International Happiness Week
What makes you happy, what makes you sad? Is it important to be happy, is it ok to be sad?
These were the questions put to the Cubs as we sat down to a Pack forum. Sitting in the circle the Cubs took it in turns to put their point of view across; some very good points were made. We concluded the forum with ideas on how to stay happy.
Continuing with being happy Cubs made their own emojis out of Fymo – yes, there were some poos but also lots of smiling faces and even a thumbs up!
To accompany their emoji to take home the Cubs were tasked with creating a happiness calendar: what could they do each day to ensure they, and others, stay happy.
To finish the Cubs started to learn the song for St George’s Day Parade, please help them to learn it over the Easter Holiday.
Tonight was a time that torches could be waved furiously, muddy puddles can be walked through and Owls can complain at the noise. We started our hike at Alresford creek, which was hard enough for some parents to find, let alone the Cubs. As we slowly gathered by the shoreline, the Cubs trying to sink themselves in mud, we started our hike to Wivenhoe. All the Cubs were given a map and the leaders given a hope that they may even look at it. With any luck they may even follow it ! You may or may not know but the Wivenhoe Trail (which is the path we followed) only had one place where the Cubs could have gone wong so it was very likely that for once the hike would be incident free. Walking along the side of the river Colne it was pleasent and tranquil. That was until we allowed the Cubs to start talking again 🙂 It was nice, however, to hear the wildlife and river near by whilst you strolled through the darkness. We stopped a couple of times to orient ourselves with the stars and the map but the end goal was the chippy in Wivenhoe. As we got closer to the lights that were Wivenhoe, talk of food, salt and vinegar started and by the time we reached the chippy it was lucky Baloo had called ahead so there was no major rush or wait for the ravenous hoards. The chips were lovely and just the thing to end a nice evenings walk with.
For as long as I can remember it never mattered how old I was or what the problem was I always knew my good ole mum (don’t tell her about the ole bit !) would always be there to support me, and thankfully she still does. Whether its a roast dinner, a pick up, a drop off or a baby sitter you just know they will always be there for you. This is why we dedicated our evening tonight to our mothers. After all, mothers day (Sunday 11th March for those that were wondering!) is just around the corner and along with it comes mothering Sunday. A time we can go to church and be thankful for all that they have done, will do and currently do for us.
We all know that mums like to nibble on a bicky or a bit of chocolate, that’s what we thought we would make for them and wrap it up in a nice personalised box to give to them as a gift.
The biscuits were great fun as all the Cubs were able to get flour and egg and sugar everywhere and it wasn’t too hard to see those that had wiped their hands down their trousers. After all the mixing, rolling, cutting and gentle laying of the biscuits, we placed them in the oven to bake so we could make our chocolate sweets.
The sweets were simply made from chocolate that was melted down (and if you were Baloo burning down!)and then delicately poured into moulds so they could set in the fridge. The Cubs did a great job of these and were very careful to lick their fingers….err I mean pour the mixture in 🙂
Finally it came to the present box which was made of a paper plate and formed into a boat shape container. This was then lined and decorated for the treats to go inside.
Alas none of the Cubs wanted to relinquish any treats they had made for their mums (probably for the best) so the leaders had to make do with left overs but thankfully there was a little bit 😀
I know the Cubs all enjoyed themselves as did the leaders tonight and I just hope that we don’t see an upsurge in food poisoning around the 11th !!!!
Naturally you all understand Cantonese and know this means Happy New Year, which sets the scene for the evenings fun. We were investigating the Chinese new year tonight and started with a bit of a show of Chinese traditions. Admittedly we did cheat a bit on this (not being ever so Chinese) and we brought in Mr G. Oogle to help us find some authentic Chinese traditions, dances, places and sayings. After the Cubs had seen places such as the Forbidden City, the Terracotta Army, the Summer Palace, Tiananmen Square and the Temple of Heaven we moved onto what proved to be a very fulfilling activity. Yes the Cubs were eating again ! We had a host of Chinese foods for them to taste and for the fun of it we gave them all chop sticks to aid with the authenticity. Whist one half of the group attempted to eat, the other learnt the Chinese Cubs promise in Chinese. This was written out phonetically, in Chinese and in English so they understood what they were actually saying. We also had a recording of a Chinese person saying it so the Cubs knew how they should make the words sound.
