Welcome to Akelablog! A page where Akela gets to hold forth on just about anything he pleases! - sort of...
4th October, 2012
I know, I know.... nothing for too long.... I could have sworn it's not that long since I did an update... anyway, the updates (lots of them) are on their way, so sit tight!
13th December, 2011
Well, 2011 at Cubs is over, but first we need to talk about what we did in last Term...
.....Tyler & Alexander invested Outdoor-Maps/Compass
Josh & Liam Scouts Penny Hike
William Scouts Breakup AND Darren Invested as a Leader
1st October, 2011
So, where are we up to? Must be Term 3 done. So, what did we get up to? We started off, as we often do, with a games night to get the Cubs into things. We quickly followed that up the next week with some Boomerang stuff - Promise and Law, where we learn a bit about those words we say when we get invested. At the same time we said goodbye to Henry, as he moved up to Scouts. Henry has changed a lot during his time in Cubs and has always been the quiet achiever. We wish him all the best in Scouts.
The following Saturday was our first Plenty Valley Region Cub Day. We're part of Banyule District and Banyule was part of Yarra Valley Region. A while back there was a rejig of Regions and we, along with Nillumbik, moved into the new Plenty Valley Region where, instead of being the northernmost Districts, we are now in the South East of the new Region. The Region Cub Day consisted of a lot of different activities, from water rockets, to puzzle type activities, first aid, rope bridges, minefields and billycarts - just to name a few. It was a full-on day and the Cubs loved it.
The next week was a totally different type of Boomerang night - Self Expression. This involved all sorts of things - singing, acting, making our own magazine - all good fun! Following that night, we were back to games, but a different type this time. We had a joint night with Eaglemont Cubs visiting us, and did initiative games. These games are ones where teamwork and initiative is important... ie. you can't be successful unless you work together and take the time to think things through. Of course some Cubs were just keen to get going and launched themselves into it, but it was interesting to see the reactions when they saw that other teams that had taken a bit more time were often more successful.
The following week was our ARAP (AGM), where we learned about what our Group has been up to over the past year and some lucky Cubs and Scouts were presented with some badges.... followed by the food, which was the most important part for the Cubs!
Next up was our annual Swimming night at LaTrobe Uni Pool. At this night the Cubs choose whether to go for Level 1 or Level 2 swimming badge. The Level 2 is quite a bit more difficult to do than Level 1, so it's a big jump. Most of the Cubs passed the level they were going for and, once completed, it was into the deep pool for fun on the cargo net, rope swing and floating on mats. It's always a good incentive to get Cubs quickly through the swimming etc., for their badgework, seeing the pool waiting next to them!
To finish up August we had a Mother & Cub night so we could get prepared for Father's Day. As usual, we had plenty of games, where the Mums' prime aim is to obliterate their children, plus making something for Dad. Always a fun night (the determination of some of those mums in the games is a bit scary though!). On to September, and it was time to get all tied up with a Boomerang night on ropes and knots. This one's always a challenge for the Leaders, because some Cubs pick the knots up in 2 seconds, while others take a bit longer. We always get through OK though.
Next up we had a visit to the Air Ambulance and Police Air Wing at Essendon Airport. We've taken Cubs there before, but this was the first time in their new accommodation. Previously the Air Ambulance was on the south side of the airport, and the Police Air Wing was in a different area to the North. Now, they're all in one huge building on the Northern side, with the Air Ambulance up one end and the Police up the other. We visited the Air Ambulance first. The Cubs all got to have a tour through one of the fixed wing planes, including sitting in the cockpit. Very impressive. Just as we were finishing there, we saw the Air Ambulance helicopter come in from a call. Next it was through to the Police Air Wing, where the Ambulance Helicopter and the combined Police/Ambulance helicopter are housed as well. Again, the Cubs got to have a close-up look, before it was time to head off. Thanks to the Ambulance and Police staff for helping us out.
We finished off the Term with a warmup for our upcoming Pack Holiday - with a night at Wolfwarts School of Wizardry. Chil put the Cubs through the hoops as they learned what they needed to be wizards and witches, in preparation for heading off next Term to the 'real' Wolfwarts. In addition, there was a chance to break out the costumes and check out how well those wands worked. Roll on Term 4 and Pack Holiday!
9th July, 2011
Term 2 had plenty happening as always! We started off before the Term officially started, with Anzac Day. For those brave enough to handle the early start, it was off to the Dawn Service at Simpson Barracks, followed by the Anzac March at Greensborough. Some of our Scouts headed into the City to help with the main March there.
Into the 'normal' Term, we normally start with a Games night, but with Mothers Day already coming up, we instead had a Father and Cub night to have some fun and make something for Mum. We also started the Term with an investiture - welcoming Rhys to Cubs. We had plenty of games that night, so the next week it was into some Boomerang work - Health and First Aid. The Boomerang work we do throughout the year covers a wide range of stuff, as you can see from this one. The bit of First Aid we do is a good lead in to where the older Cubs ultimately do their Level 2 First Aid Badge.
Next up, following from Anzac Day, it was the 2nd part of the "Their Service, Our Heritage" Badge, with a visit to Northcote RSL. The Scouts came too and we got to see a lot of memorabilia, including a Samurai Sword. Some of the Cubs got a little too interested in some of the stuff! We found out that the RSL was likely to soon close due to lack of members, which was pretty sad.
After learning about safety as part of another Boomerang test AND welcoming Darcy and Megan as we invested them into Cubs, it was time for a Flight Day at Moorabbin Airport, with the Scouts. The Scout Air Wing operates from there, so we went to visit. We all did an info session on flight, which could be used as part of the Flight badge, and then all Cubs and Scouts went up in a plane, for a flight over Melbourne. I was surprised to find that for quite a number of them, this was their first flight, and for some others their first flight in a light plane. No-one got airsick, and all in all it was a fantastic day.
The next week we took our flight just a little bit further, with a joint night with Macleod Cubs - in outer space! We did the Space Badge, so as well as learning about the planets and the stars, we also had a lot of fun with it, including all entering our space craft for a flight around the planets and having an alien attack! Unsurprisingly, everyone completed their Badge.
Next up it was First Aid Camp for our older Cubs, held at Camp Warringal. This is an important weekend, because the Cubs attending learn a ton of first aid - in fact apart from doing CPR, which Cubs are a bit young to be taught just yet, the course covers most of the Level 2 First Aid - and we've found over the years that at this age they tend to pick it up much more readily than they might when they're older. Our Cubs did very well, all passing the Badge (even though a couple tried to kill Akela with his snakebite.... you know who you are!).
Our next Boomerang activity goes back to our core - Cub Scout Traditions. This is all about learning about Baden-Powell, who started Scouts, the history of Scouts and (later) Cubs... plus stuff on the Jungle Book, which is of course what Cubs are based on. Then, on the following Sunday, it was time for another Scouting tradition - Mudbash! Mudbash is a Rover activity (ages 18-26). It's all about cars - hillclimb, slalom, circuits, cross country (where most of the mud is) etc. It's a competition weekend and Sunday is Open Day, so we were there to check it all out. The Cubs who came along to Mafeking Rover Park (north of Yea) had a great time - checking out the cars and seeing them primarily in the slalom and the cross country (mostly a succession of mud holes, which many cars need to be towed out of). It seems that getting older doesn't stop them all loving the mud.
The following week we started on something new - the World Scout Environment Badge. This used to be called the World Conservation Badge, but a little while back the requirements were changed and the badge renamed and redesigned, giving the Cubs more of a challenge in doing something positive for the environment. Of course there's a fairly large outdoor component, so there's more to do in future to get it all finished off. Our environmental theme was explored in a different way the following week with a possum prowl at the nature reserve at LaTrobe University. Despite the rain we had a good turnout and off we trooped in the dark to see what we could see. Not many possums this time, but we did see a number of bats, the odd roo and lots of creepy crawlies. All in all, the perfect night for Cubs!
As we approached the end of Term, it was time for our annual visit to Gang Show, Family BBQ at the Hall, and a sleepover with 1st Bendigo Cubs. Our numbers on this have been increasing every year and once again the Cubs had a great time at Gang Show, including counting the number of times they saw Chil on stage. The family BBQ is always a great time for the families to get together and socialise, while the Cubs and Scouts enjoy the games and feeding their faces. Afterwards we kicked everybody but Cubs out, put up all the beds, had a video, supper and (eventually) went to sleep. In the morning it was time for brekky, packup and then off home, so the Leaders could hopefully catch up on some sleep.
Finally, to finish off the Term, we hit the deep dark Jungle for plenty of jungle games and activities - all designed to bring the basic theme for Cubs - the Jungle Book - into focus. The more imaginitive we can be with stuff like this, the more the Cubs like it, so we always get right into it. We also said goodbye to Kaleb as he moved up to Scouts. After a great time in Cubs, we hope he loves Scouts too. SO, thats all for this Term.... What do your reckon we'll get up to next?
24th April, 2011
With so much happening all the time, it's often hard to keep up, but we'll give it a go! Since our last update, the first big thing was of course, Pack Holiday at Gilwell - "Cowboys and Indians".
The Scouts were going to come with us and camp in one of the bush campsites, while we were staying in the cabins at the E.M. Derrick Centre. However, in the week leading up to the camp there was basically a continuous deluge, with heavy rain predicted over the weekend. It was decided that it was just too wet to be setting up in tents, so they changed plans and based themselves in our Hall over the weekend and did activities in town. We could certainly understand the decision as our bus drove into the Gilwell campsite (between Gembrook and Launching Place), with the rain so heavy it was difficult to see!
We finally got into the campsite and got the gear moved in between downpours! Rama's phone having fairly good reception and being able to show rain radar proved to be invaluable over the weekend, allowing us to schedule our activities so that we could get nearly everything done without being too affected by the weather. In the end it meant that the Cubs had plenty of fun through the whole weekend.
On Saturday we got right into the Gauntlet - a huge obstacle course spread throughout the bush. Lots of mud and water made it even more challenging and of course kids love mud, so it was much more fun too. Even Cubs with plaster on their arm went through the water trench - with arm held high!
After having a Grand Howl around Council Rock (and giving the Cubs a much better idea of the true symbolism of a Grand Howl), we visited the Lachan - where the Cubs decided that it was definitely much too cold for a swim, plus checked out the historic chapel. We also did the Initiative Course - similar to the Gauntlet, but requiring more thought and cooperation with each other in order to be able to get through successfully.
After many more things during the day, the campfire was one thing that did have to change... not much fun sitting around a fire in pouring rain - so we moved it into the dining room and still got to check out the wide range of talent available in our Cubs, along with plenty of Cowboy and Indian outfits as well.
On Sunday morning, the Scouts Own was a short time for reflection before we got into what most of the Cubs had been most looking forward to - the Battle of the Little Big Horn - also known as the flour fight. As usual, time was allocated for bomb making (flour in tissues) before it was ON and Cubs were soon covered completely in white. I took the photos, so Akela was off limits!
We still had plenty more activities happening, but all too soon it was time to go home. For the few Cubs who didn't go on the camp, you find yourself wishing they could have seen how they would feel at the end of the camp when making the decision to go, because those who went wouldn't have missed it for the world.
It's hard to keep the momentum up after something as huge as the Pack Holiday, but we did our best and came back on the next Cub night for our annual Cub Olympiad. This was our 4th, set in London (as the real 4th Olympiad was). Cubs were divided up into 3 countries and the games began with the 'Torch Relay', complete with a Sparkler for each Cub. The multitude of events were very competitive, and Gold, Silver and Bronze medals were awarded at the end.
Next up was a Penny Hike, where the coin gets to determine where we go, and once again we were unsuccessful in losing any Cubs on our travels. Our final 'normal' Cub night finished the year with a bang, with "The Cub Crusade". Based on Indiana Jones, we had dressup and did all sort of weird and wonderful things - including eating monkey brains while blindfolded! We thank the monkeys for their donations.
Our final night for the year was our Group Breakup, where we had 3 Investitures (welcome to Charlotte, Olivia and Jess), a barbecue and, of course, Santa. All in all, a fun way to close off 2010.
So, here we are in 2011 and how DID a Term get away from us already? As is customary, we started off with a games night, and then the following week we were off having a barbecue and catching yabbies, along with the Scouts. Of course, even if you set a finish time, there's still kids there after dark catching yabbies - they'd stay there all night if you'd let them!
In the same week as our yabbying, we had the Founders Day Cub Bike Hike, from Banyule Theatre to Wilson Reserve. With all the rain, parts of the track were very muddy, but at least not underwater as we'd thought it would be. Halfway along we had a break, with some games with a huge parachute, which of course the Cubs loved. Most of the Cubs didn't get TOO muddy on the Bike Hike... and I suspect that those who did wanted to. We finished it all off with hotdogs and sort of watched the Scout raft races... they were largely called off because of the strong currents from the recent flooding.
Our next 3 Cub nights got into a bit of variety, from Fitness, where we got to check out how fit the Cubs are as we did some Boomerang testing (and I must say, a few years ago it seemed there was a constant downturn in the fitness of kids, but it seems to be improving these days, which is great), doing some stuff on better understanding the natural environment around us, and then some Wide games - games outside where we use lots of space and get those legs well and truly tired out!
Moving on through the Term, we followed that up with a Senses night - getting the Cubs to explore their senses more fully than normal. Of course the most popular of all that was the flavoured jelly bean tasting! We also had a very popular night, where we were cooking on campfires. Get fires and food going and you've definitely got their attention. The Bronze Boomerang Cubs were doing damper twists... this is always interesting... we try to focus on cooking slowly over the coals, but Cubs will always gravitate to the flames (and won't wait long), so invariably you see a lot of dampers with black outsides and gooey in the middle! It doesn't seem to matter - the Cubs eat it anyway and tell us how wonderful it is. The older ones were doing sausages and vegies, which mostly didn't go black.
In late March it was time for Gold Camp II. This a camp for older Cubs, with the focus being on giving them the skills and confidence to be able to go on and earn the Grey Wolf Award, plus getting a quick taste of what it will be like being in Scouts. After the very successful camp last year, some changes were made to this year's camp - primarily the extension to two nights, with the first night being in the activity hall, so we could get into putting the tents up first thing on the Saturday morning. Last year we had Cubs and Leaders from around 5 Packs... this year we had 10 Cub Packs involved and many more Cubs. Once again we had plenty of Leaders, which made it much easier to run the Camp, although I was still ready for a week's rest when it was over! The weather was kind again - just a bit of rain overnight on Saturday, and I'm really pleased to say that the Cubs had an absolute ball, while hopefully learning plenty. Once again, cooking was the highlight, followed closely by staying in tents, the hiking, and the catapults and chariots... Thanks very much to all the Leaders who helped and... Roll on Gold Camp III.
On the same weekend we also had some of our younger Cubs taking part in the Banyule Festival "Arty Farty Fest" Grand Parade, along with our Scouts and the rest of the District. It was then back to Cubs during the week for a handcrafts night. We made some birdseed hangers - birdseed and fat left to set in a foil cup, with a string down the middle to hang it in a tree with. We even did some science, finding that sunflower seeds float up above all the other seeds.
And so, we were up to the end of Term, with an Aliens Dressup night. I wasn't able to make it, being in QLD for a few days, but I wrote a program and left our capable Leaders to run it. I've seen some of the photos - creativity in Aliens is certainly not dead. The aliens visited earth, had some battles, went on a chase through the galaxies and then came back to earth before wearily trying to escape our atmosphere to go home... and so endeth Term 1!
As I write this, we've already done the Term 2 program and it's up on the website. There's plenty happening, which there needs to be with all the new Cubs we've been investing lately. In the last few weeks of Term we invested 6 Cubs, with another for our first night back - welcome to Oliver, Joshua, Grace, Darcy, Liam, Ben and Rhys. We've got some Cubs ready to go up to Scouts, and it's great to see the numbers staying so strong. We intend to do our best to keep them challenged and having fun!
31st October, 2010
Where has the year gone? I thought it's about time I wrote another one of these and realised I haven't done one since April - how slack! Ah well, one of these days I'll get to writing more often!
So, what have we been up to? Well, with two full terms to cover this time... plenty. Term 2 started off with a games night and then we had our annual night for the Heritage Badge. This time it was with the Scouts at the Greensborough RSL. We had an excellent night there, with the RSL guys talking to the Cubs and Scouts a bit of what it's like to serve your country and then a tour through the RSL to look at the multitude of displays. The excellent knowledge gained by the Cubs and Scouts through the message being well pitched at the proper level, plus of course tons of food and drink (!) made it an great night and certainly a good way to cover part of the Heritage Badge.
Following straight after that was Anzac Day itself. Michelle and I were in Cobram for the weekend, but David (Bagheera) and Bryan (Rama) supervised both Cubs and Scouts at both the Dawn Service at Simpson Barracks in Watsonia, plus the Anzac March at Greensborough.
The next week was "Scouts in Action Week"... a new thing run Australia wide, which seems likely to become an annual event. This year's theme was First Aid - all Sections were encouraged to register and take part. In our Group both Cubs and Scouts ran First Aid sessions. Our Cubs all earned their First Aid Level 1 Badge, which was good because some were soon to continue on and do their Level 2 - more later on that.
The next couple of weeks were on some Boomerang work - Self Expression (you should have seen some of that!) and 'Health and First Aid'. Because we'd already done the First Aid Badge, it meant we could spend more time on the other aspects of the tests, which was good for a change.
We then did a visit to the Scout Heritage Centre at Como. This covered part of the Local History Badge and was something the Cubs really enjoyed. The Centre is in a historic old house on the grounds of Como and contains tons of items of Scouting memorabilia and other historic items. The Cubs had questionnaires to fill out on some of the things in each room, which encouraged them to really dig into what there was to see in each room and even got to see an old Casper the Ghost video based on Scouting! Some of the kids may have thought I should have been on display too, but they were too polite to say!
At the start of June we held the annual District First Aid Camp for the older Cubs. This year it was held at 10th Ivanhoe Scout Hall. The Cubs worked on their Level 2 First Aid Badge for the weekend, plus got to go out and play some games outside (dodging the rain!). There's actually quite a lot of work that goes into getting the badge, so it's a good achievement for the Cubs to have and can be counted towards their Grey Wolf Award.
In mid June we all trooped off to the Rosanna Library to do some work towards the Literature and Lester Literate badges (and to check out the Library). The Librarians opened the Library especially for us, which was very nice of them. They showed the Cubs how to use the electronic catalogues, find their books and check them out. It was good to see that many of them already knew how to do this stuff and could quickly get their books - at least someone's reading! Despite all the good intentions, only a small number of Cubs have gone on to read the required number of books etc., to get the badges, so it'd be nice to see some fingers pulled out guys!
Of course at the end of June, just before the School holidays we had our yearly visit to Gang Show, Family BBQ and then a Cub Sleepover. This year there was an issue with the Gang Show bookings with the venue, so we ended up having to go a week later than normal. The change also caused issues for 1st Bendigo Cubs, so they didn't end up staying with us this year - back to normal next year. Regardless, the Cubs and Scouts loved the Show (including the obligatory "Spot Chil in the cast" competition) and the barbecue that followed. Once we'd kicked the Scouts and families out, it was into bed for the Cubs, to lay back and watch "Up" on video, before Supper and sleep.. and amazingly it was actually sleep this year - no nightowls to keep us awake (too long anyway). Wonders will never cease. In the morning, it was rise and shine, feed 'em brekkie and kick 'em out the door, to go home for a rest!
