Sleeping Bags

As a Joey Scout Leader, I find a lot of parents tend to skimp and buy the cheapest, cutest sleeping bags from Kmart, Target or Big W. Although I am always looking for a cheap bargain myself, this is definitely an item that cheapest is definitely not the best. The character sleeping bags (like the ones picture above) are cute but are often rated for 12 degrees therefore unless you are at a sleepover with your friends inside with heating then these are definitely not for camping or tents.  Please don’t let your child freeze and the cheapest 0 degree sleeping bag I could find at Kmart was $40. I would pay this to make sure my young child is warm at night.

I love my -7 degree sleeping bag, but bought this from BCF for $89 (on sale) and I would never buy anything less than a 0 degree sleeping bag in the future. My husband is a cub leader and has a minus 5 degree sleeping bag bought from BCF for $79 (on sale) and loves it. I do have a more lightweight hiking bag that I use in summer for hiking but as it still gets cold at night in Australia, I rarely use it and still prefer to pack my new warm one.

For the online shoppers Amazon.com.au have some great sleeping bags that are a bargain and rated well there is a link below with some minus 10 degree bags cheaper and will be way warmer than Kmart option. (Amazon Affiliate Links)

WEISSHORN Single Sleeping Bag Camping Gear -10°C 220cm x 80cm Water Proof Winter Blue

WEISSHORN Single Sleeping Bag Camping Gear Liner Hiking Camping Winter Summer Lightweight Cotton -10 °C 220cm x 80cm Campact Carry Bag Grey and Black

Meteor 220 x 80 cm Mummy Camping Sleeping Bag Comfort Family Outdoor Backpacking Hiking Tent (-10°C to +9°C)

WildEarth Sleeping Bags (Affiliate Link)

WildEarth Promotion – Stock up on the latest Camping & Adventure Gear at Wild Earth. Spread the cost with Afterpay. Buy Now, Pay Later!

Halloween 2019 – Spooky Scout Shed

I was on a mission to make a Spooky Scout Shed for my Joey Scouts and use as many recycled materials as I could.

Firstly I found someone who was giving away helium tanks on my local Buy Nothing Facebook page and she even posted inspiration that they could be turned into Halloween decorations. So I did that

Fluffy the drop bear.
After lots of comments about Halloween being American (which it isn’t it is Pagan tradition with origins from Scotland/Ireland) but anyway many older Australians are quite negative when it is just a bit of fun so I thought I would include a Drop Bear (Koala) to make it more Australian and Scouty. There is no Scout Leader or Scout in Australia that doesn’t have a chuckle over a drop bear story or two. I bought Fluffy for $5 from my local Salvo store and the lady at the counter told me he was so cute. I responded, “Not when I am finished with him”. She kind of gave me a weird look but I am used to that.

Zombie Barbie
I don’t particually like these gender stereotypical toys anyway so it gave me great pleasure to zombie up this “glam hairdressing doll” and call her Zombie Barbie.

Finished Spooky Shed video. Some parts are a bit dark in the end. This was reviewed with the Joeys and the following comments were made:

Not spooky enough need to have snakes
It was really scary and cool
I didn’t think it was that scary
I didn’t like the spiders in the tunnel

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Spooky Scout Shed 2019 #halloween #scouts #fun

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Camping in tents

So this year Joey Scouts in Western Australia can camp in tents. It has been a bit of an experiment to work out what tents work best with this age group. A 4 man tent is what we have opted for and we have tried a couple so far and will continue to review more and put the results here.

Tent review

Oztrail Genesis 4 man tent

tent

We bought 5 of these tents for Joey Scouts and Cub Scouts for a camp. This is a good size tent with a full fly. We bought them and took them on a winter camp which they are a bit breezy due to the mesh inner walls. This is a good cheap tent and easy to set up but really should be used in Spring/Summer due to the inside mesh walls

Black Wolf 4 man tent

Larger tents so the difficulty is shorter Joeys and Cubs have difficulty reaching the zips. They are great all weather tents and as long as you train the scouts to zip to the middle they are fine. We have had these tents for about 6 years and they are great if you take care of them.

