The Great Australian Picnic

At the GAP, we love to give the children simple old-fashioned experiences: We are helping them build memories of a fun and joyful childhood spent with friends in the sunshine and fresh air.

Last week, we took our wagon, some sausages, salad and drinks, and our big colourful picnic rug, and we headed off into the park. We found a nice grassy spot amongst the green conifers and enjoyed a great Australian tradition: a BBQ picnic.

Batik or Tie-Dying

Pfadfinder scouts of all ages, from 6 to 18, enjoyed creating their own tie-dye clothing and accessories this week.

It was absolutely beautiful being out in Haig Park in the evening summer sun, enjoying making our crafty creations.

Check out some of our colourful creations above!

Many thanks to Nala and Amelia for organising it all for us.

Sand Prints

The children and parents at our popular Spiel und Spass playgroup were very busy last week creating beautiful sand prints to keep forever.

They mixed up some sand clay, patted it flat, then decorated it with foot or hand prints and beautiful shells, glass beads and other treasures.

Here’s how to make Meike’s Marvelous Sand Clay at home.

Mix:
2 cups of sand
1.5 cups of plain all-purpose flour
1 cup of warm water
1.25 cups of salt

Pat it out flat onto a baking sheet. Decorate. Bake at 120 degrees Celcius for about 2 hours.

Parent Power Over The Years

Ever wonder what the Turner Scout Hall looked like a few years ago? And what magical things happen at working bees each year?

The hall has been transformed over the years by the input and vision of the committee and parents. We’ve had ACT government grant help a few times as well to purchase capital items so we can deploy our amazing teams of parents to put in the work to make these improvements.

When we first arrived at the Turner Scout Hall in 2008, we faced draughty single pane louvre windows, ancient electric heating that didn’t heat the hall properly, the kitchen was falling apart, there was graffiti all over the exterior, there was no playground, no fence, two toilets, two sinks, two and a half tonnes of rubbish to be taken to the tip….

Over the years, we have painted inside and out, installed a fenced fully equipped outdoor playground and shade sail, solar panels, triple glazed windows, a new kitchen, two new toilets, four children’s sinks, refinished the beautiful wooden floors (twice), new tiling, new carpet, revamped the cloakroom completely, added a new storage shed, improved drainage, and more.

It is fun to look back at the old photos and see that quite a number of the children in the photo above joined us at Pfadfinder, and some are still with us a decade later as some of our oldest Venturer scouts!

Here is the same corner of the hall as in the photo at the top.
This above was the cloakroom back in 2009. And even this was a big improvement on what it was like when we first arrived in 2008.
Here is that same cloakroom ten years later., largely thanks to the vision and design work of Horst Punzmann.
Our original tables and chairs were donated by other preschools and playschools. This was the state of our walls, floors, doors, divider curtain and equipment in 2009.
Twelve years later, hours and hours of painting walls and doors, sanding and varnishing floors (thanks Levin and Salim), and other improvements are helping us look a lot better.

To get an idea of how dedicated our parent group is, and what the Scout Hall looked like when we first arrived in 2008, check out these amazing photos of some of the things our volunteers have achieved, transforming our hall into a licensed children’s services venue, from 2008 to 2010.  And it just keeps getting better!

Giant Bubbles

Our Pfadfinder Joey scouts enjoyed making some giant bubbles, using special bubble mixture and bubble wands they made themselves.

Our cubs wanted to join in at the end too, and so they cleverly fashioned makeshift bubble wands out of loops of long grass.

There are two giant bubble mixture recipes below. For both recipes it is important to mix slowly so you don’t make it froth, and we were advised by experts that it is best to make the mixture a day or more ahead of time.

Recipe 1
1 teaspoon guar gum (you can get this from health food stores)
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons rubbing alcohol (you can get this from the chemist)
9.5 tablespoons dishwashing detergent (Fairy is the best brand)
3.5 litres of water

Recipe 2
1 teaspoon guar gum (you can get this from health food stores)
2 teaspoons glycerine (you can get this from the chemist)
1 teaspoon baking powder
6 tablespoons dishwashing detergent (Fairy is the best brand)
2 litres of water

Happy bubble making!

Thanks to our wonderful Joey scout leader Rakali for leading this amazing session!

Being Kind to Birds and Possums

Our Pfadfinder Cubs enjoyed another great evening organised by Venturer Scout Amelia. One week, Amelia helped the cubs to make delicious and rainbow coloured unicorn fudge. She is passionate about the environment and caring for animals, so this week she organised a cub session to make Alfresco Apple Bird Cafes.

The recipe is simple and the results are greatly appreciated by the local wildlife – both winged and furry. The cubs studded cut apples with delicious seeds, and suspended the decorated apples in trees. This of course required some tree climbing, and we are pretty good at that at Pfadfinder.

GAP Lantern Walk

The GAP children enjoyed creating their own lanterns this year, out of recycled materials and sticks from the park. We added a tea light candle and some ribbon, and took them out in the park to test them out.

We walked with our lanterns and sang the traditional German lantern walk songs we learned at GAP.

It was a shame we couldn’t have our big walk this year with all of Spielwelt (due to covid), but it was really lovely having our own little lantern walk.

We took our lanterns to the nature playground and had warm Kinderpunsch there to celebrate our Laternenlauf.

We look forward to seeing you all at next year’s Lantern Walk!

WirAdjuri Echoes Delight Us Again

Duncan and Jacita of Wiradjuri Echoes aboriginal education group always give us such an energetic and powerful presentation. We learn about artefacts, we laugh at Duncan’s funny jokes, we sing Wiradjuri songs with Jacita to Duncan’s traditional music, we get to practice saying Wiradjuri words, we hear the rainbow snake creation story while Duncan draws us our own Aboriginal artwork to colour in, and once we have our warrior or berry princess face paint on we dance like kangaroos and rainbow snakes. It is a fabulous event!

What’s that boomerang for? Throw it at a bird…knock him out of the sky… put him on the fire… and nom nom nom!!! What? You don’t like that idea? Who likes chicken? Well then!
Duncan and Jacita with a mob of GAP kangaroo joeys! Ears up listening, boing, boing, boing, and jump up over the fence!

Spielwelt