2008/09/18

Beware the curse of Captain Silky Beard!

There was a first autumn chill in the air, and some of the leaves on the trees are turning. Thick jumpers and coats were out for their first Cub meeting, some hats and gloves too! But riddles, signs and codes kept both children and leaders happy, and the threat of running into an infamous pirate kept everyone on their toes.

This week the hunt for gold and treasure took our Cubs around a good part of the park area around our hut. First, they followed the same kind of signs they learnt last term to find a written clue hidden in the undergrowth. The clue pointed them towards the play area where Susanne and Jessica were waiting with a strange looking message.

While the the others waited for their turn to go on the trail, they played pairs, using objects that they had picked on the ground in front of the hut. 'To the stage' the decoded message read. The cubs were off like lightning, but alert as they were they found and identified the native wild animals on their way: a badger, a bull finch, an hedgehog, a viper and a red fox were hiding along the path.
When they got close to the stage they got careful. A pirate was seemingly asleep on his treasure chest. He had a bottle in his hand and looked quite fears. Would they dare?

video

Even if you speak another language than Swedish, perhaps you can understand some of the dialog. There were a lot of 'why do you's and 'why have you's, and the pirate was quite forthcoming, as he had problems opening his treasure chest. The letters didn't mean much to him, as he said he couldn't read. But the kids could! And soon some of the loot was theirs.

2008/09/11

How to get those bad bad wapsies

At Space Camp this summer I caught a glimps of a wasp trap like this, that makes good use of old PET bottles

At home we made two attempts, one out of a half litre bottle and one out of a bigger 1 1/2 litre one. They worked well. I have been told that raw meat is the best bait, but I went for the less smelly option of jam.







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Outdoor cooking

This week we had a visit from our fire expert Markus AKA Linx. After some quick games he talked about fire safety and showed us three different fires, and how to light them most efficiently.
The Blowtorch is great for cooking. You should have the cut in the direction of the wind to get maximum effect. video

The Pagoda and the Pyramid are great for a campfire, and especially the Pyramid for making charcoal for a good BBQ.

Then the Cubs gathered around the tables to bake out the 'Stomp' bread, and filling bananas with bits of chocolate. This we cooked on the 'Murrikas'. Yum!

We were done just in time to sing the Scout song, before all the parents came. There is a rumour that there are pirates about next week!

Recipe for Swedish 'Stompa Bread', 35 pieces
500 ml natural yoghurt
100 ml treacle
2 tsp aniseed, roughly ground (optional)
2 tsp fennel seeds, roughly ground (optional)
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tblsp salt
1500 ml sifted rye flour
100 ml water
Mix the ingrediences and kneed to a smooth dough. Keep in a plastic bag until use.

Divide into little balls and roll or press, 'stomp', out into roundish cakes, 1/2 cm thick. Bake on a flat surface, like a frying pan. Eat freshly made, warm and with some butter.

Baked Bananas with Chocolate

Cut a banana lengthways, but not through the "bottom" skin. Put bits of chocolate in it's flesh and wrap in aluminium foil. Put on the side of the fire to cook slowly. When it is soft when you press it, it is done.

2008/09/02

Exercising democracy

Every other year the parlament of the Swedish Scout Association meet and all the districts send representatives to debate current scout affairs and issues. Every other year, starting this year, everyone is welcome to come and meet the "government" in a slightly less formal setting, to get updated on what work is going on, and what progress has been made.
This first meeting took place on Vässarö, an island in the archipelago north of Stockholm and the Stockholm district's campsite. We were 12 people from Halland, the oldest 72 years of age and the youngest 11. We drove up and it took 13 hours with two stops. The last 10 km were on tiny, wriggly, little roads. Then a parking lot in the middle of nowhere, and a little harbour.

The boat ride took almost 30 minutes between small, rocky islands, and even though we where late they had saved us some dinner. It was still reasonably light when we put our tents up, and we found a spot that wasn't too wet. It had been raining quite a lot resently.
The café was open late, and people kept arriving until midnight. The next morning activities started after breakfast. It is always a powerful feeling, sharing breakfast with 300 others, there for the same reason you are, everyone looking slightly rough but nobody care about hair or makeup and everyone so very friendly.

Down at the square the committee's various subgroups were informing us about the progress made on the new leadership training programs, what the discussions were like with the other scout organisations about program and mutual intrests. Appearantly the Salvation Army scouts are dwindling and are thinking about joining forces with us, while the new Muslim Scouts have liasoned with a Christian scout organisation to strengthen their resources.

While all this talking, lobbying and discussing went on, you could also try the Respect game, vote on the new age group names by building lego blocks, take a vertical certificate on the climbing wall, try tanning, wood carving, black smithing or help the outdoor Thai chef with some gorgeous cooking.

Cassandra trying Thai

I had an unexpected sightseeing trip of the island the next morning, when I managed to get lost in the woods when I went for a jog at six. Having planned to be out for 30 minutes, it took me the best of two hours to get back. It also started tipping it down with rain. I saw many wonderful things, among them the end of the rainbow, and several of the permanent activity trails. The committee chairwoman laughed when I told her in the shower that I'd got lost:
-It is certainly an achievment, getting lost on an island, 1km x 2km, completely stung through by trails and paths, she said jokingly, hoping that I wasn't too cold.
After a meeting with the other Educational officers in the Boathouse and lunch I packed up my things. The meeting ended and we managed to get on one of the first boats for the mainland. Nevertheless it was midnight when we got back to Falkenberg. My daughter was very happy with her weekend, even though she hadn't really made many friends as most people were about 10 years older than her or more. Now she has another great scouting memory to tell her friends about.

Yohoooo! Off we go!

First meeting for the season, and I forgot to take any piccies! We were 16 cubs and three leaders. So we have room for some new chums!

We played some steam release games, but it still felt like the boys, because there were only boys there this time, would have needed even more steamed released. Then we made eskimo games from toilet rolls and paper balls. The kids had great fun with them.

Materials: 1 empty toilet roll, one paper ball, 2-3 cm diameter, 1 m household string, paint.
Make a hole through the paper ball with a joist. Let the cubs paint the toilet roll and let it dry. Help them make a hole in the top end of the roll with the joist and ask them to tie the string to the edge with the knot of their choice. Then to thread the other end of the string through the paperball. Now the Eskimo toy is ready. The object is to get the ball into the roll as many times in a row as possible.