Unit Activities 2012

Below you can find out what the Unit got up to in 2012:

Xtreme at Gilwell Winter Camp

10 members of the Unit and 1 Leader joined Explorers from 3 other Island Units to travel to Gilwell Winter Camp over the weekend of 6th - 8th January.

Thankfully, and despite previous year's extreme weather conditions, the weather held out for the weekend - much to David's relief as he forgot the joints for the Mess Tent, leaving the group to cook an dine alfresco for the weekend (something he probably won't be let to forget for a while!!).

This is an annual event held at Gilwell Park for Scouts, Explorers and Guides, and saw the members take part in a wide variety of activities from abseiling, brush boarding, segway's, high and low ropes, 4x4 experience, disco's, cinema, simulators, robot wars and many, many more...

It is likely that there will be a return trip for 2013!

Investitures on top of Stenbury!

8 members of the Unit enjoyed a day of hiking and Geocashing today culminating in the latest investitures which took place on the top of Stenbury Down.

The Explorers found 5 of the 8 Geochashes that they searched for on their hike from Arreton to Appledurcombe via the top of Stenbury Down.  The Explorers climbed the stairs on the north face of the down before reaching the Obelisk at which the 2 newest members were invested, watched by a family flying their kites!

Following the rather blustery investitures a number of the Explorers decided to take the weight off their feet and roll down the side of the hill!!

Sports Relief Mile 2012

9 Explorers (some of them in fancy dress) and 1 Leader travelled across to Southampton today to take part in the Sports Relief Mile.

Most of the Unit members completed the 6 mile route and have raised at total of £188 - well done!!

New Forest Cycling Camp

10 Explorers and 2 Leaders (one now unable to walk properly) have just completed a weekend cycling and camping in the New Forest.

The Unit caught the Lymington Ferry on Friday evening (just!!) and cycled to Ferny Crofts (approx 11 miles) which is Hampshire's County Camp Site.  On the Saturday the Unit cycled across and through the Forest to Burley Scout HQ (approx 23 miles) in the West of the New Forest.  On Sunday the Unit cycled back to Lymington (approx 17 miles), following a non-direct route and stopping off for an ice cream following an unplanned diversion (sorry guy's!!).

The weekend was quite eventful with most people falling off their bike at some point and 2 flat tyres!  However, everyone was safely delivered home and even asked the knackered Leaders if they could do it again in the summer....

Xtreme Day Out!

10 members of the Unit have just has a great day traveling round the Island on the Buses.

The Unit was spilt into two teams and tasked with visiting as many of the destinations on the Isle of Wight Monopoly Board as possible before 6pm using a one day rover ticket on the buses.

The Teams came back together for a BBQ at the HQ and to compare success, it was quite clear that one team had taken it very seriously, and the others just enjoyed a good day out!!

Bronze DofE/Diamond Chief Scouts & Silver DofE/Platinum Chief Scouts Award Practice Expeditions

3 teams of 4 Explorers have just completed their practice expeditions on the Island in preparation for their main expeditions in the Lake District at the end of August this year for either their Bronze DofE/Diamond Chief Scouts or Silver DofE/Platinum Chief Scouts Awards.

The teams started on the Friday evening hiking to their first destination where they set up camp and had supper.  They than packed up and set of for their second destination on the Saturday, doing the same Saturday night and heading for their finish locations on the Sunday.

Each team carried all of the equipment they need for the weekend and their food, only able to collect water on route.  They all cover approx 32km over the course of the weekend, during which they were being assessed for their participation in the main expeditions at the end of August when we plan on heading up to the Lake District.

All of the teams did very well, with this being the first time a couple of the new Explorers had completed a Lightweight Expedition, they should all be very proud of their achievement.

Xtreme at Gilwell 24 2012

14 Unit members (that's nearly all of us!!) and 1 Leader have just returned from the National Explorer Scout Event Gilwell 24, attended for the second year running.  The Unit joined 8 other Explorers and Leaders from Vectis Vanguard and Da Explora's ESU's for the Event.

Gilwell 24 is an annual event held at Gilwell Park, the National Scout Headquarters and Activity Centre.

The event, as the name suggests, involves 24 hours of activities starting at 0900 on the Saturday morning, going through he night to 0900 on the Sunday.  The Explorers took part in a large number of events that were on offer including abseiling, archery, shooting, high ropes course, swimming, diving, orienteering, late night films, 3G swing, Disco, crate stacking, assault course and many, many more...

On the ferry on the way back we climbed to the top deck to invest our two newest members, bring our total membership to 18!

After attending the driest Winter Camp in January at Gilwell, this turned out to be the wettest Gilwell 24!! but that just confirms the bizarre weather that we are experiencing at the moment!!  Yet again the Unit decided very quickly that they would like to return to the event in 2013!

August Chief Scout Platinum/Diamond & DofE Bronze/Silver Expeditions - The Lake District

12 Explorers and 3 Leaders have just returned from the Lake District after completing their full expeditions for their Chief Scout Platinum/Diamond & DofE Bronze/Silver Awards.  The 12 Explorers were in 3 teams, 2 completing Platinum/Bronze level and 1 Diamond/Silver level.

