Offshore adventures

 

“We were sailing, we were sailing, home again, ‘cross the sea”  (apologies to Rod Stewart!)

Day 1

Assembling early morning for a briefing and issuing of waterproofs & life-jackets, 20 scouts and leaders headed out from Ipswich Haven on a pair of 49-foot Oyster yachts.  Passing through the lock, they were soon under the Orwell Bridge and powering down the river towards the North Sea at 6 to 7 knots.  The crews were put through their paces by the skippers, raising & lowering sail, helming and sail-trimming.

Lunch, cooked by the scouts in the galley below decks, was served in shifts whilst underway.  As the boats steered home towards Shotley Point Marina, there was still time for some play – hanging from the halyards over the water always puts smiles on faces!

 

Day 2

Sunday saw a fresh pair of crews arrive at Shotley.  Perfect sailing conditions were provided – plenty of sunshine and a Force 3-4 breeze.  Locking out from the marina, the scouts got their first taste of freedom, with a fast sail up and down the River Stour.  A little later, they ventured out past Harwich and the cranes of Felixstowe docks, where the open sea provided slightly bumpier water.

Returning to the Orwell and heading for home, the boats found themselves in a photo-shoot (the strange chap taking photos from another boat turned out to be the GSL’s father).  The appearance of the Orwell Bridge signalled the approach of Ipswich and the end of the voyage.

 

A huge thank you to the skippers and mates of Adventures Offshore for this fantastic introduction to ‘big-boat’ sailing for our novice sea-farers!

 

 

 

 

 

 

High Adventure

Over Easter 5 of our intrepid scouts joined our neighbours in Hertfordshire Scouts for initial mountaineering course (IMC) at Lochearnhead Scout Station in the Scottish Highlands. Eight days of learning to take on some of the UK’s highest, most rugged and most beautiful terrain all based out of possibly the country’s most eccentric scout campsite, a disused railway station on the side of a mountain.

For 3 our scouts it was their first time on the course and indeed in terrain like this. For the other two it was a chance to repeat the course and build on what they learned last year. From the dramatic skyline of the Tarmachan ridge to the remote solitude of Inverlochlarig the scouts learned to navigate, camp and climb some of Scotland’s most spectacular mountains.

The week culminated in a 3 day, 2 night expedition, camping wild in the mountains, a far cry from many of the well kept campsites the scouts are used to on many of our camps.

Probably best to stop typing and let the photos do the talking……

Final note…. if you see any of our scouts wearing a red and green tartan necker, that is the necker of the Nicholson clan and can be worn by any scout who has stayed at Lochearnhead. Worn with pride by all our scouts who have completed the course 🙂

As a real final note…. as well as our 5 scouts on the course we have two of our young leader explorer scouts there for the week who volunteered to join all the other staff to cook meals, clean toilets, fix things and all the other glamorous jobs that keep events like this happening. A thank you to them and of course all the instructors, staff, organisers and everyone else at Hertfordshire Scouts for having our contingent as their guests for the week!

Co-op makes huge donation to the 12th!

A massive THANK YOU to the customers and staff at the Co-op store in Newnham for their support and huge donation of £3,758 to 12th Cambridge!!!

The money was raised via a combination of the Co-op’s membership charity scheme and its donation of all the money charged for carrier bags. Those 5p charges really do add up!

We will use the money to improve our offering of scouting for all in our community. We will start with refurbishment and provision of accessible toilet facilities at our Gilbert Road HQ.

Benefits of the Co-op customer membership include 5% of spending for the member and 1% donated to the local community. More details can be found at www.coop.co.uk/membership

 

 

Pioneers!

Back in March Raptor Troop spent a weekend at Tolmers scout camp in Hertfordshire for a couple of days of engineering!

Having been newly trained in how to create all kinds of contraptions from logs and ropes the scouts set about building everything from a newly fitted kitchen to giant catapults and culminating in the bridging of Cuffley Brook. Opinions may vary as to exactly how successful that was…..

In between the building of contraptions the scouts also got to have a go at branding (with at least one patrol leader looking menacingly at her patrol!) and tracking the local badger population.

With spring now upon us there should be plenty more camp to come…..

