That leader rings a bell

30th Abingdon scout leader David rang a whole peal (2 hours 37 minutes, 5100 pulls) for the centenary of Cubs on 10th December on Brownsea Island.

David wrote:

It was a very worthwhile achievement and worth the trip down for it. It’s great to be able to combine 2 hobbies like this.

A full article is available in the January 6th 2017 issue of The Ringing World (No. 5515, subscription required).  An excerpt of the peal is available in the video below.

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 2016

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.

Some pictures are below, more can be found here.

Bike Ride

Two scouts from 30th Abingdon and their leaders went out for a 37 km bike ride at the weekend.  It was tough in places: climbing onto the Ridgeway and hot sun but an early start meant that it wasn’t too hot for the majority of the ride.  Photos, the route map and profile are below.

3D profile of the route from VeloViewer
3D profile of the route from VeloViewer

Survival camps

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:

Luke’s 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.

Tom’s Camp:

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.

Photos to follow shortly…