30th Abingdon Beavers took part in Parliament Week on the 15 November.
The meeting hall was set up like Westminster. Abingdon Town Councillor, Samantha Bowring talked with the Beavers about why and how local and national decisions are taken and how she was inspired to become a Councillor to help improve the local parks.
The Beavers formed their own opinions on subjects, such as whether school uniform was a good idea or if voting should be compulsory. They then came up with ideas for the Beaver meeting the week after.
Three ideas were voted on using real voting booths and a ballot box, with the Beavers having to put a cross on the chosen activity. Sledging in the dark won the ballot but we also gained lots of program ideas for next term.
The Beavers went grass sledging in the dark the week after Parliament Week, with the sledges lit up with fairy lights and had great fun.
We entered this competition for the first time. We had six Scouts but only five were in the team due to the age restriction for a ‘Junior’ team. The Scouts did great considering that, of the five, only one Scout was invested. The other four were invested on the hike.
Over 13 miles in total and just over 8 hours. For some of the younger ones this was their first time, and I hope not their last. Great navigation, I think we only got lost once and I only needed to correct directions twice.
At the end of July 2017, 30th Abingdon Scouts went on their annual week-long Summer Camp. Activities included caving, stand-up paddleboarding, cycling, trampolining and swimming, as well as traditional scout skills. The scouts cooked in their patrols each day, on stoves and on open fires.
Leo, a scout, wrote about the caving:
On summer camp 2017 as an activity we went caving in Swildon’s Hole with West Sussex Scout Caving Team. We were split into two groups each group had two instructors, in my group we had Sam and Toby. The caves were public and we went in a little hole in the ground then through this very tight bit called the zig zag. A stream ran through the cave going a long way down and there were some water falls. We went all the way to this place called the 20 foot pot but we did not go down but the other group did. We made our way back towards the top and then through a really tight tunnel into an opening, after that we carried on walking through the caves and up Jacobs Ladder until we found out that we walked in a circle. When we got out we found out that the other group had finished one hour earlier. I would recommend trying caving out and I would like to do it again.
Summer Camp was enjoyable because there was a wide range of activities. Most of all I loved the cycling because it was exciting to go through the tunnels on an old railway line just outside Bath. It was nice to go through an old Roman town. But there were plenty of other things that I liked. It was fun to cook and eat the food. There were some mishaps which made us laugh. We had great fun caving and stand up paddle boarding. I really enjoyed the whole week and would love to go again.
Another scout wrote:
Scout Camp was brilliant; I like that we got to choose what we cooked and what we did. I also enjoyed the sense of community and that every one pitched in to get something done. I liked that there was never moment when you were standing around doing nothing and always had something to do. We also got to do a wide range of activities from cycling to caving which was great fun. I particularly enjoyed singing and playing around the campfire where I got to know several of the Scouts better.
On Saturday 4th March, under clear blue skies, two teams of scouts from 30th Abingdon took on the Winter Challenge, an 18-mile hike along the Ridgeway. Here is what four scouts had to say after the event.
This was my first time doing the Winter Challenge and I didn’t know what to expect. I thought it was going to be easy, turns out it’s not! The checkpoints were a relief, they were a point closer to the end. Checkpoint 3 was the best, the bacon butties were really tasty! The terrain was really muddy & slippery & at one point I fell in a puddle. The mud added lots of weight to your feet & made it harder! I felt relieved and exhausted when I made it the whole 18 miles but also really pleased I’d done it.
On Saturday 4th March I walked the winter challenge with a group of scouts. It was a dry, bright spring day; which made for good walking conditions, so we made good time.We managed to complete it in 6 hours and 55 minutes, which we thought was a reasonable result. We walked and talked so the end was soon in sight. We had a great adult walking with us who encouraged us when we were struggling- thanks to Lucy for this support! There is a bacon butty stand and two tuck shops along the route to keep you moving.
It’s the first time I’ve done it and I would recommend the Winter Challenge to any scouts who want to test their limits.
We set off on a cold, dark but dry morning. This was my third Winter Challenge so I was planning on improving my time. When we set off, all we were talking about was our equipment and bacon butties! However, this was soon silenced when we got a taste of the bacon butties! We had fun together admiring the countryside. I can’t wait until next year!
