Haarlem Jamborette #kxdoeshaarlem

We’ve sailed across the North Sea, hiked 48 punishing miles, been inspired by Van Gogh, honed our Ultimate Frisbee skills, sung with Finnish Scouts, met Dinosaurs, and we’re only 5 days into our International Jamborette adventure.
Our journey began on a bleary eyed Saturday morning at Liverpool Street, where the Explorers treated themselves to a well deserved McDonald’s breakfast, and the Leaders gulped down as much coffee as they could find.
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We were greeted onto the train by Santa Claus (25th July, right?) who gifted all the good boys and girls of KX with their very important International neckers and Union Jack badges, which we spent the remainder of the journey sewing and tying.
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It was still very early morning by the time we arrived at Harwich to board the ferry, but the excitement of the journey ahead had woken us all up (not to mention the hour-long nap on the train).
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We went straight to the ship deck and were greeted by heavy winds to invest Iona, Thursa, Stu and Gwynne. Having one task done, we then started the first of our daily challenges – to spread Christmas joy, giving out Christmas stickers to our fellow ferry passengers.
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We all then found somewhere comfortable to sleep. Most of us fell asleep, however some of the unlucky ones were having to deal with upset stomachs, headaches and sea sickness. After a while nearly all of us got to sleep. Only to wake up 2 hours later still at the port waiting to depart.
For the most part the sail was very smooth, however as we moved closer to the Netherlands the wind picked up, which was very fun for all of our seasick explorers and leaders.
Eventually we stepped off the ferry and touched down on (solid) Dutch ground. Finally we were there, ready for the next step of our International Scouting adventure!
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Southern 50

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Team 128 about to set off

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Starting point

Over the weekend we participated in the Southen 50 scouting event which is a race across the chiltern hills. There were three options to choose from: 30k, 50k or 50 mile. We had two teams doing the 30k as it was their first time and we had two more teams from North London Scouts, one of which consisted of members our North London Network from Wild Wolf ESU and KxESU.

Friday evening our two 50k teams headed up to Tring School where they stayed the night to prepare themselves for a very early morning start. Our first 50k team left at a very early 6.06am on Saturday morning!

The 30k teams were picked up in the minibus very early Saturday morning and were driven down to the 30k starting point which was the scout hut. When we arrived we registered our team to let them know we were here and we were given wristbands to show we were taking part in the southern 50 challenge, it also had our team number and an emergency contact number on it.

Before we set off, we had a kit inspection and were given compasses and maps by our leaders. Once our kit inspection was carried out, we were given two sheets of paper listing the 6 figure grid references for each checkpoint, luggage tags with our team number on and a booklet of tickets each which we handed in one ticket to the checkpoint marshal at each checkpoint to show that we walked in to the checkpoint.

Each team left in intervals to allow the other teams in front to get started on their hike, this meant that at the first checkpoint we passed quite a few teams as some teams decided to sit and have a rest where as we just picked up a quick snack and carried on walking, after all it was only our first checkpoint and we had a lot further to go!

The checkpoints a long the way were very helpful as it meant that you didn’t need to carry a large amount of food and water/ juice with you as you could top up at each checkpoint.

After a very early start, at our first checkpoint we picked up a cereal bar and some raisins to keep us going to checkpoint 14 where we had fish finger rolls, some fruit and juice! Each checkpoint varied depending on the location, some were tents and vehicles on the side of the road and others were scout huts and village halls!

Although the 50 mile hike was cancelled due to flooded areas, we were quite lucky with the weather on the day as it was sunny most of the day, although very windy! We did have a few light showers too.

After a long adventurous day walking through muddy fields, up hills and down roads and through the town, we finally made it to Tring school where we were staying for the night!

Our 30k teams enjoyed taking part in their first southern 50 event and are all looking to complete the 50k hike next year! Let the training begin 🙂

When we arrived at Tring school, we had a little debrief and had to remove all muddy waterproofs and walking boots! After handing in our muddy waterproofs and boots, we were given our overnight luggage which was transported from our start point early in the morning.

After some nice refreshing showers, we went over to the information desk where we wrote on a post it note and wrote down any feedback we had about the event and our thoughts on completing the 50 miles event next year! Theo was also asking everyone to sum up the southern 50 in 3 words!

For dinner we had shepherds pie, peas and carrots with cake and custard for afters. We also had a large number of oranges between us! After dinner we went off to watch The Incredibles, it was nice to sit down for a long time after walking all day but everyone found it difficult to stand up and the end!

The next day we had breakfast and then headed straight to the hall where the presentation was being held! At the presentation everyone who participated in the event received a certificate and had a group photograph taken. Our team numbers, which groups we were from and how long it took us to complete the hike were read out.

The tension was too much, starting with the 30k and awarding certificates from 39th place all the way to first. Well done to Team 118 30k team who came 22nd with a time of 8h 45m. Sitting and waiting for our team number to be called up, they were now calling 11th place and it wasn’t us! We were so happy that we came within the top 10 of the 30k as it was our first time taking part. Team 128 managed to get 7th place with a time of 7h 3m!