TERM 3 was no quieter than Term 2 (are you still with me - longest blog ever I reckon). We were out and about a lot during the Term, starting with a visit to South Morang CFA. In the past we've been to places like the East Melbourne Fire Station, so it was a real change to go to a CFA station. With plenty of trucks and equipment on hand, plus an enthusiastic team, we had a great night. The Cubs got to dress up in various bits of fire gear (the Chief's hat seemed to be the most popular), get in a truck, check out the equipment and even do some first aid. Then it was time for the main event - squirting water at things (as you do). Things were going well until Akela (taking photos) managed to cop a stream of water coming across from one truck, past another truck, onto him. now how did that happen?
We were kindly ferried to and from the CFA in a bus provided for us by Dysons Buses and we did the same thing shortly after when we went to visit Dysons Buses themselves, at their Depot in Bundoora. We drove in in the newest bus in the fleet, past all the fuel pumps and straight into the huge bus wash - not a place to go wondering around by yourself! In the office complex we were shown the drivers' area, operations room and a number of office areas. The Cubs got to pile into and through some relics of the Company's past - an old Cobb and Co coach and a very old bus, that still goes and gets used on special occasions, but has been long retired from regular active service. Then it was off to the bus repair bay - yes buses do have accidents, some quite good ones too. The oven, big enough to drive a newly painted bus into and bake the paint job, was huge - one of the Cubs told me it could hold 1 million Cubs - if only! After all that, it was time to head back. After arriving in the newest bus, we went back to the hall in the oldest bus still active in the fleet. a whole different experience. Thanks again to Dysons for the loans of the buses and for the tour.
Just after all that was our Annual General Meeting (known these days as an ARAP), where we got to see what 'official' stuff the Group has been up to for the last year and vote in the new Committee for the new one. We also had some Leaders presented with certificates for training and to acknowledge their volunteering roles, which was great to see.
Our second Rosanna swimming night at LaTrobe Uni Pool was a little bit light on numbers wise - about half the Cubs - but it has to be taken into account that a number were sick and the weather was terrible. But for all those that did come, it was great fun. I was running the Level 2 Swimming, and was expecting only a few Cubs - but it turned out nearly all the Cubs did Level 2, which surprised me no end - especially when they all passed (some had to have a bit more time and effort than others, but they all got it done). At the end, the Cubs all got into the rope swing, seeing how far across the water they could get, with some 'interesting' results!
With Fathers Day coming up, it was time for a Mother and Cub night to have plenty of fun and to make something for Dad. As usual, the Mums gave the Cubs no quarter in the games and allowed not even the slightest semblance of Cubs bending the rules before immediately bending the ear of poor Akela about the injustice being done to their chances to win! A cheer would go up when the Cubs were brought back into line. The only trouble was that sometimes I'd tell the Cubs off about doing something wrong, only to turn around and see the Mums doing it too (eg. Jumping up and down to make a tower fall)! I'm sure there were many interesting conversations in the cars going home that night!
And so we came to the end of Term 3, not with a bang but with an "Arrrrr", as we finished off with a Pirate night, led by that evil Pirate Betty Longpants (previously known as Chil). After all the Pirates had had their fun and walked the plank, it was time to move on. to Term 4.
And so here we are, in Term 4, with even that well and truly underway. Already we've done plenty of stuff. We had one more in our series of visits, this time (in the rain again) off to the Mernda SES. This is a new Unit, only started this year, but with an enthusiastic group and some cool equipment for the Cubs to look at. While some were trying on the SES uniforms and getting photographed, others were off looking at the trucks and hopping into the Zodiac (a boat in a shed while it's raining? Of course, so it won't get wet!). For Cubs who get exposed to the 'normal' emergency services of police, fire and ambulance, it was good to be able to see another side of things and get an idea of the myriad of services that the SES provides.
We then had a return visit to 1st Eltham (Gellibrand) and Chelsea Heights Cubs, for JOTA/JOTI - Jamboree of the Air and Jamboree of the Internet. Rain was again our theme, which kept us in from the geocaching we were going to do, but the Cubs kept themselves highly amused pulling things apart on the broken down gadgets table, talking to Cubs and Scouts in places like Queensland, and talking on the internet to Scouts in WA and various other parts of the world. Thanks to Eltham for inviting us!
The last two things to bring us finally up to date were the Sixers Dinner and Totally Reptiles. The annual District Sixers Dinner was this year held at 1st West Heidelberg. Chil went along with our Cubs to enjoy a spit roast and some entertainment. totally worth being a Sixer for! A few days later we all walked up the road to Totally Reptiles, to check out all sorts of snakes, lizards, frogs, monitors, and dead rats and mice. Some of the Cubs got a little more than they bargained for when the snake was above them! Thanks heaps to Jodie, Amy and Vanessa for giving up their time to open up for us.
During the time covered by this AkelaBlog we've had a number of changes in our Pack. We've sent Leuca, Samuel C, Andy, Marc and Samuel N-B off to Scouts, so we wish them well on the next stage of their time in Scouting. Also, we've invested Sean, Angus and Campbell into Cubs - we hope they really enjoy their time with us.
We've awarded a lot of badges in the last few months, but the most special is the Grey Wolf Award presented to Samuel N-B. This is only the second ever earned in Rosanna Cubs and is something to be proud of as a major achievement in Scouting. This involved earning a lot of badges, taking part in many activities, organising and running a two hour hike and creating a training resource for the Pack. Congratulations Samuel on a fantastic job.
We've also had a lot of training done by our Leaders. Earlier on, Chil (Laura) and Bagheera (David) completed their Cub Scout Basic Training - two full weekends' work that earned them their Gilwell Woggle. Just a week ago Rama (Bryan) completed his second weekend of the Cub Scout Basic and also earned his Gilwell Woggle. This is a great achievement by our Leaders - one which takes a lot of work and is something to be proud of. For our Pack it means that they are all now much better qualified and trained to provide Leadership and great programs for our Cubs, which means we can keep on improving the service we provide.
So, that's it for now. coming up in 2 weeks is our Pack Holiday at Gilwell Park near Gembrook - tons of fun, so whatever you do, don't miss it!
All the best and see you next time!
11th April, 2010
Here we are, about to go into Term 2... what happened to first Term? Well, it was a short Term, but we did stack plenty into it. After starting off with a Games night to get back into it, we started doing our Local History Badge. Each year we focus on one of the special Badges (in addition to the Heritage Badge). Last year it was the Waterwise Badge and this year it's Local History. Part of it was learning about the local area, so we took off for a walk to check out the old Cemetery on Hawdon St and the Theatre in Turnham Ave. There's another big part of the Badge coming up in Term 2, so don't miss it. We also tried out a fitness night for our Boomerang Badges - and managed not to kill anyone this year!
On Feb 21 we had the Founders Day bike hike. We rode from Warringal Parklands around the bike path to Wilson Reserve in Ivanhoe. This year we all rode off divided into our individual Cub Packs (with parents), which tended to keep each group fairly well together, but with the wide variety of riding speeds, we did all get pretty spread out. On this ride there's no danger from cars, so the only thing to worry about is bikes and riders parting company. We had a few slips and slides along the way, but everyone had fun. When we got there we watched the Scouts having their raft races and had some lunch before it was time to go home.
Only a couple of days later was our BBQ and Yabbying night at Binnak Park in Watsonia North - this time with our Scouts as well. We started off investing Samidha into Cubs and the Scouts had some investitures too. The BBQ happened quickly because the Cubs were very keen to get into the Yabbying. Usually when we do the yabby night it's getting dark when parents are trying to convince their kids to pack up and go home - this time it was well and truly dark. Plenty of yabbies were caught, but most of them went back into the water. However, a few did go back to live in fish tanks I think!
For the next couple of weeks we tried a few different things. We all did the Level 1 Codes and Signals Achievement badge the first week, learning about the phonetic alphabet (alpha, bravo, charlie delta etc.), all sorts of secret codes, and did invisible messages using candle wax. Then we had a joint night with Diamond Valley Cubs in Watsonia. The Cubs loved this one - we divided them into two groups - one did old-style games and the other rode billycarts and bush skateboards we'd borrowed from Banyule District. Near the Diamond Valley Scout Hall is a grassy hill with a dip at the bottom with longer grass - perfect for flying down the hill and getting stopped by the grass at the bottom. The Cubs all had helmets and knee and elbow pads, which helped with the few that decided to try rollovers, but it was great that they were able to let loose without worrying about any damage. After swapping groups we did it all again and then came in for supper - many thanks to Diamond Valley.
Then it was time for our biggest activity in Term 1 - Gold Camp, albeit for older Cubs only (but the younger ones will all get their chance next year or the year after). Gold Camp is a new idea we've been working to put in place for almost 2 years - a camp where we could try to improve the number of Cubs earning their Grey Wolf Award by giving them the skills and confidence to do so. The main parts - a 2 hour hike that needs to be organised and run by the Cub, and producing a resource for their Pack or Six based on the Jungle Book - can't be earned as part of an organised camp or activity - they have to be a separate thing done by the individual Cub. Our aim was to teach them how to go about it and, with the hike, to undertake one (taking it in turns to 'run' the hike for their Patrol) and see how the planning works out with reality. Hopefully, from that, more Cubs will then go out and earn the Award afterwards. The other thing we did for Grey Wolf is that the Cubs all earned the Level 2 Bushcraft Achievement Badge, which can be counted towards the Grey Wolf. We didn't just want to do that on the Camp, so the other focus was to get a taste of being in Scouts - being organised into Patrols rather than Sixes, camping in tents, cooking for themselves, and doing some Scout-type activities.
We invited a number of other Packs to join with us for the Camp - in the end we had Cubs and Leaders join Rosanna from 1st Bendigo, 1st Keilor Village, 1st Taylors Lakes, 1st Eltham (Gellibrand), 5th Footscray and Kariwara District. The Leader numbers were high because we had plenty who wanted to come along and see how this idea would work out. In the end we had a Leader:Cub ratio of 1:2, which was amazing, given that we only needed 1:6! For me that meant that in organising and running the camp I had tons of support, which was brilliant. Wendy, from Keilor, did the catering and supervised the Cubs preparing meals, Beth, from Bendigo, took on the Quartermaster role to ensure we had all the gear we needed, plus did some stuff on Scout cooking, Lee and Lachlan, from Taylors Lakes, did the hike training and supervision (Lachlan is a specially trained Bushwalking Leader, which helped!), Al and Lita (both District Leaders from Kariwara District) did Grey Wolf resources and Scouts Own, Bernie (Keilor) oversaw work on the Bushcraft Badge, Greg and Ross (1st Eltham (Gellibrand)) ran the Chariots and Catapults activities and all our other Leaders provided extra help on all the activities. Many thanks go to everybody.
The Cubs had a ball - perhaps surprisingly the most popular activity of all was doing their own cooking - vegies, schnitzels, pancakes etc. (are you listening Mums and Dads?). Of course there was plenty of support for camping in tents, making and firing catapults, chariot races, going on the hike around Mt Charlie, making up and trying out Scout games etc. It all went so fast it was almost a surprise when it was time to pack up and go home. Having gone so well, it's a definite for next year. The major change we're making is that we found that putting the tents up took longer than expected after our 9:30am start, so we're going to start on the Friday night with a sleepover in the campsite activity hall, and then getting into putting up tents straight after brekkie on the Saturday.
Our next night at Cubs was fires and cooking for Boomerang work, after starting off investing Savannah and welcoming Fergus with a Rosanna scarf (after transferring from another Pack). The younger Cubs cooked some damper on sticks... some worked, and some were a little bit floppy. Luckily we had 'some we prepared earlier', which amazingly disappeared very quickly - the evidence is on the photo pages. The older Cubs got to try out some firelighting and cooked meals in foil (plus even a hot drink for Gold Boomerang Cubs). Some of the vegies were a little black, but most turned out well, so there was plenty of food going round.
After all that hard work (?), we travelled under the sea for our last night at Cubs for Term 1. The Cubs were asked to dress up as anything found in the sea... and there was plenty of imagination - sharks, octopi, even a coral reef! We had plenty of 'underwater' games and I think tired most of the kids out. Our final activity for the Term was the Banyule Festival march. A number of Cubs and Scouts joined with Rama and Bagheera for the march in Heidelberg and then got to check out, among other things, 'Scoutland' in the festival area around Sills Bend.
So, Term 1's all done... now it's time for Term 2. The Program for Term 2 has been worked out and is about to be published. There's plenty to look forward to, including our first "Scouts in Action" week, a few visits as we do our Heritage and Local History badges and culminating in Gang Show, family barbecue and Cub Sleepover at the end of Term... so make sure you don't miss any of it.
19th January, 2010
Happy New Year and welcome to 2010! I knew it had been quite a while, but not that it had actually been so long since I've written one of these, so it's more than about time to get back into it and wrap up what we did for the rest of the year, as we get ready for starting up the new one at Cubs!
So where to start? Well the last Akelablog finished off halfway through Term 3 - seems like eons ago.... but here goes. First up is the Sixers Dinner. This year, for a change, we were actually allowed to invite Seconds as well, so we did. Our Cubs came along and joined with the other Sixers and Seconds from the District to have plenty of games, some trivia, a dinner, and even a disco at the end! All the Cubs seemed to well and truly enjoy themselves, but I think that the highlight for them would have to be the concoctions they were allowed to make for dessert - they had icecream and then were able to add in fruit, lollies, topping, sprinkles, you name it! In general it was totally disgusting, so of course the Cubs loved it!
A few days later we had our annual Mother and Cub night at Cubs. The idea is to have some fun with the Mums and to get together and make something for Fathers Day. We started off with a reef knot relay and I'm sorry to say that once they learned it, the Mums were much better than the Cubs - pretty sad really! After making the presents for the Dads, it was back into some games - Chair Soccer and Human Noughts and Crosses. Once again, the Mums took the opportunity to get their own back, as their killer instincts came out to beat the Cubs at all costs! Then, after a week of some Boomerang badgework on Law and Promise, it was time to finish off Term 3 with a 'Monsterology' night. This one obviously struck a chord, because plenty of imagination went into the costumes and makeup. Yes, we did end up with a lot of Frankenstein's Monsters, but there were a lot of interpretations on the theme, plus plenty of other types of monsters too. A number of the parents had the idea that if it was a night on monsters they could just send their kids as they are - but we nipped that idea in the bud pretty quickly!
So that was it for Term 3 (moving along quite well here, aren't we?). Term 4 started off with a games night and then the idea for the next week was to go for a walk up to Rosanna Parklands for a look around and some wide games. However, the weather had other ideas and the heavens opened up and stopped us going. I had to do a quick reshuffle of the program to pick 'wide games' that could be adapted to play in the hall, while we hoped for the rain to stop. After a while it actually did so, so we could get outside, but decided to use the area around the Hall and oval instead of the walk. We managed to get two proper wide games in - stalking and catch the flag, before the rain came again and it was time to go back inside and finish the night off there - in future we need lots of rain, but not on Cub nights!
The following weekend was time for the annual Jamboree of the Air (JOTA) and Jamboree of the Internet (JOTI). In previous years we've trekked out to Clifford Park to take part in the activities there, but this time we did something different - we were invited to join in with 1st Eltham (Gellibrand Pack) and 1st Chelsea Heights Cubs over at Eltham (and some of our Scouts came along too). When they arrived, they found a table full of bits of computers and computer parts, plus tools to take them apart and put them together. For a number of the Cubs and Scouts this was irresistable and almost derailed the rest of the day - we couldn't get them away from there! As we prised them away, they got to talk to other Cubs and Scouts both on the Amateur Radios AND on the Internet, whereas we've only had the radio in the past. Then, as an added bonus we went off 'fox hunting'. For those who don't know, it's not hunting real foxes... a radio transmitter is hidden somewhere and the Cubs and Scouts had to find it by using 'sniffers', which were an apparatus that looked something like a TV antenna. As you turn it around, the sound of the signal being received changes, so if you do it properly you can tell in which direction it's coming from and then work to find it. We did all that in the parklands in Eltham, which the Cubs and Scouts all had fun with and they also ran around the BMX track as if they were the bikes - strange! Once again, thanks to 1st Eltham (Gellibrand) Cubs for inviting us.
The following week we had a night on ropes and knots and have to thank our District Leader for Cub Scouts - Cheryl (also known as Bagheera) and Barb (Akela from Bundoora) for coming along to help out so I could attend our Parents meeting (more on that later).
So then it was time for our Second ever Pack Holiday - this time at Pax Hill Scout Camp at Ballarat, with the theme of "Eureka!". We headed off on the bus on Friday evening (kindly provided by Dysons) up the Freeway to Ballarat. As well as Chil, Bagheera, Rama and myself, we also had help on the weekend from Stuart, Liam and Emily's Mum, Fiona, as our Cook and Wendy - 'Raksha' from 1st Keilor Village Cubs who I've known for years and very nicely offered to come along and help. On arriving at the camp we had plenty on the go - Cubs setting up their beds, having supper, going for a walk in the dark around the campsite and playing a lantern stalking game also out in the dark. Cubs love their torches, so it's always a challenge to get them to keep their torches turned off and develop their night vision for walking along at night! Some of the Cubs were excited at the thought of animals moving around in the bush - others were not so sure. However, by the time we got into the lantern stalking game they were more interested in the game than in being out in the dark - it just added to the fun.
The Cubs went to sleep without any major dramas and didn't wake up too early - what a strange lot of kids. After Brekky it was off to the mine. You enter into this through doors in the banks of a creek bed and travel horizontally underground into multiple tunnels - some with two levels. On the surface there are a number of openings that can be unlocked and give extra exit points via short ladders. To add to the experience, the mine had been laced with gold.... or the equivalent of gold for kids - lollies! Once the Cubs were in there, there was no way they were interested in coming out for a long time. The photos page for the Pack Holiday shows some of what they got up to in there!
The scavenger hunt we did next brought out the creative abilities of the Cubs - who would have realised there were that many four leaf clovers out there? After morning tea it was off to Archery and Billy Carts. The archery brought out some hidden talent in some and a bit of disappointment in others - but no Leaders got shot, so that's the main thing! The billy carts were interesting. The hill looked scary for some of the Cubs, who were a bit reluctant to go down it... but once they realised that the carts weren't going that fast, they were all in for a go - although some can't steer too well, so the track ended quickly in a ditch!
After lunch, it was time to keep on moving - this time to the Commando Course. This consisted of a number of obstacles in the bush with a circular track joining them all up. There were things like a pipe to crawl through, a huge frame to climb over, a log over a creek bed to run across, a balance beam that moved, and a two wire bridge over another creek bed. While some of the older Cubs treated it as a racecourse, seeing how fast they could complete a circuit, for some of the younger ones it was a real challenge to work through - they ended up achieving things that they originally were sure they couldn't - excellent stuff.
