Fire Safety

Tonight we concentrated on the role of firefighters, what fire is, how to protect ourselves from it and how to enjoy it. We knew that all the Cubs would have their own opinions on this and if we were to just sit round and talk, it would end up in who’s the loudest! So for this forum we introduced a baton. This came in the shape of a small green skittle but whoever had the baton was the only person allowed to talk. The other condition applied was that their point could not last more than 10 seconds. After a couple of examples this worked fantastically! The Cubs all sat in a circle and when they had a point to put forward, they raised their hand and the baton was handed to them. The conversation flowed and the ideas were far and wide. We wrote these on the white board and before we knew it we had overrun our time on the activity and the board was full! It was great!

We learned about the fire triangle, floods, evacuation procedures, fire alarms and smoke damage to name but a few. Their knowledge as a group was wonderful and as a group they were all able to learn something new. Which is the whole idea of a forum.

Finally, as a way of bringing all of this to life, we asked the Cubs to draw their house and how they would escape if there were a fire. It had to show doors, windows, stairwells and possible choke spots (like stairwells). They all did really well and you could see it made them think about what they could do if the worst did happen.

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Cubs, Planes, Photos, Eggs and Spoons. What more could you want?!

We were completing the Air Activities and photography badges this evening. This involved getting creative with our previously taken photos, making paper aeroplanes and running the egg and spoon race. Don’t ask how that ties into the Air activities or Photography badge as the link is so far off on a tangent that if you were an alien from the future who saw the meeting, the plans for the meeting and even why we were doing it even then you might ask why !

So, firstly the photos. All the Cubs had to look at the photos they took previously and then write a synopsis about them including what they liked, didn’t like and why. After this came the aeroplanes. This is always a firm favourite and tonight did nothing to hinder that. We created 3 different types of plane so we could decide which was best and which flew the furthest. Finally, the Egg and Spoon race. This was run by the sixers and seconders to prove that they could lead and assist the others in organising the activity.

The whole evening was fun (I especially liked the aeroplanes) as I think mine flew the furthest. Well……according to me anyway ! 🙂

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Cubs Flying High

As it was the last meeting of the term we decided to take the Cubs on an outing to the Boxted Airfield Museum.  We started the night with an interesting talk from our hosts who were able to bring the area and history alive, sparking the imagination and excitement of the Cubs.  They learned about the different types of planes that were stationed at Boxted and also when the US troops arrived and their influence.  The Cubs also were told about how machinery and engineering has evolved from the days of war to now.  The talk was very engaging and many of the Cubs joined in with questions which is always a good sign that they are enjoying themselves.

After the talk we went to the museum where there were artefacts and memorabilia that had been preserved.  The Cubs were again digesting all that they could in the way of knowledge and reading what could be seen.  I was proud to see that they took such an interest in something which is not often spoken about now and that doesn’t include some sort of handheld electronic device !

We finished the evening with a big thank you to the staff and left with Cubs being planes and parents having to chase them down !  I hope you have a nice break and we’ll be back after the holiday.

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Cubs Catwalk in a Field

With all the style and panache of a water soaked dog, the Cubs were let loose in a field and asked to take 10 photos each so we could finish the last few details of the Photography badge.  We had the impressionists, the selfies, the landscapists and moody face all out giving it large to take the best photos they could.  To say they were enjoying the lime light I think would be an understatement !  After the quick jaunt it was back to the hut where they would discuss what they had been doing and also create some posters for their (soon to be) printed images.

The pictures that I saw were great.  All of them with their own style and character which is yet another way for the Cubs to express themselves.  We hope to soon have the finished articles available for viewing but til then “Don’t Move !, That’s The Perfect Pose !”

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Smile !

This evening we were joined by James Chandler, a fellow Scout member and also professional photographer.  With him he brought a collection of old and new cameras which the Cubs could look at, take photos with and understand the meanings of such terms as aperture, lens and focus.  I hope the Cubs were taking note as they will need this information for next weeks meeting!  They then discussed things like lighting, positioning and how to take the best picture.  Who knew a selfie stick wasn’t the best way !  Finally we all went outside and had a group photo taken so the Cubs could see first hand how to setup and be a part of what it takes to be in a professional photo.  I liked it and I hope you do too.  See you all next week where we continue our photographic adventure.