Our two 50k teams also did very well with a time of 13h 8m. Well done to everyone who also completed the Southen 50 (30k or 50k) see you there next year for the 50k!

Thank you to everyone who was involved in the southern 50 and made the event happen! See you all next year 🙂

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Bag checklist

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Nice scenic hike

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Tension in the room as the presentations are made

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#s%0 mug for everyone #thankyou

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7th Place of the 30k with 7h 3m

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22nd Place with 8h 45m

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50k team completed in 13h 8m

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Greater London North Jack Petchey Awards

On Thursday evening, many of our explorers went to The Greater London North Jack Petchey Awards evening which was held at the Arts Depot in North Finchley where they all received a medallion for their achievement, they had already received a certificate and a pin badge.

The Jack Petchey awards evening was very entertaining as we walked onto stage with music playing. We were group 1 of the CCI so our explorer unit received their awards first!

Would just like to congratulate everyone who received a Jack Petchey Award, it’s a great achievement you should be proud of, also uniforms looked very smart! #welldone #achievement

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Jack Petchey Medallion

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Well done!

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#youngleaders training weekend

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Russel Square tube station

Well the adventure began when a few of us met before hand at Russell square station, there was a huge queue for the lift so we decided to take the stairs … All 175 of them. After letting a few tubes pass, we got on the third one as there was 8 of us trying to get on the tube with our camping bags!

When we arrived at scout park, not long after we sat down and had dinner that had thankfully already even prepared for us by Andrew, Rachel, Xander and Marlon! After dinner we had some fruit and jam tarts!

As not everyone knew each other, we played a name game where we all stood in a circle and said the name of the person who you was throwing the onions to name. This way, everyone got to know each others names. After getting to know everybody’s names, we played some tug of war games in teams where each person in the team had a number and had to bring back the rope to their teams corner of the room.

After playing some games, we all sat down and went through module F of the #youngleaders modules. Module F is about being aware of others learning difficulties, physical disabilities. (Making scouting accessible)

After the first module of the weekend we had hot chocolate, marshmallows, spray cream and sat down to watch the blind side with some biscuits and popcorn!

The next morning after breakfast Chris came to teach two modules in one morning #exciting one of the modules involved us getting the tube from bounds green one stop to arnos grove. This wasn’t any old tube journey; this was a tube journey where we assigned leaders and we had to act as a naughty beaver to see how the leader would act in the situation.

After two successful modules being completed we grabbed some lunch and then Russ came to join us to teach us two more modules #letsdothis These modules were about how we need to run a balanced programme. This included some parachute games outside too!

After Russ taught us how we need to ensure we have a balanced programme, marlon and theo led a discussion about the variety of games we could play. After having a large discussion about these games, we then went to play some of them! One of them included a huge skipping rope which we had to run underneath while it was going round without being hit and the other one included everyone holding a stave and having to let go when theo changed the direction. When theo said “left” everyone would let go of their stave and grab the one to their left #quick! After a lot of energy was used for these games, we were called for dinner!

A little while after dinner we played a wide game! Of course we had to prepare for this first as it wasn’t any old wide game! It was a shrek wide game! So we had a Princess Fiona and a lord Farquhar and donkey, lots of woodland creatures and some gladiators with swords and shields. We painted each others faces so we could all be identified. The first round consisted of Fiona hiding in the woods and each opposing team having to find her! Although Shrek and lord Farquhar were not allowed to leave their bases and had to be carried when their group signaled that they had found Princess Fiona! So Shrek jumped on donkey’s back and off they went to rescue Princess Fiona!

After the wide game we watched despicable me with some hot chocolate, biscuits and popcorn!

Sunday morning we had breakfast muffins, Barnaby and jack helped prepare these by slicing and stacking them all beforehand! #thankyou After breakfast, Caroline came early Sunday morning to go through a module about beavers behaving badly! This module consisted of lots of role plays on how not to act and how we should act in different situations! After seeing the different role plays, we then played some games that were suggested like zombies, musical chairs and then had a little dance #chachaslide #macarena

After lunch, jack came to go through the last couple of modules of the weekend which was about badges and awards! We all gained our beaver creative badge by making a model, telling a story or a poem and drawing a picture of the future!

Once all the explorers had left it was time to mop the floors, or in our case use any piece of machinery you can find that looks like it will clean the floor! Thinking this would be fun, faster and more efficient, we decided to use these and look what happened! It was funny at the time and all got cleaned up eventually!

Thanks again to all of the leaders who helped run this weekend, could not have completed these modules without you!

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I can play the hat game.. Can you?

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Dinner is served! Thank You

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Go on team!

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Hot chocolate, cream, mini marshmallows and jaffa cakes #cherishyourjaffa

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Fozzy running one of the training modules

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Trying to take ‘beavers’ to the tube station

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Who is in charge? Spot the hat!

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Shrek wide game

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What biscuits?

