Unit Activities 2014

Below you can find out what the Unit got up to in 2014:
 

Brass Monkeys Camp at Ferny Crofts

12 Explorers and 1 Leader have just returned, and are drying off and thawing out following a second 'Winter Camp' at Ferny Crofts National Activity Centre in the New Forest.

Due to the success of this camp last January (after failing to get organised in time to book for Gilwell Winter Camp), the Unit decided they would like to return to Ferny Crofts for a similar activity again this year instead of traveling to Gilwell for the National Winter Camp event.

Once again the Unit took part in a range of activities, trying out some new ones for 2014!  Much the same as last year we were welcomed to Ferny Crofts to put up our tents in a deluge, however the weather held out for us for the rest of the weekend, although it did get very cold Saturday night! We started our adventure with a 60ft climb on Saturday morning, which almost everyone managed to get to the top of.  This was followed by the Adventure Course, once again enjoyed by all, and everyone got over the 8ft wall (with or without assistance!!).  After a well earn't lunch the Explorers completed the Gladiator Challenge which involved a Jacobs Ladder, rope ladder and scramble net to reach the top!  The Unit finished off the afternoon with another round of Frisbee Golf, frisbees were generally better controlled than last year!

 

Saturday evening once again involved warming up with a curry for tea, followed by campfire songs without the camp fire with plenty of actions to keep warm!

 

Sunday morning started with the Crate Stacking activity, most of the pairs did really well with one achieving a stack of 12 crates before falling!!  Following the crate stack most of the Explorers had a go at the Leap of Faith over varying distances with varying success.  To make the challenge even more interesting 2 of the Explorers completed it blindfolded!!  Once again the camp was enjoyed by all, so Ferny Crofts should expect us back next year, same time!! 

Diamond Chief Scouts & Silver DofE Award

Tonight Saw George H awarded his Diamond Chief Scout Award and Silver DofE Award, 11 months after receiving his Platinum Bronze Awards!

For his volunteering George worked in the Cafe at the Earl Mountbatten Hospice. He undertook and passed a level 1 food hygiene certificate before he could serve food and beverages. George enjoyed his time at the cafe and hopes to continue to volunteer there in the future.  George’s physical section was completed with the Vectis Rugby Club where he has been a member for a number of years playing the Fly half and Full Back positions.  For his skills section George joined the Cowes Gun Club and underwent instruction with the .177 air rifle. George did well, competing in a number of competitions in the 10m air rifle category.  George took part in the Silver Team Expedition in Devon in August last year, their project was coastal erosion and the impact on tourism.  He presented with his team back in October.  George has now been a member of Xtreme for 32 months, and during his time with the Unit has completed 36 nights Away.  George has been an active member of the Unit, taking part in a wide variety of activities over the year.

Congratulations to George on his achievements and his dedication to completing the Awards in the timeframe, I sincerely hope to be able to give him his Queens' Scout and Gold Award before he leaves us!

Scuba Try-dive with Wight Dolphins

8 members of the Unit have just spent the evening with the Wight Dolphin Dive club out at the West Wight Swimming Pool.  The Explorers were given a short talk on scuba diving and the opportunities available to them at Wight Dolphins, followed by just over an hour in the pool having a go!

The activity was enjoyed by everyone who went, as well as getting to grips with the basics, some of the Explorers had a go at mask clearing, using their emergency valves and also some acrobatics!

 

Cardboard Castle

The Unit have enjoyed another evening of Cardboard Castle.  Turning out to be a favorite for the Unit, this year due to numbers we had to have 4 castles built out of scrap cardboard.  As can be seen from the photos, there were varying designs and success with their castles, but after the battle they all looked the same!

Karting in Eastleigh

17 Explorers and 3 Leaders have just returned from an afternoon Karting at the Teamsport karting track in Eastleigh.

This is a return visit following on from our trip to the track on Easter Sunday last year.  The explorers had been hounding the leaders for a return trip ever since!  We returned for one of their open track karting nights joining 30 other people for 10 minute turns on the track between 1730-2230hrs.  We all managed 5 sessions giving us a total of 50 mins on the track during the evening.