After afternoon tea (no Cub goes hungry on a Pack Holiday!), we had the flying fox and waterslide. The flying fox may not have been as long and high as the one at Mt Martha that we used on our last Pack Holiday, but they had plenty of fun on it nonetheless. The waterslide turned out to the huge activity for the weekend. Check out the photos - we ran some soapy water down it out of 20 litre containers, the Cubs (who were all wearing helmets) sat on some plastic and down they went. The slide had two sets of rises and dips on it, and on the 2nd one many Cubs got airborne, before continuing on down to the flat bit and, if they were still going, off onto the soft area at the end. Our Mum/Cook, Fiona, was there to watch and wished she hadn't! It's fine to know the kids are safe, but sometimes you'd still rather not watch! Some of the Cubs (even the smallest daredevils) were unstoppable and would have kept on going down the slide all day. To others it was absolutely terrifying and they found it impossible to go even after a number of attempts - but even they overcame that and went down eventually, with a Leader along for the ride, and were incredibly proud of themselves (and we were too) for having done it. Eventually it was time to go back for some showers... with some very muddy Cubs!
Before dinner we had a Pack Council with the Sixers and Seconds - where they got to talk about the things they like and dislike about Cubs - and what they'd like us to do in the future (more camps!). Then it was time for dinner and then our Campfire. We'd given the Cubs some skits to do in groups, so they had to first learn and rehearse them, so they could do them for us at the campfire. Some approached this very diligently, practising hard - others had a quick read through, said we'll be right and left it at that - you can tell that some turned out better than others! We had a huge campfire and songs interspersed with the skits, followed up of course with marshmallows cooked on the fire. Who knows how many some of those Cubs got through. The Cubs had loved the lantern stalking so much the night before, they wanted to try it again, so we did that, and off to bed.
Sunday morning was, as is traditional on a Pack Holiday, even quieter - some tired Cubs after a full day on Saturday. We had breakfast and then a Scouts Own, which is a non-denominational service for Scouts, in the Chapel. Then it was into the old clothes and off for the traditional flour fight - this time of course it was the battle of the Eureka Stockade. We divided the Cubs up into groups and gave them their flour and tissues to make flour bombs and then it was on for young and old. At the end of the fight tissues were everywhere on the ground for us to clean up, but the flour was mostly on the Cubs - there were some very strange sights. After the cleanup of the tissues, it was off to the showers to clean off the flour, time for morning tea (built up another appetite) and then off to our final activity - bush golf. This was similar to mini golf, but instead of all these weird and wonderful windmills and whatever else you might have, the obstacles here were sticks and stones, clumps of grass, trees and whatever else you find in the bush. One Cub told me he'd done the whole course in less than two strokes per hole - something I found a little hard to believe, but maybe he's right!
Lastly it was time for lunch (hot dogs) and packup and cleanup of everything before heading home. We had the standard photo op and then onto the bus with some tired kids (and more tired Leaders) to take home. I'd like to especially thank Wendy for coming along to help us run the camp and Fiona for bravely volunteering to come along as our Cook - the food was great. We'd also like to thank Dysons for their great help with the bus and the Butcher and Greengrocers at Warringal Shopping Centre for giving us a discount on meat, vegies and fruit. In 2010 it's on to our 3rd Pack Holiday - who knows where?
Well you'd think after a weekend like that us Leaders would need a week or so off, but no, it was straight back into Cubs on the Tuesday night with a Jungle night with a difference - joining up with 1st/2nd Greensborough Cubs. They came along to our Hall and we had a night of Jungle games and activities - celebrating Cub Scouts' link to the Jungle Book. The next week it was time for some tracking, compass work and mapping, before getting into our 3rd Cub Olympiad, where we travelled to St Louis in the US (where the real Olympics of the III Olympiad were held) for a night of Olympic competition - Rosanna Cubs style! We of course started off with our Olympic Torch Relay (and yes I was surprised how many Cubs are very unsure about holding a sparkler!). Then, divided into 3 countries from the real 3rd Olympiad, it was time for competition - like the Marathon and athletics, but also incorporating unique stuff like our gumboot throw! At the end of the night the Olympic candle was extinguished and the medals were awarded before heading home for a rest!
Next up we were due to have our District Air Activities day at Moorabbin airport, but unfortunately the weather was against us - the planes couldn't fly and we had to cancel - better luck next time. Then it was time to learn about our Australian symbols (and teach some to our US and UK Leaders!) and to finish off our 'normal' nights at Cubs for the year with a Penny Hike. This was a weird one... we have a penny that Cubs take it in turns to flip and what we get determines which way we go. We've done it before, but this year the penny was having fun and we ended up retracing our steps up and down the street, around the oval, up towards Heidelberg and back to the entrance to the Hall. Eventually, with an executive decision by the Cubs, we crossed the railway line and headed off into the wilds of Northern Rosanna.... so we did get a decent tour in the end!
Our final District activity for the year was a Beach Day down at Dromana beach. The Dromana Surf Lifesaving Club people were very helpful and provided a full program for us, including races and games on the beach, rides in the rescue boat, paddling on the kick boards and, of course, swimming. The weather was brilliant and the Cubs all had a ball - thanks very much to Dromana SLSC for their help.
And so, after the longest Akelablog ever, we're up to the end of the year, which was again marked by our Christmas breakup for the entire Group (Cubs, Scouts and Rovers). To mark the occasion we got to Invest Ari as a Cub and send Christopher and John (two of our original Cubs) off to Scouts. Before the going up ceremony though, we had something special.... the presentation to Christopher of his Grey Wolf Award. This is an exceptional achievement - the highest award in Cubs, and something that can only be earned by the Cub deciding to put in all the extra effort and work through the many components of the Award. This included earning a large number of the more difficult badges, taking part in many Cub activities, producing a resource for the Pack (check out Christopher's poster in the Hall) and fully organising a 2 hour hike, including inviting 3-6 Cubs and a Leader to supervise the running of the hike. Christopher undertook all this and achieved something that has never been done before at Rosanna since we started our Cub Pack in 2007. We hope to see many more Grey Wolf Awards earned at Rosanna, but regardless, we're very proud of Christopher and congratulate him on becoming Rosanna's first Grey Wolf recipient. He was recently photographed for the Heidelberger newspaper, so keep an eye out! After all our ceremonies and the family barbecue, it was time for Santa to turn up (Thanks Santa!) and distribute presents to the Cubs, Scouts and siblings. He did a great job and kept the Scouts in line!
So, that's it for Cubs for 2009.... and it's only a few weeks till we start for 2010! I'd like to thank Chil (Laura), Bagheera (David) and Rama (Bryan) for their fantastic support and energy in bringing the program to the Cubs throughout the year. It makes my job as Akela much easier having such great Leaders to share the load.
Before finishing though, on a broader note for the year just gone and the Scout year to come, I should comment on some of the other things that have been happening within the Group. In September Barb Brook stepped down as District Commissioner for Banyule District and as Acting Group Leader for Rosanna - she put in a huge effort for the Group over the preceding 2 and a half years and I thank her for all she's done. We needed a Group Leader and Wendy Tomlinson, who's currently acting District Commissioner (Peter Baranow takes over as full time DC on Feb 1), also took on the role of Acting Group Leader for Rosanna, with me taking on some of the hands-on functions in working with parents and our Scout Section. We've known since the start of Rosanna in March '07 that we needed to start a parent Committee to support the running of the Group and to find a permanent Group Leader (a uniformed position, in charge of the whole Group). The change in roles also provided an impetus to get this happening, so on the 20th October we held a Parents meeting to start a Committee and aim to find a Group Leader.
The meeting was well attended by parents, as well as Wendy Tomlinson and Peter Baranow. It was very successful, with most of the major roles filled and a number of general committee members signed up as well (although our expectation as a Group is that ALL families have some involvement in the Group either as a Leader or in the Committee, so if your family is not yet represented, please contact us to help out). I have to say that after working hard to help get the Group started and seeing it run by the Leaders in conjunction with the District for the last two and a half years, it was extremely heartening to see such strong support from the parents - which, having the dealings I've had with the parents, I was very confident of - but it was great to see the reality. The only positions we had yet to fill were President and a Group Leader. A number of discussions were held over the ensuing weeks and I'm very pleased to say that on our Group Breakup night in December we were able to announce that Max York (father of Christopher and Elizabeth) has agreed to become our Group Leader, Nerinda Hodgson (mother of Tegan) will be our Assistant Group Leader and Peter Warwick (father of John) will become our Committee President. This almost fills all the major roles within Rosanna Scout Group currently - with the only exception being that the fast growth of our Scout Troop, since they started meeting at our Hall in May with Michelle coming in as Scout Leader, means that we have a desperate need for more Assistant Leaders there (and if you'd like to look further into that, please let us know!).
It's great to get Max, Nerinda, Peter and the rest of the Committee on board. They are all working through the appropriate paperwork, some will have official training and all will be further trained, coached and mentored in taking on their new roles. This gives us a fantastic springboard to move forward and allows us to move out from under the District umbrella and control our own destiny - including taking over responsibility for the Hall, which has been used as the District Hall for a number of years.
So, looking ahead, 2010 promises to be a great year for our Group. Getting back to Cubs, we have plenty on throughout the year - tons of activities, Big Camp III, a Pack Holiday of course, and will introduce Gold Camp for the older Cubs for the first time this year, with an aim of making it an annual camp along with a number of Packs from throughout the State. It will help with understanding how to go about the Grey Wolf Award and getting ready for the move up to Scouts. Keep an eye out for the Program for Term 1 in a week or so and we'll see you at Cubs on Tuesday the 2nd of February!
29th August, 2009
We're well and truly into Term 3 now, so time for an update. The Cubs all made it back fairly successfully from the holidays, with only the odd injury, and got straight into a games night. On our second week back we invested Alex and had a night where we got to test out our senses. Of course the taste testing was the most popular - especially with lollies, but there was plenty of other stuff to test them out as well.
Our first Boomerang testing night for the Term (we usually do 3 per term) was all about Safety - in the Bush, at home, swimming, etc. This year's one was run by Bagheera and he took the opportunity to throw in some different stuff that the Cubs haven't seen before, so it was good to see them having to take the time to think things through. Two weeks in a row of using our brains - how painful!
Fourth night into Term and it was time for a change of pace, so we all headed off for a joint night with Montmorency Cubs. The Cubs had some warmup games and then learned some stuff about using compasses. Then it was out in the dark (well, almost dark) on the oval, as the Cubs were given maps showing where the hidden numbers were, which they had to then find and take a compass reading for a direct line back to the Leaders in the centre. It was a bit muddy out there, so I was expecting someone to fall over, but none did... although there were some distinct marks on some Cub backs where their flying feet had sprayed mud up like a bike tyre! You've heard of the 19th hole at the golf course - well here it was Chil with chocolates for all those who could find the last number (it happened to be on the way back into the hall, so it really wasn't too hard)! After that they even fed us supper before some more games, so we certainly were well looked after.
...And then for something completely different. Last year, when we had our Pack Council (Meeting of Sixers) on Pack Holiday, Bagheera mentioned the possibility of running a chess night. I'd never heard of one being run in a Cub Pack before and was a bit dubious, but the Cubs were all keen, so we decided to give it a go. We had two adult chess teachers come along, as well as a 7 year old expert. While one adult supervised things and the other one was teaching those Cubs who didn't know how to play chess, our star 7 year old played 10 chess games simultaneously, against Cubs and one Leader (Chil). I didn't hear the final results, but I believe he either won or was winning all the games by the time the session ended. Chil later told me how demoralising it was for her to be beaten so soundly by a 7 year old!
Also on our chess night, we were visited by Bagheera from 1st Taylors Lakes, along with her daughter who's a Cub there. Bagheera (Lee) had heard about us from our website and wanted to come over and check out how we did things. She picked our brains for the night and they both took part in the program. I've spoken to Lee since and she asked me to thank everyone at Rosanna for making them feel so welcome and that she took away a lot of good ideas, so that was great. We'll get to see them again with more of the Taylors Lakes Cubs, because although they can't take part in our Gold Cub Day in November, they're keen to join in with our older Cubs on Gold Camp in March.
It was time for a Boomerang night on Scientific Discovery (we don't do this every year, because it's one of the seven Boomerang tests we only need to choose 3 from). Chil had the reins and decided to try out some really weird and wonderful stuff and to get a couple of her friends to come along and help us out (and thanks very much to Heather and James)... so some Cubs were checking out live mice (I told them they were going to be eating them, but for some reason they didn't believe me!), while others were making hydrogen gas with sandpaper, nails and vinegar. We checked out the human body, fried some ice (yes, ice, not rice - we had ice-melting races too), played with flowers and finished off by making, what I'm assured was, flubber - which required a lot of glue and other unnamed substances, along with some incredible looks as the cubs put their hands in it and dragged newly forming lumps out of the slimy depths - just the sort of thing Cubs want to do and parents don't want to watch! Chil, Heather and James even bagged it all up for the Cubs to take home - who knows what the parents made of that!
So that brings us up to last week and our first Rosanna swimming night, held at LaTrobe Uni's swimming pool. I probably don't need to write much, because most of the parents stayed as spectators, but some didn't make it, so here goes! We'd found in the last couple of years that the District Swimming Night was getting a little crowded with the numbers of Cubs coming along and getting all the badgework done in the night was getting increasingly difficult. We decided to try something different and organised a night of our own. One disadvantage is that we don't get the pool for free, but the price we negotiated was good and we had some excess money available from previous activities, so we were able to offer it, for this year at least, at no cost. Our turnout was excellent - 19 Cubs, where we've usually got 6 or 7 on the yearly District nights. Most Cubs were doing their Level 1 Swimming Badge, so we gave them a couple of lanes to use while Bagheera and Rama took them through it and Chil supervised up the other end. Those doing their Level 2 Badge got tested by me in the 3rd lane. The Level 1 Cubs were all finished in around half an hour, so they then got to go over to the deep water pool, which we'd also booked, and have some fun with the rope swing. There's a lot more in the Level 2 badge, so even though we had less Cubs doing it, we took about an hour (I'm not enough of a slave-driver - I actually gave them a bit of a break between the tests where they had to swim 4 laps in each!!). That all went (mostly) really well. We had the occasional Cub who did a right turn straight into the lane divider every so often and had to take new bearings, and we had the Cub (no, we're not naming names!) who looked like he was going to drown the Cub he was supposed to be rescuing, but with a bit of a chat and a more successful attempt all was well. The rope swing into the deep pool and general free swimming time was very well received - something we haven't been able to do in previous years, and it was good to be able to have the fun after all the 'hard work'. I'm pleased to say that, after the occasional re-try, all the Cubs were successful in fully completing the requirements and passed the badge they were trying for - so there were a lot of happy Cubs going home, but I bet many slept well - especially those doing the Level 2, who ended up, among other things, swimming 12 laps of the 25m pool - two of them in extra clothes.
So, that's us up to date. This weekend is the annual District Sixers Dinner - this year also open to those Seconds who likely will be in Scouts by the time next year's one is due. We have 4 Sixers and a Second attending and I'm sure they'll have plenty of fun. We've also got our Mother and Cub night coming up - having fun and getting ready for Father's Day - then only a couple more weeks till the end of Term - which is pretty scary for us Leaders who have to organise some huge stuff for next Term! Anyway, it's time I signed off, so catch ya next time!
30th June, 2009
Welcome to the last day of the 2008/09 Scout (and Financial) year! Term 2 is so last week and kids are forcing themselves to miss out on school and CUBS! As those of you who've been along for the ride know, we've had a very busy time since my last update.
The first thing we did was to go to Watsonia RSL for the second part of our Heritage Badge. Geoff showed us around the displays in the RSL and talked about some of the wartime history they represented. We also went out the front to see the big guns. Some of the diners in the bistro may have been a bit bemused as a Pack of Cubs trooped through to see the sights - who knows, we might recruit a few! The night was finished off with free chips and soft drink for the Cubs, so the RSL made plenty of fans there!
On the next Sunday, for something different our District ran a District Canoe Day at Albert Park Lake. 1st Vic Sea Scouts have their Scout Hall there, which we were able to use. Many of the Cubs had never been in a canoe before, plus there was a strong wind, so this was going to be fun! There weren't enough canoes for all to go out together, so the Cubs were divided into groups and rotated around activities such as learning canoe safety, making model ships, playing with wind up mini boats in a pool and, of course, canoeing. They all got decked out in their flotation vests and helmets - most Cubs were taken out with an adult, although some of the older ones were able to convince that they were experienced enough to go out in an all-Cub canoe - but the later navigational efforts of some tended to call their claims into question! Despite the worries that they'd all need collecting from the far end of Albert Park Lake once the wind had blown them there, the canoeing actually went really well and the Cubs had a great time.
We've gained another New Chum (welcome Alex), and our next night back at Cubs was time to start investing some of our existing 7. We invested the first 4 into Cubs, plus Rama was invested as an Assistant Cub Leader. Alan Brook (District Leader Adult Training and Support) kindly came along to help out as we got Rama officially into uniform and a Rosanna scarf. We'll soon have his photo and some background up on the Leaders' page.
For the next couple of weeks we tried out some initiative games - to see how well the Cubs could work together as a team to beat challenges, plus saw how creative they could get with something as simple as straws as part of Handcrafts for the Boomerang badges. I think a fully functioning fighter plane was perhaps a little ambitious - the afterburners would melt the plastic after all! Also, on the Handcraft night, we invested another 3 Cubs... a total of 10 Cubs invested in 6 weeks, plus another New Chum to be invested early in Term 3 - great to see such strong growth.
In mid June we sent 4 Cubs along to First Aid Camp. You might have read about this last year, but this year was a little different - normally the First Aid Camp has been at Camp Warringal, but with it currently closed since Black Saturday, it was instead held at 1st Ivanhoe Sea Scouts' Scout Hall. So the location was different, but the work still revolved around learning First Aid at the top level applicable to Cubs. The Cubs learned a lot about first aid and, in the testing afterward, all did very well and deservedly achieved their Level 2 First Aid Badges. The parents got a bonus too - some very tired Cubs on Sunday night!
The 10 days started by First Aid Camp were our busiest time for the Term. For Cubs on the Tuesday night, it was off to Heidelberg Police Station. The Cubs were shown through the station - the watch room, talked to by some Police from the Crime area and taken out the back to look through a Police Car and to all have a look in one of the cells (no parents, we couldn't lock them up). Of course one of the highlights was the car's lights and siren, but also I think we may have had a world record for Cubs in a police car at one stage and the police also got onto the radio and let all the Cubs (very loudly) say hello to all the Police out on patrol (so much for their hearing). We only had 2 or 3 Cubs missing, so it was an excellent turnout (see our Photos Page for Jun09).
On the following Saturday it was time for our annual visit to Gang Show, followed by a family BBQ and Cub Sleepover. Chil was in Gang Show again (her 10th year) and, among other characters, played an excellent and very raucous galah! We had 47 attending Gang Show (Cubs, families and friends) and as well as enjoying Marco Polo and Song of the Bush, the Cubs competed as usual in the 'Spot Chil' competition they naturally get into! Some of the counts were a little ambitious - Chil would have had to have been playing multiple characters on stage at the same time!
Also attending Gang Show were 1st Bendigo Cubs, who again joined with us after Gang Show to come to our family BBQ and Cub sleepover. The BBQ went very well - the Leaders looked after the Cubs while the parents did the cooking - which went well on our new BBQ, except for the shower of rain! Catering is always a challenge when you have a ton of Cubs who are too interested in running around to actually eat much - but none starved! Then it was time to fill the hall up with bedding, say goodbye to the parents and watch a video before supper (banana and chocolate cake went down really well) and bed. This time the Cubs surprised us for a change and were all quiet by midnight. Then in the morning it was time for brekky and a quick cleanup before everyone headed off home.