Coleman 9 man tent

We recently hired tents for a camp and despite my strict instructions we were provided 2 x 3 room 9 man tents. We only put the Joey Scouts that had already done a few nights under canvas in these tents and the zip issues (and multiple zips) getting in and out – especially at night when they needed to go to the toilet were the only issue. These are warm and comfy tents and good quality. We also used these for older scouts in January for Jamboree 2019 (AJ2019) and the only problem there was that they are difficult and time consuming to put up with different colour poles, especially in the dust and heat of Tailem Bend in January.

Coleman Silver Series 6 Person Instant-Up Dome Tent

I used one of these tents for Jamboree and shared with another leader. These are awesome tents and so easy to put up. Recommend these for leaders as the 6 man has great extra space for leaders stretchers which is a must for 10 nights under canvas at Jamboree.

Dessert Burritos

My son recently had to make up a menu for a Scout cooking competition against the Venturer section and as he is only 11 and just gone up to Scouts from cubs has limited cooking skills. He has been making Taco’s on Tuesdays while I am out at Joeys and therefore he wanted a Mexican theme for his cooking.

He decided on Crispy Chicken Tacos with a corn salsa for main meal and then Dessert Burritos for dessert. The dessert burrito was the winning dish and the Scouts won the cooking challenge against the Venturers.

Dessert Burrito

Burrito tortillas

Chocolate (we had a leftover large block from Smore cones from camp so used this- alternatively you could use small choc chips).

Mini marshmallows

Bananas (sliced)

Shaved Almonds (as didn’t want nuts to be large) – remember if you need a nut free activity do not include nuts. You could put berries or dried fruit in instead.

Method:

The scouts melted the chocolate in a bowl in the Microwave and added all the other ingredients. The alternative camping method was to wrap the burrito and wrap in alfoil and melt using the campfire or in a frying pan over a gas burner.

Can be served with cream, custard or ice-cream (if not camping).

The judge (my cub leader husband) was very impressed and said that it was so yum and not too much of any one ingredients. It was well balanced apparently.

 

Fundraising Ideas for Scouts

Well we all know the Cadbury’s Chocolate box fundraisers and Bunnings Sausage sizzles but recently I have been looking at different ideas for fundraising for Jamboree for our scout group.  We also do cookie dough, living fundraisers and bulb fundraisers but looking for more interesting fundraising ideas has been an interesting internet journey.

My research journey led me to some interesting historical Scout Fundraising ideas.  The most interesting was from another blog https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2014/01/16/23-bizarre-but-true-fundraising-ideas-from-scoutings-past/ which gave the history of some of the scouting fundraising ideas of the past.

I was also interested in Denmead Scout Group’s annual Dinosaur Derby which has been going strong for over 20 years. Recently over 2,000 people came to enjoy the famed races of painted wooden dinosaurs which are pulled by ropes along a 100-metre course. Local businesses sponsored the event, which also featured traditional stalls and sideshows – and it raised a grand total of £5,000 for Scouting.  This annual type event was of interest to me as we will be having an event for a 50th anniversary of our Scout Group so starting some kind of annual fun event that represents our group is a fantastic idea.

Another group sells manure every year and although we have looked into this they must have a local source to sell at the level they have.  We also looked at selling fruit such as mangos but again you need direct access to a supplier. Our Christmas tree idea last year failed as the supplier we arranged had a poor year and was only doing local sales.

Other ideas such as a disco night, movie night, board games night, game system challenge night, cooking theme nights, selling popcorn, making donuts and making items to sell at a market was also great ideas I will be taking to the group.

My daughter is also making paracord bracelets and other paracord products to sell for her own personal fundraising.  I also plan to make some dilly bags to sell to new members or those who lose their dilly bag for a small profit for my own fundraising for Jamboree costs.

I will keep my blog up to date as to what fundraising ideas we try and how they work with some pictures.

The Beginning of my blog

Thanks for joining me!

I don’t have a scouting background but my children have been involved in Scouts since Joeys. I am a Joey Scout Leader (2 years) and mum to a cub and scout.  I am creating this blog to share some knowledge and my scouting journey.  I have found some resources tough to find so making this website to collect some of my resources and share ideas.

The most worth-while thing is to try to put happiness into the lives of others. — Lord Robert Baden-Powell

cropped-hiking.jpg

Photograph above was taken by my daughter on her recent Green Cord Hike on Bibbulman Track.