Category Archives: Pfadfinder scouts

Lantern Walk 2019

What a wonderful winter walk we all enjoyed. This year’s traditional German lantern walk was a magical evening.

Many volunteers helped to put the event on: providing food, drinks, shopping, cooking and serving on the BBQ, cleaning, providing the audio/visual magic, and much more.

Families started arriving from all sides of Haig Park, with big grins and lanterns in hand
Our busy event organiser surrounded by the hungry hoards collecting their soup, Thuringer sausages, sauerkraut, rolls, Gluehwein, Kinderpunsch and yummy baked goods.
Soon the crowds were enjoying themselves, eating, drinking and chatting with new and old friends.
We assembled to sing the songs, surrounded by several magical jellyfish lanterns held by volunteers ready at all times to reunite any lost parents with their children.

The walk took us along a path lit by lanterns, to a wide circle area in the forest. There we enjoyed more singing together while the children paraded inside the circle with their lanterns, and we heard a special choral performance by the joeys and cubs.

Returning to the hall, we were entertained by a play about Saint Martin who is associated with the lantern walks in Europe.

After the procession, some stayed on to enjoy the bonfires.

We are grateful to the ACT government for their ongoing support of this event, through the ACT Multicultural Grants program.

Mental Health initiative

Spielwelt has recently established a relationship with BeYou, a national mental health initiative with an enormous number of resources for families and teachers, to promote and protect children’s mental health and well-being.

At Spielwelt, we promote healthy messages throughout each session, incorporate our favourite topics like friendship, kindness, resiliance, affirmation, inclusivity, adaptability, respect, compassion, being mindful, healthy eating, self-belief and more.  These help build children up, and gives them tools to cope with  the epidemic of anxiety and depression which has been emerging in Western societies in recent years.

Our mental health coordinator can be reached on mental.health@spielwelt.org.au

You can read about our mental health and well-being program here.

We also have a support library and help pages for families who may be experiencing depression, anxiety, family violence, separation, dying/death of a loved one, addiction, or other stressful situations.  Read on by clicking the square below, and talk to the teachers or director.

Supporting Children in Difficult Times

Another sustainability award from ACTSmart

We were suprised and delighted to be acknowledged once again at the ACTSmart Sustainability Award ceremony this year.

Last year, we won the Energy and Water Star award, and this year we received “highly commended” for the Small Business award, presented by ACT Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability,  Shane Rattenbury.

Spielwelt has  made over 50 green changes to its operations, including installing LED lighting, triple-glazed windows, energy efficient reverse cycle heating with shut-off timers, solar space heating and instant hot water; we have draught sealed the doors and curtained off areas we don’t need to heat. This has reduced electricity consumption and continues to save us $1100 per year and 4 tonnes of CO2.  Our families’ use of single use soft-plastics has greatly reduced as our GAP and Pfadfinder children have their own bees wax food wraps.  Our Pfadfinder scouts have taken their green lessons to heart and now regularly include green practices in their activities.

You can read about our many other changes in our Keen to Be Green posts, and read about the awards on the ACTSmart awards page.

Further education for our children on environmentally responsible practices is planned for this year, and thanks to ACT Smart funding assistance and their expert guidance navigating the world of solar quotes….

SOLAR PV PANELS are coming to Turner Scout Hall!  Watch our roof!

 

 

ACTSmart Sustainability Award Winner

Youth led, adult supported

Pfadfinder has been offering more and more opportunities for our youth members to lead our scouting activities.  As the youths progress from joeys to cubs to scouts to venturers to rovers, they are given more input opportunities and chances to practice their leadership skills.

This doesn’t happen without adult support, however, and on the scouts’ recent bike tour, I was the nominated adult.

It will be fun, they said!

Punctures, getting lost, it getting dark, getting lost again, searching for drinking water, repairing bikes on the run… all the while hearing this phrase over and over in my head:

It will be fun, they said!

Trying to keep the patrol together, following the patrol as they were biking up staircases, biking across bridges, biking under bridges, retracing our route to get back on track…

It will be fun, they said!

Biking through clouds of flies, ringing for backup, inquiring about the need for first aid, watching the patrol figure out where we were on the map and their phones, and hearing them calculate how dark it would be by the time we got back to the scout hall…

It will be fun, they said!

Caring for the stragglers, encouraging the scout patrol leaders, enjoying a beautiful sunset over the lake, sharing a fun learning experience with enthusiastic scouts…  What a privilege.   They were right:  It was fun!

Join our adult scout leader team and help support and enable young people to be their best.  It will be fun!