Our final night for term was a Jungle night, but was also special as two of our Cubs were presented with their Link Badge by our Scout Leader, Michelle, and then went up to Scouts. It was our first Going Up Ceremony since our Scouts moved back to Rosanna Hall and since gaining a Scout Leader. We had them do their final Promise as Cubs, before going 'across the bridge' into Scouts.
So, it's gonna soon be time for Term 3 (sorry to burst your bubble kids). Our program will be together soon, so keep an eye on the website and I'll catch ya next time.
17th May, 2009
Well, here we are around the middle of Term 2 and it's not far to mid-year already. We didn't seem to lose anyone to Easter Egg overload, so maybe more chocolate next year? Anyway, we got Term 2 off to a good start with some games and then it was straight into Anzac Day. An intrepid few turned up for the Dawn Service at Simpson Barracks in Watsonia. It wasn't actually too cold this year, but the threat of rain turned some people away (at least initially), so we were able to get the Cubs right up the front to get a good view of the proceedings - normally it's pretty hard for kids to see anything when everyone's standing up and all they can see is the back of the person in front! As it turned out, one of the wreaths to be laid didn't have anyone to lay it, so two of our Cubs got to take it up and lay it with the others. After the Dawn Service, it was off to the Mess on the Army Base for some, and off to Maccas for others - all to get some brekkie before continuing on to the Anzac Day March at Greensborough. The Greensborough march is the main one for Scouts in our District, although some Groups take part in ceremonies at Heidelberg, Ivanhoe, Montmorency and Watsonia. We all lined up in our Groups (with flags!) and off we went. We were certainly well looked after on the March up the hill to the War Memorial - I reckon there were more police stopping traffic than I've ever seen in Greensborough! After the ceremony, it was back to the Greensborough RSL for some food and drink before continuing on with the day. The threatened rain never eventuated as it turned out. For our Cubs who took part, as well as showing respect and support for those who served our Country, it also completed half the requirements for the Heritage Badge ('Their Service, Our Heritage'). More on that later.
After Anzac Day it was time to brush up on some Health and First Aid as part of our Boomerang work and then we did our traditional thing of having a Father and Cub night as we got ready for Mothers Day. We had plenty of Dads (and a Mum who was an honorary Dad for the night!) who joined in with the games and helped make our gift for the Mums. As usual, the Dads enjoyed getting the Cubs back for all those hard times over the years (!!) in games like Chair Soccer - the Dads were told they could get each other out, but seemed intent on focussing on those Cubs! However, the Cubs got their own back when they blindfolded the Dads and guided them through an obstacle course by voice only, sometimes directing Dads into walls or each other - or at least the Cubs thought they had the upper hand - we then swapped and the Cubs were blindfolded! At least one Dad directed his Cub to crawl under a chair as part of the course!
In the last Akelablog I talked about starting up working on earning the Waterwise Badge. This Term it was time for the second part, with a night at the hall, doing things like watching ice turn to water and then to steam, checking out how much rubbish was in the backyard (that many might have thought was quite clean) and could end up in our waterways, making some posters to deter littering and having some games to help all that info sink in. Now all that's left is a bit of stuff to do at home to report on and finish the badge off - notices on that will be out soon.
Week by week as we've progressed into the Term, we've gained more and more new Chums - we invested our 3 existing New Chums early in the Term, but have gained 7 more - two younger siblings of existing Cubs, plus 5 'new' kids - welcome to Elizabeth, Tegan, Samuel, Xavier, Thomas, Andy and Stuart. It's great to see that as some of our older Cubs move on, our Pack continues to grow. Our Leadership has also grown, with Bryan kindly volunteering to come on board as an Assistant Cub Leader, and taking the Jungle name of Rama (the bull). As our Pack has grown, it has been important to gain another Leader, so we warmly welcome Rama to the fold. He's been in 'civvies' for a few weeks, but his Police Clearance is now through, so we'll be Investing him very soon.
We should also note that our Group hit another major milestone a few weeks ago, when our Scouts finished up co-locating with Macleod Scouts and started operating independantly as Rosanna Scout Troop from our Scout Hall, from 7-9pm on Wednesday nights. We have a new Scout Leader, Michelle, who has moved across from 1st Ivanhoe and will lead the Troop. With the need for Rosanna Scouts as some of our Cubs got to the age where they needed to move on, we started the Troop in July last year. With not enough Scouts initially to run a proper program, plus no Scout Leader initially, it was decided to co-locate with Macleod Scouts. The Leaders at Macleod did a great job in helping us out, and now it's seen as time to continue building the Troop at Rosanna. We look forward to them going from strength to strength.
So, this week it's off to Watsonia RSL, to learn a bit more about those who have served our Country and to complete the second part of the Heritage Badge mentioned earlier. The Scouts will change their night for the week and come along with us as well. We also have our first District Canoe Day on Sunday and are looking forward to Gang Show, the family BBQ and Cub Sleepover near the end of Term, so there's plenty of things happening - don't miss out!
10th April, 2009
Welcome back... who'd have thought that Term 1 is over already... Well and truly about time for another Akelablog. Term 1 was pretty busy - plenty of outdoor stuff happening and none of them got stopped by the weather. As usual we started off the Term with a games night as we all got used to being back at Cubs again.
The next weekend was, as you're all aware, very sad for us all, with the bushfires of Black Saturday. It seems that everyone was affected in some way and Scouting wasn't any different. Some Cub Scouts lost their lives and some Scouts and Leaders lost their houses. Camp Warringal, which many of our Cubs have been to, was also hit and the main hall, Nioka Hall was burnt down and some water tanks lost, while a new hut that had been brought in for expansion in accommodation was also damaged beyond repair. Around 240 trees are classed as dangerous and will have to be removed. There's a project underway in our District to replace them. The buildings were covered by insurance, but there'll be a lot of work getting the campsite up and running again. We're really lucky that the rest of the site - kitchen, dining, accommodation etc. were not affected. Overall as a District we came out pretty well though - paling beside all the other losses.
Our District is obviously close to a number of the bushfire areas and, as part of an overall effort within Scouting, Banyule played a part. Diamond Valley Group hosted a collection centre in their hall and a number of people, including Rovers, helped out on various things such as the bushfire support centre in Diamond Creek, plus of course there were those doing work up at Camp Warringal. Many of these activities are ongoing. From a personal viewpoint, it all came a little too close for comfort - my wife and I were staying in Marysville on the day of the fires and were in the evacuation convoy just before the town was destroyed. Pretty distressing at the time and in the aftermath, but we got out OK, so we're infinitely better off than many. Please note that, while you may have seen the Bushfire Appeal details on our website home page, it closes next Friday 17th April, so if you still wish to donate, get in now!
All of this brings us to the following Cub night, on the 10th Feb. At the starting Grand Howl we showed the Cubs about putting the flag at half mast and then had a brief discussion about things. It's easy to forget how much the kids take in when these things are happening and how important it is for them to talk about what they're experiencing.
So, moving on as we must, the following week was the first of our outdoor activities - this year we're working on another of the 'Special Badges' - Waterwise. While we could have stayed in the Hall to talk about it, we instead went for a walk to the Yarra River where we did our stuff for the badge on the riverbank, played a game and then headed off back - one good way of working off the excess energy!
Five days later was the 22nd Feb - Founders Day (the birthday of Robert Baden-Powell, founder of Scouting). Each year we try to do something special, usually as a District. This year each Section did their own thing, while all meeting up at Wilson Reserve in Ivanhoe. For the Cubs it was a Bike Hike from around Sills Bend in Heidelberg, along the Bike Path to Eaglemont Scout Hall and then down to Wilson Reserve. The route was fairly flat, so it was a nice easy ride. There were one or two minor scrapes along the way and one tyre came off a wheel, but all in all it went extremely well. Afterwards, at Wilson Reserve, we had a ceremony with all other Sections for Founders Day and then the Cubs got to either watch the Scouts and their raft races or join the Joeys on Billycarts and other stuff. We had plenty of parents who decided to come on the ride as well and I think they enjoyed themselves too! By the way, if you have a look at the Badge page, this month's "Badge of the Month" is Cyclist. After the bike hike, maybe some Cubs could continue on and earn it.
The following Cub night was time for our 2nd BBQ and Yabby night at Binnack Park. The word's obviously got out because we had an excellent turnout, including a couple of New Chums along to start checking out Cubs. We quickly got the BBQ out of the way so that we could get into the yabbying. With the drought the water was quite low, but it all worked out OK. After our Pack Holiday last year, some of the Cubs see themselves as old hands at yabbying I reckon. At least no-one got too confident - none got nipped as far as I know! We did it a few weeks earlier in the year this year, so as to maximise the daylight time - but they love their yabbying, so there was still some there as it got dark!
In the last few years, I've found that the night we do Fitness for the Boomerangs, it usually serves to highlight how unfit kids are getting these days. I have to say though, that this year they surprised me - all seemed to cope with the stuff they were doing fairly well. Maybe some could do with some skipping practice though - show them some Rocky films!
After that is was into some Cooking. Once again we got the Rovers to come along and help out, which was very much appreciated. We also have to thank Eaglemont Scouts for the loan of their fire drums. The Rovers supervised the fires that had been lit as they burnt down to coals for the cooking. While the Bronze Boomerang Cubs were cooking Damper twists, the older Cubs were making meals in foil 'pockets'. The Gold Boomerang Cubs also had to make a meal for a Leader - now that's a test of a Leader's trust in a Cub. Christopher bought in my meal that he'd cooked while I was working with the Cubs who had to also make a hot drink as part of their cooking. I asked him if it was cooked and he assured me it was... it looked OK, so it was time for that leap of faith - and guess what? I ate it and I'm still here today (as are the other Leaders), so it seems our confidence was justified.... and I don't even get paid danger money!
Our next couple of nights were for St Patrick's day and a Handcrafts night. We haven't had a St Patrick's night before, so it was great to see that the Cubs got right into it - plenty of green everywhere - enhanced by Bagheera's green spray for the hair! Being St Patrick's day we of course played plenty of weird and wonderful games. Any stress for anyone was to be alleviated the following week when we made hacky sacks from balloons and rice... supposedly for juggling, but good as stress balls too! With rice everywhere, the brooms got a good workout that night!
By this time it was almost end of Term 1, with only two more activities left - the first being the Banyule Festival. As usual, we took part in the street procession - joined this year by "Max" the cartoon Scout from Scouts Victorian Branch, plus eight big green Fleur-de-Lis - the Scout symbol - with people in them! Banyule District won the prize for Best Community Entry - pretty good eh? After the parade it was off to Scoutland at Sills Bend. Unfortunately I'm a Leader, so I wasn't allowed over any of the big bridges that had been built - I got to supervise kids doing one of them though!
And so it was time to finish the Term, this time with a 'Spyology' night. Cubs and Leaders dressed as spies (including one SpyCub who turned up in a mobile rubbish bin)! We even had one in a School uniform because "no-one would expect a schoolkid to be a spy". We stumped a few of them with the code breaking and they got a bit of history and spycraft in their games - like the Berlin Wall during the Cold War and dead letter drops! Identifying the Cub under the blanket also went well - some of them got quite good at disguising their body shape and posture!
So, that's Term 1 done and here it is Easter already. Next term's program will get worked out very soon, so keep an eye on the website. Notes will be out VERY soon for Anzac Day, because that's coming up in only a fortnight. We currently have 3 New Chums to invest in a couple of weeks as well. I believe that organising for a District Canoe Day at Albert Park in May is underway, as is a First Aid Camp for older Cubs in June. And, of course, don't forget our third annual visit to Gang Show, followed by a family BBQ and Cub Sleepover, all on the 20th of June. Notices will be out very soon - get your responses back ASAP so we can get the best tickets possible!
In the meantime, have fun pigging out on those Easter Eggs and we'll see you soon!
27th January, 2009
Welcome to Rosanna Cubs in 2009! I hope you're all rearing to go for another great year of Cubs. If you have a look at our Program Page, you'll see that while we are still working out the details for our full Term 1 Program, there's already plenty on throughout the year, so get ready for plenty of fun!
Now, before we get too hooked up on 2009, it's time to revisit the end of 2008 and see what we got up to since the last blog entry. It seems like so long ago, but I guess it's not really that far - our last night for November was our 2nd Annual Cub Olympics. We're following the original modern Olympics locations, so our Games of the II Cub Olympiad were held in Paris. It didn't seem to take too long to get there(!) and then we were into our torch relay to light the flame. After that we split up into 3 competitor countries and the games began! After gumboot throwing, camel races and the like, we presented our Gold, Silver and Bronze medals and had a bit of a rest after a very busy night. The next week it was off for a Penny Hike.... checking out parts of Rosanna and Heidelberg, with all our turns determined by the flip of a penny! We seemed to go up and down plenty of hills, and even found a cemetery that I didn't know was there! We thought the rain might get us on the way back, but in the end it wasn't a problem.
The following week was the last night for the year - our family Christmas Breakup - this time with the Scout Troop as well! After a quick setup, the parents got into cooking the food and after a while it was time for the 'official' bit - investing William into Cubs and saying goodbye to Dale and Xavier as they moved on to Scouts - and doubling the size of our fledgling Scout Troop in the process! Shortly after that, it was time for Santa who, as always, did a wonderful job with the Cubs and their brothers and sisters.
And so, that was 2008. I'm glad to say that I believe we had a very successful year. After such a pleasingly strong start in 2007, we managed to build on that during 2008 - to the point where we have almost a full Cub Pack. Earning the Chief Commissioner's Award for growth and the Quality Scouting Award for retention along the way was evidence that it's all working OK. At the end of the day, for me the real benefit is to see the Cubs enjoying themselves and keeping on coming back for more. It's happening that way so far, so now the challenge is to keep it working and improving in 2009. As I said in my speech at the Christmas Breakup, I thank Laura (Chil) and David (Bagheera) for their strong support and leadership of the Cubs throughout the year, plus Barb for her efforts as our acting Group Leader.
So, roll on 2009.... Cubs starts on Tuesday 3rd of Feb and away we'll go. Parents please bear in mind that we need some things from you.... first and foremost we need to get another Leader to support our growth. If you think it might be something you could be interested in, but you don't want to jump in the deep end, then come and have a chat so we can work out some sort of trial so you can give it a go. Also, we're looking for Scout Leaders for our new Troop, so if you think that the older kids may be your cup of tea then talk to us about that too. The other prime need we have of parents is to get as many of you as possible with Working with Children cards so that we have a strong support pool to draw on when we need it. If you haven't already done so, please have a look at the details on the Paperwork/Downloads Page. Anyway, that's all from me - see you soon!
23rd November, 2008
About time I got back to this again! It's been almost two months since the last entry and since then we've done over half of Term 4 AND had our first ever Pack Holiday for Rosanna Cubs!...so there's a lot ot talk about.
So, where do we start? We started off the Term with a Games night and then some Promise and Law work on our Boomerangs. That same week we were presented with the Chief Commissioner's Award for having increased our numbers by over 10% in the last year (ours was 75%). In addition, our Cub Pack qualified for the Quality Scouting Award, which measures, primarily, retention of members of 75% or greater from the start to the end of the year (Jul-Jun). I think that we should all be proud of ourselves as a Pack and a Group, that we were able to achieve both of these awards in our first year.
After all that it was off to JOTA - Jamboree on the Air - at Clifford Park Scout Camp in Wonga Park. The Cubs got to talk on the Amateur (Ham) radios - initially to Cubs in Eltham (such a long way away!), but then to some near Townsville in Far North Queensland. The radio reception was patchy, but we tried for a while and spoke to a few, before moving on to the other activities on offer. The Cubs got a rundown on some model planes - and impressed with some very detailed questions(!) and then got to fly some, plus rockets made from soft drink bottles. The big one, which gets clamped on to the pump and only let go when the pressure is high enough, flew for what seemed to be forever. The ones for the Cubs to pump up didn't go quite so high, but took quite a bit of effort to pump up (the younger Cubs got to work in teams) and then of course they got nice and wet when the rockets fired... which some of them weren't quite expecting! The Cubs also got to try the shuttle, which some of them had tried last year - controlling the tension on a cable that a shuttle was gliding down on, so as to drop the shuttle right into the box painted on the ground. We had mixed results, but plenty of teamwork and Bagheera got to go up a ladder to fix up a tangle. All very involving and good fun. To finish off the afternoon, we decided to do a quick run through of Challenge Valley. The parents who tagged along had expected a nice walk while the Cubs tried out the obstacles.... but weren't expecting the turbo steps and climbing up and down hills! Ah well, good exercise for everybody! Meanwhile, the Cubs got to try out most of the challenges on the course and had plenty of fun.
The next Cub night we decided to try out some Masks and Sculpture. We tried some different things - 3D sculptures out of whatever could be found outside (which Akela got to run out in the rain and save when it started pouring down!), masks and soap carving. I wasn't sure how the carving would go - we haven't tried it out before. We gave each Cub a cake of soap and a teaspoon to carve it with. Some tried writing words in the soap, and others tried various shapes. One even did a Tardis for us - might be a bit cramped for Doctor Who though! The masks were also a hit - I didn't even try to get all those who were wearing them to take them off for Grand Howl at the end of the night!
The following week was also a bit different - we had a night that followed the life of Baden-Powell, who started Scouting, by having games and activities based on various aspects of his life - at Charterhouse, in India, Sth Africa, other African countries etc. Everything was stuff we hadn't done before, and the Cubs loved it. I've got a heap of other games and activities based on all those aspects of his life, so we could even try a different version at some stage! Cup Day gave us a week off, then we revisited some knotting work for the Boomerangs. Some Cubs remembered what they'd learned last time quite well... but others had some fun learning! I think that many would have been good in the old west because they seemed to really enjoy tying ropes to horizontal poles a la tying up a horse - I never figured out why!
THEN it was time for the highlight - our first ever Pack Holiday! We headed off on Friday night, down to Mt Martha, to Bay Park - Joseph Harris Scout Camp. Through Bagheera, we'd managed to arrange with Dysons Buses for a bus for transport, which was very kind of them! We were going to have a smaller bus, but they were all gone, so we ended up with a full sized coach - so you could say that the Cubs had plenty of room! Once we got there, the Cubs were quickly sorting themselves into groups of who was going to sleep in what room in the railway carriages. The setup is really good - with a kitchen ("Bay Park Station") and three old red rattler train carriages fitted out with a dining area, rec room and dormitory sleeping areas, plus separate toilets and showers. The whole area where the carriages were was undercover, so rain wasn't going to be a problem even if we did get the promised showers.
So, we got settled in - some Cubs saw a fox and others wanted to know why it didn't stick around. I asked what they'd do if they were a fox confronted by a pack of noisy Cubs, only to be told "It would depend on my personality"! We had some supper and went for a walk in the dark. I tried to get the Cubs to learn the benefits of developing night vision, but the temptation of playing with torches was much too strong, so I got my coat pockets full of torches! We watched a possum walking around in the trees for a while and heard what may have been the fox. The other end of the camp was a bit noisier, because there were 180 Cubs camped there! We actually got the Cubs to sleep before midnight, which would have to be a bit of a record for the first night of a Cub camp.
