Beavers had a Wheely Good Time on Queen Galdriel
Beavers had a Wheely Good Time on Queen Galdriel

We went to see a BIG sailing ship called Queen Galadriel. There were rails all round to stop us falling in the water but it was still a bit scary going over the gang plank.

All Aboard the Queen Galadriel
All Aboard the Queen Galadriel

Luckily the beaver carrying me got over safely because I can't swim! I got to try the steering wheel, sleeping on a bunk and looked at the enormous engine.

Engine Room
Engine Room on Queen Galadriel - Looks too complicated for me

We couldn't go sailing but maybe another time.

Beaver Biscuit Break
Beaver Biscuit Break

Lucky Beavers got biscuits and juice - I was so jealous because I am not allowed them. My fur just gets all messed up and Brown Bear gets cross.

Best news of all - I found out I am going on a cruise with Eli next week!  I can't wait...sailor hat, sunglasses, passport...yep I'm ready!

Scout Sailing Trip - A Scout's Eye View

This is the story of our 3 day sailing trip. First of all I would like to thank Adrian, our leader, for organising all of this. On the May bank holiday weekend our scouting group went off on a three day sailing trip. We left at six ‘o’clock to arrive at Ipswich docks at around 7:30. Once we arrived we met one of the crew members, Derek, who would be sailing along with us on the yacht. We had a tour of the boat and immediately we all decided who would sleep where on the yacht. Then eventually we were introduced to our Skipper, also called Adrian, and then another crew member called Adrian, Yep… ANOTHER one. We had a Safety briefing and set sail out of Ipswich Docks and we arrived at Felixstowe docks by midnight. By then all the scouts went to bed besides Chris and I. So we put down the Anchor and finally went to sleep. Luckily this was our only late night. The next day we sailed around the channel to see an island that was declared as its own country, a container ship roundabout, and many other awesome things. That night we stayed in a small river, the Blackwater, just about inland. The next day we sailed to Mersea Island and had many great adventures and then for the last night we stayed in an old kind of town with a dock on it just outside of Felixstowe. On the last morning of our journey we watched a few container ships coming into Felixstowe and unfortunately had to head back into Ipswich docks. But before we left we had one last surprise. We were hoisted up the mast! It was so much fun. We were put in a harness and hoisted up the main mast to look over the whole of Ipswich docks and view the town.

All in all this was the best sailing trip of my life so far and I would really advise to go on the sailing trip again.  A huge thank you to the skipper and mates from Adventures Offshore for putting up with us.

A Very Happy Scout,

Jacob

Scouts were briefed and prepared for a night hike along the river. Devious leaders had other plans!

As we entered  North Fambridge Yacht Haven we met up with Essex Coastguard and the river Police on a search and rescue exercise! Not at all what was expected...

Liam (police) and Scott (coastguard) ran through the equipment in their respective 4x4 vehicles. Throw lines, floats, stretchers, mud walkers, flares, handcuffs, and batons...all sorts of interesting stuff and we learned a lot from them. River Police Ninja mode seems to have stuck in peoples heads!

Ready to start the search
Ready to start the search

Life jackets on, we headed down to the pontoon for a look round the Police RIB. What a fun toy  to play with!

On with the search, reports of a body in the water...somewhere. Two teams of Scouts scoured the moorings from the water in the Police RIB and from the pontoon looking for the injured party. It took some finding but eventually eagle eyed Scouts (you know who you are) spotted the casualty from the water and directed the land crew in to the rescue. No Harry you don't normally find injured people tethered to a nearby pontoon, well not unless it wasn't an accident.

Recovery from the water was scary from the perspective of nearby leaders, imagining all the forms to fill in on losing a Scout.  Safely on the pontoon, injuries were assessed and the stretcher deployed to recover the victim. OK, she was dead! Four brave young Scouts completed the rescue by stretchering her to the RIB and were repaid for their efforts by being "wee'd on" by the corpse finally losing the last vestiges of her dignity.

Night Hike - Warming up afterwards
Night Hike - Warming up afterwards

Returning to the relative safety of the shore for a swift, warming tramp back to base, hot chocolate and finish.

Thanks to all those who made a memorable meeting possible: Essex Coastguard, and the Police, Scott, Liam and their respective teams and not least North Fambridge Yacht Haven for once again tolerating us wandering round their land and facilities.

Apologies to anyone trying to have a quiet evening on their boat. The combined efforts of 8 noisy Scouts with accompanying adults, and  the Police RIB creating rather more wash than is normal in the marina must have spoiled your evening.  Sorry!

A rather nervous  group of North Fambridge Scouts arrived at 1st Runwell Scout Hut to try out their 3d Maze. We met an equally apprehensive contingent from Bicknacre Priory Scout Group not quite sure what to expect.

