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!


Visit from Inner North Playschool

In Term 4, the Monday/Tuesday GAP class hosted the children and teachers from Inner North Playschool at GAP for a day.  We all enjoyed the experience, and learned a lot from each other.

We welcomed our new friends and showed them around. At morning circle, we all learned a new German song and dance, and shared our transition rhymes.  After washing our hands in all the various sinks (as there were so many of us!), we enjoyed a giant picnic morning tea together in our playground.  Everyone had a go playing in our sandbox, sliding down our slide, and exploring our pirate ship play equipment.  It was a fun day!



Preparing for Kindergarten

From Term 4 onwards, we start preparing our older children for their transition to Kindergarten at ‘big school’.   We offer more ‘reading, writing and arithmetic’ in their day, and predictably there are children who prefer to play outdoors, and other children who can’t get enough of pretend school!

We read stories about transitioning to ‘big school’ and in the last week of school, we encourage the children to wear their new school uniforms to GAP to show us all proudly!  It is an exciting time for everyone.


Forest Fridays

The children at the GAP are always delighted when we head out amongst the beautiful coniferous trees in Haig Park.  Sometimes we take a little picnic with us of foods the children have requested; other times we play hide and seek, or have races, or build pretend camp fires.


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.

Racing Car Visit

The children of the Thursday/Friday class thoroughly enjoyed having a real racing car brought to the GAP for them to see, touch… and hear!

A big thanks to Steve for bringing in his ‘baby’ for us all to explore and learn about fast cars. We even got to see the motor, ask questions, and some of us got to sit in the driver’s seat too!

“It was loud and I think it goes really schnell [fast], but it’s okay if you cover your Ohren [ears]!”