Unit Activities 2013

Below you can find out what the Unit got up to in 2013:

Ferny Crofts Activity Camp

12 Explorers and 1 Leader have just survived a slightly wet and cold activity weekend at Ferny Crofts National Activity Centre in the New Forest!

The Unit was planning on attending Gilwell Winter Camp over this weekend, but were too late as it had sold out when we went to purchase the tickets :(, not to be beaten, the Explorers decided that they still wanted to camp and changed their plans to an activity weekend at Ferny Crofts instead!

The Unit took part in a range of activities which included Orienteering and a 60ft Abseil in the rain on Saturday morning, followed by a slightly muddy adventure course and Frisbee Golf in the afternoon.  The damp cold conditions during the day did not stop the Unit from taking part in the activities, with most of the Unit completing the 60ft Abseil, and everyone (including the Leader!) completing the adventure course, which involved getting the entire group up and over a 6ft wall!!

After the action packed day the Unit warmed up with a curry followed by campfire songs with lots of actions to keep warm!

On the Sunday we started with Crate Stacking, with most of the pairs managing to get to 11 crates high, and some spectacular falls!!  This was followed by a 50ft drop zip wire which went down well with the Explorers.  It is highly likely that we will be returning to Ferny Crofts in the future for a similar weekend.

Chief Scout & DofE Award Presentations

Tonight saw 2 Chief Scout Awards and 3 DofE Awards presented to 3 member of the Unit - the first presentations of any of these Awards at Xtreme ESU.

Bronze DofE was awarded to Callum B.  For the Volunteering Section of the Award Callum volunteered at UKSA where he put his powerboat qualification to use providing safety boat cover.  For his Physical Section Callum undertook several Diving courses with the Aqua Dive School, gaining Master Diver & Deep Dive Nitrox qualifications.  For his Skill Section Callum took up Marksmanship with Cowes Rifle and Pistol Club, competing in their summer league and winning a gold medal for 10m air pistol.  Callum took part in the Expeditions in August in the Lake District and gave his presentation in October last year.  So far Callum has been part of Xtreme ESU for 23 months, during which he has taken part in 32 nights away.  He ran an evening for his Chief Scouts Award on litter in the waters around the Island and its impact on Diving and the natural environment, he has one other aspect to complete before he can be awarded the Chief Scout Platinum Award.

Chief Scout Platinum Award & Bronze DofE awarded to George H.  For the Volunteering Section of the Award George took part in a School project to raise money for the Charity Faith & Football.  They raised money through a variety of events including an Easter Egg Hunt, Bingo, Murder Mystery and a Quiz Night managing to raise a fantastic £1024.18.  George completed his Physical Section playing rugby for the Vectis Rugby Club where he regularly plays in the fly half and full back positions.  For his Skill Section George worked hard on his Ceremonial Drill as part of 1024 Air Cadet Squadron based in Ryde.  George took part in 5 drills including the Jubilee and Remembrance Day Parades.  George also completed his Expedition in the Lake District in August, and presented in October last year.  George has been a member of Xtreme for 22 months and has completed 24 nights away with the Unit.  For his Chief Scouts Award he ran an evening on different religious festivals, what they mean to the religions and how they are celebrated.  He used the Faith & Football work towards the International element of the Award and completed another fundraising event for his volunteering with the Round the Island Relay for Hounds for Heroes.

Diamond Chief Scout Award & Silver DofE awarded to Adam R.  For the Volunteering Section of the Award Adam has volunteered as a Young Leader with 1st Newchurch Scout Troop for the last 2 years, he has undertaken training for this role and has proved a valuable member of the Leadership Team.  Adam completed his Physical Section with the Seaclose Swimming Club, improving his technique in all strokes and gaining new personal bests.  For his Skill Section Adam undertook the development of a number of websites for Charities and non-profit making organisations, completing additional ICT classes at school.  Adam also completed his Expedition in the Lake District in August, and presented in October last year.  Adam has been a member of Xtreme for 27 months and has completed 42 nights away during this time.  For his Chief Scouts Award he ran two evenings for the Unit, the first on the effect of air travel and aircraft design and its impact on the environment, with the second evening exploring the use of an Eco house produced in Africa and how it could provide affordable and ecological housing in poorer countries for the International element of the Award.

