Glow Worm Tunnel Adventure – Sep 2018

I wish I was a glow worm
A glow worm’s never glum
For how can you be grumpy,
When the sun shines out your bum?

The Cubs were also pretty happy about the weekend trip to the Glow Worm Tunnel in Wollemi National Park, on a perfect Spring day!

We approached the tunnel via the aptly named Glow Worm Tunnel Road from Clarence, parking at the end of Old Coach Road. Here we add our names to the Logbook – and learn the importance of knowing how to read a map, so you don’t end up at the wrong place! The walk we’re doing is about 3km in distance to the tunnel, and not the shorter 1km walk which would be way too easy for our intrepid Cubs!

It’s a perfect day for walking, especially when the backdrop is the rugged landscape of the Wollemi National Park.

The pagodas along the track prove an irresistible attraction for the Cubs, and we have a stop while they scale these amazing rock outcrops.

There’s an impressive view over the park from the top of the pagodas…

…and they’re even more spectacular when viewed from above!

Eventually when continue on our way, although there’s a few more caves, overhangs and hollowed trees to distract the Cubs.

Finally we reach our destination. The Glow Worm Tunnel is a 400m-long tunnel that was constructed in the early 1900s as part of the railway servicing the mining industry at Newnes. It’s now home to thousands of glow worms, which we’ll hopefully see if we can keep the Cubs quiet enough for a few minutes! Due to the curvature of the tunnel, it quickly becomes pitch-black as you walk along it’s length.

With the Cubs now getting hungry, we make much quicker progress back up the track to the car – and what better end to the walk then the Cubs cooking us a late lunch!

Despite the fairly long drive from Sydney, the Cubs (and parents) had a great day out!

 

Annual Ski Trip – Sep 2018

The annual 2nd Gordon Ski Trip (in conjunction with 2nd/3rd Lindfield Scouts) was a resounding success! Over 40 Cubs, Scouts, Venturers and Rover with their families enjoyed two days of skiing at Perisher, staying at the Scout Alpine Activities Centre in Jindabyne. While the first day was a bit cloudy with limited visibility, the second day provided perfect Spring skiing conditions.

 

Cubs visit the Scout Heritage Centre – Aug 2018

The Cubs are excited about their visit to the Scout Heritage Centre at Sydney Olympic Park. Run by experienced and enthusiastic Scout Activity Leaders, and near a fantastic playground, it promised to be a fun and educational day.

We started with a Flag Parade, and learnt a bit about the Aboriginal history of the area – Sydney Olympic Park is situated on the traditional lands of the Wann clan, known as the Wann-gal.

Next is an outdoor activity, with the Cubs firing – and trying to catch – water-propelled rockets. It’s one of the many fun activities that the Centre runs for Joeys, Cubs, Scouts and Venturers using a variety of simple devices.

After this, it’s time for a more cerebral work-out and the opportunity to earn a History badge. The Cubs really get into the activity – there’s a huge amount of Scouting history and memorabilia in a relatively small place. The Cubs need to work their way around the exhibits to complete their activity sheet and learn about the origins of Scouting in Australia.

A few Cubs finish the activity early… they head outside again where they’re shown the “mobile patrol box” – an entire Patrol tent and everything you need to set-up camp in a mobile box!

There’s just enough time for all the Cubs to complete their History activity sheet before our Riding the Rails train arrives… This is both great fun and educational. Formerly used for transporting munitions (including missiles and torpedoes), the train enters an area that’s otherwise closed to the public and goes past (and into!) buildings dating back to the 1890s that were use to store explosives.

It’s almost time to go – our two hours at the Centre have flown by… There’s time for one last activity, with the Cubs building a pyramid out of polystyrene cups which are then blasted by a home-made “cannon” using smoke from a fog machine!

We finish our afternoon with lunch (and a few lolly-snakes) at the nearby Blaxland Riverside Park. It’s an impressive playground with heaps of different equipment to keep the Cubs busy for another hour.

A huge thanks to all the volunteers at the Scout Heritage Centre – the Cubs, Leaders and parents all had a fantastic afternoon!

Seven new Cubs invested into 2G – Mar 2018

Congratulations to our seven newest Cubs, who were invested at our Cub Camp at Kariong over the weekend, in a spectacular setting overlooking Brisbane Water National Park.

