant found of washing up. They were quite good at team work and making sure that everyone pulled their weight.
Over night they slept in small hike tents in twos and a one. The weather was kind, with very little rain and dropping to around 2ºC. That was very mild compared to the week before when it was snowing! The Scouts slept well with most falling asleep around 10:00 and the last talking quietly until 11:30. Just as well it was an early night as the clocks went forward and we lost an hour’s sleep.
Day two and they left the campsite only an hour late. That washing up seems to grow! One patrol stayed almost exactly on route and made good time through out the day. We did wonder why the second patrol was going at 0mph, until they let slip they had found a playground. Their navigation was much improved overnight and they more or less stayed on route – well the route they chose which went past the playground.
Both patrols finished the hike in reasonable time. The journey home in the minibus was very quiet. Most of them caught up on a bit more sleep.
Special congratulations to Hemlock patrol who hiked both days, more or less on route, correcting their own mistakes and not needing any additional help. Foxglove patrol also did well, although they need need a lift (or three) to get them back onto into the time schedule. This is still an achievement.
We are looking forward on their reports and looking forward to news on their task – “To compare different environments and see what plants are in them.”
Many thanks to Claire, Bobby, Anneka and Ben for supporting the event.
Scafell works with Addiscombe Railway Park January 2018
Since November we have been working with the friends of Addiscombe Railway park to continue their good work of clearing up what is not needed. It has come to the attention of the, 28th Croydon that the park has needed some more help in clearing out the unwanted litter, weeds and abandoned clutter. The state of the park has come to the attention of our scout troop and we believe something needs to be done.
The condition of the park was absolutely horrendous to say the least. Not only was the park treated as a landfill site which is extremely harmful to the environment, 90% of the litter could have been easily recycled or reused. As a consequence, treatment of public property has left many animals consuming this rubbish and sadly dying.
The time we spent at Addiscome Railway park was very beneficial to us, the environment and the community alike. Our time there was spent by planting trees, cutting back brambles and weeding crops. We also checked the frog spawn and newts.
If you would like to:
CONNECT with your neighbours
BE ACTIVE in the fresh air
TAKE NOTICE of the new flowers & trees
LEARN a couple of gardening & wildlife friendly tips
Scafell troop took part in Jamboree-On-The-Air on the 60th anniversary.
Our friends at 7th/12th Croydon Troop and Surrey Radio Contact Club ran the JOTA station.
We got to talk to people from Norway, Ireland, Holland, Italy, Slovakia and Belguim. Although the only scout groups we actually talked to were in Petts Wood. So not quite the international contact we were hoping for.
We did have a Skype call with a troop in Sweden. Aiden said that they did the same things we did. The were just slightly older than British scouts.
Jamboree-On-The-Air (JOTA) is an official international event of the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM).
JOTA enables and encourages Scouts around the world to communicate with one another by means of amateur radio, providing a fun and educational Scouting experience and promoting their sense of belonging to a worldwide Scout Movement.
JOTA related activities take place simultaneously all around the world each year during the third weekend in October.
Three first nights away and an investiture at Scafell scout camp
Scafell troop have returned from our adventurous camp at Downe, August 2017.
Nine scouts, three young leaders and four adult leaders camped for two nights. For three of the scouts it was their first night away with scouts, and one further it was his first night under canvas.
Friday evening was spent pitching the tents. We had a quick supper and then the scouts were out to play a wide game – German spotlight (it is their firm favourite).
Most teenagers sleep in on a Saturday morning, but not this lot. Some were awake at 5:30 and one tent were shouting at a spider at 6:30. At least it meant they could prepare breakfast at a leisurely pace.
Wood was gathered. Fires were lit. And once the fires were ready for cooking they started on their sausages, bacon and eggs. Both patrols worked well and they were all happy cooking their breakfasts.
Late morning were were off to the zip wire. Some were a little nervous but they all jumped off without any hesitation. All the scouts had at least two trips down the zip wire.
Then back to our site to cook lunch – pizza pita bread. We just about got them heated when the heavens opened. Scouts tucked into their lunches in various places around the camp, sheltering from the thunder storm. It passed just before our next activity. We were very fortunate.
Then were were off to tomahawks. All the scouts and young leaders threw flying angel axes. These had three points where it could stick into the target. Although one scout somehow managed to get the handle of the axe to stick into the target – that was some skill, or was it luck? We had a competition and Aiden managed to get the most axes on target. Well done Aiden. They all had a go at the heavier tomahawks. Most found the angels easier to throw.