Congratulations to all 3 on their achievements for which they should be very proud.  We hope to see a few more of these Awards given out by the end of the year.

Karting in Eastleigh

10 Explorers and 3 Leaders enjoyed their Easter Sunday afternoon Karting in Eastleigh today.

The Unit joined an open track session at TeamSport's Eastleigh Indoor Karting Track.  The session lasted from just after 5pm til 10.30pm with everyone getting onto the track for x5 10 minute sessions.

The afternoon was enjoyed by all, with some fierce competition between the Explorers and 2 of the Leaders.  We also took the opportunity to invest 4 of our newest recruits as they went round the track bringing our numbers up to 25!

Chief Scout Platinum/Bronze DofE & Chief Scout Diamond/Silver DofE Practice Expeditions

4 teams have just completed their practice expeditions for their Chief Scout/DofE Awards on the Island.   2 teams completed their Diamond CSA/Silver DofE expeditions over three days and 2 nights, completing 7 hours of activity a day, the other 2 teams completed their Platinum CSA/Bronze DofE expeditions over 2 days and one night completing 6 hours of activity a day.

One Silver team walked from Culver Down to Godshill for the first overnight stay completing a project on the Culver Memorial.  Their second day saw them walk from Godshill to Ventnor via The Hoy Monument which was their project, this team managed to get to the Monument before visibility on the Down got too bad, unlike the second team who had visibility of just 15 metres when they headed up to the monument.  Their third day involved them walking to Atherfield where there project was fossil hunting on the beach.  The second team completed a similar route in the other direction.  Both teams completed and did really well, especially considering the atrocious weather conditions they encountered on the Saturday.

One Bronze team walked from Newport to Cowes via Bowcombe Down and Parkhurst Forest where they completed their project on the Red Squirrels.  Their second day saw them walk to Corf Campsite via the nature reserve at Newtown where they studied the wildlife.  The Second team walked in the opposite direction, staying overnight at Northwood and completing similar projects.  Both of these teams also did really well considering the weather on their first day, and the fact that this was the first time some of them had completed such an expedition.

At the end of and during the expeditions we took the opportunity to invest 4 more of our latest recruits bringing our total number of invested Explorers up to 29!

With these practice expeditions complete, the Explorers can look forward to their assessed expeditions which will be taking place on Dartmoor later this year!

Snowdonia Expedition 2013

8 Explorers and 3 Leaders have just returned safe and sound from an Expedition to Snowdonia for the bank holiday weekend.  We traveled up on Friday evening picking up Paul (a Scout Leader from Birmingham) en route who was to lead the high Mountain walks over the weekend.  The group arrived at our destination at 2345hrs after a long journey and some very steep hills which the minibus only just got over!!  The group stayed in a Bunk House at Dolgun Uchaf, near Dolgellau in the south western corner of the Snowdonia National Park.

The group split into 2 teams, with one team going up the mountain with Paul, and the other doing a lower walk with the other leaders.  On the Saturday the mountain walk took the team from Capel Curig up over Glyder Fach and onto Glyder Faw giving them stunning views of the surrounding area including Tryfan and Snowdonia in the distance.  The other team couldn't get the 17 seater minibus to where we had planned on starting our walk, so headed up to Conwy and completed a hike across the coastal hills behind Tan Y Foel, climbing Tan Y Ffrith for some amazing views of the coastline.

On the Sunday the teams swapped, with one team completing a hike from Llanrwst through the forest into Betws Y Coed, and the others completing a circular route from Capel Cruig, along and then up the valley between Tryfan and Glyder Fach to the top of Glyder Fach.  Unfortunately the Sunday saw cloud decend onto the mountains at around 650 mtrs, meaning that the the team at the top of Gylder Fach at 805 mtrs, didn't get the same views as the team on the previous day, but they did get to play with the emergency shelter!

Everyone had a great time, enjoying their experiences and achievements, with most keen to return for more next year!  Our thanks go to Paul who gave up his weekend to take us up for the 'mountain experience'.

Sponsored Bike Ride

23 Explorers, Supporters and Leaders have just completed a Sponsored Bike Ride of 1000 miles in aid of their August Chief Scout & DofE Award Expeditions planned for Dartmoor in August this year and the Sophie Rolf KissyPuppy Appeal.