We started the adventure by traveling up to the Lake District by minibus the day before the expeditions started and stayed overnight in the Kentdale District HQ in Ambleside.  As we passed through Lancaster on the M6 the Lake District Came into view, much to the dismay of the Explorers who did not like the look of the hills!!!  At Ambleside the teams met Richard our DofE assessor, and had a kit check completed.  The Explorers were encouraged to take less clothing with them than they had planned to assist in lightening their kit bags, but they all resisted Richards suggestion that they did not need more than one spare pair of clothes!!

The expeditions started on the Wednesday morning, Platinum/Bronze Team One set out from the HQ and headed west around the top of lake Windermere towards Hawkshead which was their first overnight stop.  The weather was not kind to them on the first day with thunder and lightening and torrential rain downpours!!  They visited a small museum en route dedicated to Beatrix Potter who was the subject of their project for the expedition.  Their campsite at Hawkshead was a little waterlogged, but they managed to find a piece of land just about big enough for their tent.  Day two saw them heading south to Near Sawery, where they found Beatrix Potters House, before heading west to their second campsite in Satterthwaite.  This saw them complete their expedition, and they were to say here overnight before a walk to the final meeting point the following day, however because they were a mixed team and staying in one tent (although in separate compartments) the farmer refused to allow them to stay on his site and they had to be collected and returned to the HQ at Ambleside.

Platinum/Bronze Team Two were dropped off at their start point on the Wednesday, as starting out from the HQ would have made their hike far too long!  The team started in Troutbeck and had a very steep climb from the outset!  They headed south east over the rolling hillsides heading for their first stop at Crook, near Kendall.  After a late start on the second day the team headed east into Kendall and their project at Kendall Castle, before they turned west heading for their second stop at Great Tower campsite.  They had a rather ambitious distance to cover with a combined climb of around 700mtrs on their second day, so in conjunction with the Assessor the leaders decide to cut their route short to a reasonable distance and take them by minibus to their second stop which completed their expedition.  They spent the night at Great Tower Campsite (once they found their pitch!!), and made their way with just their day bags to the finish point on the third day.

The Diamond/Silver Team set out from the HQ on the first day heading south along the east coast of Lake Windermere.  They stopped off at a tourist information point in Windermere to find out more about the lake which formed part of their project.  After a challenging day with the weather and terrain the had their first stop at Great Tower Campsite, a National Scout Activity Centre, where they had a good look round and rated the campsite, unfortunately they were not that impressed!  the second day saw them heading south towards Ayside, spending their second night in a very up-market campsite, where they made use of the very comfy sofas in reception!  Their third day saw them heading further south towards Morecomb Bay, before they turned north towards their final destination which was the steam railway at Haverthwaite, where they were met by Richard and the other teams.

All of the teams completed and achieved their Expeditions.  They found it quite hard going as the terrain is very different from what they are used to, but they all pulled together in their teams and work well achieving their goals.  They learnt quite a bit about themselves and their team members, and have a list of things they can improve on for next time - well done to all!!

Climbing & Fencing at PGL Little Canada

Following the popularity of the indoor climbing at Little Canada last year, the Unit decided to return tonight, and as well as taking part in the indoor climbing we also decided to take part in a fencing taster session!  The Explorers enjoyed both the climbing wall and the fencing where they learnt some of the most common moves and techniques, with some of them proving quite nifty with a foil!!

Xtreme Day at Thorpe Park!

16 members of the Unit have just returned from an fun-filled day at Thorpe Park!  We meet bleary-eyed early this morning to get the Red Funnel Ferry across to Southampton, then off on the M3 to Thorpe Park.

We arrived in time for the opening at 10am and spent until 5pm in the Theme Park enjoying rides such as Colossus, Swarm, Nemesis Inferno, X-no way out, Saw, Stealth, The Rapids and the Log Flume to name but a few!  Everyone managed to keep their dinner down, despite getting very giddy on the tea-cups, although some of us did get a little wet for the journey home!!

Unit Winter/Halloween Camp

17 Explorers and 3 Leaders enjoyed a weekend in the Pack Holiday Centre at Corf Scout Camp for their annual Winter/Halloween Camp.

The Camp started on the Friday evening with Explorers tasked with making their own 'Scary Movie' using Corf as the venue.  The Explorers threw themselves into the activity, with a number of thespians rising from the ranks!!  They then edited their footage before the premier was shown to all.  They had a great time and put a lot of effort into the movie which turned out more of an unintentional comedy than a scary movie!!  They also had the chance to carve pumpkins to a varying degree of success!

Saturday morning saw the Explorers having a go at archery (our thanks to Lizzie for running the archery for us), as well as practicing their knife axe and saw skills preparing the fire for their backwoods style lunch of chicken stew and the old favorite chocolate banana!  After lunch they took part in a short treasure hunt around the Newtown area, gaining points for the movie watching later that night.  After a mammoth effort preparing and cooking lasagne and apple crumble, the Unit settled down to a few horror movies for the evening, trying to scare each other during the tense moments!

On Sunday morning the Explorers had an early start with pancakes for breakfast before heading out on the creek for some kayaking, and the opportunity to invest the 5 most recent recruits taking our total membership up to 22 at present!  After lunch, and clearing out and cleaning the Pack Holiday Centre for the next adventurers, the Unit spent a couple of hours on the main field playing man hunt and cat & mouse before being collected to go home.