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A Visit to Castle Park

The Cubs were lucky enough to to be guided around the grounds of Castle Park by one of their historians and wardens.  From beheadings to witches, bedtime nursery rhymes to invasions and stormings.  The night had it all !  We all were taken around the Castle grounds and at every turn was another interesting fact or rumour which made the Castle come alive and enabled you to feel a part of its long standing history instead of just looking at it.  Naturally the Cubs all loved the gory details and in some cases owned up to having bedtime songs about Colchester sung to them at night.  However, all barring twinkle twinkle little star, it would appear, actually have a real claim to Colchester and the others are just handed down in time and associated with us.  Although they may not be truly ours, we don’t mind being their centre of attention. 

After a pretty long walk we finally had to curtail the evening which could have lasted much longer but I have a feeling we will be back.  I know the Cubs all enjoyed themselves and I hope they also took away with them some local knowledge that they can tell to their friends and parents.  It was all interesting stuff !

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Can the Cubs Continue To Communicate?

Following on from last weeks communication evening, we decided to step it up a notch and get technical ! Using walkie talkies and mobile phones we tested the Cubs to see if they could unedrstand and use these two different but similar technologies. Then we went back to basics. Yes……just TALKING! This was something that the Cubs don’t often do as almost all of their communications with eachother is done via shouting. Even if their friend is only 10 cm away from them !

As you can imagine, all the Cubs were au fait with phones and messages so this wasn’t too much of a challenge but trying to get them to use real words instead of text talk was much harder.

The walkie talkies instilled much more excitement. The Cubs were taught how to use the device, what a frequency is, the correct terminology of using a walkie talkie and where they are also used outside of a car park !! Each Cub had to pass a message on from one group to another and the other group had to write the instruction down and then complete the task. They all loved this, even when the task was to recite the Cubs Promise 🙂

Finally the last task was for each Cub to talk about themself for 2 minutes. They did have guide sheets if needed but this was the hardest for all of them as having no interaction and no silly icons to send aswell made the conversation actually sensible ! But, it was very enlightening.

The Cubs definately all learned something new from this evening and I hope they can try and just talk more often.

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Cubs start to communicate

This term we begin to look at ways in which communication takes place. In particular we identified newspapers, codes and ciphers, braille and sign language. As per usuall we split into groups and focussed on the taskat hand.

For codes and ciphers we used mosrse code. A simple drawing showing how to find the letter you need and what it is represented by in morse was drawn on the board and the Cubs took it in turn to think of words and write them out. We had some quite imaginative words which kept some of the Cubs stumped. Especially as sometimes they got he wrong letter !

Braille was conveyed to the Cubs with tehm writing their names on a thin piece of cardboard and then using a cocktail stick, poking through the card making the braille representation. Then, when you ran your hands over the indents, you could feel the changeof surface and give the impression that a braille typed word would have.

Newspapers were quite easy as all the Cubs know about newspapers and they designed their own with a story, headline and an image to show how we could communicate news in this format.

Finally we were visited by Carol (Bagheera’s mother in law) who knows Makaton fluently and was able to teach the Cubs a few lines of Old McDonald.

Hopefully these few introductions will open the Cubs to more ways of thinking and how to communicate with others.

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Cubs Run Wild in the Woods

For the last meet of the term we decided to join forces with Langham Cubs and venture into Hobday Woods.  This is a large fenced off piece of land which we can use for wide games, camp fires and general Cub Scoutiness !  We all met at the community centre and from there walked deep into the woodland.  Everyone had decent footwear and torches which was good as the weather made things a bit darker and possibly a bit wetter under foot.  We started with a wide game whilst some of the leaders got a fire going. By the time the game had ended the fire was nice and warm.  We all stood round it and, run quite professionally by the Langahm team, sang to hearts content until we were almost completely hoarse !  After a small verse of Kum Ba Yah we all made our way back to the centre.  Tired, torches moving like light sabers and Cubs shuffling, we made it back to their awaiting parents.  Hope you have a good holiday and we’ll see you next term !

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You WILL be Happy ! :-)

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. 

Stay happy!

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