The answer is two tall ladders reaching up to doors in the ceiling, the doors being connected by a network of wooden tunnels in the roof space. Somewhere in the middle a small miracle occurs transforming the nervous and apprehensive into triumphant and exhilarated Scouts. It works even better with the lights out, although for some reason Scouts emerge rather sweatier than you might expect!

Scouts awaiting their turn, get to watch and listen to their friends going through the maze courtesy of the strategically placed cameras. This is a bit of a mixed blessing as, once Scouts realise where the cameras are, the inevitable consequence occurs...you just need to know it is a very good thing the stream is not being recorded.

BP leaders fearlessly entered into the spirit of the occasion and disappeared into the void, emerging some time later comparatively unscathed. Thanks guys. As a result NF leader is shamed into following suit...ok, ok....dragged kicking and screaming and dispatched into the nearest tunnel. Wait till we find out who turned the lights out half way round!

Oh and 1st Runwell have a rather splendid boulder wall too....Thanks to them and Bicknacre Priory for a great meeting. If you're looking for a special troop night event this is good stuff!

 

Our Scouts attended Holy Trinity Church on Remembrance Sunday, our first Parade Service since rebooting the group. Flags and holders had been found and checked. Scouts were well turned out and ready to play their part.

We performed well under pressure and played our full part in the service. It was good to see Jack and Beryl made it to the service and to have their guidance on doing it right!

Well done Scouts.

Night Walk - Last Minute Checks
Night Walk - Last Minute Checks

The task was for teams to navigate by torchlight to a location and then fix an exact position by triangulation. From the final position we were to take the bearing of the other group. Along the way each team had to cope with junctions, crossing open ground, local compass divergence and other obstacles.

The Scouts split into 2 groups, each with a leader, torches, compass and cryptic instructions and set off into the darkness.

Night Walk - First team on their way...
Night Walk - First team on their way...

Following the compass bearings to navigate the path, Team A eventually reached their destination on the river bank via the pub (no drinking, Scouts) and various obstacles.

Team B was soon spotted heading up to join them on completely the wrong path and promptly sent back for a rethink! It turns out that a brick wall is not actually a large sign, and marching through the private boat yard was of dubious legality (sorry North Fambridge Yacht Haven). Eventually both groups ended up in their correct locations and the task completed.

Night Walk - Is this right?
Night Walk - Is this right?

We had hoped, for an added bonus, to be rewarded with a meteor shower as the Orionids should have been at their peak. Unfortunately leaders failed to organise a clear night sky and cloud cover rather spoiled the plan.

Scouts made their way back to the hall to finish the evening in the traditional way with a prayer and hot chocolate.

Pioneers - Has it stopped raining yet?
Pioneers - Has it stopped raining yet?

The true pioneer spirit came out as Lone Wolf patrol bravely headed out into the cold wet dark night - mission: build a bridge!

Under the expert guidance of a limbo dancer with backache (wait for it...) the project got underway. After some time and about four million knots (it's a clove hitch, Max) two towers rose gracefully from the mud to become the supporting structure for the bridge over the crocodile infested swamp.

Pioneers - Limbo 3 (lesson learned Jo?)
Pioneers - Limbo 3 (lesson learned Jo?)

Blank, rather shocked, expressions became standard issue with the dawning realisation that the bridge was to be a single pole, and the crocodiles, leaders with specially sharpened teeth! Scouts reacted in the traditional way but having failed to escape they took to dancing (is that what they call this kind of limbo?). for the complete evidence file, see the gallery.

Finally, with even distraction techniques failing them, they moved from limbo to the pole dance, well some tried to dance across the bridge anyway. Max was the undoubted superstar of this part of the event. There were some rather less efficient crossings including glorious failure by an un-named leader.

Pioneers - Go Max! The circus is calling...
Pioneers - Go Max! The circus is calling...

After wounded pride had been suitably patched up, the Scouts cleared up their mess with comparatively little coercion required. Big thank you to Skreens Park for looking after us so well. If you are looking for a venue for this kind of madness, it's a great place. We will be back!

See the photo gallery for the whole sorry story....that's Pioneer Bridge Building as tackled by 1st North Fambridge!

Starting from our hall in the dark with rain threatening we disturbed different parts of the village driven by the randomness of a coin expertly wielded by Max who was elected troop tosser for the event (hmm...).

Mystery Tour - Something starting with...
Mystery Tour - Something starting with...

The lone wolves prowled about to complete an A-Z of items sustained by a diet of blackberries harvested along the route. Thanks to the person flying a Union Jack (well spotted Chris) the alphabet was covered in short order.

Ably led by patrol leader and second we completed the task in mostly good order. No-one was arrested or hospitalised and the rain held off so it's all good! To anyone wondering about the minor riot passing their house, now you know what was going on.

Mystery Tour - Night Walk
Mystery Tour - Night Walk

Apologies if your evening was disturbed. Being inside you wouldn't have seen the fabulous moon which made it all worth while.

Mystery Tour - the line dance????
Mystery Tour - the line dance????