Once again we took the opportunity to invest one of our new recruits and one of the Leaders, brining our numbers up to 33 Explorers! There was some fierce competition between many of the members, with some of us just enjoying the experience and getting in the others way!! I'm guessing we will be back there for more again next year! 

Dinosaur Building

The Unit is currently building 2 dinosaurs which are to be used for racing round an assault course at a county event at Corf in May!

So far the Unit has spent 2 evenings cutting out their dinosaurs and starting to put them together!  The next stage is to completely cover their templates in chicken wire before covering again in a layer of paper mache!  Its gonna get messy next time!  More photos will be added as the dinosaurs progress!

Platinum Chief Scout & Bronze Dof E Awards

This evening saw the awarding of 3 Platinum Chief Scout and 3 Bronze DofE Awards.

Platinum Chief Scout & Bronze DofE awarded to Aston M.  For his volunteering Aston has been helping as a Young leader with 1st Newchurch Scout Troop since spring 2012.  During his time with the Section he has completed most of the training modules for the Young Leaders Scheme.  Aston’s physical section involved Ice Skating.  Aston started relatively new to skating and according to his assessor has grasped the basic concepts, achieving a National Skate UK level 6.  Aston undertook small bore rifle shooting with the Isle of Wight Scout Shooting Club for his Skills Section.  This involved regular attendance at the Clubs sessions, and he has taken part in several competitions.  Aston took part in the Expeditions in August 2012 in the Lake District and gave his presentation in October 2012.  So far Aston has been part of Xtreme ESU for 29 months, during which he has taken part in 39 nights away.

Platinum Chief Scout & Bronze DofE awarded to James V.  For his volunteering James has been helping as a Young leader with 1st Godshill & Rookley Scout Troop since it restarted in Sept 2012.  During his time with the Section he has completed most of the training modules for the Young Leaders Scheme.  James’s physical section involved sailing, a sport that he is keen on, with a view to becoming a more competitive sailor.  James completed a number of training courses and took part in a variety of club competitions, moving up from a pico to a laser.  James also undertook small bore rifle shooting with the Isle of Wight Scout Shooting Club for his Skills Section.  This involved regular attendance at the Clubs sessions, and he has taken part in several competitions, achieving a respect for the sport and a satisfactory level of skill according to his assessor.  James also completed his Expedition in the Lake District in August 2012, and presented in October 2012.  James has been a member of Xtreme for 23 months and has completed 38 nights away with the Unit.

Platinum Chief Scout & Bronze DofE awarded to Greg T.  For his volunteering Greg has been helping as a Young leader with 1st Newchurch Scout Troop since June 2013. During his time with the Section he has completed some of the training modules for the Young Leaders Scheme.  Greg’s physical section involved Skiing. Greg prepared for a Skiing holiday with his school by undertaking skiing lessons and increasing his fitness running on the School Track.   He took part in a Skiing holiday with the School at Serre Chevalier in France where he completed a number of runs.  For his Skills Section Greg took part in a 12 week Bronze DofE Police Course. During the course Greg learnt about the Dog Unit, Armed Response Unit, Scenes of Crime, a druk talk and visited the communications centre at Netley.   Greg also completed his Expedition in the Lake District in August 2012, and presented in October 2012.  Greg has been a member of Xtreme for 21 months and has completed 20 nights away during this time.

Congratulations to all 3 on their achievements for which they should be very proud.  These awards bring the total number awarded since March Last year to 5 Platinum Chief Scout/Bronze DofE and 3 Diamond Chief Scout/Silver DofE Awards.  There are several members of the Unit working towards their Awards and we hope they will be completed by the end of the year.