Then back to camp to collect more wood and cook our evening meal of chicken curry and steamed pudding. Some of them found it a challenge to follow the recipe. It is not the same as at home where you have a nice clean large area to prepare food or a hob that you can turn up and down. They all successfully cooked a lovely meal.
Then off to a campfire. Curtis Maddy and Caitlin led us in campfire songs with lots of giggles and a few wiggles.
We had another wide game – back by popular request was German spotlight.
We finished the evening with hot chocolate. There were a few tired scouts by then. Some of them had only had around five hours sleep the night before and they had been on the go all day.
Sunday morning was a later start. By 8am all the fires were lit and they were on their way to prepare breakfast.
By late morning we were at crate stacking. There were lots of laughs when they fell off. We also invested a scout ten foot in the air.
Then lunch, clean up and strike camp. We still managed to get in a long game of Frisbee before parents arrived to collect.
There was one scout who shined throughout the camp and was awarded scout of the camp. Congratulations to Stavroula. Every time we looked over at her patrol she was collecting wood, or chopping food, or straightening her tent. She cheerfully got on with all the tasks. It was her first night away with the scouts. It certainly did not seem like that at camp.
Thank you to those who made the camp happen – Claire, Bobby, Jordan and Anneka along with our three young leaders and all those who supported in other ways such as loading or unloading the van.
On Saturday 5 August Scafell troop welcomed our newest scout into the world wide family of scouts, 10 foot in the air, whilst on top of a load of crates.
The scout said her promise and was invested by her patrol leader, whilst clinging onto each other and the rope. They were safely harnessed in. They tested the harnesses a few crates later when it all came tumbling down.
Congratulations to Giulia, Joe, Daniel, Kieran, Christian and Luke for achieving their Chief Scout Gold Award.
The scouts were presented with this top award on St George’s Day after attending Church Parade and renewing their scout promises. The awards were presented by Dave Martin, Assistant District Commission (scouts), Croydon District Scouts.
The Chief Scout Gold Award is the top award for Scouts. It shows that the scout is adventurous, has helped their community and learnt about the world. It also means that they have gained skills, worked in a team, completed their Challenge Awards and six Activity or Staged Activity Badges.
“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.
Saturday 1 April five intrepid scouts met to start their expedition. Not the dizzy heights of Everest nor the distances of the Amazon, but a hike from Croydon to Biggin Hill and return.
On the way the scouts stopped off at Beaver Water World. The aim was to see if they could spot any similar animals in the wild the next day. I am pleased to say they did not spot any lemurs or crocodilians wandering around the outskirts of Addington. I am hoping their reports will contain some animals spotted.
Well done to the seven scouts who attended the County Night Hike. They came joint fifth. It was a popular position. There were approximately thirty teams that came joint fifth!
There was an issue with the route. Only four teams found checkpoint four and those four all completed the course. The rest of the teams, including ours, could not find that mystical checkpoint. Something went wrong and county are looking into it to ensure it doesn’t happen again. Our scouts worked together and showed good decision making by making the decision to navigate back to checkpoint three, with about 70 scouts following them. Then in true scouting spirit, leaders from three groups jumped into minibuses and got them all back to camp.
I am glad to say that all the scouts still enjoyed themselves. They were out about five hours and came back to camp at 2:00 and still cooked breakfast at 7:30 in the morning.
Special thanks to Ben, Bobby and Anneka for supporting the camp.
Scafell troop voted for messy games. They got messy!
We started off with a simple relay race. The first hurdle was apple bobbing. The second was sweets in flour. The third was worm pie (sweets in cream). The last hurdle was to eat a doughnut. All of this was without hands. Yes they did get mucky!
The second was to paint a picture – but no brushes were provided. This was to be done using fingers. The theme was Great British Bake Off.
Then we had cakeate – to decorate a scout’s face as though it was a cake. Four scouts were covered in buttercream and had various extra bits such as chocolate sauce, shimmer spray, icing gel and daisies.
With the last game we had the aim of getting the most marsh mellows to stick to the decorated scout. I am not sure who won, but the floor lost. It was more of a food fight than a competition.
