Environment – Popstick Bird Feeder

Plan

Materials:

  • Rainbow coloured popsticks (or alternatively plain ones, paint and paint brush)
  • Craft glue
  • String
  • Bird Seed

Design your bird feeder

Do

Build your popstick bird feeder like the picture above or make your own creative one from your own design plan

Review

Are any birds using your feeder?

Would you build it differently if you did it again?

Did you enjoy this activity?

What other activities would you like to do Scouting at Home?

Yoga and Scouting

With COVID-19 and Scouting at Home for quite some time there has been a lot of talk about mental health with youth and I have been researching and finding resources for mental health, mindfulness and well-being programs for our youth. I will get my Scouts to do some of these on the school holidays and post some pictures!

Upon researching Yoga I thought about a theme of Yoga and the outdoors to make it a bit more scouting. There are a lot of resources and ideas around for Yoga Poses for Kids. There are a number of videos and instructional sheets that you can use. Find the ones that fit your theme and that you would like to do. See the image on the next page for some ideas. Think how you can incorporate scouting, camping or outdoor theme yoga poses – for example:

Tent Reverse Warrior

Fire Fire breathing.  Sit criss-cross on the floor with your hands in front of you and breathe in.  When you breathe out lift your hands above your head and clap.  Repeat fast and slow like flames of a fire!

Star  Star Pose.  Open and close hands to twinkle!

Rock Childs Pose

Tree Tree Pose

Mountain Mountain Pose

Moon Moon Pose

Insect Insect Pose

Fish  Fish Pose. Make fish faces in this pose!

Compass Sit on the floor with your legs spread apart.  Reach forward in all directions and talk about different directions.

Bird Airplane Pose.  Flap your arms like a bird!

River River Pose

Boat Boat Pose

Eagle My favourite as my cub leader husband scout name is Eagle! This is a fun one where you basically wrap yourself up like a pretzel!

See how many you can find and match to your theme and enjoy Yoga in the outdoors on your next hike or adventure

Wizard theme – Light Up Wands

Famous Wizard – Light Up Wands

SAFETY NOTE: Coin cell batteries are extremely harmful if swallowed!!! DO NOT do this project with any child who is prone to putting things in their mouth OR if you have sibling in the home who might put battery in tier mouth. For this reason, it is suggested to use a battery pack with this project and secure it in a manner that the battery is completely taped inside the final project. Even so, please be aware of the risks associated with using coin cell batteries and supervision of younger Joey Scouts when using is recommended and it put away from younger siblings when taken home.

Plan

Goal

To learn about electrical circuits and how electricity lights up a globe in a simple and fun creative electronic project which is linked to a popular book and movie theme of Harry Potter spell of the Lumos – wand-lighting charm and Nox – wand extinguishing charm.

You might want to use chopsticks or a piece of dowel instead of stick if you like. Also, other coloured electrical tape is fine as brown is hard to find and the multicoloured electrical tape in packs is cheaper.

Do

Working with adults supporting (e.g. stripping wire) and wiring the circuit connection to the battery pack and LED light. This might be something that you want to prepare some in advance for the Joey Scouts ahead of time and then just demonstrate and let them try doing one and depending on time as the small wires and small LED are quite fiddly. You should allow the Joey Scouts to try to do as much as they can themselves though, especially in a patrol with older Joey Scouts helping the younger ones.

Review

Discuss what you enjoyed most about this activity

What would you do differently next time?

Christmas Advent Calendars

As a weird person who is allergic to cocoa so that means no chocolate for me and my venturer daughter, I am always on the look out for alternatives at Christmas and Easter. Although I am never great at Christmas Avent Calendars and getting them in time and being home enough for the kids to open them each day (now mainly due to all of our scouting commitments). I decided last year to get a Lego Star Wars Avent calendar for my son last year and he thought it was awesome so on the lookout for another Lego Avent Calendar this year.

Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar
Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar

Advent Calendars that are not supporting daily intake of sugar and fat is what I really like now and there are more and more available each year so here are some I have found that

Awesome Avent Calendars

Lego City

Lego Harry Potter

Lego Friends

Mega Construx Despicable Me

Harry Potter Popup

Elf on a shelf 

Schleich Dinosaur

Note: Amazon affiliate links above*

Camping Coffee

A scout leaders essential in life is coffee. While I love a Nescafe Vanilla Latte, a real coffee is always way better.

AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker (Amazon Affiliate Link)

We used the Aeropress at Jamboree (AJ2019) and it was fantastic. Having real coffee and not just instant really made the difference and the Aeropress did not disappoint. We got some Gloria Jean Hazelnut Praline coffee bean and the coffee was amazing. Highly recommend the Aeropress.

I will be trying some other portable coffee makers but I am not sure anything will top the AeroPress but will see!

(Affiliate Links)
Buy your Amazon Camping Coffee Maker here

Coffee items from Wild Earth (Affiliate Link)
https://t.cfjump.com/65956/t/12917?Url=https%3a%2f%2fwww.wildearth.com.au%2fsearch%3fkw%3dcoffee

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

View this post on Instagram

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.