Practice Expeditions for Chief Scouts & DofE Awards

2 Teams of Explorers have just finished their practice expeditions for their Chief Scout and DofE Awards.

The Platinum/Bronze team completed their 2 day 1 night practice hiking from the HQ in Newport out through Parkhurst Forest, up to Marks Corner and then through Porchfield to Corf where they stayed overnight.  Day 2 saw them hiking from Corf south through Shalfleet & Newbridge then up onto Brighstone Down where they joined the Tennyson Trail bringing them back into Newport where they finished at Carisbrooke Castle.  They did well completing their challenge, which was the first of its kind for some of them, and learnt some valuable lessons along the way, including the need to spend their entire shopping budget, not just half!!

The Diamond/Silver team are an experienced bunch, many having completed several expeditions previously.  They started of in Firestone Copse, heading towards Newport via Robin Hill, then turning south to Godshill where they spent their first night.  Day 2 saw them hiking to Carisbrooke Castle, where they saw the other team finish, before heading of to Corf themselves for their 2nd night.  On day 3 they headed back to the HQ in Newport via Parkhurst Forest.  The team did really well, demonstrated excellent teamwork in what was some quite inclement weather!

Both teams are now looking forward to completing their qualifying Expeditions at the end of May in the Cotswold's.

Mountaineering in Wales

8 Explorers and Leaders have just returned from a trip to Wales over the bank holiday weekend.  The Unit joined forces with 29th Birmingham Scouts for a return visit to Dolgellau following last years successful expedition.  We returned to the same bunkhouse as last year in Dolgun Uchaf, but hiked in the surround area instead of heading to the northern area of Snowdonia.

After the very late (or should that be early?) arrival we were up and raring to go on the Saturday morning.  The group split into two, with one heading up over Cadair Idris (the second tallest mountain in Wales), and the other heading towards Barmouth and the Arthog Waterfalls.  The team completing the lower walk parked in the Moria Mawddach Station car park and headed off along the Barmouth Footbridge towards Barmouth.  The group circled round Barmouth heading up over the hills behind the town for some spectacular views of the surrounding area before heading back over the footbridge in search of the waterfalls.  Sadly they were unable to get to the waterfalls as time was against them going to pick up the other team.

The team heading over Cadair Idris set off from Minffordd on a steep climb to scale the 852 metre peek of the Mountain, taking in amazing views of the surrounding area and the northern Snowdonia mountain range.  At the top of the mountain they also took in the views of the Lyln Cau lake, before descending to be picked up at Ty-nant.  The following day the two groups swapped, with the team completing the lower walk heading to the Arthog Waterfalls, before heading to Barmouth beach for an icecream!

Our sincere thanks go to Paul from 29th Birmingham for taking the Unit up Cadair Idris.

Shelter Building

15 Explorers and 4 Leaders have just enjoyed and evening of slightly wet Shelter Building!  The Explorers were split into 3 teams, given 3 poles, ropes and 3 ground sheets and tasked with building a shelter in which they could boil a pan for a hot drink during a rain shower!

As you can see from the photos the teams all approached the task very differently with varying success.  The teams had a time limit before the downpour would start, which involved the leaders having a whale of a time throwing buckets of water over the shelters whist the Explorers tried to stay dry and boil their water.  As you can image, several of the Explorers got just a little wet!!

Team Building for IOW NHS Children's Services

This week the Unit had been given the opportunity to raise some much needed funds by running 3 days of Team Building for Children's Services based at St Mary's Hospital.  One Leader, one Parent and 2 Explorers ran the three days for staff from Children's Ward, Children's Outpatients and the Children's Community Teams, including Ward Clerks, Nursery Nurses, Staff Nurses, the Charge Nurse, Matron and some of the Doctors.

The staff were put through their paces over an number of different activities which included communication, problem solving, leadership and teamwork exercises.  These involved activities including blindfolded tent pitching, catapult building, orienteering, ravine crossing, tennis ball float and archery.  Everyone had a great time and really enjoyed their day, with some very positive feedback about the young people who help run the events.

Thanks go to Aston M (Explorer) for his help over the 3 days, Lizzie (Parent) for her help over 2 days and Callum B (Explorer) for his help on the Friday, as well as Malc (second leader) who came and ran the Archery for us.