The members enjoyed a sunny day of cycling along the Newport to Sandown cycle track a total of 123 times to cover the 1000 mile challenge they set themselves.

The total raised so far (19th June) is £510, keep checking back for the final amount!

Survival Camp

14 Explorers and 3 Leaders have just 'Survived' the Weekend at Corf.  The camp started on Friday night with the Explorers arriving and setting up tents and hammocks to sleep in for the first night, as well as gathering wood for the following day.  Saturday morning saw them eat a hearty cooked breakfast before the 'survival' element began.

The Explorers took part in Archery Saturday morning, gaining points which they would use later to barter for food with.  They also started to build the shelters that they would be sleeping in on Saturday night.  For lunch the Explorers had to light an open fire and cook vegetable kebabs followed by some fruit.  Following lunch they went out on a short hike and treasure hunt, again gaining points to use for food for their evening meal.  When they returned from lunch they were taught how to skin, gut and prepare rabbits for their dinner which they spit roasted over open fires along with a selection of vegetables.  For pudding they had a pineapple hollowed out and filled with a variety of fruit which had been warmed on their fires.

They finished Saturday evening off with a wide game around corf and a campfire.  On Sunday the Explorers had to prepare and cook fish and broiled eggs for their breakfast, with only 2 eggs exploding in the fire!  They then set about building rafts to escape from survival island with varying degrees of success!  Once they had escaped they had a ploughmans lunch before having to strike camp and go home!

'Summer' Kayaking

Half of the Unit enjoyed an evening of kayaking off St Helen's Duver tonight, with the more experienced members venturing out to St Helen's Fort.  They managed to get a relatively decent amount of time on the water gaining more confidence in the kayaks during the 'summer' evening!!

Gilwell 24

11 Unit members and 1 Leader have just returned from a very hot (36 degrees) activity packed weekend at Gilwell 24.  They joined forces with 18 other Explorers and Leaders from 4 other Units on the Island to travel up to this annual National Explorer Scout Event.

 

This year was a first for 24 of the party, with 6 returning for the second or third time!  The event, as the name suggests, is 24 hours of activities from 0900 Saturday to 0900 Sunday morning.  There is a wide variety of activities on offer, and members enjoyed the opportunity to go Kayaking and White Water Rafting at the Olympic Lee Valley Centre, as well as clay pigeon shooting, archery, zorbing, high ropes course, scouting skills, all night cinema, radio presenting, caving, 4x4 experience, 3G swing, Flying Trapeze and brush boarding to name but a few.

 

Not everyone made the full 24 hours awake, but all had a great time trying.  You can listen to the radio broadcast some of the members recorded here.  At the end of the event, before heading home we invested our latest 2 recruits on the lawn in front of the White House, bringing our numbers up to 31!  Many of them are already talking about next year!

Mini Challenge Evening

The Unit have just enjoyed a warm evening at Corf taking part in a range of mini challenges.  The members were split into 3 teams of 7 to take part in 5 different challenges requiring them to work together and test out their problem solving skills.

 

The challenges were: building a freestanding catapult out of bamboo canes and elastic bands that would fire a tennis ball at least 5 metres (all failed), The Towers of Hanoi (all completed), Fox & Chickens - all but one team member blindfolded and guided into a 'pen' with the use of a whistle for communication (all completed), Blind folded puzzle making (varying degrees of success!!), and floating a tennis ball out of a pipe full of holes (all completed - very wet in the process!!!).

 

They all worked well in their teams and had great fun along the way with the inevitable water fight at one of the challenges!!

Coasteering @ Freshwater Bay

13 Explorers and 2 Leaders have just taken part in Coasteering at Freshwater Bay with Isle of Wight Adventure Activities.  As you can see from the photos everyone had a great time!

Chief Scout/DofE Expeditions - North Devon

8 Explorers and 2 Leaders have just got back from a trip to North Devon where 2 teams undertook their Chief Scout/DofE Expeditions.  Both teams consisted of 4 Explorers, one completing their Platinum Chief Scout/Bronze DofE and the other completing their Diamond Chief Scout/Silver DofE level expeditions.

Our adventure started on the Tuesday with an early start and traveling by minibus to Braunton, stopping at Tiverton Services to meet the Assessor for the two expeditions.  We stayed overnight in the Sea Scout HQ in Braunton, followed by an early start on the Wednesday morning after breakfast!