Saturday was going to be a busy day, so we thought we'd get the Cubs up at 7am - but they had other ideas and were nearly all up at 6. This did have an affect at the other end of the day - some of the younger ones were a little the worse for wear by the evening - we live and learn! We were pirates, so we had to have a Captain's inspection - much to the horror of some Cubs. After breakfast we left for a 'hike to see the sea'. We actually saw the sea fairly early on - Dale was the first Cub to point it out - but some Cubs refused to believe that it was the sea. It wasn't till later that we figured out why. They came to tell us - "There's the sea" - and there it was, with a sandy beach visible. Obviously some couldn't place what they were seeing as the sea unless they could see the beach too. After the walk and morning tea, it was off to mini golf - plenty of exercise, as the course was set on the side of a hill - and then to try another sailing skill - sending messages with semaphore flags. That actually went better than I thought it would, although there was a little bit of confusion when looking at the pictures on the cheat sheet to determine the signal for each letter. Some, instead of putting themselves in the place of the person in the picture, were looking at the image front on and putting the flags out the side of their body as per the picture - but of course they were now producing a mirror image and a different letter to what they thought. Hopefully the lessons in spatial awareness will let them read a map without turning it upside down to go south from now on!!
After lunch it was time to move things up a gear and on to Archery and the Commando course. The archery went pretty well. It's often hard for Cubs because some don't have the strength to pull the string back far enough to get the distance they need. The fact that the arrow often falls off the bow as well does NOT help! We worked it all out though and found that some arrows are quite good at sliding under the grass and disappearing almost completely! The cubs learnt all the safety rules as well of course, and it was good to see they took it all seriously. Our star for the session would have to be the Cub who got one arrow in the black and a bullseye with the other - who was that? Check out the Pack Holiday Photos Page to see.
The Commando course was a lot of fun. We started off with the Cubs going up and over the high platform (see the pics). Although safe, it was quite high and I thought a few Cubs would baulk at it... but they all went over. Chil stayed up the top to help them get off the top grid onto the ladder to come down, and the Cubs loved it. There's some photos of some of the other obstacles as well. We were also visited by David Fairclough, the Assistant Branch Commissioner for Cub Scouts. He challenged Zach to one of the obstacles and won! Unfortunately I didn't get photos - better luck next time.
After afternoon tea (no Cub gets to go hungry on a camp), it was time for the pirates to catch their own food... yabbying around the dam. Actually there's a catch and release policy, so they weren't going to get any food out of it - just as well they'd had afternoon tea. It was a slow start, but after a while, with the poles and nets that Bagheera had brought along, plus the chunks of liver, we started getting some yabbies. Some Cubs were very focussed on catching them, while others took a much more relaxed approach. We kept the caught yabbies in a bucket of water and, when it was time to finish, we let them out and watched them 'race' back to the water. The Melbourne Cup's got nothing on Cubs watching yabbies race to the water!
After dinner it was into our pirate gear for the campfire. I'd given the Cubs some skits to do - they were divided into the group sizes needed for each one and then went off to practice. It was good to see they were all keen on it and ready by the time the campfire came around. I was amused to see that amongst all the pirates, we had one Navy Officer - which the 'pirates' immediately decided was the enemy! Bagheera had a great campfire going and the skits went well - we even had the Mums do one. The songs went pretty well too - I didn't get any complaints about my singing on the songs I led, but maybe everyone was being diplomatic. Of course you can't let a good fire go to waste, so it was time for marshmallows after that. The rain was very considerate and held off till we'd about completed that and it was time for the Cubs to get ready for bed - well timed.
So, after the early start Saturday morning, Akela got his own back on Sunday - waking the Cubs up at 7am with lots of noise! About 3 or 4 Cubs had already been awake, but the rest were sound asleep. Of course I felt very guilty about waking them up - NOT! Time for brekky and to the chapel for Scouts Own. Then it was time for the great Pirate Sea (Flour) battle! We divided the Cubs up into 3 groups and gave them all flour and tissues to make their flour bombs. Chil had taken some too and disappeared to attack later! Once the bombs had mostly been made, it was on. In the end both Chil and Bagheera joined in - not sure who came off worst - them or the Cubs! Give kids a lot of flour and tissues to throw at each other and the intensity means that it doesn't last very long before everything's been expended and the Cubs are covered in flour - so then it was back to the showers to clean up. Sannan said that he didn't need a shower - when I asked why, he peeled off his outer set of clothing and just said "Layers".... obviously thinking ahead/
The finale to the weekend was the huge flying fox - harnessed up and flying across a valley to a platform on the other side, where they hit the other side, were slowed down by bungy cord and sent back around 20-30m. We then pulled down on the wire to have them glide back to us. For some of the Cubs it was the best thing they'd ever done. For others it was absolutely terrifying - but all of them did it voluntarily and I reckon all of them would have done it again and again if we'd had time. Even the Leaders went down it and we didn't break it, so it must have been fairly strong! So, then it was back for a quick lunch, packup, cleanup, onto the bus and back to civilisation. I'd reckon there would have been some VERY tired Cubs on Sunday night. I think they all enjoyed it though - all the Sixers and Seconds at Pack Council were telling me they wanted two Pack Holidays a year!
OK, big Pack Holiday done - time for a week off now eh? Well, maybe not, because we were back at Cubs on Tuesday night to do compass trails, bush trails and mapping! Ah well, they say you can sleep when you're dead! Stick around for the rest of Term 4 with our 2nd Annual Cub Olympics in Paris, Penny Hike and Christmas Breakup - see you there.
25th September, 2008
Welcome back... it's been a while and here we are at the end of Term 3! Time moves on so fast, so of course the first thing we did after the last AkelaBlog was to go back a Century! As I'm sure you've heard, 2008 is the Centenary of Scouting in Australia and, as per the last AkelaBlog, we thought we'd celebrate it by travelling back 100 years for a games night. We dressed up and played hopscotch, leapfrog and tons of other old games and, as expected, found that the Cubs loved the games no matter how old they (the games) are! They may have enjoyed Blind Mans Bluff just a little too much - Chil decided after a while that it was time for Akela to be blindfolded. We'd explained to the Cubs that the trick is to get as close as possible to taunt the blind person without actually touching them or getting tagged.... unfortunately a blindfolded Akela was too much of a temptation, so I reckon I copped a few prods.
The next week it was time to welcome Bundoora for a return visit. We visited them last year, so this time we had them over to our hall. There were tons of kids there, but they all got in together and had plenty of fun. The paper planes was meant to be a short activity, but some of the engineering was pretty serious stuff and the flight competition was certainly hard fought.
The same week was our District Swimming Night at Ivanhoe Girls Grammar. I think that this one was the biggest we've ever had - someone was saying something about almost 80 Cubs being there. Rosanna had 11 Cubs there, with 7 doing the Level 1 Swimming Badge and 4 doing the level 2. We tried a different format this year to what's been done previously years - with specific events designed to alternately work through both levels of the badge. It certainly involved a lot of organising to ensure the Cubs got into the right event at the right time, but we got there and it was great to be able to give the kids the opportunity. Just as an aside, the night was subsequently discussed at our District Leaders Meeting (Seeonee) and the comment was made that more and more kids seem to have little or no swimming skills these days - they do a bit at school, but nowhere near as much as kids would have done years ago. I guess times change, but given that our hot summers often mean time spent near, on or in water, we'd certainly enourage parents to try to get the lessons (and have them reinforced over time) so that the kids can, at the very least, get themselves out of trouble.
Next up, after a night on our Boomerang work, was the annual District Sixers Dinner. This is held for the Sixers of the District and is hosted by a different Group each year. This year it was Macleod's turn, so off went four of our Cubs and Bagheera. It's a night for Sixers, but Seconds can go in their place if they can't make it, as was the case this year for two of our Sixers. It's just something a bit special - they have a meal, some entertainment and some fun.
Then it was time for our annual Mother and Cub night. Sounds a bit strange with Fathers Day coming up, but given that we wanted to make something for Dad, it made sense for the Mums to come. First up it was white scarves for our two newest New Chums, and then time to invest Joshua. He was very serious throughout, but I think he enjoyed it... and all the relatives with the cameras did! After that it was into the Mother and Cub stuff properly. As usual, when it comes to beating the Cubs in games, the Mums are killers - it's as if all those years of looking after the kids are suddenly let loose in retribution! However, this time the Cubs got to take the fate of their mothers into their own hands! We randomly placed plenty of chairs around the hall, blindfolded the mums and had the Cubs guide them (voice only) from one end to the other! Some Cubs took it as a challenge to get their Mum through safely, which was good... and I don't know that any Cubs were actually mean to their Mother, but some certainly weren't paying attention as their Mum ran into a chair! One Mum did the whole course with her hands clasped as if in prayer! Then some Cubs wanted to know if they could be blindfolded and have Mum guide them... brave move! I saw one Mum purposely aim her son at a wall. When he stopped one step away from it, she said "See, I said you could see under the blindfold!" Too bad if he couldn't! In amongst all that we got to make a gift for Dad, so I hope all you Dads are enjoying them.
Well, after all that, we were in our final two weeks of term and we had some special stuff for that. First up it was off to the Eastern Hill Fire Station in East Melbourne. We had plenty of Mums for transport and we got to check out all the trucks and stuff they had there. We got split up into two groups to make it easier and around we went. I'm not sure what was the most popular - getting into one of the buses used for mobile command posts, or getting into a real fire truck. They certainly all enjoyed that, as you can see from the photos. One of the firemen was put in his place by one of the younger ones... "Don't you just go out and wash the peoples' garden?" He had to explain that it was a tad more than that! After that it was inside to watch a video about all the other stuff that firefighters do and, just as we were about to finish up, there was a real fire call, so we had all the Cubs lined up at the window to watch the fire truck take off with lights and siren.
For our final night for the term, we travelled back to Egypt as Egyptians and Egyptologists. Mummys were the order of the day and there must have been a sale on masks somewhere, because we had a few of them turn up! Chil was given the unenviable task of deciding who the best Mummy was after we wrapped 3 up in toilet paper - but I think that the part they enjoyed most was the shredding of the toilet paper later and tossing it everywhere. Zach was a wake-up to all of this... as I told them to shred it all, he's yelling out "Don't do it - we'll have to clean it all up!" Wise boy, but the Cubs decided to worry about that later. The heiroglyphics had them going for a while - unfortunately for the Cubs, some hieroglyphics can have the same meaning so, for example, the hieroglyphic for the letter 'c' is the same for 'k' etc. It took some a while to decipher it, but they got it in the end.... "Cubs love their Mummys". Apart from shredding toilet paper, the game they enjoyed most was a two part one, where we had Cubs as Mummies laying under chairs (tombs) with Cubs sitting on top (doors). The rest were divided into Robbers and Guards. The Robbers had to open the doors (tagging) so that they could steal from the tomb. Unfortunately for them, when they succeeded, the tombs opened, the Mummys rose from the dead and then chased everyone! Any Cub who was tagged had to 'drop dead' instantly - with the lesson being not to disturb a sleeping Mummy! I think they'd have played that game all night if we'd let them!
So that's it for Term 3 - roll on Term 4. The program will be out shortly, so keep an eye on the Program page. We've got our Pack Holiday of course, so practice your pirating skills(!), plus the full term is Daylight Savings, so expect plenty of outdoor stuff - including our 2nd Annual Cub Olympics - in Paris! We've got Jamboree of the Air (JOTA) at Clifford Park and plenty of other stuff culminating in (dare I say it) our Christmas Party. Have fun and see you soon.
10th August, 2008
Well, welcome to almost the halfway mark of Term 3! Plenty of things have been happening, building up to last week - but a bit more about that in a minute.
We started off the Term with some cool changes for our Pack. First off, we created a fourth Six - Tawny. Cub Packs are divided into Sixes, each with a Sixer and Seconder. A normal 'full' Pack would have 24 Cubs divided into four Sixes. However, in practice Sixes will have varying numbers of Cubs. When we first formed our Sixes last year, we started off with three of them. Now, as our numbers continue to increase, there's too many Cubs in each Six... so time to move onto number four - Tawny. Why Tawny? As you'll see from our Sixes Page, our four Six names come from the four Wolf Cubs that Mowgli became 'brother' to in the Jungle Book - Grey Brother, Red Fang, Brown Tip and Tawny Fur - so by tradition, they are the colours we use. Also on that night, of course, we invested Alice and Nicholaus, so we welcome them to our Pack. It was fitting that we had their older siblings - Connie and John - help us with the investitures. Also, we were sad to say goodbye to Connie, who has decided to move on.
The next week, we moved on to learning about Safety, as part of our Boomerang training. Then, the following week, it was time to try out some Sense training. Sometimes these days kids just fall into the rut of watching TV or playing on a computer and letting the world go past... it's not so common to have to use all their senses, so we had some fun - checking out sight (through observation), taste, touch, smell and hearing. Their ideas on what they were smelling in the various packets were certainly interesting and it was fun to see how tentatively they initially put their hands into the socks to see what they were going to touch! Of course, taste was the most popular - checking out what flavours they could identify with the jelly bellies!
The following weekend was the Fantastic Scout Race. This is run by Scouts all over Melbourne. For Banyule District it meant starting from our Scout Hall at Rosanna and then travelling on trains to stations up and down the line, from Montmorency to Alphington - each representing a country and having a set of challenges for the Scouts to take part in. They got points both on the activities they took part in at each station/country, plus extra points for each station they visited, so they had to balance how many activities to do at each station vs getting to more stations. There were somewhere around 40 Scout Patrols taking part and one of those was made up of Scouts from Macleod and Yerri and Imaad from Rosanna - not yet invested into Scouts. They all had a ball and came third overall in the competition - excellent effort!
....which leads us to last week. We had a night on Self Expression, where the Cubs got to bring in items showing their many ways of expressing themselves in creative ways, whether they be musical instruments, writings, drawings, models they'd made - all sorts. When putting it all together with the Boomerang badgework, it was all pretty busy, so we didn't get a good chance to have a proper look at all that the Cubs had brought in, but it was great to see the variety of things they're interested in.
We finished up early because we had some other special stuff to do. First up, we had another Cub to invest - welcome aboard Lucas! Lucas had a variety of guests to watch him getting invested because he got to get invested on a night that was even more special than usual - as well as welcoming a new Cub to our Pack, we got to see another Cub move on and become part of the birth of our new Scout Troop in Rosanna. As some Cubs held candles and others held the 10 Scout Laws, Imaad lit the candles and read out the Laws one by one as a symbol of moving from Cubs into the Scout Troop. Then he and Yerri were both invested as our first Scouts - the next step as we build up to a full Scout Group. Our two acting Scout Leaders, Ken Bannan and Steve Tyas, were joined by the Region Commissioner for Scouts (Alan Richmond) and Brett Vains from Macleod Scouts, who all attended to do the honours, so thanks to them for helping to make it a great night.
Now that we've built up the numbers in our Cub Pack and have a good mix across the age groups, we'll be having a steady stream of Cubs who will complete their time with us and move on to build the new Scout Troop. We look forward to a Venturer Unit starting up in a few years' time, giving the older Scouts the next challenge to move on to!
So, while the Scouts move off to have their own fun, what are the Cubs going to be up to? This week's going to be different - dressing up in old gear and playing century old games and stuff, as another way of celebrating our Centenary. Then there's a joint night, swimming night, Mother and Cub night and the Eastern Hill Fire Station... and it won't be long till we start getting some info out about our Pack Holiday in November at Mt Martha - all of it sounds like fun. See you there!
4th July, 2008
Welcome to the middle of the year. It's only been a month since the last update, but there's been tons happening, starting off in Outer Space and ending up in the Jungle, with possums, circus, Jack and the Beanstalk and Bendigo in between!
The Space night was plenty of fun - we were all earning the Space Badge, and with 25 Cubs and New Chums in the Hall, it was bigger than Ben Hur. We had to learn about space, both to earn the badge and to make our trip safe - some navigation by the stars, finding out where the planets are and learning how to dodge comets and black holes. When it was time to head off in the space ship, Akela's glad no-one had a video camera to catch us lying on our backs for the launch and then bouncing around the galaxy in our spaceships (chairs) before picking them up and orbiting down to the planet. No-one was injured in the perilous trip to space, except for the Cub who reckons he broke his leg parachuting out of the destitute ship back to earth!
The possum prowl at LaTrobe Wildlife Sanctuary was a good night - especially since the rain and wind stayed away. We originally were to have every single Cub there, but we got a number who couldn't make it, so in the end we could take along all the parents and siblings who wanted to come. After dividing up into groups with a Guide each, off we went. For a bunch of Cubs who love using their torches, I was impressed that they all listened to the instructions and didn't bring one. With only the Guide's red light (that the animals either can't see or are less affected by than white light), it was an opportunity for the Cubs to experience using their night vision for a change! Hopefully, when they're in Scouts, they'll get a chance to go on a night hike. I can remember (yes Akela, many many years ago) being in Scouts up in Bendigo and going on hikes at night out in the State Forest - it's amazing how much you can see when you let your eyes get used to it... of course we'd kill anyone who turned a torch on! Anyway, what we got to see at LaTrobe depended on which group you were with. Overall, we saw kangaroos, bats, flying foxes, possums, frogs, spiders... all sorts of things. In the group I was in, we had a huge flying fox circling around us, checking us out. The Cubs mostly kept quiet enough. If you liked seeing the Sanctuary, have a look at the links on our Scouting Links Page to see some stuff about it and some live cameras.
Shortly after the possum prowl it was time for the biggest thing we had on for the Term - Gang Show, BBQ and Sleepover - for the first time in conjunction with 1st Bendigo Cubs. We had more than 40 people from Rosanna and another 25 from 1st Bendigo at Gang Show to see Chil and the rest of the cast do their stuff. The Cubs loved seeing Chil in the show - especially when in the second part she had a starring role as Jack's mum in Jack and the Beanstalk. They thought that managing to sing while crying was pretty cool... of course she had to compete with Moozart, the singing and dancing cow and the Golden Goose who couldn't rhyme! After the show it was back to the Hall for the family BBQ. Last year's was a reasonable size, but with our families, plus the 1st Bendigo guys, it was huge this year - 70+ there! That went really well - some of the parents supervised the barbecues, and thanks to Meredith for working with the other parents to get the kitchen organised for me. While all this was happening and especially after we'd eaten we got the Cubs going with some games to keep them occupied. Once the beds were all set up and the parents had gone, we had a hall full of Cubs in their beds watching a DVD before supper - just as well we had a projector instead of the TV we had last year. After supper we worked to get the Cubs to sleep. We figured that with that many Cubs in the Hall, sleep would probably be optional and, for a while that was the case. We had a few die-hard Cubs who couldn't settle down, but that was expected, so it wasn't too bad to see that all was quiet by about 12:30 or so. In the morning, it was a later than expected start... first noise was around 7:10 and of course it took all of about 5 minutes for everyone to be awake after that! There was plenty of corn flakes, rice bubbles and toast eaten, and they demolished all of the orange juice. Then, as some of our parents were turning up, we said goodbye to the 1st Bendigo Cubs, Leaders and parents and they took off in their bus and trailer. It was certainly a bit of an experiment and, with the numbers involved, I didn't know how it would turn out, but I reckon it all went very well, which was great to see. Thanks to all at 1st Bendigo and to our Cubs and parents as well, for making it such a success.