The money raised from this event has gone towards the travel cost to get to WINGS in the Summer, as well as the purchase of a Unit Flag and all its accessories, the subsidising of several camps and planned activities, and the creation of an assistance fund for members.

Hydrogen Challenge Workshop

The Unit has just enjoyed an evening of playing with Lego kits and hydrogen fuel cells!  The evening was run by Arcola Energy Ltd, who are on the Island traveling round schools for the Hydrogen Challenge.  The Explorers learnt a little bit about hydrogen, its importance, abundance and how it can be refined.  They then learnt how it is used to create electricity.

 

The Explorers were then challenged to make cars out of Lego kits which were powered by hydrogen fuel cells.  They had to see how far they could power their car for on one fuel cell, they were then allowed to adjust/redesign their car and try again to get their best distance.  The Explorers had a great time with the winning distance over 25 metres!!

Kayaking & Archery

This evening the Unit has been split into two groups to take part in Kayaking and Archery.  Half of the Unit started the evening an hour early and enjoyed an evening of kayaking out at St Helen's, paddling round to Priory and Seagrove Bays, enjoying the summer evening and the views.  Our thanks go to Trevor and Chris for giving up their time to run the kayaking for us.

The other half of the Unit enjoyed an evening of Archery out at Corf.  Our thanks go to Lizzie for giving up her time to run the Archery for us.  The two groups will swap activities in 2 weeks time.

Cycling Camp - New Forest

9 Explorers and 1 Leader have just returned from a weekend cycling through the New Forest.  The weekend started with a boat trip to Lymington on Friday evening following by riding to Ferny Crofts near Beaulieu before setting up the tents for the evening.  After a supper of hot dog sausages the Explorers relaxed around a campfire.

 

On the Saturday the Explorers cycled from Ferny Crofts through Lyndhurst, then north upto Fordingbridge through the forest.  Saturday turned out to be quite eventful for some of the Unit as someones chain broke and no-one had a chain tool.  Not beset by this 3 Explorers cycled off into Lyndhurst to find a bike shop and were directed by a friendly old man to the nearest bike shop in Totton!!  Consequently the rest of the Unit sat around making their own entertainment for 2 hours waiting for them to return!  Once at Fordingbridge they had fish (well mostly sausage) and chips by the bank of the river Avon.

Sunday saw the Unit cycle from Fordingbridge back to Lymington for the ferry.  Shortly after setting off they had a very steep hill to climb followed by a bog to cross! all this delayed them and even after some route adjustments they still missed the ferry they were booked on - the 2 punctures and very hot weather didn't help!  Everyone enjoyed the weekend and there were only a few minor grazes from the small crashes that occurred!!

Scouting Skills Night

The Unit enjoyed an evening of traditional Scouting Skills out at Corf.  The Unit was split into smaller groups and had the opportunity to take part in Knife, Axe & Saw Skills, Fire Lighting and Pioneering.

 

The fire lighting resulted in a Camp Fire providing the opportunity for some smores!

Platinum Chief Scout & Bronze DofE Awards

This evening as part of the 1st Newport Awards evening we were able to present 3 further Platinum Chief Scout and 3 further Bronze DofE Awards.

Platinum Chief Scout & Bronze DofE awarded to Abbey W.  For her volunteering Abbey has been helping as a Young Leader with 1st Newport Beaver Scout Colony since November 2011.  During her time with the Section she has completed most of the training modules for the Young Leaders Scheme.  Abbey’s physical section involved swimming.  Abbey has been a member of the Seaclose Swimming Club for a number of years, and has been able to improve her personal bests and win medals at several competitions.  Abbey undertook her grade 2 and worked towards her grade 4 clarinet for her skill section.  Abbey took part in the Expeditions in August 2012 in the Lake District and gave her presentation in October 2012.  So far Abbey has been part of Xtreme ESU for 39 months, during which she has taken part in 53 nights away!

