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!

Wirudji Echoes Delight Us Again

Duncan and Jacita of Wirudji 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 Wirudji songs with Jacita to Duncan’s traditional music, we get to practice saying Wirudji 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!

Our Own Floriade

Organisations across Canberra were invited to host a little bit of Floriade in their own communities in 2020.

Our venturer scouts had recently designed, created and installed window boxes for us, so we had the perfect spot for some Spring flowers.

The GAP children got in on the action too, and planted a few water coloured paper flowers in our triangular garden in the playground.

We even had our own Floriade sign outside the Turner Scout Hall! Imagine that!

Milk Carton Pizza Ovens

The Pfadfinder Joeys had a rather spectacular evening recently, making milk cartons in pizza ovens.

First they made their dinner by rolling their pizza ingredients into a wholewheat wrap. This in turn was sealed up in silver tin foil.

The tin foil dinner was then popped into an empty one-litre cardboard milk carton.

We had a safety lesson in lighting matches and caring for a fire safely, of course, and then with great excitement we lit our cartons and let them cook our dinner!

Struppi and Rakali help the Joeys and parent helpers to light their DIY pizza ovens

Pfadfinder Joeys get into Astronomy

The Pfadfinder Joeys (and a few eager parent helpers) were treated to an informative lesson in German about astronomy, by one of our resident astrophysicists, Ashley.

There were lots of questions, we learned a lot, and we even got to handle a piece of a meteor that was formed before the earth was. That’s even older than our group leader! Wow!

Whole Day at the Arboretum

At the GAP, we absolutely love the arboretum and our favourite guide, Heather.

This year we decided to stay a whole day there, so we had six glorious hours amongst the trees, in the sunshine and fresh air. We had perfect weather for our excursion too.

We got to play on the acorn playground, have a tour with Heather, hear a garden fairy story, have morning tea on the deck with sweeping views of green hills below, imagine ourselves as tiny folk in the bonsai garden, smell apple pie plants in the sensory garden, have lunch in the dappled shade amongst beautiful flowers and aromatic plants, see birds’ nests, go for long walks, relax on picnic blankets under trees in the STEP gardens watching fluffy clouds drift slowly by, see a frog pond, climb a hill, learn about cuckoos and magpies and butterbum birds.

In short, it was a wonderful day.

Would we go again? JAWOHL!! In a heart beat!