I really enjoyed this year’s Winter Challenge. I have now done nearly 100 miles along the Ridgeway. I really loved the snacks and bacon butties, especially the lack of queues! It was great fun just walking and talking and I would recommend it to Scouts nad Cubs of all ages. I would also like to thank the Oxfordshire Kenya Unit for providing snacks at Checkpoint 4.
From the 2nd to the 4th September 2016, beavers, cubs and scouts from 30th Abingdon, and their families, camped at 1st Goring Heath Scout HQ for the group’s annual family camp.
Friday evening was mostly pitching tents and hammocks, and getting everything set up. After breakfast on Saturday, everyone split into teams and hiked down to 1st Goring HQ. Teams used either a northern or southern route.
The northern route:
The southern route:
Once at 1st Goring, the beavers, cubs, scouts and explorer scouts took part in climbing and everyone took part in the other activities: fire lighting, giant marble run, first aid, craft activities and circus skills. We invested Tom as a scout while on the climbing wall.
We stayed at 1st Goring until late afternoon when the teams hiked back to 1st Goring Heath using whichever route they did not use in the morning. The hike back was very wet with torrential rain and streams running down the paths; it was certainly a walk to remember!
Sunday morning involved more activities: sucker archery, slack lining, map making, pioneering, water rockets and more fire lighting. The young persons and their families were free to choose which activities they wished to join in with. The fire that resulted from the fire lighting was used to toast marshmallows after lunch before we all packed up and went home.
Camping with minimal equipment is a useful skill. Recently, scouts from 30th Abingdon undertook two “survival” camps, using only a small amount of equipment and hiking to the campsite. The camps were organised by scouts Luke and Tom. Scout Dan wrote the following reports on the camp:
On Luke’s survival camp we hiked to Youlbury starting at the scout hut and going up through Abingdon and Sunningwell. When we arrived at Youlbury we set up our camp which was made of 2 ground sheets under overlapping tarpaulins. The activity we did was Aerial Trek. We cooked noodles on the Trangia and made a fire. Overall this camp was really good and well organised. The activity was great (but an adult has to be present) and the noodles were easy to cook. We made fires which I enjoyed and played games on the field. I think the survival bags could have been better as they weren’t breathable allowing a layer of moisture to build on the inside. On Tom’s camp we hiked from his house in North Abingdon. This improved the hike as it meant we did not have to do the section of the walk that was on the road near the centre of Abingdon and could immediately join a footpath.
On this camp we hiked from Tom’s house to Youlbury and made camp in a similar way to Luke’s camp. We did go-karting as the activity and the food was noodles. This camp was very good as we had learnt from any mistakes on the last camp – we took more food! Tom’s mother brought all of the group kit such as the camping gear in her car making the hike significantly easier as we did not have to carry extra gear. The food was good and the activity was enjoyable. However, I think it would have been better if the camp had been organised a week or two before as most of the activities I would have preferred to do were all already booked leaving go-karting as the only activity available.
Overall, two days and one night was really good timing as it could be easily fitted into a weekend, was not too expensive and there was plenty to keep us busy.
Beavers, cubs and scouts from 30th Abingdon visited the Abingdon Science Partnership at Abingdon School. A great time was had by all; a description of the evening and photos can be found on the Abingdon School Website.
Congratulations to the “Chocolate Bacon Banter” patrol who narrowly beat the “G. A. S. Banta” and “T. B. D.” patrols in the camp points competition.
The Scouts were asked to write something about the camp. Some of their pieces are in the comments section of the post. Toby wrote:
This year Summer Camp was really fun (as always)! We experienced a wide range of activities such as: cycling from Greenwich to camp (28 miles), snowboarding in Hemel Hempstead and fishing at Cassoibury Farm. They were fantastic! We had great fun pitching tent and banter in the hammocks, even making up a parody. We all had an immense time although none of it would have been possible without Geoff, Ali and James our wondrous leaders who were with us keeping us safe every step of the way. In short, it was a joy to be at Summer Camp, it was AMAZING!