Cubs Winter Camp 2017

It was the last weekend in January, and what better place to be than Eaton Vale Scout and Guide Activity Centre as part of the 12th Cambridge cub pack. The weather was kind to us and we were able to enjoy crate stacking, high ropes course (pretty challenging!), catapult pioneering and pedal car racing without getting wet at all – and everyone was in fine voice for the campfire.  We enjoyed delicious food, courtesy of Mang and Shada, and ample cake thanks to all. Here, with thanks to Shere Khan, are the photos.

Kicking off the year

What better way to blow off the after Christmas cobwebs than to get straight out there and head to camp? So without further ado scouts from Raptor and Wildcat troop headed to Gilwell Park in Epping Forest with 3000 others to take part in a weekend that included rock climbing, tank driving, falling from great heights and lots and lots of mud…… Continue reading

Clip and Climb

When a new climbing center opens in town it seemed almost rude not to go along and give it a try! A lot of weird and wonderful climbing and a lot of fun 🙂

We’re recruiting!

We’re growing! After the success of opening our second scout troop last year we now want to open a second Cub Pack and Beaver Colony as well as reinforce our current sections. And our scouts have a bit of a message for anyone who might be interested…..

If you have a few hours a week to spare and would like to spend it with most awesome bunch of kids on the planet then please get in touch. We’re waiting to hear from YOU!

Boot Camp!

Earlier this year we waved a sad goodbye to a small army of scouts who headed off to Explorers, in September we gave a warm welcome to their replacements, our new recruits, all 11 of them! With that number of new recruits it was a time to run a camp to learn the ropes, planned as far as possible by the scouts themselves. From the tents used to the patrol menus to the program, the decisions rested with the scouts and so on an autumnal Friday evening 28 scouts arrived at Eaton Vale  with it being their first camp for no less than half of them and indeed the first camp for one our leaders!

 

The weekend was pretty busy featuring everything from dizzying heights of Jacobs Ladder through to learning how to safely weald axes and basic first aid. Getting soggy in kayaks to cooking everything themselves. Below we’ve got the best of the photos, mostly taken by the prolific Richard and Jess. Enjoy!

Help! DIY work weekend 15 & 16 Oct

It’s been a while since we have had one, but it’s time for a parents’ HQ work weekend on 15th & 16th October, so please save the date!

Let us know that you can help by popping an email to diy2016@12thcambridge.org.uk, and roll up your sleeves and prepare to have fun!

We have two projects lined up:

  • clearing and making safe the alley behind the HQ building
  • redecorating the meeting room and Brownie room to make them into Activity rooms

Project 1: alley clearance

back-alleyWhat are we aiming for?:
Make the alley behind the hut useful and safe for for storing equipment & accessing the gas bottles.

 

What will we do?:glass

  • Clear all the weeds and overgrowth
  • Dig out the uneven soil, broken glass and rubbish – enough to fill the skip that we’ll hire!
  • Fix the perimeter fence
  • Lay weed-control fabric and approx 2 tonnes of gravel

What do we need?back-alley-2

  • An army of willing volunteers to dig, shovel and barrow the rubbish out and the gravel in
  • Tools: wheelbarrows, spades, shovels, pruners

 

 

 

Project 2: room improvementsactivity-room

What are we aiming for?

Transforming two rooms from junk stores to Activity rooms for our young people to use during scouting sessions – the large room will become an informal, nice room and the smaller one a meeting room with table and chairs.  With carpet, we hope to make the rooms feel less cold in winter!

What will we do?activity-room-2

  • clear the rooms of all clutter and excess furniture
  • paint the walls
  • fit blinds to the windows and seal draughts
  • fit carpet tiles on the floors

 

What do we need?

  • volunteers to clear, clean, paint & fit out the rooms
  • Tools: we already have most items already, but a couple of stepladders would be handy.

So, if you are up to challenge, please email the team: diy2016@12thcambridge.org.uk, letting us know when you can make it, how many people, offers of useful tools – basically any info that would be helpful.

As is traditional on these occasions, leaders are excluded from parents’ work weekends, and the GSL will supply the tea and biscuits!