Leaders at Pfadfinder

Leaders Honoured

Some of our Pfadfinder leaders and adult helpers were recently formally acknowledged for their leadership, enthusiasm and dedication.   Our Joey leader (Kerria), Cub leadership team (Baghira and Gerald), and Scout leader (Nala) were each the very deserving recipients of Children’s Week Awards for their unwavering contribution to Child Development and Support.

An excerpt from one of the awards:

Kerria is a dedicated and highly conscientious Joey scout leader. She willingly volunteers her time, week after week, planning, preparing, and delivering an educational and fun program for chlidren aged 6-8 years. She considers the needs of the individuals and the group in her programs, and presents her activities in an engaging way. Kerria incorporates elements of science and environmental care [two of her passions], and helps widen the horizons of the children. All this is done in German to encourage the children to embrace the use of their second language in the exciting and supportive environment that Kerria creates for her Joey scouts. 

As one of the awardees was quick to point out, it is very rewarding being a leader in scouting, not just with award certificates, but with smiles, friendship, admiration, a feeling of connection, a sense of achievement, doing something really positive and worthwhile for the community and children, and even personal growth and one’s own mental wellbeing.

Congratulations to our wonderful award winning leaders! They rock our Pfadfinder world!

Venturers “game on” with Joeys

Five of our Scouts and Venturers attended a Youth Leadership course on the weekend, put on by the ACT Scouts branch, where they learned about what it takes to assist or lead a Joey or Cub scout program.

Two of our Venturers immediately put their new knowledge to good use, and ran a fun and rewarding games session for the Joeys on Tuesday evening.

First up, was “Find the Venturer” where the Joeys had to fan out into the park to find their two venturers.  There was even one hiding up a tree!

This was followed by many styles of racing and running games, a vigourous game of indoor soccer, and an increasingly challenging game of catch and throw where Joeys could practice their skills.

After so much running around, it was time for a drink of water and a fruit break.  No, the Joeys are not worshipping the Venturers in the photo below, but rather, they are participating in our Pfadfinder Puppy Dog Water Bowl Challenge.   It’s a favourite for some of the kids, and something it seems they don’t get to do at home!

Pfadfinder Puppy Dog Water Bowl Challenge

At the end of the evening, the Joeys enjoyed crowding around their new Venturer heroes and laughing at some funny pictures taken during the evening.

Thanks, Venturers! We had a great night, and are looking forward to more scout- or venturer-led programs in the near future.

 

Patrol Cooking Challenge (the woke edition)

In internet-savvy teen parlance,  “woke” means environmentally / socially / politically / ethically aware and responsible.

The Pfadfinder Monday scouts (12-14 year olds) enjoyed another patrol cooking night.  This “woke” edition of the cooking challenge was developed by one of our scouts, and was a whole lot of fun. (Other scout groups wanting to run this activity should contact us for the rules – they are available in English and German!)

We met at the local shops and each patrol was given a budget of $30, with which they had to feed their entire patrol and the two judges (two lucky (or brave) leaders) …. with a THREE course meal!

Extra points were awarded for effort in their presentation

Patrols’ dishes were judged on taste, how complex the dish was, how healthy the dish was, and how sustainable the ingredients were.

In the sustainability category judges were looking for ingredients with minimal packaging, recyclable packaging, best animal welfare, lowest food miles, least amount of water / resources to produce, and so on.

Patrol members eagerly await feedback and scoring from the judges

In addition, patrols were scored on how engaged everyone was, how their team worked together, and how well they cleaned up afterwards.

We all enjoyed the evening – the dishes were delicious (and no leaders became ill in the judging process! On the contrary, leaders reported being well fed up! (Oh, wait!))

The scouts discovered the hard way (once again) how much time it takes to clean up – but that’s the fun of the learning.

Pfadfinder visits Cotter Dam

A selection of Pfadfinder joeys, cubs and scouts enjoyed a very informative evening tour of the  Cotter Dam, with tour guide Kate of ICON Water.

Kate, with the help of a blue rope to represent the waterway, an enormous map (and a few dads to hold it up), and her infectious smile and enthusiasm, taught us many interesting facts about the construction and purpose of the Cotter Dam.

We heard about what we can and can’t put into our household water, saw where that water comes from and learned about what happens to it after we have used it.

Being observant scouts, we managed to spot a great many water dragons, skinks, lizards, fish and ducks.  It was interesting to see how the ecologists had helped make sure the river was really healthy, and the flora and fauna that depend on the river were thriving.