Well, after all that, the Term could easily have finished off with a whimper, but of course we couldn't do that, so our last night at Cubs was a Jungle night, with the Cubs (and Akela, the old grey wolf) dressed up as Jungle animals. There were some pretty imaginative outfits, but I guess I'd have to give the most colourful and probably most effort to Hathi the elephant.... the headdress wasn't something to wear in the games, but for the start and ending it was excellent. We got the Cubs to build their Wolf dens and had our full Jungle opening and closing, along with a number of Jungle Book based games and activities in between - a good way to get back to the roots of Cub Scouts and end the Term with a bang as well.
While we've been heading towards the end of Term, another big thing has been happening for our Group. Having had our Cub Pack up and running for around 15 months, it's time to get our Scout Troop running - giving our older Cubs a place to move up to when they finish their time in Cubs. In the early days, we'll only have a small number of Scouts until more Cubs move on - not enough to run a proper program for the new Scouts. As a result, our Scouts will co-locate with Macleod Scouts on Wednesday nights at the Macleod Scout Hall, for around 12-18 months most likely. We're looking for someone to take on the role as Scout Leader for the new Troop - with the most likely candidate being a parent of one of the Cubs going up to Scouts in the next year or so. In the meantime, our District Leader for Scouts, Ken Bannan, will be the Acting Scout Leader for the new Troop. While the Scouts will be meeting at Macleod, the plan is that those Linking to Scouts will be invested in front of the Rosanna Cubs in our Hall. Our first Scouts will be Imaad, along with Yerri, who comes directly into Scouts. The Linking process has been started and sometime fairly early in Term 3 they will be invested as the first of the new Rosanna Scouts.
So, now it's holidays... the Leaders have already got together during the first week and planned third Term, so you can check out the plan on the Program page. The first night back will be another good one for us - we've got a new Six to start up - Tawny - and new Sixers and Seconds, and we'll be investing two more Cubs into our Pack - Alice and Nicholaus. It's excellent to see that, as we send older Cubs up to Scouts, our Pack continues to grow. As you'll see from the program, there's plenty of other stuff happening during Term 3, so stick around y'all!
4th June, 2008
Well, maybe Cuboree took it all out of me... two months since the last update - seems like only yesterday! But time flies when you're having fun - we've had 9 Cub nights and have invested 8 new Cubs during that time - Dale, Henry, Christian, Kaleb, Joshua, Emily, Riley and Leuca. That means we're now up to 21 invested Cubs and two New Chums, with two Cubs to go up to start our new Scout Troop soon (plus Yerri, who's been visiting us for a bit, while we get ready to start up Scouts). It's good to see that the Cubs are all so enthusiastic and enjoying themselves.
After a games night to start Term 2, we had the Fitness part of the Boomerang testing on the second week. It's always 'interesting' to see how unfit that kids are each year compared to the years before! Ours weren't too bad this year. We always have some Cubs who are pretty fit, but most aren't physically active, so they struggle a bit doing the testing (eg. throwing a ball over a set distance). Having said that, they did try hard and had tons of fun doing it! In the end, as long as they've done the stuff to the best of their abilities, they'll pass - and they did do that, so it was pretty good.
The following week it was actually some Boomerang work again - Health and First Aid this time. This is pretty basic First Aid - the First Aid Achievement Badge covers this in much more detail - but with some of our older Cubs to attend the First Aid Camp (more on that in a minute), it was a good lead-in. THEN, later in the week, it was all on deck early for Anzac Day. We had quite a number of Cubs and parents come along to the Dawn Service at Simpson Barracks - more than last year - it made me feel better about getting up at 4:30 in the morning! I've decided you need to rug up for AFTER the service... maybe it's just that the cold finally gets in, but the coldest part seems to be waiting in line for Breakfast around 7am! After a wait in the line and a cooked breakfest in the Mess, it was time to head off for the Anzac March in Greensborough - many more Scout people there of course! After doing our bit in the March and Service we relaxed at the Greensborough RSL - a bit cramped there this year with their renovations going on! Then it was time for old Akela to have a snooze wasn't it? Hah!
Immediately following Anzac Day, our next Cub night was to complete the second part of the Heritage Badge. We had Tony Turtle from Watsonia RSL come along and talk to us about his service. His talk was a bit different, because most of his service was with the British Army in Northern Ireland. Talking about the British Army, we could have been accused of taking the Lord Baden-Powell history a bit too far, but Tony was great! He brought some things to show the Cubs... the mess kit and slouch hat were interesting, but the thing that fascinated them most was the WWII tin of sardines - still sealed after 65 years! Of course, because they couldn't see it, they all wanted to open it! ....and for all of those Cubs who still haven't done their report... hurry up - I'll be ordering the Heritage Badges very soon and you don't want to miss out!
Our next two weeks were a bit of a change in pace - first up we were getting ready for Mothers Day, so we had a Father and Cub night, so the Fathers could help the Cubs make something. The best part of course is always the games and, in this case, I must say that normally it's the Mums on their night that have the killer instinct when it comes to beating their kids, but this time there was a few Dads in games like Crab Soccer that definitely were NOT going to go easy and let the Cubs win (Peter S and Max maybe??)!! The Cubs won at least one game though, so maybe the Dads are still the ones to go easiest on their kids on these nights! The following week we were off to Eaglemont where we had a great night. It's a fairly small hall and I think we had about 36 Cubs there, so it was pretty full - so I was amazed that we could get a couple of big flash billycarts in there and race them! I think it was a toss-up for popularity between that and the chocolate eating! I think my hearing will come back eventually!
We've been pretty busy on the Boomerang work this term, to catch up after only having 7 weeks in Term 1, so in the last 3 weeks we've also done 'Cub Scout Traditions' (history of Scouting, plus Jungle Book) and Handcraft. In the latter, we decided to let the Cubs loose on icypole sticks and matchsticks plus glue, to see what they could do. Their imaginations were suitably weird, so as to ensure we were amused with what we ended up with! In between those two, we also made time to finish off the World Conservation Badge (although with the seed planting and some other bits, all have some more work to do). We're heading off to Outer Space this coming Tuesday for the Space Badge, so it's been a busy term for Badge earning!
Last weekend was our annual First Aid Camp. This is run each year for those in the last year of Cubs. They spend the weekend learning and then being tested on the Level 2 First Aid Badge. We actually go above and beyond on this camp, so it ends up being a very good grounding in First Aid for kids in that age group. They pretty much do everything except CPR, which they are generally too young for as yet. In the practical testing on Sunday I was a snakebite victim. I think some of my carers may have killed me, but it's all a learning experience! Of course it wasn't all just learning about First Aid. The Cubs got to do other stuff as well, such as the big Campfire on Saturday night and building their own fires and cooking damper and marshmallows (separately!) on Sunday morning. We had four Cubs attend this year - Connie, Hannah, Yevinda and Xavier - and I'm happy to say they all passed the badge! - and no, the spiders didn't eat you, did they ......?
Who would have thought - only 3 more weeks till mid-year! With Space, Possum Prowl, Gang Show, BBQ & Sleepover, and a Jungle night, it's still gonna be busy and fun! After that? Nothing much for the rest of the year - all quiet! Oh, well there IS the Centenary Scout Party in St Kilda Rd, Sixers Dinner, Swimming night, Gold Camp for the older Cubs, a number of new Cubs coming in as soon as they're old enough, a 4th full Six to start up (watch out for Tawny Six!) AND our first Rosanna Cubs Pack Holiday in the Pirate Railway Carriages, along with whatever else we come up with.... so maybe you'd better take off the dressing gown and slippers and get ready!
7th April, 2008 - Cuboree 5 Wrap-up.     Also see our Cuboree Photos Page
Well, Cuboree is over and what a Cuboree it was! The 5th Cuboree - the first for Rosanna Cubs - and we had tons of fun before it ended with a bang!
First off, everyone wants to hear about the big things, so we'll cover the fun we had in the last part first and then talk about the fun in the first part last!.... so here goes.....
Cuboree ran from last Monday the 31st of March, to Friday the 4th of April. On Wednesday, it was hit with the massive storm that also affected most of Vic and Tas. The Emergency Plan was activated and Cuboree, with 3,000 Cubs was locked down for around 8 hours, as winds hit (according to The Age) around 130km/h, followed by heavy rain. Gilwell Park is heavily treed and a number of tents were damaged or destroyed by falling trees and strong winds. We were in Sub Camp 9 - all our 288 Cubs were kept in our dining marquee, which was safe, given that it was in a clear area, with steel frame etc. The Cubs were entertained with DVDs, songs, craft etc. and while some were moved back to their campsites overnight when the weather had abated, others who'd had their campsites damaged enough slept overnight in the marquee. On Thursday, with most activities damaged and out of action, plus concerns about more trees falling after they'd been hit by strong winds followed by heavy rains, we were evacuated and taken home.
I have to say, that I was impressed with the Emergency Plan... the Cubs were kept safe and (mostly!) happy. It was very hard and often stressful work for many Leaders, Rovers, Venturers, Scouts, support people and Emergency Services, but I think that the Cubs were well looked after in extreme circumstances and I believe that all of those people should be very pleased with their efforts.
So that was the end bit, but what about the start bit? Well, it might have been a day shorter than normal, but the Cubs still managed to stack in plenty of fun before they came home. We started off in Heidelberg on Monday and the Cubs of course talked non-stop all the way to Cuboree. We got there quite early, so we had plenty of time to fill in, as the 'proper' activities started on Tuesday. We got the Cubs to settle into their tents, had a look around nearby and some lunch, followed by a walk around a large part of (the very large) Gilwell Park. I think it was a bit of an eye-opener for many of the Cubs to be walking quite a way and to just continually see more and more Cubs and their tents! When we got to the more historic part of Gilwell, we went to Council Rock where we had a Grand Howl. Instead of a normal one with an individual Pack, this was with the larger Cuboree Pack 906.... with 46 Cubs. At the Hall, we always talk about not going through the circle because it's Council Rock... it was a bit easier to visualise here with a great big chunk of granite in the middle! Then it was off to "Cherry Lane" - a place where a number of different small-scale activities were running for the Cubs. After some free time and the first meal in the huge marquee, it was off to the Opening Ceremony.... with all 3,000 Cubs attending! The "Wanderers" (mostly Gang Show people) put on a great show and Tristan from 1st Ivanhoe, who had closed the last Cuboree, opened this one.
Tuesday morning marked the start of the main activities. Our Cubs had successfully negotiated their first night at Cuboree and (surprisingly) didn't wake up until they were called (now that's a first!). Our boys shared one large tent and Hannah got to share with girls from other Packs (but still within 906 of course). No-one goes hungry at Cuboree, so it was cereal and hot food for breakfast, with some changes so that the lines moved faster! Time Tunnel was our first activity, which we all got to by following the 906 flag. There were around 500 Cubs attending each activity, so each one was divided into sections and sub-sections so that we could move through without anyone missing out. First off after a show where we travelled around the world, Cubs got to mix various white things to make some space food... which tasted suspiciously like sherbet! We initially missed out on the water cannons, but that was to be remedied later. In the meantime we went back to the stone age to race some Flinstones-style cars and check out some dinosaur relics! Then it was the cannons.... I've seen these in operation a number of times and maybe I'm a little sadistic, but it always amuses me to watch the eager cubs go to fire their cannons (soft drink bottles with water in them are fired from a tube with compressed air).... which they do, but to also find that they get a nice spray of water too.... always good fun!
Lunch was hotdogs or vegetarian and before we knew it, back to activities for "What If" where, at the very start, the Cubs got to do one of the things they really came for.... to get wet! First off it was down the huge water slides on the side of a hill.... maybe a bit slower than normal because of the drought, but ah well! Then it was off through the guts of a shark and into some games. The next part really tested some Cubs... multiple sessions designed to get the blood pumping were run... and between each one they checked their own pulse rate to see how they were going. Some Leaders did it too.... maybe it would have been best for them not to check! There were push ups, Pilates, Tai Chi, Aerobics, the Nutbush and the Macarena - hilarious (and maybe a chance to take some embarassing photos)! If that hadn't got the blood pumping enough, it was off to the commando course (set on the side of a steep hill, just to add to the challenge), and then finishing off with shooting a few aliens (as you do). The Cubs were getting into the swing of things by now, so after dinner it was quickly off for the night's entertainment and we got better seats! This time the Wanderers ended up moving in time to the first Scout Campfire at Gilwell in England, so we had an old-fashioned campfire night with plenty of old songs that the Cubs loved to get into. I tried not to sing too loud... some say that's better.
Wednesday was an 'interesting' day! We started off and had our cooked breakfast as usual, and then quickly got ready for our first activity - "Digging Down". Because of uncertainty over the weather, the start was delayed a little, but then we got into it and travelled back to ancient Egypt for building pyramids, playing Egyptian games, interpreting hieroglyphics, transporting Mummies, camel racing and digging for puzzles! After the Mummies had been chosen, they had to be wrapped (in toilet paper) and put into their coffins... then pushed up a hill using plastic tubes as rollers. The wrapping attempts varied in success and then there were some worried looking Cubs who had to trust the others to push their coffin up the hill... of course the worry was unfounded and no Mummies had to die a second death!! The camel races got pretty serious.... anyone fighting for sheep stations? Then, the organisers had been talking to the weather bureau and tracking the weather. We'd had very light rain in the morning (we were told that the radar was showing that most of the rain was skirting around us), but they knew that the wind was coming, so the activities closed a few minutes early at 12, so we could get back to our sub-camps - ready for the lockdown... and the rest is what you read at the start of this.
With something as big as Cuboree, I should say a few thank yous... firstly to Laura (Chil) and David (Bagheera). As new Leaders (David was only invested a few weeks ago), I think that they did really well and put in a huge effort throughout the week. I'd like to thank Fiona Sealey from 10th Ivanhoe who was our Pack Akela for 906. She did a great job with both the Leaders and the Cubs. Also, to Jan Bryar from 1st Ivanhoe, who was the Leader of Sub Camp 9, which 906 was part of. Her level of commitment and achievement is always amazing, while always making it seem so easy (which it's not!). I'd also like to thank 1st Ivanhoe, 10th Ivanhoe and 1st Eaglemont Scout Groups for the use of tents etc. for our Cubs and Leaders. There are of course tons of others who had a direct or indirect role in making Cuboree work for our Cubs, so thanks to all of them as well.
I'm glad that the Cubs still got to have as much fun as they did. It was a bit sad that they missed the last day, but we'll always put safety first and parents wouldn't expect otherwise. It was good that, even during the lockdown, the Cubs were fully enjoying themselves... the highlight of which was the selecting of people to have their heads shaved for the "Shave for a Cure" fundraiser. We started off with Leaders, but some Cubs who had parents there to give permission were determined to join in... so they did! When it was announced that DVDs would show right through the night if we had to, the cheer from the Cubs was deafening! All part of the adventure. So, they still got the experience of their (Cub Scout) life.... in 2010 some will be off to Jamboree in Sydney as Scouts.
21st March, 2008
What happened to the year?... I last wrote an Akelablog at the start of January and now it's Easter already! But, isn't Easter early? Well, just some useless information for you(!) - reliable sources tell me that no person alive has seen Easter any earlier than this (because it was 190 years ago) and you'd have to have a Gran or Pa who's 95 or older for them to have ever seen it even this early, because it last happened in 1913 - and guess what.... unless you plan on getting really old, you'll never see it again, because it isn't happening again for another 220 years, in 2228! Maybe if you're going to try to beat Methuselah, you could do it - he's said to have lived for 969 years!
Anyway, Term 1 is done and now we're getting ready for Cuboree and Term 2. So, what have we been up to so far? We got into Term 1 at the start of February with a games night, followed by some Promise and Law Boomerang testing. Then it was time for the Cuboree Orientation day for Leaders at Monash Uni. We all got to troop off down there so we could find out a bit about what this Cuboree's going to be all about, pick up some gear and generally make some plans. Back at Cubs, it was time for some initiative games. This is different to a normal games night, because the games are ones that require the Cubs to think about what they need to do and usually to work as a team to get it done. If they don't take the time to work it out, they won't be successful. We had some games inside and others outside. There were some interesting times - I think that Hannah nearly got drawn and quartered during the Nitro game!
The week after that, it was time to start work on the World Conservation Badge. As you can see on our Badge Page, there are a number of Special Interest Badges, such as Heritage and World Conservation. These take more effort to earn than Achievement Badges and, while we work to earn the new version of the Heritage Badge each year, we also try to work with the Cubs to get another of these badges - and this year it's World Conservation. It'll take us more than one night to finish it, so we got started with a number of activities, including a walk down into the Rosanna Parklands, where we had to look for evidence of how man has both improved and damaged nature.... and also to do our bit with a bit of a cleanup - the cubs had rubber gloves and each pair shared a garbage bag. We only covered about 100 metres along the treeline before the Cubs all had plenty in their bags - pretty sad really, but it was good that they could get a clear result for their efforts. We'll be doing the second part of the Badge in late May.
In late Feb, the Leaders of Banyule District had their monthly Seeonee meeting - this time was a bit different because we picked up all the Cuboree gear for those Cubs attending - shirts and hats flying everywhere! THEN it was time for the first of what I reckon were the three most interesting nights of the Term! We had our Cooking night, as part of our Boomerang testing. A number of our Rovers helped out by supplying food and gear and then running the cooking activity (thanks very much guys!). They turned up early to get the fires going (you need to let the fire settle down to coals for the best cooking) and then worked with the Cubs - the older Cubs cooking a meal by wrapping the food in foil and placing it in the coals, while the younger ones made damper twists to wrap around sticks and cook over the fire. I think some of the Cubs have never been around fire before... it was a new experience getting close enough to cook, but ensuring they stayed safe! The meals all seemed to get cooked OK, but I think some of the dampers were a bit raw - some of the Cubs found it a bit hard to stay still long enough to get the dough to cook through (that's what they didn't wear on their shirts)! It didn't matter to them - they ate it anyway!
Last week we had a Mythology night - based on Greek mythology. We tested the Cubs' memories by giving them names from mythology to see if they could remember them for the night (mixed success!) and had some fun with Pandora's Box, some messages based on ancient Greek, and plenty of themed games and activities. The following night was a Cuboree Info night for parents. It was supposed to be a District night, but only 1st Ivanhoe and Rosanna parents turned up! It was great to see that we had parents for ALL our Cuboree Cubs come along - great support.
And so, we finished off the term with two big activities. Firstly, last weekend, we took part in the Banyule "Arty Farty Fest", with the parade in Heidelberg. 1st Ivanhoe Sea Scouts led the parade as they're celebrating their Centenary - while we're all celebrating the Centenary of Scouting in Australia in 2008, 1st Ivanhoe is one of those Groups that started in Australia in that first year of 1908 - so while we at Rosanna Cubs celebrate our First Birthday, they celebrate their 100th! Behind Ivanhoe, I think that all the rest of the Groups in Banyule District were represented. After the Parade, we moved on to the Festival in the Park, with 'ScoutLand' being a prominent part. As well as recruiting, there was, among other things, a display by the Sea Scouts, maze, Scouting Heritage display, a huge rope bridge and the climbing wall from Camp Warringal. The temperature was pushing 40 and while a number of Leaders, Rovers and others had done tons of work putting the display up and later dismantling it, I was involved for a little while in pulling down the climbing wall and a couple of other things - I can't believe how many bolts there are in that wall and how long they all are!!