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Campfire songs

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Young Leaders

Oh what a night #burnsnight

Last night at explorers, we celebrated #burnsnight. We are lucky enough to have a Scottish family in our unit and they came to cook and prepare the food earlier on in the evening with the help from some enthusiastic explorers. After the haggis was put in the oven and the veg was prepped and the explorers started to arrive. To start off the evening, we went to hunt for the haggis in the garden!

Once the haggis was found, we all came back inside to listen to what burns night is and how people celebrate it.

The girls and the boys were then split into two groups where we created a speech each to present to the opposing group. We all sat down at the dinner table and the person who was talking had to stand. Some of the things said were more imaginative than others!

After the speeches, we dished up approximately 35 dinners which all consisted of swede, potatoes and haggis or (tatty’s and neeps) for everybody to enjoy. Some of our explorers have celebrated burns night previously, where as for others it would have been their first time to try haggis! The haggis was enjoyed by many, but some liked it more than others.

We also celebrated our Explorer leaders birthday and Jack made a special Birthday cake! We were also lucky enough to have a visit by Scouts from Brazil #international

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Speech!

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Listening to the Scout Promise in Portugese!

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Haggis, tatties and neeps 🙂

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Scout Scarf from Brazil

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One of Andrew’s Birthday cakes

Gilwell Park Winter Camp 2014

This weekend, we headed up to Gilwell Park for their annual winter camp and what an adventurous weekend it was. We all met at Chancery Lane tube station and travelled to Liverpool Street station to jump onto the over ground train to Chingford. When we arrived at Chingford station we walked up the road where there was a shuttle bus waiting to take all our camping bags as well as some tired explorers after the journey.

After pitching our tents and having some supper which was soup and a lovely hot chocolate with squirty cream and marshmallows (thanks Rachel) we all headed to the disco, there was a cool photo booth there too!

On Saturday morning Rachel made us some lovely bacon and egg rolls and then we went off to do activities. Everybody was cracking the egg jokes #eggcelent. There were many activities available to do on site, but there were also a few activities which you needed to sign up for due to high demand and them being off site. Some of our eager explorers queued up to get a slot for white water rafting and were lucky enough and brave enough to go in the cold weather. We even had our very own photographer Dave, who took some amazing shots of us going down the rapids and jumping in the water!

Explorers who stayed on site were able to choose from a wide range of activities including climbing, ropeophobia, crate stacking, archery, orienteering, various fairground rides/ inflatable’s and many more.

Saturday evening Rachel and Jack made us some lovely fajita’s, just because we were on camp, it doesn’t mean we couldn’t have the full works! #guacamole #sourcream #salsa. Just before dinner we started a fire, but due to bad weather the majority of the fire wood was very wet. Marlon came to save the day and we had a fire that lasted hours! Thanks Marlon! Also thanks to Rachel for the magic fire, it looked awesome.  We then enjoyed some hot chocolate and cake around the magic fire before we headed to the cinema or disco. Some of the explorers managed to go to both!

Sunday morning we woke up to a cold frost which covered the entire field and all of our tents! As much as we love the mud, walking across the field made a rather crunchy sound instead of the squelching sound. After we had our bacon and sausage wraps we packed our kit up and were ready for our last day of activities.

Thank You to all of the leaders and explorers who made this weekend great fun!

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Sunday Morning Frost

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Magic Fire

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En route Winter Camp

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Disco

First blog,Birthday and meeting of new year

Last night was our first meeting back after the Christmas holidays and we also celebrated our #1stbirthdayparty as today (10th January) KXESU- Kings Cross Explorer Scout Unit turned one years old. That’s right, we have been running for one whole year and it has been great!

We played lots of party games like pass the parcel, the chocolate game and we also added in some of our own like doughnut bobbing and wrap an explorer in newspaper! Our Explorers are all aged 14-18 yet there was still a lot of excitement when playing all of these games. You can never beat a good old party game!

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Pass the Parcel!

Doughnut bobbing was hilarious to watch! Dave had set up the room so that there were two pieces of string tied on the beams of wood on the ceiling and hanging from the pieces of string were several pieces of string with doughnuts attached to the ends of them. The explorers had to try and eat these doughnuts without using their hands! Some of them found it more challenging than others…

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Doughnut Bobbing

The chocolate game was very funny as you had to roll a dice to be able to start the game. We were all grouped up into our patrols, so there were three groups and each group started at different times depending on whoever rolled the dice first. The chocolate game consisted of a big bar of Dairy Milk chocolate, a plate, knife, fork, scarf, hat and a pair of gloves. Every time a six was rolled the person had to pass on the items of clothing, stop eating the chocolate and pass it on until the number six on the dice was rolled again.

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Chocolate Game

At every birthday party, there are always presents. We decided to wrap up an explorer in newspaper. This was a very simple task and all we need was a lot of newspapers and lots of sellotape!

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Presents … Sorry, Explorers!

Of course there had to be cake too, thanks to Jack we enjoyed a lovely chocolate brownie cake!

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Jacks Amazing Cake

Thank You to all of the leaders who have built this explorer unit for us, we have enjoyed every minute of it! Now looking forward to winter camp at Gilwell Park this weekend, make sure to come back and read our blog soon as there will be a blog about winter camp.