As the Cubs moved around the activities they also got the opportunity to write their name in Chinese on a scroll. It was a bit big for a book mark but I’m sure they will find a use for it somewhere 🙂
At the end of the night we all stood in the circle and together re-cited the Chinese Cubs promise which you can see below in the small video clip. I know they all enjoyed themselves because most of the food was gone and they were all still saying the promise as they left the room.
So, all that is left for me to say is Xie Xie (thank you) and bai bai (bet you cant guess what that one means !)
Tonight we were visited by the Scouts Band and its was SPECTACULAR !!! The band showed up with all of their instruments which instantly got the Cubs attention. After a quick inspection it was down to the band and letting them loose on the Cubs. A quick couple of games got them in the mood for fun and frolics and after that came the songs. The band played some classic tunes such as “When the Saints Come Marching In”, “We’ll be coming round the mountain” and Dad’s army to name but a few. After this the Cubs were allowed to try the instruments. Now this was an experience you definitely would want to miss 🙂 The noise in the Scout hut is normally bad but tonight we almost literally blew the roof off !! The Cubs then got to play the cymbals with the band and play along with the music. The Cubs also really enjoyed this as it made a really loud noise and they were a part of the band. Even if it was for a small amount of time.
Thanks to all the Scout Band who helped run the evening and have so much patience. I am amazed that their hearing is still fully in tact !
The Cubs started by discussing the different tyeps nd forms of energy. This included fossil, air, water and gas to name but a few. It was interesting to hear the types of things the Cubs thought of as energy but on the whole they had a good idea of how things are powered, why and by what. The group was then split up and completed 3 diffrent activites. These were making wind turbines/windmills, making light switch covers and finally testing the energy efficiency of the hut with a clamp meter.
Making the windmills/turbines was good fun as all of the Cubs tried to blow as hard as they could to get their windmill to go round the fastest! This resulted in some breakages but mostly a lot of blue faces ! When making the switch covers the Cubs had to think of a design and pattern that would catch your eye and make you want to turn the switch off when you leave the room. Thus saving energy and saving money. All of the designs were fantastic and definately eye catching. I’m not sure of the effectiveness as I havent seen them in action but hoipefully they will save a few pennies here and there. Finallly there was the clamp meter. Now this isnt something we put the Cubs heads in and see how long it takes them to crumple, this device actually measures the amount of electricity being used at any one time. This was very interesting as it showed how much more electricity was used when a light was turned on or the heaters turned off (not to be advised !) but its a visual that gave the Cubs an introduction and an eye into how using electricity, or any fuel, can cost money depending on how much of it is used. And yes ! even on the X Box !!!
After this all the Cubs made working water wheels which were all individully tested and Bagheera made a huge one where he got very wet !
After such an energetic (yes, the pun was intended) all the Cubs were able to take their windmills and switch covers home with them so they could show their parents and maybe, just maybe, save some money.
we were once again treated to an amazing performance from the Wivenhoe Pantomime Group of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. The laughter came thick and fast right from the outset and there were jokes (bad and good!) for both adults and children alike. The plot, to get the magic fair back to Wivenhoe again, was subtly interwoven into the script but on the whole the producers had concentrated on the entertainment factor rather than the story line. This always goes down well as the concentration levels of some of the Cubs (and adults (Baloo!)) is sometimes short 🙂 The songs were well written and the audience participation was quick and easy to learn. The only problem with it is that I keep on humming it !! By the time the villain was defeated and good had once again triumphed the Cubs were flagging and the night closed to a crescendo of musical songs, including tunes from Grease, Shrek, and Mary Poppins!
Again the evening was a roaring success and no doubt I will try again next year to get us some more tickets. Thanks again to all that came and supported the pantomime group as they work long and hard to entertain and its always nice to be appreciated.
Tonight was all about the birds and the……oh no. Just the birds 🙂 Coming up on the calendar (27 – 29 Jan) is the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch where we get to watch our gardens for these tiny little creatures and tally them for the RSPB to keep a watchful eye on the state of their health. With this in mind we decided to make bird boxes and fat balls.
