Category Archives: Pfadfinder scouts

Aerial Sock Wrestling, you ask?

One of the fun evening activities the leaders provided for Alpha Troop at Summer Camp was aerial sock wrestling.

Two scouts would get into helmets and harnesses, and then stand up on milk crates so they were up off the ground.  Once the scouts felt safe swinging in their harnesses, the crates were taken away, and they started the wrestling match… while dangling, swinging and spinning in the air!

The aim of the match is to get your opponent’s sock off.  All the while of course, your opponent is trying to get your sock off.  It makes for dramatic and exciting viewing and playing.  We screamed and cheered for our patrol members, as they wrestled it out in mid-air, twisting and turning in all directions and dimensions!

 

Pfadfinder at Summer Camp

Twelve Pfadfinder Scouts joined 400 scouting friends at Camp Cottermouth this summer, for a full week of exciting summer camp activities.

Pfadfinder camped together with Les Explorateurs (French scouts), Amaroo and Duntroon-Campbell scouts, together creating Alpha Troop (or Le RooFinder, to use our nickname)… photo above.

We braved the incredible heat, and kept cool with a lot of water… water bottles, water fights, water slides, water bucket dumps, soaking our hats and scarves, a dunk tank, a visit to the Big Splash water park, swimming in the Cotter River, and of course multiple trips to the Well of Wonder (our campsite tap)!

The scouts participated in a variety of on-site and off-site activities.  On site, there was orienteering, geocaching, first aid, woggle-making, t-shirt printing, circus skills, rock climbing and abseiling, archery, a water slide, and more.  Off-site, we got to visit Old Parliament House, the National Museum, Questacon, go canoeing, and go bowling with our friends.

There were other activities each evening, such as a disco, a talent show, more water activities, and hanging out with friends.  Many card games were played, songs were sung, stories and jokes were told, and there was a lot of joyful noise and laughter.

One night, the scouts all planned a camp-wide market night. Everyone was given 25 camp-dollars (Robbles) to spend,  and each troop tried to earn the most money at their stalls.  There was face painting, ice ping-pong, sponge-tossing, low ropes courses, games of chance, slippery dips, foot and shoulder massage, dry ice chunks to go in your water bottle, pancakes, popcorn, billy cart rides, and much more!  The whole camp came alive that night as scouts ran to and fro enjoying the festival atmosphere.    Alpha Troop elected two very astute young business managers and earned a record breaking 1700+ Robbles, including auctioning off the camp’s coldest Magnum ice cream at -78.5 Celcius (on dry ice) for 75 Robbles.  We were narrowly beaten by a troop from Biralee in the end, though.

Of course, the scouts also had to feed and look after themselves the whole week.  Each day there was a duty patrol who were responsible for all the cooking, serving and keeping the camp kitchen clean.  Each scout was responsible to wash their own dishes (which they all did an admirable job of… and will no doubt continue to do at home!!)

It was a joy to see the scouts having such a good time and getting involved, making friends, growing up, taking responsibility, getting where they needed to be on time, looking after each other and themselves, and smiling and joking around.

The leaders kept a safe distance, and let the scouts do as much as possible by themselves, learning by doing.  Everyone returned home safe, happy and exhausted at the end, and we still had the same two incident forms we started with… still blank, by the end of camp.   Whew! What a ride!!

 

 

Scouts learn skills with Boss Tiling ACT

Five of our Pfadfinder scouts had the opportunity to be apprentices for the day, with the good folk at Boss Tiling ACT, laying tiles at our scout hall.

We learned how to remove old tiles, prepare a concrete floor for tiling,  and install new floor tiles.

It was hard work but the team made the work a lot of fun with their enthusiastic attitude to the work.  The tilers gave us lots of tips and plenty of opportunity to gain hands-on experience.

During the breaks we entertained them with stories about what we do at scouts, and showed them new ways to wear eye- and ear-protection for fun!

January working bees are underway

Our January working bees and summer renovation plans are well underway!

We are half way through and have accomplished a lot.

We have demolished some walls to enlarge the foyer, done a lot of painting, and reconfigured some of our storage.  We’ve ripped everything out of the storage areas and are sorting through it all.

We have had a new shed built for all the Pfadfinder gear, and we’ve repaired the roof on the old shed which will soon be for toys for 0-5 year olds only.

We have installed a fourth toilet and two new children’s sinks, as well as upgrading some of our lighting in the toilets.