We invested:

  • Alex M
  • Alex V
  • Amelia C
  • Jasmine G
  • Kira H
  • Oliver K
  • Sina H

Welcome to 2nd Gordon!

Adventures at Kariong Cub Camp – Mar 18

With much trepidation (by the Leaders and Parent Helpers!) we loaded 19 very enthusiastic Cubs into a convoy of cars, and headed north to Camp Kariong. A major incident on the freeway meant a late arrival into our leafy campsite at Camp Kariong, and the parents quickly got dinner organised while the Cubs not-so-quickly pitched their tents.

Despite a late evening the Cubs were up bright and early on Saturday morning, and ready for a cooked breakfast before the day’s activities.

As the forecast was for a hot day, we set off straight after breakfast for our bushwalk. The 5km Piles Creek Loop track in the Brisbane Water National Park is described as a “short but challenging” Grade 5 walk, so it will hopefully challenge the Cubs (although they proved to be a pretty hardy bunch on our very wet walk the previous week! The track is quite varied, traversing eucalypt forest and crossing the deep gorge of Piles Creek past waterfalls and scenic clearings, and across a suspension bridge.

After lunch at the Girrakool Picnic Area, we head back to camp. As the day is getting pretty warm, we cool off with a swim in a natural swimming hole.

After dinner (nachos), we have seven new Cubs to invest, which we do at a stunning location overlooking the Brisbane Water National Park, as the sun sets in the background…

It’s been a long day, so what better way to finish than a baked apple stuffed with Mars Bar & marshmallows, cooked in the campfire! It’s out last fire – no breakfast damper on the campfire the following morning, as a total fire ban being has been declared on Sunday,

Despite the following day being forecast to hit 40 degrees, it’s a cold night. All the Cubs sleep soundly in their tents, and mercifully wake up a little later than they did on the previous day (the strategy of exhausting them on our bushwalk must have paid off). After bravely defending our camp from one of three goannas – named Jimmy, Billy and Madeline by the Cubs – it’s time for some more outdoor fun.

We’ve invited the 2nd Gordon Rover crew down on Sunday morning to create a few activities, and they do a fantastic job challenging the Cubs with abseiling

crate stacking, where the Cubs attempt to build a stack of crates up to 3m in height…

horizontal bungee jumping, where the Cubs are tied to a tree with bungee cord as they compete in pairs to reach a balloon…

…and last but not least, slack-lining between two trees, over a dangerous void of quite prickly grass (no Cubs were harmed in this exercise).

That concluded our camp – we enjoyed lunch with the Rovers, and headed back to Sydney, as the temperature soared to the 38 degrees – the hottest day this late in March since 1940!

A big thanks to our Parent Helpers. We’re already looking forward to our next Cub Camp!

Cubs explore Middle Harbour Creek – Mar 18

The Cubs were looking forward to the first bushwalk of 2018… so the forecast of some scattered showers wasn’t going to dampen their enthusiasm (I’m not entirely sure if that pun was intended!). A “few showers” ended up being fairly heavy rain that conveniently started just before we set out, and continued throughout the walk: fortunately we the Cubs were all well-prepared for the adverse conditions.

It was a challenging walk, starting with an off-track descent from the Koola Track (in East Killara) down to Middle Harbour Creek, with the Cubs helping each other to safely get down the slope. (It was also a good opportunity to practice following a compass bearing.)

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Once we reached Middle Harbour Creek, we met up with the Lockley Track which follows the creek downstream. This was much easier walking, although still a rough track that needed vigilance to ensure we didn’t stray off the path, and some clambering over fallen trees and other obstacles.

With the light fading (and head torches on) we reached the intersection of our track back up to the ridge. After passing a large rock overhang, the Cubs made sure we followed the faint white arrows marking the trail back up to the Koola Track, completing the 3km circuit through Garigal National Park.

We started with 20 Cubs… and finished with 20 Cubs, arriving back at the trail head at exactly 8pm!

The Cubs all did incredibly well on what was a tough walk, especially with the wet weather. They supported each other and were all well-prepared for the conditions. We’re all looking forward to our next hike!

