Braid in Denmark 2017

Braid in Denmark 2017

Last summer the Danish Scout Associations came together to run a National Jamboree.  Having experienced fantastic Danish Jamborees several times before, a contingent made up of 65 Cubs, Scouts, Explorers, Network and Leaders from 4th Braid, 103rd Braid and Greenbank Explorers embarked on a trip to Jamboree Denmark 2017.

 

Group on the ferry

Cubs, Scouts and leaders on the ferry

We travelled by coach to Newcastle and then overnight ferry to Amsterdam where another coach took us the almost 9 hours through Netherlands and Germany into Denmark.  Our kit travelled on the same ferry in a large van.

Feedback from the young people was that the coach to Newcastle was a bit cramped (5 seats across) however that this was more than made up with the “luxury” coach we’d hire for the continent.

Aerial photo of the site

The whole site

On arriving in Denmark, our van drivers had managed to negotiate access to drive our kit all the way onto our site and therefore we only had to carry personal kit the 1km from the coach drop-off point to our site.  One
downside of the time of our method of travel was that we had to pitch our sleeping tents as it got dark.  Only one modification required in the morning as we’d pitched one of the leaders’ tents over a ditch.   With such a large group, we had decided to bring a marquee without the side walls which was quickly pitched before breakfast on Sunday morning.  The Danes are very traditional in their camping with a focus on skills such as pioneering and an expectation that food is cooked on open fires.  We therefore spent most of the day on Sunday building our fireplaces, tables and benches, true Danish style out of pioneering poles (topped off with plywood table tops we’d prepared and brought from Edinburgh).

Throughout the day on Sunday we also took some time to explore the site (which was 2km x 2.5km large).

After lots of hard work on Sunday it was time for the evening opening ceremony.  This brought together all 40,000 participants.  This was quite an experience, although some of our young people found it difficult to follow, as unsurprisingly it was mostly in Danish.

Scouts back from hike

After the hike

During the week the young people took part in a wide variety of activities.  There was a good mix of activities to suit our full age range.  Some of the activities we had signed up individuals or groups in advance, some we could just drop in to and others were set activities for the whole group / sub camp to do.  For many of the activities the Scottish Scouts took part alongside Scouts from other countries and made new friends.

Liftin car with pioneering poles

Lifting car

One activity that was a favourite with both Scouts and Explorers was the world’s largest inflatable “The Beast”.  A couple of days of activities featured patrols of Scouts paired with a patrol from another country and going around a variety of challenges.  These activities ranged from carving whistles, lifting a car with pioneering poles & pulleys to launching water rockets.

Racing chariot made of poles

Chariot race

One day was designated a sub camp day when the whole of our sub camp came together to build and race chariots.

One afternoon we held a joint camp fire with our Danish neighbours.

Having been apart for most of the day, our group came together each evening to eat our dinner under our marquee.  Explorers and Scouts take turns days about to prepare dinner for everyone using recipes from the Danish Camp Cookbook and a bit of improvisation depending on what ingredients could be sourced from the food supply tent.

Food preparation

Preparing food

After a great week the camp finished with the closing ceremony.  We then departed the site about 3am to travel back to Amsterdam.  We made good time and had a few hours explorer the centre of Amsterdam before taking the ferry back to the UK.

Some quotes from those who took part

“I enjoyed the giant inflatable (The “Beast”).  I didn’t enjoy the opening and closing ceremonies because these were in Danish.  However, I did like the fact that there were so many people there.”

“Absolutely class, slip and slide bouncy castle was good and the rainbow café was my favourite destination because I could really let my hair down.”

“I really enjoyed meeting some Norwegian Scouts and becoming friends.”

“We met lots of nice people from different countries and it was a great experience.”

“My favourite bit was eating, sleeping and cycling around the town in the rain and the Beast, it was so much fun.”

“One night we went to the International Camp Fire.  There were Japanese singers, Greek Scouts and Danish people there.  Other Scottish Scouts were there.  We got to meet new people.”

“The best thing was meeting Scouts from other countries, it’s not something I’d expected to be my favourite part before leaving Scotland.”

Group in boat

Boating at the camp

“Our whole experience in Denmark was AMAZING, there was so many fun and exciting activities to do” Our five favourite activities were 5) Star Gazing, 4) Sailing, 3) Cycle Hike 2) Raft Building and last of all our favourite activity was 1) The Beast.”

“The travel was very fun, 18 hours ferry, 9 hours coach, nice coach by the way 5 Star.  Activities all were very fun as well meet a lot of new people.  The cycle is good go for pink bike with basket on front.  The exhibition was very fun as well meet people from different countries.  The journey back in Amsterdam is very good nice sightseeing and also go along the backroads of the city.”