The pack split into two groups and each group took on a task. One making bird boxes and the other getting messy making fat balls. At half time, they switched around and went onto the other activity. The bird boxes were prefabricated bits of thin wood which was slotted and held together. This was then decorated by each Cub individually so they were all unique. The designs weren’t very in keeping with the natural surroundings of the outdoors but none the less, they were good. Those that made the fat balls had the opportunity to mush up a ball of lard with bird seed, cheese and raisins. After alot of smooshing and rolling the fat balls were ready to put into yogurt pots for their next destination which was the fridge. When left over night they would harden and then be able to be putout for the birds to eat.
Finally, we played a game of name that bird. Posh spice wasn’t in the list but there was a Heron, Blackbird, Chaffinch, Coot and Moor Hen to name but a few. It took the Cubs a while to identify them but by elimination they managed to get them all right.
I know the Cubs enjoyed tonight and if you can please sign up for the birdwatch as it will help.
Our first meeting back was a mixed bag of World Badge, finding out what the Cubs got for Christmas, what the world badge represents and finally, a team building game which had everyone pulling together.
As per usual, after Christmas, we tend to play a memory game where we start the round with, “For Christmas I was lucky enough to get…..” Then each one in turn would add another present to the list until finally the last Cub in the round had to remember everyone’s presents ! Along with the name of the present there was also an action associated with it. For example, one Cub got a football shirt and so his action was as if he was kicking a ball, then it would go onto the next person and so on. Some of the presents that had been received from santa made me wish I’d asked for more than just a pair of slippers and socks now!
Once we had discovered the Cubs presents we looked at some examples of everyday objects and asked the Cubs where they thought they originated from. We had some very strange ideas of where a pillow case came from and also a small emoji teddy bear (well, it wasn’t a teddy bear but I’ll let your Cub answer what it was!) This really showed the diverse areas that goods come from and surprised the Cubs at the distance alot of the goods travelled before they got to us.
We now concentrated on the world badge and learning what all the parts of the badge represent. Here is an image to show you how they all tie in together:
Finally and to let off some steam we played a team game. The Cubs had to get all of their team through an obstacle course whilst using 3 canes to hold a tennis ball off the floor. The course consisted of wiggley paths, going over chairs and under tables. I’m sure the tennis balls dropped in a few places but it was never going to be perfect 🙂
This was the last week in our term and we were determined to go out with a bang! Well……not so much of a bang, more of a choral harmony. (We can all live in hope !) The Cubs all met at the station and soon we were standing in the tunnel that leads from one platform to another. With song sheets in hand we started to regale our muses and sing to whatever audience decided to go past. I was surprised to see that there were so few people this year, as last year there seemed to be a constant stream of commuters who we could look longingly at and hopefully tug on their heart strings enough to make them donate. However, this didn’t stop the Cubs and we continued singing to either empty corridors or a quick burst of scurrying people. There were many faces which turned from serious to happy and some even joined in with the singing. The temperature in the tunnel was cold and the Cubs did very well in continuing so after about an hour and several attempts at Rudolph the red nose reindeer, the 12 days of Christmas, away in a manger and a few more we decided to call it quits and emerge back onto the ground level where parents were waiting to collect. Last year we raised £138.09 for the Air Ambulance. Now this was certainly a princely sum and we couldn’t believe it when we completed the final count. However, this year we raised a whopping £162.84 ! I was amazed that we had topped last year. Especially as it seemed so dead ! However, I know the Colchester Food Bank will be very grateful for the donation as every penny counts.
Thank you for all the Cubs that gave up their warmth, comfort and singing talents to help us out tonight and also thank you to all you parents for either helping to sing, making the effort to drop off and pick up your child at a different location (which i know is a nightmare to get to in rush hour!). All of this makes for a great time for the Cubs and also makes the leaders lives that much nicer as we know we have your backing when considering new and exciting activities to run.
Have a happy Christmas and a wonderful new year and for ll of you who are coming to the Sing A Long and the Party, we shall see you there.