Congratulations to Bobby who has been invested as member of scouting. The investiture was done whilst at summer camp. We swam out to a rock in the middle of Tintagle bay, stood on the rock, surrounded by scouts. Bobby made his promise and Claire invested him into scouting.
The day started early at 6:30 meeting in Elmers End. 17 people are in the mini bus, the remaining six are in two cars and all our kit is in the trailer. Then for the long journey to Bude in Cornwall.
We arrive in good spirits and set up camp. That takes the rest of the afternoon. We have a quick wide game then supper and bed.
Day two – Sunday, our busy day.
By 9:00 we are off in the mini bus to Church in Launceston. I was very proud of our 16 scouts and young leaders looking smart in their uniform, well behaved and attentive.
Then it was a dash back to Bude, a quick change and onto Swim Safe. It was a shame it was in horrible weather. But if you are in a wetsuit and in the sea pool then you are not really going to feel the rain.
Swim Safe was held in Bude Sea Pool. This pool is naturally refreshed twice a day by the incoming tide. Our scouts learnt beach safety and in-water tuition.
After the Swim Safe we had a quick change and a bite to eat. We sheltered from the last of the rain before setting out on our hike.
It was a challenging hike, up and down clifts along the scenic South West Coast Path, from Bude to Duckpool, then around Coombe Valley. We cut the hike short at the end of Coombe Valley. Our late start (due to rain) meant we were running late at that point.
We wrapped the day up with wide game on the beach.
Day three – Monday, kayaking and surfing
Monday saw us dividing into two groups to do kayaking and surfing. The waves were “huge”, so we changed from sea kayaking to kayaking along the canal. It also meant that the surfing was challenging and our scouts rose the challenge.
In the afternoon we went to Summerleaze beach for body boarding and beach fun. The waves were the biggest I have seen in years. The body boarding was exhilarating.
We welcome our last participant, Gary, who joined us for the rest of the week. We wrapped the day up with yet another wide game on the beach.
Day four – Tuesday, cycling and adventure course
On Tuesday we divided into four groups and went cycling. We did more of the South West Coast Path, this time heading south and then along Bude Canal. That burnt off some energy.
After lunch we did a trip into town for the scouts to spend all their pocket money. Sainsburys and the Co-op were the most popular shops, as the scouts had worked out they could get cheap sweets and pop. Our scouts were demonstrating budgeting.
In the afternoon we did an adventure course – space hoppers, custard tunnels, custard in wellies then sliding down the water slide trying to avoid the attentions of the rest of the scouts armed with water pistols and soaking sponges.
And guess how we rounded the day off – yep a wide game on the beach.
Day five – Wednesday, Coasteering and BBQ on the beach
Wednesday saw us travelling to Tintagle and into the bay for Coasteering.
Before we started leaping off rocks and clifts, we had a special occasion to mark. We invested Bobby as an Assistant Scout Leader. We all swam out to Central Rock to witness Bobby saying his promise and receive his woggle. That poor scarf was wet on its first outing.
The afternoon saw us back on the beach. Unfortunately the wave conditions were too rough, so body boarding was stopped quite quickly. We still had fun having games of badminton, cricket, burying scouts and chilling. We stayed on the beach for the rest of the evening having a BBQ. It was very beautiful watching the sun setting whilst eating a burger.
Thursday again saw us dividing into two groups to do kayaking and surfing. The waves were still challenging, so again we changed from sea kayaking to kayaking along the canal.
The afternoon saw us having activities at the campsite. Sober beer pong was a firm favourite. This involved two benches placed 10 metres apart with a bucket of water placed on each bench. The players need to stay behind the bench and trow tennis balls into the opposite bucket. The first team to get three balls in the bucket wins. You can imagine the excitement when B and J lost to Claire and Gary. Claire and Gary really enjoyed throwing a bucket of water over their sons!
All good camps have to come to an end. Friday saw us striking camp and leaving on time (amazing). But the journey home did not go to plan. Unfortunately the mini bus was stuck in countless traffic jams, including one where we went two miles in one hour and the M3 being closed. Fortunately all the scouts were in good spirits and in was good fun in the bus.
Thank you to:
the leaders and young leaders for all the planning and energy whilst on camp.
the patrol leaders and assistant patrol leaders for looking after your patrols
Bude Football Club for loaning us their site for camping and the clubhouse for cooking and eating.
and for all the scouts for making the week the best ever.
About 28th Croydon
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.