Platinum Chief Scout & Bronze DofE awarded to Will F.  For his volunteering Will has been helping as a Young leader with 1st Wootton Beaver Scout Colony since March 2012..  During his time with the Section he has completed the compulsory modules of the Young Leaders Scheme.  Will's physical section involved taking up basketball.  This was  a sport that Will had no previous experience in, but took to it well developing his game.  For his skill Will completed his grade 5 for the Trombone, an instrument he has played for a number of years in a marching band.  Will completed his Expedition in North Devon in August 2013, and presented in October 2013.  Will has been a member of Xtreme for 33 months and has completed 35 nights away with the Unit.

Platinum Chief Scout & Bronze DofE awarded to Matthew E.  For his volunteering Matthew has been helping as a Young leader with 1st Newport Beaver Scout Colony since January this year. During his time with the Section he has completed the compulsory module of the Young Leaders Scheme.  Matthew’s physical section involved Badminton. Matthew has been playing badminton for a number of years, he took part in several competitions and has now moved up to the Adult League.  For his Skills Section Matthew took up Fishing.   This was a new skill which he enjoyed learning about but had varied success with.   Matthew also completed his Expedition in North Devon in August 2013, and presented in October 2013.  Matthew has been a member of Xtreme for 18 months and has completed 15 nights away during this time with the unit.

Congratulations to all 3 on their achievements for which they should be very proud.  These awards bring the total number awarded since March 2013 to 8 Platinum Chief Scout/Bronze DofE and 3 Diamond Chief Scout/Silver DofE Awards.

Ready, Steady Backwoods Cook

This evening the Unit took part in a summer favourite: Ready Steady Backwood Cook.  The activity is based on the TV show, with the Unit split into smaller teams and given a bag of ingredients.  From these ingredients they have to come up with a 2 course meal using their backwoods skills.

As ever there where some interesting ideas and combinations with varying success, but as far as we know, no-one suffered any ill-effects!

Coasteering & Mountain Boarding

10 members of the Unit enjoyed a day with Isle of Wight Adventure Activities taking part in Mountain Boarding and Coasteering.  After the success of Coasteering last year the Explorers were keen to return, adding a go at Mountain Boarding to their day!

Everyone enjoyed both of the activities, with varied success in the Mountain Boarding!

 

WINGS 2014

10 Explorers and 1 Leader have just returned from WINGS 2014.  WINGS is an International Scout & Guide Camp held in Windsor Great Park every 5 years.  The Camp is 8 days long and had 8000 participants, Leaders and Staff on-site in the Queen's back garden!  There were representatives from over 40 countries present, giving ample opportunities to make international friends.

 

The week was packed with a large variety of activities which where organised into zones: WING it, Change it, Perform it, Survive it, Splash it, Play it, Try it, Live it, Help it, Fling it & Hike it.  Mid week there was also a 'World Fair' where each group was asked to put on an activity on their campsite for other to come and have a go at.

 

As well as all of the zones, there was of course the opening and closing ceremonies and the evening entertainment which included themed disco's, cinema, WINGS got Talent and Eurovision!  There was plenty to keep everyone very busy for the duration of the camp.

 

These photos only show a very small selection of the activities that were on offer.  All of the Unit members had an amazing time and have forged new friendships with fellow Scouts and Guides from near and far.

 

Keelboating

6 members of the Unit have just enjoyed a day Keelboating out on the Solent.  The day was organised by UKSA and saw the group headed out slowly (due to very little wind!!) towards Gurnard, over to Hamble for lunch and back to Cowes avoiding the Red Funnel ferries!

Unit Halloween Camp

At the end of October/beginning of November 15 Explorers and 3 Leaders spent the Halloween weekend in the Pack Holiday Centre out at Corf.

As well as enjoying some more traditional Scouting activities including archery, orienteering, hiking, kayaking and backwoods cooking, they also spent the evenings watching scary movies and pumpkin carving, as well as having a short fireworks display!

 

The weekend was enjoyed by all, and the latest recruits were invested out on the water in the kayaks on the Sunday.