8th Worcester Scout Troop
Final Night of the Term - 8th April
For the final night of the term we started early, taking the Scouts to Red Point Climbing at 5:30pm for a session on the walls. This was the latest session that we could get on this evening, but worked out quite well with the climbing centre being almost deserted at that point. After warming up the Scouts all got a go at climbing and belaying on different walls. They finished the session on the bouldering/ traversing section to cool down.
Following the climbing we went back to the hut for a meeting at our regular times. This started with a game outside before moving inside when food arrived from the chip shop. Everything then stopped while we ate.
When people started to finish we started some games around the tables; we introduced the Scouts to Star Fluxx and Munchkin, both games that can be carried around fairly easily and learnt fairly quickly (though the tricks of playing them can take a bit longer to master). We played a couple of games of both in the remainder of the meeting before wrapping up for the term, having had a good final evening to end on after a term largely spent preparing for Games Day and the Survival Camp.
Survival Camp - 1st April
Games Day and Quiz - 18th March
One of the two major projects that we had to work on this term, the Games Day and Quiz took place on one day. The idea of the day was partly as a fundraiser for the Troop and as something of a social event for the Group. We set up various games and tables around the hall and mades plans for food. For their part the Scouts brought along games of their own and were available to demonstrate and run these games, as well as assisting by serving food and drinks. We also managed to get a display set up showing what we get up to at Scouts.
The quiz in the evening was handled by adults within the Troop rather than the Scouts (it finished quite late). The quiz was split into ten rounds, with food served after round five.
Unfortunately, due to some issues with other events (mostly a rugby match) we had a relatively low attendance for the day (from those outside the Troop). Despite this we made a decent amount of money for the Troop and established that both ideas will work if we run them again.
Masterchef - 3rd March
To take a break from the main activities of the term we shifted into cooking for this evening. Our normal theme for this is Masterchef, with the Scouts being presented with a variety of ingredients and having to produce something from them. This is always interesting when trying to work out how inventive they will get.
On this occasion we ended up with one Patrol going for the simple option of mince + chopped bacon + peppers + bits on top of pasta. It was finished quickly, and tidied up very quickly as well. The other Patrol went for the more creative idea of marinading chicken to have with rice, which was something new.
Both meals went down well, and were tidied up from quickly enough that there was time for a game at the end of the evening.
Half Term - 24th February
Over the last few years we haven't bothered meeting up for half term as it tends to result in low numbers of Scouts turning up. This time, with a hope of getting a semi-reasonable number, we decided to go ahead and meet up for a slightly less formal meeting by bringing along board games and snacks.
A variety of games were brought along, but in the end two were played: Settlers of Catan and Star Wars Risk. The Scouts agreed that the evening was a success, and we will look at the idea of meeting up during half term in future.
Games Day Prep
What is it about?
The Games Day is an event that we will be running later in the term. This is coming in two parts, with games and food during the afternoon and then a quiz in the evening. There is some prep work that needed doing for this before the event, covering a range of topics.
The Scouts had a couple of weeks to come up with ideas for what a poster should look like for advertising the Games Day. They split into three groups for this: one handled the poster to go up at the hut, another started on the letter to go out to the rest of the Group, and the third made a start on some rules for the day, for those watching and those taking part.
Designing a Game
Over a few weeks the Scouts had the chance to put some design work into a game. This started with gathering ideas for what type of game they would want to go for, and then followed up with selecting an idea and attempting to put it into practise.
The efforts here varied somewhat, with some of them being quite big while others were ideas for games using existing sets of cards and the like. Some work has gone into completing these, with some finishing touches still required.
Survival Camp Prep
A big aim for this term is to run a Survival Camp at the end of the term. For this the Scouts are working to complete the Survival Skills badge as a basic grounding in the theory involved.
The theory work began with a quick rundown of the kind of signals that might be needed in a survival situation, and a run through of the kind of first aid that might be needed, and how it might change from normal, in a survival situation. This was followed a couple of weeks later with some theory on how to build a fire, the basic structure of one, and some thoughts about sorting and arranging wood as it goes on.
Practical work in preparation for a survival camp is sometimes awkward. In this case though the Patrol Leaders both ran a session on using the Troop's bushcraft knives, including how to safely open them, lock them, and how to whittle kindling blocks and make feather sticks.
We followed this up with a session on building and making a fire, refraining from using any matches to do so. Instead we used strikers (purpose built flint and steel), and experimented with the idea of using steel wool and a battery, both of which proved to be quite successful.
First Night Back - 13th January
We started back for the new term with a busy evening, which opened with a game before moving onto a run-down of what we were looking to do over the term, including the two big events for the term (a Games Day and Survival Camp).
We then started on the main event for the evening. For this we set up a regular board for Settlers of Catan, with a full set of hexes but no number tokens. The Scouts were divided into four teams, each with a different colour set of pieces (settlements, cities and roads), and one card each of each resource type. They then placed their first settlement, and the game began.
Each round followed the same pattern: the Scouts were presented with a challenge, which they had to complete. They were then awarded further resources based on how well they did at the challenge (first place got five cards, second place got four cards, etc, only taking cards from hexes that they had a settlement or city adjoining). After claiming their winnings, they could spend the resources that they had gathered on further settlements, cities and roads. The final scores were totalled as 1 point per settlement, 2 points per city, +2 for the longest road, and +2 for the most harbours claimed.
The challenges covered a range of topics, starting with the familiar ground of constructing a tower from marshmallows and spaghetti. We then moved onto the challenge of following a series of instructions (the penultimate one of which tells you to ignore most of the previous ones, thus giving a lesson in reading things though properly). After this the Scouts were presented with four descriptions of first aid situations and had to prioritise them. The next challenge was being given a series of grid references on a map and having to mark out these on the map. The final challenge was a relay race, picking up symbols to match a series of words that each team was provided with.
The final scores were fairly evenly spread, with one team having managed to get three points and the longest road (totalling five), while the winning team had one city, four settlements, no road, but two harbours, giving them eight points in total. It was clear from some of these challenges that the Scouts have plenty of capability for planning when they want to use it. Overall the evening, with a large variety of activities and a definite goal to work towards, was deemed a success.