The second thing for the week was our final night for the Term - the BBQ and Yabby night at Binnak Park in Nth Watsonia. We had a great start to the night with the investiture of David - Bagheera. Alan Brook, from 1st Eaglemont, kindly came along in Barb's stead to perform the Investiture and to present me with a certificate for 10 years service as a Leader. It was great to be able to Invest a Leader out on an activity and to make it a bit special. I know that David enjoys Cubs, and I hope he gets a lot out of it. He's had his baptism of fire at Big Camp last year, and he must have liked it, because he's back for more at Cuboree next week! After the BBQ, it was on to the yabbying. It was getting dark earlier than expected because of the heavy cloud, but I think that it added to the fun... the Cubs loved it and, although some were sure I was making up stories about yabbies being there, in the end plenty were caught! AND, I'm surprised to say that, even in the dark, no Cubs fell in the water - amazing!
So, that was Term 1. Along the way, we've gained 3 New Chums and are losing one Cub.... Henry, Christian and Dale have joined us and will all be invested the first week back for next Term. Sabohan and his Mum are moving to Adelaide, so we said goodbye on Tuesday night. Overall the Pack continues to grow and we look forward to sending our first two Cubs up to Scouts around the end of Term 2. As I mentioned before, we celebrate our first Birthday this year - in fact it was just recently, on the 13th of March. It doesn't seem very long at all since we started this new Pack, but we've achieved a hell of a lot in that short time. I know it was very hard in the early days - both because we were teaching the whole Pack from scratch about what Cubs is all about, the Ceremonies etc., and also because you have a lot of kids who are all New Chums, looking at Cubs for the first time. Obviously, with New Chums, the whole idea is to have a look at Cubs and see if you like it, so they could decide at any time it's not for them and stop coming - having a whole Pack in that situation is 'interesting'! BUT, it all settled down and the numbers have continued to increase all the way. It was hard with only two Leaders, especially when one goes to the US for 3 months! - but then Laura came back and at the same time David was deciding he'd like to give it a go, so now it's up to 3, which is great - although we could always do with one or two more, especially as our numbers grow - so if you're interested, give us a yell!!
Well, there was plenty to talk about this time, but that's about it. Those of us going are all getting ready for Cuboree, which promises to be huge again. Next Term there's plenty happening - it's all on the Program Page, but just a few are Heritage, Father and Cub night, a Possum prowl at night at the LaTrobe Uni Wildlife Sanctuary and a visit to Gang Show, followed by family BBQ and Cub Sleepover - tons happening, as long as old farts like me can keep up with it! Anyway, catch ya later - I'll be wearing the "I survived Cuboree for the 4th time" t-shirt - if I do survive!
2nd January, 2008
Well, welcome to 2008! Now I've had time to catch my breath, I thought it was about time to put another entry in! Of course Christmas has been and gone and I hope that all the Cubs got what they wanted from Santa....and maybe the parents even got some peace and quiet! I got a new computer chair for my Birthday, so I can sit and write AkelaBlog in comfort!
Since the last time I wrote, we had a few more things to keep us busy to finish off the year. Back on the 20th of November we got to try out some mapping, compass and tracking skills. Our Gold Boomerang Cubs made a compass trail out in the back yard, with Chil's help, which the rest of us got to follow.... Some ended up trying to walk through a fence, so the techniques need a little work! We also laid trails to follow.... which was a bit of a challenge with so many sticks and leaves on the ground - made it hard to distinguish the signs from the rest! We even checked out some maps and learned something about scale, contours, map symbols and orienting a map. This was the Cubs' first taste of something they'll likely do a fair bit of as they move on through Scouts, so it was good to see they were enjoying it.
Now, for the next week, it was time to find out a bit about what Chil got up to in the USA. Chil told us about the Cubs and their Leaders that she met over there, and talked about things like Eagle Scouts, Tiger Cubs, Webelos and the like! She showed some of their badges - what for us are District Badges and fairly small, are huge badges in the US, plus a scarf and a whole heap of other stuff. Also, the Cubs from Pack 332 (Wildomar, California) had written to us, so our Cubs got to write back to them. Some letters were very detailed and some were very quickly put together, but it's all good... we'll see what responses we get!
As we hit December, it was nearly all over for the year, with only 2 nights to go. We had a Penny Hike (after we'd educated some Cubs about what a penny was)! Chil was running the night and pulled a swift one.... while any coin will do, of course a Penny makes it more 'authentic' and while most would have expected an Australian one from 1966 or earlier, Chil came up with a current US Penny! Now a penny hike means that whenever you get to an intersection you flip a coin to choose either a left or right hand turn. It wasn't looking good for us when after four coin flips, we ended up walking back past the Hall, having done a block around De Winton Park! Luckily the next flip at Manton St and St James Rd had us going across the railway pedestrian crossing and we were off to see something different! After working through Rosanna, up to Rosanna Primary School and back through Rosanna Parklands, we made it back to the Hall and the Cubs, some of whom would have us believe were dead on their feet, managed to still have the energy to run around on the oval!
And so, to our final Cub night for the year! Having some of the Rovers (Ross, Ben and Laura/Chil doing double duty as a Rover and Leader!) along helped make it our Group Break-up (it'll be different next year with a Scout Troop too!) I don't have to tell the parents much about this as they were almost all there - great to see such a strong turnout. We got the BBQ fired up in the back yard and the Cubs managed to get train chasing (along the fence) out of their system, in time for us to be lucky enough to score a visit from Santa, who handed out gifts to all the Cubs and their siblings. After everyone had had a feed, it was time for the official part of the night. We started off with making John a Seconder and moved on to invest Ben into our Pack. It's great to be able to do this because it means that ALL the parents and families get a chance to see someone being made a new member of our Pack - helps build the strength of our Group. The Rovers weren't left out - they had some badge presentations to do as well, which I also think is great because it means that the Cubs get to see that even at that age (18-26), the Rovers still go out and earn badges.
So, that was it for 2007.... it's been a big year for us - the start of our new Cub Pack and Group in the Centenary Year of Scouts around the world, plus Big Camp and a ton of other stuff. Now, in 2008, we have the Centenary of Scouts in Australia and a year the Government has designated the Year of the Scout. Shortly after celebrating our Pack's first birthday in March, we'll be off to Cuboree 5 at Gilwell for a fantastic 5 days. As you can see already from the Program page (with more details to come, especially for First Term), there's plenty more District stuff happening PLUS late in the year will be our first Pack Holiday to look forward to. The poor old Leaders (!) have a few more weeks' rest and then it's Game On for Cubs in 2008!
See you at Cubs on the 5th of Feb......
18th November, 2007
Hi. Sorry I'm a bit slow off the mark again this month.... but at least there's been plenty happening to talk about!
Last time I wrote was just before the start of this Term, and we've done plenty since then! We got into the Term with activities on the first two weekends! First up was a trip to the Immigration Museum in the City, where there's currently a display on Scouts immigrating to Australia. We all hopped on the train at Rosanna, while other Cubs in the District also hopped on at their nearest Station. In the City, it was a short walk to the Museum, where we were all given a pack to fill out. There were some questions to find the answers to throughout the Museum - getting them all right and figuring out the Code Word would give each Cub a prize! Now, personally, I think this was good and bad! Firstly it was good because the Cubs got to check out the whole Museum as they searched for clues. It was bad because, for some Cubs, that was ALL they did! - ignoring pretty much everything that wasn't an answer to the clues! Anyway, we worked on that a bit and I think that in the end the Cubs did all get to take in a fair chunk of info about Australian Immigration, so it was good stuff. All the Cubs qualified for their prize.... so we all got a weird finger puppet. I scored one too, which of course half the Cubs decided was better than theirs and wanted to swap! Off we wandered to Birrarung Marr for lunch and the Cubs got to play in the playground, which is actually a lot better than it looks from a distance!
The following Saturday was JOTA - Jamboree of the Air. This is run worldwide over the same weekend each year. Joeys, Cubs, Scouts, Venturers and Rovers talk to each other over Amateur Radio all over the world - only limited by the where their radio can connect to! There's also another component - JOTI - Jamboree of the Internet, which uses chat software for communication. We went out to Clifford Park Scout Camp (in Wonga Park), where they were running JOTA plus a number of activities to make it more fun and interesting. In the couple of hours that we were there, the Cubs talked to other Cubs on the radio, played around with the controls for some radio controlled planes, watched a rocket being fired off, and a radio controlled glider, and took the controls of a flying shuttle - controlling the tension on a rope, so as to get the shuttle to land in the right spot. We also got to have a bit of a look around Clifford Park, which is a pretty big place! It's always interesting to watch Cubs on the radio... often kids that never shut up get on there and suddenly have no idea of what to say...but with a bit of help they figured it out and all had a good go!
Back at 'normal' Cubs for a few weeks, we had an Aboriginal Culture night and "The Cub Crusade"! The culture night was fun... we had cardboard tubes for didgeridoos and dowel for clap sticks. I taught them the theory of playing a didgeridoo.... and I do say the theory... I can't play one for nuts! A few reckoned they could master the art of blowing into the didgeridoo at the same time as they breathed in, but I think we all need some more practice. Anyway, we got them sounding fairly musical, which is as much as you can ask for from a non-experienced bunch! After that we got into the painting, which showed up some very nice artistic flair - especially Irum's, which caught my eye.
And then the next week was the Cub Crusade! We got the expected slew of Indiana Jones lookalikes, but I'd have to say full points for originality for some... we had the German who works for Hitler, the German femme fatale, and even a young Indiana Jones as an American Boy Scout! The Cubs had a great night, with activities from running from a huge rolling rock (that looked suspiciously like Akela), to eating chilled Monkey brains with our eyes shut (funny - they tasted just like red or yellow jelly!).
All of which leads us up to the biggest event of the year for our Cubs - Big Camp II. Eight of our Cubs, along with nearly 200 others from around our and nearby Districts headed up to Camp Warringal, north of Whittlesea, for 4 days of fun, excitement and..... rain! Who would have thought that in the drought we're having, we'd get so much rain in such a short time! At least we were luckier than Melbourne and Geelong, that copped even more! However, in the true tradition of Scouting, we just got on with it and had fun regardless of whatever weather was thrown at us! We got there early on Saturday morning and some of the Cubs saw something they'd never seen up close before.... a tent! With Leaders, parents and Cubs, up went the two tents - an 18x12 for the 6 boys and a smaller one for the two girls. Down went the tarps and in went the bedding.... and before long there were lessons to be learned.... like we don't take all our clothes out of our bag and put them onto the ground where they'll get soaked as soon as the rain comes, do we Zach? Next morning we got to organise a trip for a Leader into Whittlesea to dry the clothes at the Laundromat... thanks Davo! There were lots of things to learn about camping and activities... and that's what it was all about - getting ready for Cuboree next year, so it was a great introduction for our new Pack.
Our first activity was canoeing/kayaking.... it was cold, but of course some Cubs couldn't resist tipping their craft over and getting soaked.... and then of course others had to join in... Akela's not silly.... they bought the craft to shore by themselves to get turned upright! Some were a bit squelchy on the way back! The Cubs certainly enjoyed the Horse riding... except for Sannan, who fell off. However, although he got a sore hip for a while, I think he enjoyed the overall experience! Saturday night was VERY wet. Some parents couldn't handle it - one (not from our Pack) called the camp at 1:30am to make sure we hadn't floated away! Sunday wasn't so bad... still cold and showery, but we got stuff done in between....and just try and stop them going on the flying fox - even if it was pouring rain! I should say that while the Cubs were awake before 6 on Sunday morning, I got to wake them up at 7:15 on Monday and they were still asleep at 7:30 on Tuesday! So, on Sunday there was all sorts of stuff - minigolf, bikes, climbing wall, archery, crate stacking, flying fox (sorry - aerial runway!), bush skateboards, stilts and mulching, + a Disco! I think that is was a toss up between the flying fox, bush skateboards and crate stacking for most popular. They thought it was a good idea to try to run over Akela with the bush skateboards while he was taking photos.... missed me tho! By Sunday night the rain was finally clearing away and Monday morning was more fun with Billycarts, some Scouting Heritage stuff, and then onto Funfields Adventure Park.
The BIG thing Monday night was the 1860's 7 pounder cannon... check out our Videos page! It was brought in by a Leader from Greenhills and, even firing off blanks in a fraction of the normal charge, it still went off with a huge BANG!.... many times! Then it was off to a campfire with songs.... something I don't think any of our Cubs have experienced in that form - especially the Cub Haka! (again, see the Videos page)...... and then, on Tuesday morning it was all over - time to pack up the tents and go home! It was certainly a huge experience for the Cubs.... and now they're pumped up for Cuboree!
I was very ably assisted on Big Camp by Samuel's Dad - David. He worked very well with the Cubs and enjoyed it so much he's decided he'd like to become a Leader, so we welcome him as Bagheera to our Pack.
What I didn't mention so far is that on the Monday of Big Camp I disappeared for a few hours... to go to Melbourne Airport and welcome Laura (Chil) back home after 3 months overseas. In the last month she'd done things such as heading off to Arizona for a few weeks, going to the Grand Canyon and spending a few days at Disneyland and some other parks. She'd had a lot of fun, and could have found plenty more to do over there, but I'm sure she's also glad to be back! The Cubs wanted me to bring her out to Big Camp to say hi.... but she just wanted to crash in bed!! She was back at Cubs this last Tuesday and will be running a night next week on her time with the Cub Pack from Wildomar, California.
So, how do we top Big Camp? Well we can't really.... not until at least Cuboree next year! In the meantime, to bring us up to date, we headed off to Athens on Tuesday night for the first of what I intend on running annually - our Cub Olympics! We commemorated the First Olympiad of the modern era at Athens in 1896....the Cubs took part in some weird and wonderful events including the gumboot throw! Next year, we'll be up for the 2nd Olympiad in Paris, 1900!
Well, I've really rabbited on this time.... time to say goodbye as we move towards the end of 2007.... See ya next time!
5th October, 2007
G'day. I thought I'd get radical and do this update only a month after the last one - very efficient eh? Well I guess the Cubs won't be too happy to realise that today's the last day of the Holidays - back to school on Monday! Ah well, CUBS is back on Tuesday!!!
So, what HAS been happening since last time? Well, there's been a few things, so here we go. We started off the month with a visit to Totally Reptiles, in St James Rd, the other side of Rosanna Rd. Lachlan and Zach's Mums had told me about it at the swimming night, so I gave the shop a call and they very nicely agreed to run an hour session for us. Some of our Cubs informed me they "don't walk!" - but they're in Scouting now, so it was time to start their education! Off we went and checked out the Lizards, snakes, turtles and other animals there... it was great. The people brought out all sorts of animals for the Cubs to look at and they learned a lot. I think that it was a good thing that the Scrub Python stayed in its cage - it's as long as a school bus! I think that the Cubs were quite surprised when the turtles put in a bit of a sprint! I wonder how many Cubs now have a reptile for a pet!
The next week we got into some Boomerang work, looking at Symbols of Australia. For Bronze it's mainly about the Australian Flag, Silver focuses on Victorian symbols and Gold on the Australian Coat of Arms. I think that the best part is that the Cubs doing Gold have to teach the Bronze Cubs how to roll the flag.... then we get to see who teaches who!
THEN.... it was the big finale for Term 3.... Dragonology. With plenty of input from others, I've developed a program based on the 'Dragonology' book, so we had the Cubs dress up as Dragons or Dragon hunters.....although it was a bit of a struggle getting across to the Cubs that a Dragon hunter in this instance is looking to preserve dragons, not kill them! We had plenty on for the night - 'Akelion' the Dragon Hunter showed them all the equipment they'd need... like the flame proof note book, map book, pen and camera, helmet, goggles, radio.... and a fire extinguisher if it all goes haywire! Of course they didn't realise they'd have to remember all the gear for their own Dragon Hunter books later. They had to decipher a 'dragon code' in the book too, which was interesting.... they all naturally formed into small groups to help each other. Also, we went outside to follow the trail left by a dragon - who seemed to have taken roost in a tree! The night wound up with making dragon faces on biscuits (icing and lollies... of course the Cubs had to be forced to do that!) and using garbage bags to make the best dragon... we even had a little brother join in to get decorated as a little dragon! Check out some pics on the photos page.
So, what's Chil (Laura) been up to? Well, up until recently, she's been in LA. Through our website I was contacted by a lady named April from Cub Pack 332 in Wildomar, California. I'm told it's around 2 hours drive south east of Hollywood. She was looking for penfriends for their Cubs, but was quite excited when I told her that Chil is currently over there. April arranged to drive up to pick up Chil and take her to Wildomar. They did some stuff during the day with April's family, and Chil was to attend their Cub Scout meeting that night. In the US, as I understand it, they divide their Packs up into 'Dens', which have separate meetings with a "Den mother". Then, every so often (monthly?) they all get together for a meeting of the entire Pack, which was what happened on this night and Chil was the guest of honor.
In this case there's 50 Cubs and, as they were a bit concerned about having a proper chance to meet with Chil, they organised a dinner with the Scouting families prior to the Cub meeting. I'd emailed a heap of Rosanna and Australian Scouting stuff over to April, which she had printed and put onto a large piece of cardboard to make a poster, which gave Chil something to work from as she talked to the Cubs about our Cubs and about Scouting in Australia. The Cubs there are writing to our Cubs here in Rosanna and we'll arrange to write back to them! Chil has told me she had a fantastic time and April has emailed me to say, among other things, "The pack meeting went GREAT!!! The kids were so interested." - so it was great to see it went so well. We got some photos back, so I've wacked them up on the site for you to have a look at. So, Chil's headed off to Arizona now - staying near Phoenix for a week or two and visiting the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas. Then she'll be heading back to LA and going to Disneyland and then back to Aus just before Cup Day!
So, what's coming up? Well, of course we're into Term 4 on Tuesday, with a games night and Investing Samuel. We've got something on for the next two weekends.... next Sunday is the District visit to the Immigration Museum and the following week we'll get into JOTA - Jamboree of the Air, out at Clifford Park. We're also going to try out some Aboriginal culture and craft, and because the Dragonology night went so well, I thought we'd try a different dressup night, as we get into "The Cub Crusade"! All of which leads us up to Big Centenary Camp at the start of next month. Plenty to keep us occupied! Ah well, that's about all for this month... see you at Cubs!
1st September, 2007
Well, it's been almost 2 months since I last wrote here... pretty slack, I know. And there's a lot been happening, what with Chil going off to the US for 3 months and us getting a fair way into Term 3. All I can say is that with Chil going off to have fun, it's pretty busy trying to run a Pack of 14 Cubs on your own (14+ now!), so some things like this and the Badge of the Month have suffered a little... Ah well, such is life...here is your update, so on with it!
We started off Term 3 by having some fun with games - burn that energy off(!) and then straight into some Boomerang work the following week with 'The Natural Environment'. Chil even went off to photograph some 'roos as part of helping us learn about it all, and we sorted out who knew how to sort out rubbish. Following it up the following week was a Handcraft night... The Cubs got to let their imagination run free and create their own Aussie animals... but not just any animals.... mixed ones! Like a kangabat, or a bilbaroo.... whatever they could imagine and make! Some Cubs were a bit tentative at it, but others really let themselves go!
This was Chil's last night before heading off for the US.... although she did have one more engagement.... she and 3 of our Cubs went to the annual Sixers Dinner - this year at 1st Ivanhoe Sea Scouts Hall. Sixers Connie and Xavier, as well as Ethan (standing in for Hannah, who was on holiday) went along, had a meal, and watched the entertainment - including the Leaders' weird and wonderful collections.