Cubs Regional Soccer Competition – Dec 2017

The 2nd Gordon Cubs participated in the regional “World Cub Soccer” competition on Monday evening, fielding a team against local Cub groups including 1st Gordon, 1st Turramurra and West Pymble. We were undefeated in the competition, which was a great result for a team that had never played together!

There were some very close matches…

…and some where we enjoyed a solid win – and our goalie was a little under-utilised!

Most importantly, all the Cubs enjoyed their evening, took turns in being team captain and showed great teamwork!

We look forward to next year’s competition!

Full photo album.

 

Cubs Weekend Camp at Baden Powell – Nov 2017

After months (or at least weeks!) of planning, we’re off to the Baden Powell Scout Centre for a 3-day/2 night Cub camp on 17-19 November. We’ve got nearly all the Cubs (17 in total) participating, with an action-packed weekend of activities around the theme of “Doing Something I’ve Never Done Before”.

After arriving late Friday afternoon and finding our cabins, we enjoy a traditional Italian meal, before the evening activities.

Despite the forecast of a very wet weekend, the rain holds off allowing us to build a campfire. The Cubs test their fire-lighting skills and enjoy cooking damper over the fire. It’s a late night by the time we get the Cubs into bed!

Saturday starts early. The Cubs are up at 6am, and we have breakfast at 7am followed by our Opening Ceremony. We show the Cubs how to “break” the flag, before our first activity commences.

We challenge the Cubs with a rogaining exercise: the Cubs have to find codes, hidden all over the camp, in order to work out a scrambled phrase. After a briefing by Mim and Will, two Rovers who are leading this activity, the Cubs are off in small groups. (Full photo gallery)

After successfully completing the challenge, the next activity is the Leap of Faith. It’s very simple. Each Cub has to climb up to a 10m platform in a tree, using ladders and spikes – and jump off! Just about every Cub does this, without any qualms. (Full photo gallery.)

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After lunch, more fun and adventure awaits with a Crate Stacking exercise. Standing on top of the stack, how high can the Cubs build a stack of milk crates before it comes crashing down? The exercise requires balance and confidence, and pushes the Cubs to their personal limits whilst encouraging team work and communication. It was the favourite activity of the day! (Full photo gallery.)

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It’s been a tiring day – but it’s not over yet. Having physically exhausted the Cubs, now it’s time to mentally challenge them! After a few brain-teasers, we give them a simple challenge: balance 14 nails on top of the head of a single nail. All of the nails have to be balanced at the same time and cannot touch anything but the top of the nail that is stuck in the base. The Cubs don’t think it’s possible. The adults don’t thinks it’s possible either… but Brian, who’s leading the exercise, is very confident that’s it really quite simple. Amazingly, with a tiny bit of encouragement and lots of team work, each of the teams manage to complete the challenge fairly quickly! (More photos.)

It’s finally time for dinner, and with the rain still holding off we’re able to have another campfire, where we are joined by the 3rd Mosman Sea Scouts (who are sharing the camp with us).

The following morning is very quiet, with not a sound to be heard at 6am. Still total silence at 6:30am. By 7am the Cubs are stirring, and after some free time we’re off on the “City View” bushwalk. It’s about 1.3km each way from our camp, to a lookout over Lane Cove River National Park with the city in the distance. While we have our morning tea, we do some revision with the Cubs around bush safety.

Before we conclude our Camp with a Closing Ceremony, we invest five new Cubs – Emilie, Marlon, Grace, Martin and Isabelle.

It’s been an exhausting but very rewarding three days for the Cubs, leaders and parent helpers – but we’re already looking forward to our next camp! A huge thanks to our parent helpers (and future leaders!) Georgia, Brian and Toby.

 

Five new Cubs invested into 2G – Nov 2017

Congratulations to our five new Cubs, invested at our Cubs Camp at Baden Powell Scout Camp over the weekend.

Congratulations and welcome to 2nd Gordon…

Emilie F.

Marlon D.

Grace P.

Martin C.

Isabelle C.

Congratulations from the Cub leaders and to the entire pack for doing a great job on welcoming our newest members.

Cub Scout Law: “Cub Scouts are Loyal and Obedient; Cub Scouts do not give into themselves”