The Bronze team started out from Shirlwell Cross covering a distance of 15km and a height gained of 340m en route to a public campsite in Braunton.  They completed their 6 hours of activity for the day with a stop off at the Marsh Pool Nature Reserve where they studied and sketched the wildlife for their project.  After resisting the temptation of burgers, chips and sweets served at campsite (despite the owners best attempts), their second day was spent traveling a distance of 16km and a height of 440m to walk to Woolacombe via Croyde Bay where they once again stopped to study and sketch the wildlife.  Once they had finished their Expedition they spent the night at another public campsite near Mullacombe Cross before a short walk and a day exploring Illfracombe on the Friday.

The Silver Team started their expedition on the Tuesday in Combe Martin, walking the costal path through Illfracombe and up and over the seven hills before reaching their destination at the public campsite near Mullacott Cross.  They covered a distance of 19km and gained a total height of 1069m on what turned out to be a hot day with temperatures reaching 26 degrees! This impacted on their journeying time extending it by 3 hours!!  After a good nights sleep they headed out to the Coastal path once again walking alongside Woolacombe Beach, through Croyde Bay and back into Braunton where they stayed overnight at the public campsite, covering a distance of 22km and a height gained of 470m.  They also resisted the owners temptation of chips burgers, chips and sweets before their final days back on the coastal path through Marsh Pool Nature Reserve and along into Barnstable where they finished at the heritage centre, completing a distance of 21km and a total of 189m height gained.

After completing their expeditions the Explorers were treated to a large spread of takeaway food including fish and chips, pizza, garlic bread and kebabs!  After a hearty full English on Saturday morning we headed back to the Island, no doubt pleased to get back to their own comfy beds!!  The feedback from the assessor was very positive for both teams who successfully completed their expeditions - well done, you should be very proud of your achievements!

Thorpe Park

A handful of Explorers and one Leader have just returned from a day trip to Thorpe Park.  After a very early start followed by breakfast at MacDonald's and Starbucks at Fleet Services, the group enjoyed a dry (apart from some of the rides) day at the Park.

Thankfully the park was not too busy so we managed to get onto all the rides we were interested in, most more than once!  Following the trip today, some of them are considering a weekend at Alton Towers next year :).

Tunnel Trail & Fencing at PGL

21 Explorers and 2 Leaders have enjoyed an evening at PGL Little Canada in Wootton.  The Unit took part in a Tunnel Trail under the main building, crawling around in the damp pitch black carrying out a few tasks and playing 'sardines' and 'cops & robbers', as well as having a go a Fencing.  As with last year, fencing was popular, avoiding any serious injuries!!

Chief Scout & DofE Award Presentations

Tonight saw 2 Chief Scout Awards and 1 DofE Award presented:

Platinum Chief Scout awarded to Callum B.  Callum completed his Bronze DofE Award and most of his Platinum Chief Scout Award back in March of this year with only one element left to complete.  Callum assisted with the training and preparation of the Platinum Chief Scout and Bronze DofE Expedition Teams earlier this year which we counted towards his Award, enabling it presentation this evening.

Diamond Chief Scout Award & Sliver DofE awarded to Helen B. For the volunteering section of her award Helen undertook a leadership role within the Royal Naval Section of the Combined Cadet Forces at Ryde School.   She undertook a Leadership Course which she passed, and became involved in organising an Island March raising money for Dogs for the Blind.  Helen completed her physical section with the Seaclose Swimming Club. Over the 6 months she improved and in the November championships she won several medals and achieved personal bests in 200mtr front crawl, 100mtr backstroke, 200mtr IM and 800mtr front crawl.  For her skills section Helen undertook singing lessons and Musical Theatre Exams. Helen performed well and achieved her Grade 6 with Merit in Music Theatre with the London College of Music Examinations.  Helen took part in the Lake District Expeditions in 2012, giving her presentation to the Unit and invited guests in October of the same year.  Helen has now been a member of Xtreme for 34 months, and during her time with the Unit has completed 31 nights Away.  Helen helped teach 1st Aid at the beginning of the year assisting 22 members to complete either stage 2, 3 or 4 Emergency Aid, completing level 5 herself, which we have counted towards her Chief Scouts Award.

Congratulations to both on their achievements, of which they should be very proud.