“We met some wonderful Danish Scouts whom we shared our unique Scottish customs with.  It was a life-changing and unique experience which I count myself extremely lucky to have been a part of.”

Scottish and Danish Scouts together

With our Danish neighbours

 

What Expedition Achieved

  • All the Young People had a great international experience, meeting Scouts and Guides from across the world and taking part in activities with many different people
  • A joint expedition between two Scout troops, an Explorer Unit & Network established strong links which will help with the transition particularly from Scouts to Explorers
  • Pre-expedition fundraising involved parents as well as young people / leaders and therefore generated new areas of support for both groups and the unit.
  • Greater independence and confidence especially of younger scouts.

Lessons learnt / What we would do differently

  • Each Jamboree, even ones in the same country only 9 years apart, can be very different.
  • Make more effort, earlier, to make links with the Danish Group we were to camp next to.
  • Rather than leaving camp in the early hours of the morning it would have been better to leave around midnight after closing ceremony and to travel through the night, then spending almost a full day in Amsterdam.

Group in Amsterdam

Exploring Amsterdam

William Lyburn Fund

  • We would like to thank the William Lyburn fund for the grant we received.
  • Knowing we had received the grant gave us an important contingency fund against unexpected events, particularly uncertainty caused by the volatility of the exchange rate during the period before the trip. In the end we were also able to also use the grant specifically to pay for extras which greatly enhanced to overall trip for the young people who took part.  These extras included:
    • The Explorers enjoyed two excursions into town including pizza lunch and swimming.
    • The Scouts enjoyed a swimming excursion into town and a movie in the cinema on the ferry.

James Sievewright, expedition leader

East Lothian activities ideas

East Lothian activities ideas

Knots and lashings to make Scarecrows

The 1st North Berwick Bear Cubs recently created some fantastic scarecrows!! They used their knotting skills to bind the wooden poles together, before choosing some uniquely quirky clothes to style their scarecrows. Once they were stuffed and had their hats and gloves put on, they were ready to take pride of place in a local farmer’s field. There have been lots of comments from passing car drivers who have loved seeing the scarecrows’ smiling faces! 

Scarecrow in field

Cub-built scarecrow

Scarecrow built by Cubs

Knots, lashings and clothes

DIY Badge - Hungry Hippos

1st North Berwick Scouts enjoyed an evening of ‘Human Hungry Hippos’ recently.  Scout Leader David Hay split the session in two with patrols initially working towards their DIY badge, using power tools and hand tools and following instructions to construct a small trolley.

Then came the fun: one ‘hippo’ from each patrol was launched into the middle of the hall on the trolley, with a washing-up bowl ready to scoop up as many balls as possible. The patrol then hauled the hippo back with a rope and emptied the balls from the bowl, ready to go again. The winner was intended to be the patrol with the most balls but in the end so much fun was had by all that the balls were left uncounted! The trolleys have now been kept so that the game can be enjoyed by the North Berwick Group as a whole.

Making the board

DIY – preparing the board

Scouts play Hungry Hippos

Hungry Hippos game

Hauling back the trolley

Reeling in the hippo

Founder's Day

Every year in North Berwick, all our Scouts and Guides come together to celebrate our Founder’s Day in a service led by our Young People and supported by the Minister Rev. David of The Abbey Church.

This year the theme was our impact in the world on people and how important our Scouting and Guiding values are in responding to that. This was explored through the readings and prayers led by all sections in Scouts and Guides and summarised in a reflection led by the Minister.

It was a special service where the young people from each of our movements came together and worked as one to celebrate our founders and it was easy to see the legacy of Robert  Baden Powell and Olave Baden Powell as World Chief Scout and Guide at work in our community.

Founder's Day service screen

Founder’s Day Service

Flags paraded in church

Flags in church

Taking promise in church

The Promise

Photographer Badge with pinhole cameras

1st Longniddry Cubs decided to take a different approach to their Photographer Activity Badge. We built pinhole cameras, using old drink cans and photographic paper, inspired by the work of Bristol-based Justin Quinnell.  The Cubs followed the instructions on his website, http://www.pinholephotography.org/Beer%20Can%20construction.htm to make their cameras and then took photographs around the hut before they developed them in our home-made darkroom. Some of the results were amazing.

After this, their cameras were reloaded with photographic paper and the pinholes covered. The Cubs took their cameras home this time to create a solargraph. This is when you secure the camera pointing towards the south, ideally pointing towards something of interest. You then remove the pinhole cover and leave it exposed for as long as you want. This exposure will in effect ‘burn’ the image of the sun’s arc across the sky for the hours, days or months. After that you remove the photographic paper and scan the negative that was produced, then invert the image to give your final result. Most of the Cubs had images that were up to three months old.