Something you might find interesting.... on Sunday the 5th of August, the Scouts of Banyule and Nillumbik Districts held the "Fantastic Scout Race" along the railway line from (I think) Montmorency to Darebin. They all started from our Hall at Rosanna and then, working in Patrols, were given clues as to which station to catch the train to... at each station there was a 'Country', where activities could be done to earn points. When they'd finished, they'd get their Passport stamped and a clue to their next 'country'. As we don't have a Scout Troop (YET), I helped out 1st Ivanhoe. Their country was the UK, where Scouts did stuff like Caber Tossing (complete with a Scout Leader in a kilt!), cricket, line heaving and others... all up around 9 things they could do... they had to do a minimum of 4 before moving on to the next Station. The Scouts all had a great day - something to look forward to!
At lunchtime on Tuesday the 7th, Chil took off on her way to Auckland, NZ - then on to LA. After MANY hours cramped up in 'cattle-class' on Air New Zealand, she arrived in a nice hot LA! (most days recently have been in the mid-high 30's - see what today's weather is (click on 'metric' if it's showing Fahrenheit). So where is she at the moment? Staying with friends in the Nth Hollywood area, not far from the Hollywood Hills and the film studios. Soon she's off to Arizona, Las Vegas etc., and back to us in early November. You can keep up with her occasional updates of what's going on, by looking at her "Reni in the USA" 'blog site'. Note that it's 'PG', so Cub parents should look at it and decide if it's ok for their kids. They're 19 hours behind over there.... add 7 hours to the current time, then take off a day!
So, back to Cubs... while Laura was flying somewhere between Auckland and LA, we were doing the first Achievement badge for all our Cubs - Codes and Signals. The paper we used was a bit too absorbent for our food colouring to show up our secret messages as well as we'd hoped... but it worked reasonably well! I wonder how many tried to use secret codes at home! We continued on with our badgework vein the next week and, back on Boomerangs, learned about Safety. I should say that all along the way we've been having parent helpers come out and help me each night, which has been great. Even with a couple of us, running Boomerang work for 3 age levels has been challenging, but we get there in the end!
On Aug 21 it was time for something different... initiative games. I told the Cubs that they'd need to use their brains for these, in order to figure them out. Some Cubs still took it as a way of just mucking around, but they did figure out that if they wanted to be successful, they did have to work together! In the same week, we had our annual District Swimming night at Ivanhoe Girls Grammar Swimming Pool. We had 10 Cubs turn up, which was an excellent turnout for a 2nd night of Cubs in a week. A few Cubs are still working on the swimming, so some were able to play in the water, while one got as far as he could, leaving less to finish off. We had 7 earn their Swimming Badge - a great effort. The races were fun afterwards, then it was time to hit the showers.
All of which got us to last week - our Mother and Cub night. We had a Father and Cub night to prepare for Mother's Day earlier on in the year, so this time it was time to try it with the Mums coming along before Fathers Day. I must say, I've run Mother and Cub nights in the past, where the Mothers were clinical killers when it came to getting their own back on the kids! However, in this one, they were much quieter and nice - all very disappointing really! ....Although I did notice that they quite happy when they won the 2nd part of the chair race in the first game! Under Mums' (or Aunty etc.) supervision the Cubs made something nice for Fathers Day, giving us enough time for more games before finishing. A week before, a new Chum, Samuel, started with us, so this week it was time to give him a white scarf.
The last Scouting thing I did for the month was to go to the footy with the 1st Ivanhoe Sea Scouts last night.... Collingwood lost... bummer!
So, only 3 more weeks for Term 3.... and still plenty happening, what with stuff like a walk up to Totally Reptiles for a session this week, and "Dragonology" to finish term. Don't forget to start getting a dragon or dragon hunter costume ready... and don't forget also that the Dragonology night will be on Monday the 17th.... I'll be away with work on the Tuesday! Of course, coming up next term is Big Centenary Camp!. It'll be great fun.
Anyway, that's us up to date.... I just had a look, and saw I got around two months' stuff in about the same amount of text as last time.... mustn't have rabbited on as much! Email me if there's anything else you'd like me to cover in future!
See you in the future....
6th July, 2007
Well, we've completed our first full term as Rosanna Cubs - not bad eh? As usual, plenty has been happening over the last month... dunno if it ever stops! Ah well, here I am relaxing through the School Holidays.... putting up another edition of AkelaBlog!
The first thing we did since the last Blog was to have a Scientific Discovery night. As I said last month, Chil was busy with rehearsals for Gang Show, so Hannah's Dad came along and helped... shortly before they took off on a 15 week trip around Australia... lucky them! We measured things, steamed up the kitchen, had our two Gold level Cubs trying to talk underwater and all had sparklers going in the dark! Good fun!
The next week we moved Cubs to a Monday for a change and visited the Greensborough RSL. For some this was the final part of their Heritage Badge... for others it was the first part. The President of the RSL and his offsiders looked after us well - feeding us with plenty of party pies and other hot food, plus drinks, while they talked about service in war, poppies and showed us some artifacts like an SS helmet, hand grenade, gun, cutlass etc. The Cubs enjoyed it and the reports we've been getting back indicate that they did actually learn stuff!
Then, it was time for our biggest activity so far - Gang Show, BBQ and Sleepover! On Saturday the 23rd we went to the matinee of Gang Show - the second of nine performances held. We had something like 23 of us there - parents, Cubs, siblings - and the Cubs were on the lookout for Chil in the show. She had them all laughing with her part in the first half and overall all I've heard back from the Cubs and their families is how much they enjoyed it. Then we came back to the Hall for a family BBQ. We had the parents joining in to help - cooking the BBQ, working in the kitchen etc., while I endeavoured to keep the Cubs occupied! After the BBQ and cleanup, it was time to say goodnight to parents and settle in for our Sleepover. Connie's Mum stayed so we'd have enough adults for supervision. A bit of a baptism of fire, but I thank her for coming and hope she enjoyed it!
We had setup our beds and played some games, then it was time to watch some videos. First up we watched one on the last Cuboree in 2005 - giving the Cubs some idea of what sort of things to look forward to when we go to Cuboree with 3,000 other Cubs in April next year! After that we watched Finding Nemo and then, of course, Supper!... well, all except Sannan, who had carked it by that stage and was sound asleep! NOW.... the amazing thing.... we finished Supper and sent the Cubs to bed.... and they were all quiet by 11:30 ! Unprecedented in my experience with Cubs! And they didn't even wake me with their noise until after 6:30am! After that it was almost all over bar the shouting.... toast and cereal for brekkie, pack up the bedding and off home with the parents who'd just had a night of quiet! I'd like to be able to say I went home to go back to bed and get some rest... but no such luck. - Such is life!
The following Tuesday was the last of Term 2. With Chil doing her 4th Gang Show performance for the season, Sannan's Dad kindly came in to help. By far, the highlight of the night was Investing another 3 Cubs. One by one we invested Irum, Imaad and Sabohan into our quickly growing Pack. Still looking for more Leaders.... any takers out there? We moved on to have a Jungle night... focussed on games based on the Jungle Book - trying to wear the Cubs out before the end of Term!
The Term wasn't quite over for Chil... she had shows throughout that week, culminating with two shows on Saturday. I attended the finale - it's always interesting to see how the Gang Show changes a little in various areas throughout the performances - as things that don't quite work well are re-jigged and small improvements are made everywhere...... and then it's all over for another year! Chil loved it as usual and now she's focussed on her next big thing for the year - heading off to the US for 3 months in early August.
So, it's back to Cubs in a week and a bit... what's happening in Term 3? Well, it's a surprise at the moment! (OK, we haven't sat down and worked out the program yet, but it won't be long, honest)! So far, I know we'll be having a Sixers Dinner and hopefully a District Swimming night. But for the rest of it, you'll have to keep an eye on the website for the new program to arrive soon!
Don't forget... Big Centenary Camp is coming up on the Cup Weekend in November.... if you haven't already done so, get those applications in - we'll get those tents organised and get out there for four days of camping and, of course, FUN!
Well, that's it for me! catch ya soon!
11th June, 2007
Welcome to...the next entry!. It's been a busy month - tons to talk about!
For starters, we had our Father and Cub night. The aim was to have some fun and make something for the Mums for Mothers Day. But the games were first and those dads were killers... no quarter given.... let my son or daughter win? Not a chance! The Cubs managed to win one game, but that was like a red rag to a bull - there was no way they were going to be allowed to win the next one! We made bath bombs for the Mothers Day gifts - it was all a bit tentative at first, but then they all got the hang of it and there was no stopping them. I reckon some of those bath bombs would be pretty strong with the amount of essential oils and colour that went into them!
The next week was started off with the 2nd of our Investiture sessions. This time we had 7 new Cubs to invest and so we did! We Invested Connie, Xavier, Hannah, Sannan, Brandon, Christopher and Zach. We also have 3 more New Chums, getting ready to get invested in a few weeks. Our Pack continues to grow!
Now some of you who've been paying attention will know that Chil (Laura) is, as well as being a Leader with our Pack, a Rover in the Flinders-Petrie Rover Crew. Rovers is the final youth section of Scouting - for those aged 18-26. Flinders-Petrie Rovers are based in our Hall and, with the creation of our Group (Rosanna Scout Group), of which our Cub Pack is the first operating Section, they've formed an association with us. We had some of the Rovers help out with our first Investitures last month and then, on the 22nd of May they came to Cubs and ran the night for us. I think that both the Cubs and the Rovers got a lot out of it - especially the Cubs with all the lollies they got! The Rovers taught the Cubs some knots, and played some games - including the now-famous catapults!
This last weekend the Rovers were all out at Mudbash - they go to Mafeking Park and race cars they've prepared around in the mud all weekend - a typical activity for Rovers!!
A couple of weeks ago we headed off to Essendon Airport to visit the Air Ambulance. Ethan got strapped into a stretcher for a ride on the plane's hydraulic lift - I think his Dad would like to buy the straps! We checked out the planes and then drove over the other side of the airport to see the Police Air Wing and the Police and Ambulance Helicopters. The Cubs loved it and I was impressed with their behaviour and the good questions they asked!
Well, after that it was into June - last month of term - and time for a visit to Bundoora Cubs. For the last few months we've been focussed on our own Pack - getting it up and running and learning what it's all about. I'd approached Bundoora Cubs and they kindly agreed to having a joint night and even got a number of their Scouts to come along and help run it. The night started off with a walk in the dark for a bit and then back to do four bases based on 'CSI' - codes, fingerprints - all sorts of good stuff. The Cubs from the two Packs joined in and worked together really well - it was a really good night. Thanks to Bundoora for their efforts.
And so, we're about up to date! We've got a few weeks to go for this term and still plenty happening - does it ever slow down? Tomorrow night is going to be ambitious - Scientific Discovery while Chil's away at Gang Show rehearsals - Hannah's Dad has generously agreed to help out, so we'll get there in the end - should be fun! Then next MONDAY we've got our Heritage night at the RSL, on the weekend we've got our big Gang Show / BBQ and Sleepover.... and then if that isn't enough we're gunna finish off the Term with a Jungle night.... and we might even have some more investitures........ and then there's Third Term!!!
6th May, 2007
Here we are with another entry and now we have our first invested Cubs in the Pack and more to come in a couple of weeks!
We started off the Term with a games night... I've found that the first week back at Cubs is usually one where the Cubs have plenty of energy and haven't settled down after the holidays yet, so we focus on having some fun! In the next week we started on some badgework with the first night of working on Boomerang badges - depending on their age, our soon-to-be Cubs were started on either the Bronze, Silver or Gold Boomerang. We started the Boomerangs with Health & Safety, which ranged from talking about generally looking after your health, to passing messages (need to do this accurately if there's an accident) and on to some bandages and slings. Learning how to focus on the badgework was a new experience as well as the badgework itself, so it was a challenge, but good fun to see - especially some of the slings!!
Of course, the 25th of April is Anzac Day, which is always a big day for Scouts. We started off the day very early with the Dawn Service at 6am at Simpson Barracks. Xavier, John and Christopher made it out of bed to come along and take part in the service along with thousands of others! Then we went off for a cooked breakfast in the Mess... time to warm up and have a chat!
A little later on, it was time for the Anzac Day March at Greensborough. Hannah, Lachlan, Yevinda and Xavier came along to join in - and got to march with Chil and I at the front of the Scouts - just behind all the District Flags. We marched up to the war memorial and watched the service, before heading back down to the RSL for some free drinks and food! Some of our other members took part in Anzac ceremonies elsewhere, which we'll be counting towards the Heritage Badge.
The Cubs who come along to take part in Anzac Day enjoy their time there, which is great because it's important to try to get them involved, so that they can get a better understanding of those who served for us.
All of which brings us to last Tuesday - our first Investitures! Our first four to start - Lachlan, Ethan, Yevinda and John - of course are our first four to be Invested as Cubs. Because it was a big night in the history of our Pack, Barb invited all those who play a role in the Leadership of our District (eg. District Leader for each Section), plus some such as Ada Wilkinson who has been involved in our District for a very long time. We also had Cr Tom Melican come along - he's going to be our next District President I'm told - and we presented him with one of our scarves.
So, to the most important part - our 4 starters were brought up to the front, along with Hannah and Sannan to hold the Cub Flag and, with parents watching and taking pictures and videos, we created our first Cubs! We congratulate and welcome them. They'll be the first of many as we Invest another 7 on the 15th - more on that in the next entry! We continued on the night with some more badgework - Cub Scout Traditions - Chil wrote the program and you wouldn't think she was a new Leader - it was great with all the learning being done as part of games and fun activities - something that's often hard to do when you've got to get so much covered - well done!
OK, that's all folks for this time! Looking forward to Gang Show in June - don't miss out - get your forms back this week! Also Father & Cub night, Rover night and Air Ambulance visit all coming up this month - get on for the ride! See ya later!
1st April, 2007
Well, our Cub Pack is now officially 3 weeks old! Not long at all, but a lot's happened in that time. We got started 3 weeks ago with 3 'New Chums' - Lachlan, Ethan and Yevinda. It was still Daylight Savings, so we spent most of our time outside having some fun and even doing some Gold Boomerang stuff with our trails and tracking!
Week 2 had a huge jump in numbers, to 4, with the arrival of John! Doesn't sound like much, but the numbers were growing, and that's what we were after.... it would have been pretty demoralising to have started a Pack and have two leaders sitting by themselves twiddling their thumbs! One thing that's different for us as Leaders is that normally when New Chums come along, they pick up plenty of stuff from just seeing what the other Cubs do. Of course in this case they're all new, so we get to teach them everything from scratch (and Chil even gets to pretend to be a Sixer as part of the New Chums' training)! Also it means that while the stuff we teach New Chums about Cubs and Scouting is usually done separately from the rest of the Pack, in this case it can become a central part of our programming.
So, for week 2, we focussed on learning and playing games revolving around the founder of Scouting - Lord Robert Baden-Powell - plus the theme that Cubs is built on - The Jungle Book. Certainly different and great fun. Of course with new kids coming along every week, we'll need to revisit that with those that missed out, but that's fine, we'll get it covered.
Last weekend we had our first outside activity - the March for the Banyule Festival. Our theme was around marionettes... and it was fun watching Cubs try to get a marionette to walk quickly along the road while also trying to keep up and in a straight line! - it almost worked!
Then, two weeks down the track and Rosanna Cubs really kicked in... 11 new arrivals and our number of New Chums hit 15! Barb's recruiting efforts hit their straps! (Barb is our District Commissioner and acting Group Leader). We had 13 Cubs on the night because one of our originals couldn't make it and, a new one couldn't make it, but made sure she dropped in first to hand in her membership form! Now Chil might reckon she remembers everyone's name, but poor Akela hasn't got a hope! Give me a week or two and I'll be right! Of course you guys aren't making it any easier for me to remember.... I'm told that there's at least another 3 kids starting on the first week after the holidays. Ah well, it might be hard for me to remember, but it's a nice problem to have! We're all stoked to have so many kids coming along and so much enthusisam. Now we need some equally enthusiastic parents to join us as Leaders!
For our third night it was end of term, so we thought we'd have a theme/party night. I asked the New Chums on the first night and they came up with 'Army'. I thought... hmmmm, I hope these parents don't come along thinking Cubs is militaristic or anything... but then I thought, ah well, I've been involved in Cub themes including Space travellers, Cowboys and Indians, Aliens, Dragonologists, Pirates, Eqyptians, Wizards and Jungle animals... this is just another theme to explore - so we just went in and had fun with it! The New Chums collected their land mines (lollies) for disarming, did basic training through an obstacle course, played as MP detectives and captured the enemy bandits from over the Banyule hills! And of course they all got promoted and got to eat their party food in the 'Sergeants Mess'!
So, what's next? Well, early in Term 2 (probably around May 1 and 15, but we need to talk to parents about that) we'll have tons of New Chums to invest into Cubs.... There's plenty of other stuff coming... check out the Program page. What our Cubs will be hearing lots more about is Big Camp in November (4 days over Cup Weekend) and then Cuboree in the First Term Holidays next year...plenty of preparation, but both of them will be brilliant fun!
Ah well, that's me for the moment... I hope you've stuck with me! Catch ya next time.
So what is an "Akelablog"? What colour is it? What does it look like? Well it's just words really, so if you're here looking for pretty pictures and flashing lights... sorry, you'll have to ask me at Cubs and we'll see what we can do there!
For those of you who don't know, a 'blog' - short for 'WebLog', is just like an online diary - a place for someone to write whatever they want to - whatever comes into their head. Now Chil might say that this should be very short then (!!), but she also knows that Akela can rabbit along for ages about anything!
So, what is it? It's just a place for me to write down some stuff that I see and hear about our Cubs, what they do, and about Scouting stuff in general. Some blogs are very fancy... this one's just going to be nice and simple... I hope you find something you like and keep coming back for a look.... otherwise it'll just fall down in a screaming, smelly heap!!!
And so, awaaaayyyyyy we go!
Where have I come from? I was a Cub Leader at another Pack for a number of years. When I decided to move on a little while ago, I was asked by our District and Region Commissioners to start a new Scout Group, by starting with a Cub Pack, at Rosanna. Chil decided to move across with me, and then we had to start planning things like scarf colours, (which then had to go through an approval process), looking for equipment, planning a program and all that sort of stuff. Along with that, we've spent a lot of time setting up our website - getting all the content organised, creating an overall design and utilising the colours of the new Pack. We hope you like it!
So, we're a new Cub Pack, so of course we're starting off with all new Cubs. We hope you enjoy it so much, you stick around.... In fact, we hope you decide to stick around to go on to Scouts, Venturers and, when you're 18, on to Rovers! If you can aim to continue to enjoy Scouting for that long, you might end up like this Rover I met a while back, Here's a pic - click on it to get a better look...
....He has ALL the 'Link Badges' and 'Years of Service badges' - you earn a new Link Badge each time you go up to a new Section and then while you're in a Section, such as Cubs, you earn Service Badges to show how many years' service you've had there. As brand new Cubs, you probably won't qualify for the ones from Joeys, but you CAN do all the rest.... and have tons of fun along the way!
Anyway, that'll do me for this time! WELCOME to our new Pack - we hope you enjoy yourself!