The beautiful warm evening wrapped up with time on the playground and lots of laughter and fun before everyone headed home.

It is always fun to hear the banter among parents, chatting together at the end.  Overheard this week: “I know it was a bit of a rush to get out here for 5:30pm, but now that we are here, I’m thinking we should have brought a picnic – it is so lovely here.  But we really must get the children home and feed them dinner.”   To which one of our dads replied, “Well, I fed my kids before we left home, because you know, ich bin Super Papi!”  The assembled parents were all suitably impressed and spent a moment commenting favourably and admiring his superior parenting skills, until one of his children arrived to hang on his arm and complain, “Papa! Can we go now? I’m hungry!”   Kids!  🙂 

Pfadfinder Pfashion Show

The scout hall was alive tonight with music, dancing, food and fashion.

The joeys, cubs and parents were treated to a fashion show and disco tonight, put on by the older scouts and venturers.

Guests were treated to some healthy nibbles and delicious cake in our foyer area  to begin the evening (thanks to our volunteers who helped prepare the food).

Scouts had been learning this term about how the fashion industry is the world’s second-largest polluter and how the world consumes 80 billion pieces of clothing EACH YEAR.  Australians are the world’s second largest consumers of fashion, consuming 27kg of new clothing per person, on average, EACH YEAR.

In response to learning this, Pfadfinder took action.  We collected donations of unwanted clothing, and got busy up-cycling it into inventive new garments or re-purposing it into decorative useful furniture and cushions.  To showcase our knowledge and efforts, we put on a fashion show to educate the younger scouts and their families.

On the night of the fashion show, guests were seated around our runway, and were educated by two of our scouts who gave an informative presentation about some of the appalling facts we had learned about the clothing industry’s environmental impact, the terrible working conditions for labourers, and the dreadful pollution caused by dyeing fabrics.  Our scout hosts urged guests to only buy what is really necessary, think about where garments come from, and purchase second hand.

Guests were then treated to an upbeat presentation of the three “looks” the scouts had created for the Pfadfinder Pfashion show:  Haus, hats and jeans.   Our Venturer scouts kindly became our sound & light crew, using a light-show board they had created in their electronics workshops last term.

Our models each did a wonderful job of presenting the garments and household objects they had designed and created.  Below are a few sample photos.

Here, a previously unwanted but now decorative and useful office chair makes its debut in our fashion Haus collection:

Hats, hats, hats…

An unwanted umbrella was transformed into a delightful be-ribboned parasol:

Shirts were redesigned as skirts and tops…  and other inventive ways to wear and upcycle unwanted garments were on display:

Even the Roman look is making a come-back to the houses of haut couture:

Our stunning jeans collection hit the cat-walk tonight to wow the crowd:

As a finale, some of the models came out wrapped in sheeting, which they cast off simultaneously to reveal their fabulous jeans collection, and kick off the evening’s disco party for all the guests.

Did you know:  polyester does not biodegrade but instead sheds micro-fibres which enter and damage our waterways; cotton dyeing is poisoning the world’s rivers;  clothing industry wages are as low as $1-$3/day; beading and sequins are an indication of child labour; a $5 tshirt has passed through many hands on its journey from field to store… and is designed not to last, so you must purchase another one;  one pair of jeans requires 7000 litres of water during production (which is how much a person would drink over 5 or 6 years); clothing production consumes an unsustainable 32 million Olympic swimming pools of water each year; and $2.6 billion is spent on Halloween costumes every year – worn for one night only.

A useful resource for finding out how ethical your garments really are can be found here.

Think twice before you buy – chances are you don’t even really need that garment or could get it second-hand and save the planet and its people!

 

ACTSmart Sustainability Expo

At Spielwelt and Pfadfinder, we are keen to be green!  So far, we have made over 50 changes to our hall and operations, to be more sustainable and do the right thing for the environment.

As with everything we do, we do this for the children.  We also hope to educate, support and inspire our families.

The children at the GAP were keen to be involved in making this little video clip, to be screened at the ACTSmart Sustainability Expo on Thursday 13 September 2018 at the Southern Cross Club in Woden.

Spielwelt German Parents Association and Pfadfinder Scout Group

The Spielwelt German Parents Association and Pfadfinder Scout group are keen on being green! Learn what they have done to become an Actsmart Business Champion

Posted by Actsmart – Canberra on Thursday, 6 September 2018

 

Come along to the Sustainability Expo, and get further inspired about what you can do (or promote) at your school, embassy, childcare centre or workplace.