When we showed our local librarian the images she suggested that we create a display for Longniddry Library. Everyone’s images were on display for a month and it was very well received.

One of our Cubs took his camera away loaded with photographic paper and put it up in his garden to cover the 6 months between the Summer solstice and the Winter solstice. The image is amazing and shows how the sun tracks across the sky in in gradually lower arcs each day.

We posted some of our work on our Facebook and Twitter pages and were proud to receive a Tweet from Justin Quinnell saying ‘Longniddry Rules!’

Scout Group helps school

Scout Group helps school

The Comely Bank Scout Group (122nd Craigalmond) volunteered twice in 2017 to help improve the school playground at Flora Stevenson Primary School, in collaboration with the school’s Parent Council. Over 50 of our Young People across all sections – Beavers, Cubs, and Scouts – participated at one of the two events in May and then again in November, on Remembrance Sunday. Activities included sweeping and topping-up bark, clearing litter, painting benches and tree surrounds, and rehoming wandering sand. Moreover, outdoor play equipment was repainted at the nursery which is attached to the school. Our Young People thoroughly enjoyed themselves, and demonstrably felt a genuine sense of accomplishment; many outstayed their allotted time slots and braved inclement weather, fuelled in part by refreshments provided by the Parent Council. Although many of them do attend Flora Stevenson Primary School, the events saw Beavers, Cubs, and Scouts from other local schools volunteer, in line with the sense of community spirit we strive to encourage in our Group.

Nikola Popovic, ACSL

Natalia gets top award

Natalia gets top award

Natalia, aged 9, was presented with The Cornwell Scout Badge and the Meritorious Conduct Award, in recognition of her devotion and enthusiasm for Scouting despite suffering a life-threatening illness and undergoing major surgery and for showing great courage throughout.  She received the Cornwell Badge, a certificate and also a letter of congratulations from Chief Scout Bear Grylls.

Natalia joined 92nd Pentland Beavers based at Dalry Primary school in August 2015 and moved up to Cubs in January 2017.  She then spent several months in hospital, but as soon as she was well enough she was itching to get back to our group. She re-joined us in August 2017 like she’d never been away she is a very enthusiastic member of our group.

She was presented with her award as a surprise at Dalry Primary school during assembly on Monday 27 November.  Natalia is the first Young Person in our group to be awarded this prestigious honour.

Angela Smith, Group Scout Leader

About the Cornwell Scout Badge

The Cornwell Scout Badge is awarded in respect of pre-eminently high character and devotion to duty, together with great courage and endurance.

It is restricted to Beaver Scouts, Cub Scouts, Scouts, Explorer Scouts and Scout Network Members. Both the bronze badge and the cloth emblem of the same design may be worn.

John ‘Jack’ Travers Cornwell, a Scout in the St. Mary’s Mission Group, Manor Park, London, entered the Royal Navy in 1915. It was wartime and training was brief, but Jack, helped by his days in Scouting, was able to adapt quickly.

On 31 May 1916 while serving in HMS Chester, Jack was struck by a shell splinter. Grievously wounded, he stayed at his post awaiting orders until he was relieved at the end of the battle. On reaching port, Jack was transferred to a hospital in Grimsby and three days later he died a national hero.

For gallantry he was given both the Victoria Cross and the highest Scouting award, the Bronze Cross. To commemorate the courage shown by Jack, The Scout Association created ‘The Cornwell Scout Badge’ in his memory.

From Scouting UK site.

Lauderdale Scouts for Doddie Weir

Lauderdale Scouts for Doddie Weir

Doddie Weir isn’t just a hero to rugby fans all the way from Carter Bar up to John o’Groats. The rugby legend also holds a special place in the hearts of all associated with Lauderdale Scout Group as without the former Scotland international’s help, it might well not exist.

Text courtesy of The Southern Reporter – read the full article on their site.

Five years ago, the Group was struggling to attract both members and adult helpers, with fewer than 20 of the former on its books. Group Scout Leader Andy Beaumont turned to Doddie, dad of two of the group’s members at the time, for help, and the 47-year-old was only too happy to oblige and set up a group executive, taking the role of chairman. “The group began to thrive, and in 2013 it was presented with an award for the highest percentage growth in the whole of Scotland.  The group now has 150 youth members, with 38 adults helping at its daily meetings.”

Doddie stood down as chairman in April this year, and a couple of months later he revealed he had been diagnosed with motor neurone disease. To thank Doddie for the role he played in reviving its fortunes, the group held a sponsored walk through Lauderdale to his farm near Blainslie, drawing a turnout of about 200. It raised more than £3,000 for Doddie Weir’5 Discretionary Trust.

Read the full story in The Southern Reporter.