We have pruned our art supplies to keep only the environmentally-friendly ones, in line with our glitter/micro-plastics ban.

Next up will be:

Installing our new and improved children’s coat and bag storage facilities; preparing for the new GAP class; re-covering the bulletin boards;  moving in Pfadfinder and special events equipment to the new shed; topping up sand in the sand box; cleaning…. and lots of it!  And much, much more!!

You are guaranteed to be amazed when you come to the hall next!  And wait until it is all finished (by start of school on 5 February)!! Wow!

 

Banning Glitter

From 2018, Spielwelt will heed the call of scientists and environmentalists, and delete glitter from our art consumables.

After reading an article in the ABC news about how damaging these micro-plastics are to the environment, the committee decided there was only one way forward for an eco-conscious organisation like Spielwelt:  a ban on glitter.

We will move towards more natural products for our arts and crafts, which of course is something that has been happening for years in Germany already.

Community Service

Oh, those wonderfully helpful Pfadfinder!  As a favour to their young friends at GAP and Spiel und Spass, the Pfadfinder scouts got busy putting their carpentry skills to good use, doing some repairs in our playground.

Wobbly benches  were made secure; the slide ladder was fortified; the wall-mounted tubular music instrument was fixed so the pipes don’t slip down; and more dirt was moved in to shore up areas of erosion.

 

The Pfadfinder also started work on making some wooden stilt blocks for the children, which they hope to finish in time for Christmas.

Once the work was done for the evening, the Pfadfinder had fun “testing” some of the little bikes, because, you know, that’s totally necessary!

Story Night Success

Once again, our story-tellers presented to a packed audience at our annual German Story Night.  We had all enjoyed supper outside, and then came into the hall to hear the stories.

First we heard a delightful German tale about a cow and her friends who somehow get up into a tree, read to us by one of our dads who works a librarian.

Next, was the ever popular puppet theatre put on by two of our mums, where our young hero went on a quest to find a house with red walls, no doors, no windows and five rooms.  After much searching, and help from the children, he found an apple which fit the first few criteria but didn’t seem to have five rooms.  All was revealed when his mother cut the apple to reveal the secret rooms inside.

And as a grand finale, two of our Pfadfinder scouts played out the story of Goldilocks and the three Bears for the children, using a big book, a rotating story box and many props which arrived on stage in amusing ways, with one of our teachers as a surprise guest star.

Goldilocks even enjoyed a repeat performance by popular demand on Tuesday night for the Joey and Cub scouts.

Many thanks to an ACT Children’s Week grant and to everyone who participated for the great food, music, stories and fun on the night.

Scouts Spider Web Escape

After a night of scooters, skateboards and rollerskates at John Knight Park, the scouts found themselves trapped in a giant spider web bowl at the Belconnen skate park.

It was great to see the scouts encouraging each other to firstly gain the courage to drop into the deep bowl, and then cheering each other on as they used their cunning and muscles to get back out again!

Pfadfinder Charity Fundraising Challenge

The leaders put the idea to the scouts, and they ran with it:  a charity fundraising challenge.  The scouts decided the rules of the competition and then the count-down started!  Each patrol had exactly one week plus one hour to nominate a charity, come up with ideas and raise as many funds as they could.

Leaders were impressed with the thoughtful discussion that the scouts put into choosing their charities – our Pfadfinder scouts really are global thinkers with strong ethical values.  It was inspiring to hear them set their goals and listen to the breadth of fundraising ideas they came up with.

The deadline arrived on Monday evening, and the patrols were still excitedly scrambling to the last minute to raise even more money for their chosen charities, before settling in to share a meal together and compare their strategies and results.   We all learned a lot!

We are really proud of our scouts who, within just one week (and a lot of baking, door knocking, bucket appeals, cake stalls and so on), raised $114 for the Red Cross International and $432 for Operation Christmas Child.

Challenge complete!  What will those amazing Pfadfinder do next?

Mystery Masterchef: Pfadfinder style

The winners of our Mystery Masterchef evening were very pleased with their two-course meal, served up to an eager judging panel after 45 minutes of frantic activity in the scout hall kitchen.

Each scout patrol was given a limited number of cooking implements, an esky of mystery ingredients, and 45 minutes to put together their best edible effort.  Contestants were interviewed on video, to tell us how their patrol was progressing throughout. Cooperation and communication were vital components of the competition, and part of the judging criteria.

We loved seeing the scouts pull together to create something delicious, and we all enjoyed sharing a feast and reviewing our achievements and challenges afterwards.