Joti 2018

On Saturday 20th October the Cubs and Scouts of the 14th had use of the Longfield School IT Suite (thanks to ASL Faro who is an IT Assistant there) in order to join JOTI.
We had a fantastic time at the Jamboree, during which we made contact and chatted to other Cubs, Scouts, Explorer Scouts, Rover Scouts and Leaders from 51 countries across the globe. It was interesting to see that when we joined (just before 10am) we were talking with people from the East (Phillipines, Indonesia, etc.) but as we left we were chatting with Bolivia, Brazil and Chile in the West.


Cubboree 2018

Cubboree 2018 experience

I had never been to a Jamboree or a Confido or a Cubboree so I didn’t really know what to expect from a 2 night camp but Wow, Wow and more Wow. The only thing that I can liken it to was that I once went on an “all inclusive package holiday to Tenerife” where all food, drink and activities were included. And that’s Cubboree – just like Tenerife, we had sunshine, we had late nights, we had dancing and singing, we had unlimited drinks (tea , coffee and squash), and the best bit we had 50 activities to try. It’s a safe and enclosed area so our Cubs can go wandering and try the activities they want to try, although we encouraged ours to try as many as possible. The activities are as varied as you can imagine, from woggle making to riding to Segways, from mountain biking to plate spinning, from archery to soap making, from laser quest to crawling through a cave bus, and the list goes on and on. Our Cubs reckons they managed 28 of the activities over the 2 days. The organisation is incredible and no wonder this event only happens every 2 years – it must take that to plan it. I haven’t even mentioned the food, where the plus 1000 attendees are catered for at breakfast, lunch, diner and evening snack no matter what you are allergic to, it’s sorted – you will not go home hungry.

Just like a week in Tenerife on an all inclusive package you will go home tired, unwashed, in need of a good sleep but you will go home having had the best experience of your life with memories you will never forget. My particular highlights were Cubs showing me they had not changed any clothing for 2 days, a discussion with Cubs having no recollection at all that they had woken me up during the night to show them where the toilets were, a Cub being scared as it was his first time away from home but making it through the first night and absolutely loving rest of weekend, meeting other leaders and realising we are all the same with same challenges and rewards, and finally can’t wait until 2020 World Jamboree in County Durham where we will have over 3000 young people for a week long “all inclusive package”.

Akela – 12th Darlington Cub Pack

12th Darlington Expedition Challenge

Expedition Challenge Weekend

The day started on the Train, Scouts had worked out the best way to get to Great Ayton from Darlington was by train, some had bought tickets prior to the day of the expedition others were trying to buy tickets at the Stations ATM. But after other Scouts pointed out there errors they were on the Train to Great Ayton. A Scout Leader had sneaked onto the train to keep a careful eye on the Scouts. Change over at Middlesbrough and it wasn’t long before they were at Great Ayton.

With Map and Route Card in hand and the world on their shoulders (kit bag for one night only) they set of on their hike to Ravensgill Campsite (Commondale). 20 Minutes had past and the two groups of Scouts had gone different ways. With a quick check and the point of the Compass they were on the correct path.

Whilst one of the Leaders followed the 2 groups from the station, three of us me included met at the first check point. We had a short wait whilst we worked out which exit they would come from. We followed a path through the trees near Kirkdale and suddenly we heard them, or at least one of the groups. “Who do you think you are? Where Do you come from!” they sung at the top of their voices. Quickly the 3 of us Adam, John and Myself legged it back down the path to hide and get out of the way ‘they’re supposed to be unassisted and we didn’t want to be seen, (we must of looked like Foggy, Cleggy & Compo from the Last of the Summer Wine, let you work out which one was compo) We waited and we waited and ………. waited suddenly the Necker of the 12th appeared through the gate, no it wasn’t the Scouts it was Tony the other Leader he had given up following them and hiding. The two groups had caught up and sat down for their Lunch.

The four of us decided to snack ourselves at this point and in time the 2 groups packed up and set on the rest of the journey at this point we weren’t hiding anymore. A quick check of the map with the leaders and the 2 groups carried on about 10 minutes between them. We the leaders had a quick discussion again and set off towards our next checkpoints.

Adam and Tony in one car went hide at a junction whilst John and I went on further to a clearing where we knew the two groups would come out of. Again we waited….. & waited, then the sight of the first group coming out of the tree line with their florescent rucksack covers it was no Operation Sanctuary training they stuck out like a sore thumb. We watched as they looked at the map and then decided rather than follow the path that it would be quicker to take a shortcut, all we could do was laugh as they suddenly found themselves in a Bog. The footpath is there for a reason scouts. They squelched and Ugh!!! Ugh!!! Then there was the call of one of the Scouts names (Who shall not be named, why (Insert Scouts name) did you bring is this way. Both John and I had a good giggle as it must have took them to get to the road in about 25 mins. The other group by this point had come the correct way using the Footpath and over took them.

Again we checked them over and both groups showed us the way they were going and of they went. By this time it was a straight road to speak of to camp. We as leaders agreed to meet them at camp.

We got to camp and started to unpack our equipment. It wasn’t long before the 2 groups of Scouts turned up and we showed them their camping area. Soon the scouts had their tents pitched and just  in time as the heavens opened with a thunderstorm. That soon passed and believe it or not the sun came out and dried up the fields.

The scouts were then set about cooking their evening meals on Tangiers, pasta and meatballs on one team and soup and noodles on the other. The evening passed with a bit of Stretcher building and we as leaders thought we had it all planned for a winning race to make a stretcher we would do a rope stretcher whilst the scouts had four poles and some lashing to do. We were wrong, we must be teaching these Scouts right, we barely got ready with making our stretcher and one of the groups were nearly done. With both scout teams well ahead of the game we as Leaders took a bronze medal.

Evening came and we sat by the fire and discussed the day, laughing telling stories and picking out our best and worst parts of the day. Bedtime came and went, and we woke to the smell of bacon, we then packed up and made our way home. Each Scout gained their Expedition Challenge and should be proud of themselves, and learned #Skillsforlife

Neil – Scout Leader