Category Archives: Uncategorized

The “Quest Hike”

On Saturday the 3rd of February, team Chocolate Bacon attempted ‘The Quest’ incident hike. It was a 16km hike with 16 separate bases with different activities. We had to navigate to these bases using a compass and a map. We completed this challenge in 5hours and 45 minutes: the quickest time of any group!

None of us had done it before so we weren’t sure what to expect: we had to carry our own food, water and sleeping bag..?. The conditions were wet and muddy but that was not able to dampen our spirits! Some examples of the bases are: a wordsearch, a dart board and trying to find things on a map.

We would like to thank Geoff for being our troop shadow and the lift there (and Steve Brewster for the late lift home.) It was a really good challenge and a great day; I look forward to doing it next year.


Aqua Camp 2017

On the weekend of 16-18 June 2017 scouts from across Oxfordshire attended Aqua Camp. Here is what one scout said about it:

“That was my third year at Aqua Camp, like the others it was fun and eventful. I really enjoyed the sailing and dragon boat racing, with our team having the best name which was chocolate bacon. The disco on the Saturday evening was fun even though there weren’t many people there to begin with. I can truthfully say Aqua Camp is one of the best camps overall and I will miss going to it when I am a explorer.”

Survival Camp 2017

Cooking fish over an open fire
Cooking fish over an open fire. (c) Geoff Soord

In April 2017, Thames Ridge District Scouts held their first ever survival camp and it was a great success.  Here is what one of the 30th Abingdon Scouts, Charlie, had to say about it:

On Saturday 8th April, I attended a county survival camp at Youlbury. Upon arrival our bags were searched to check we hadn’t smuggled treats in to keep us going. We built makeshift shelters that protected us from the worst of the wind, if placed correctly, to sleep in that night. Luckily the weather was glorious so this was almost unnecessary but a great challenge. Each patrol had to cook their own food on small fires, that many struggled to light using tinder from the natural environment with only a flint and steel. We were taught how to use axes and knives to get the tinder and firewood. We had to skin and pluck our food (pigeons and rabbits) as part of the preparation to cook them. Our patrol suffered from a lack of cookery expertise and we ate a lot of raw or hardly cooked food. Overall it was a fun weekend but I came home hungry!

Photos from the camp can be found here.

Scuba Diving

On the 17th December, Scouts from 30th Abingdon descended on Radley College

swimming pool for a scuba diving taster session.

Angus wrote:

Scuba diving was fun!

The Instructors were very nice and clear. They took us through the Safety Procedures and we were all confident and able to enjoy ourselves. We played underwater hockey and swam around the pool. We had a great time!

A scout diving
A scout diving

More pictures of the session are available here.

Beavers visit Downing Street

30th Abingdon Beaver Scout Colony celebrated taking part in a social action scheme by visiting Downing Street.

Story by Andy, Beaver Scout parent.

The 30th Abingdon Beavers took part in the A Million Hands scheme which aims to support social issues such as dementia, disability, mental well-being and clean water for all.  30th Abingdon Beaver Scouts pledged to take action on clean water and sanitation with the charity WaterAid. The whole of the 30th Abingdon Beavers were involved in raising money and making a video to raise awareness.  After choosing which social issue to explore, the Beavers then decided to collect, erm, number 1s and number 2s (pennies), to fund a new toilet in Kisima, Democratic Republic of Congo.

During the summer, the Beavers teamed up with the Abingdon Science Partnership and visited Abingdon School science labs to carry out some experiments on water purification techniques such as filtering, evaporation and condensation. The Beavers enjoyed a visit from WaterAid who helped the Beavers understand the importance of having access to clean water and toilets. They learnt about the importance of clean hands using glitter and a lot of hand shaking! The Beavers also made “tippy taps” which not only helped them learn about the preservation of water but also engaged them in some early pioneering skills, using lots of poles and ropes.

Finally, as part of raising awareness, the Beavers made a story board and a video describing what they had learned. Part of this exercise was to help the Beavers learn about presenting their fund raising efforts to an audience.

During the visit to Downing Street each of the Beavers took it in turns to explain their work to several MPs. They also got the opportunity to try out a virtual reality headset of natural disasters and then, like true Beavers, proceeded to help everyone else use the headsets. It was a very long day for the Beavers and tired but successful they headed home after a few photo calls outside number 10 and 11.

Most photos copyright Michael Bowles –

Family Camp 2015

From the 4th to 6th September 2015, beavers, cubs and scouts descended on Padworth with their families for the second 30th Abingdon family camp.

Activities included problem solving, building catapults (both large and small), fire lighting,bracelet weaving, den building, cooking on fires and hiking to Silchester Roman town to see its walls and complete amphitheatre.  It looked like the young people and adults had fun in equal measure, I know the leaders enjoyed it.

There are a few highlights in the photos below, more photos are available here (this is a dump of all photos from my camera so I cannot vouch for their quality).  There is also a map of the hike at the end of this post.

Burley Camp, May 2015

On the 29th to 31st May, scouts from 30th Abingdon joined Abingdon Explorers on

Scout Circle
Fun and games on camp

a camp at Burley in the New Forest.  The camp was organised by George, one of the troop’s young leaders.

The weather was mixed but the scouts had a great time.  Luke, one of the scouts, said:

“The camp was really fun, but we got a bit wet in the hammocks! I enjoyed the fire, hike and the games. Thank you George for organising it.”

Activities included biking, fire lighting and camping in hammocks.  Photos of the camp are available here and a video is shown below.

District Football competition 2015

On the 14th February Scouts from 30th Abingdon Scout Troop entered the Thames Ridge District Scout Football Competition.  Two Scouts write about their experience below.

I enjoyed the football competition on Saturday because it was good fun. We had 5 players in our team, whereas others had 4 or 6 players.  Charlie played in goal and made some good saves, Daniel and Martin were good in defence and Ale and I scored some goals up front.  We played 7 games and won 5 of them.  Overall, we came 2nd in the whole competition. It was a really fun afternoon, and you don’t have to be good at football to do it, you can do it for fun! I would definitely do it again next year.

I think the tournament went very well. Everyone enjoyed it and had lots of fun.  We did very well and came 2nd! We played with a team of five but no subs, so maybe we could get some more people to join our team? This was a great experience and I think everyone who played in the tournament will want to come again next time, Maybe we could host the scouts five aside footy challenge somewhere in Abingdon? I will definitely come again next time.