Recognising new and old Cubs – Dec 2020

On our penultimate Cub evening of 2020, we take some time to formally welcome two of our newer Cubs – and celebrate the achievements of some of our most experienced Cubs.

We start the evening by investing new Cubs Sach and Grace, welcoming them with a raucous 1-2-3 WOLF!

After a few outdoor games, it’s time for some more formalities, as we congratulate Amalia, Anna, Kira and Isabella. Four long-serving and accomplished Cubs, they were formally recognised for achieving their Grey Wolf award. The “Grey Wolf” is the highest award a Cub Scout can earn, reflecting their leadership and skills gained across a number of outdoor activities.

Cub Leadership Camp – Oct 2020

Every year we challenge some of our older Cubs in a Leadership Course; this year we held a two-day event at Ingleside Scout Camp. It’s an opportunity to enable our Patrol Leaders (PLs) and Assistant Patrol Leaders (APLs) to become more effective youth leaders, and to impart some more advanced bushcraft and camping skills.

DAY ONE

The weekend’s focus was a mix of soft skills & hard skills. Soft skills included communication, self-assertion, decision making and trust to name a few. We started with some interactive activities around how to communicate effectively and work as a team.

We ran some mock “Unit Leader” elections, where the Cubs presented on why they would make a great leader – and then we asked them to talk about someone else and why they would be a great leader! They all agreed it was easier to talk about the positive attributes of someone else!

After lunch, we challenged them with a navigation course (using a compass to follow a trail), and they finished putting up their tents. For our Leadership Camp we very much follow the approach of “Youth Led, Adult Supported” – so the Cubs set-up their own tents unassisted. It’s the same with dinner – we give the Cubs some basic ingredients, and (agyer lighting a camping fire) they decide how they are going to cook!

After dinner, it’s up the hill to the Camp Fire Circle, where have a Campfire Opening Ceremony in traditional scouting tradtion.

This is a time to share stories, tell some jokes and learn some new songs by the roaring fire!

DAY TWO

Despite our best efforts to exhaust the Cubs, they are up bright (and early) the following day, cooking themselves bacon and eggs for breakfast (again, over a fire).

After breakfast we were fortunate to be invited by Gordon from Bushcraft Survival Australia, who trains Australia’s defence forces in surviving in the outdoors, to join his “class”. The Cubs spent almost two hours watching Gordon teach the art of fire, and it was the highlight of our camp! (Even more impressive was that the following day, the Cubs were able to light their cooking camp fires using only a flint, cotton wool and some vaseline) – not one match stick or fire starter was used!

 

Then it’s back to work, with the Cubs working as a team to develop the Term 4 program.

 

The last – but very important – task is to review the Leadership Camp. What went well? What could be improved? What did we enjoy? The Scout philosophy of ‘Plan > Do > Review’ is an important part of our approach and something we build into all our activities. The Plan>Do>Review> Ball is thrown around, with its 31 helping us to reflect on the last two day’s activities!

Thanks to the Cubs for being active and engaged participants – and a huge thanks to Javier (Cub Leader) for putting together an ambitious but very effective leadeship program!

Anna’s Grey Wolf Hike – Aug 2020

It’s another sunny weekend (despite earlier forecasts of rain) and another Grey Wolf hike, this time led by Anna. She’s chosen the Pipeline Track loop in St Ives, and is leading three younger Cubs on her “Adventurous Journey”. They set off ahead of the adult leaders, armed with a map and two-way radio, so we can check-in on their progress.

We’re doing a circuit, descending via the Bungaroo Track to Middle Harbour and returning via the Pipeline Track. After about 45min and a slight navigational error by the Cubs, which costs them a bit of time, we meet up with them again where the Bungaroo Track reaches Middle Harbour.

At this point Anna decides it would be a good idea to have afternoon tea on the other side of the creek, which the Cubs carefully cross over a series of moss-covered stones. So far, no wet feet…

…although a rising tide makes the return journey over the same rocks too difficult, so the Cubs head a bit further upstream to the Stepping Stones. Here a series of huge stones across the creek provide a way across the creek. We wait patiently for the Cubs to walk upstream, cross the creek and return to where we are. Until our radio crackles into life: “We have a problem”. Heading up to meet the Cubs and ascertain the problem, it appears that at least one of the Stepping Stones has been washed away in the last heavy rain.

 

So, it’s shoes off (or in some cases shoes on), for a wade across the creek. A slightly more “adventurous” journey than originally planned!

With a tiny bit of enouragement from the Leaders (the Cubs could happily have stayed in the creek for hours), Anna has her group re-shoed and on the move again for the return leg along the creek and up the Pipeline Track. There’s another quick break when Anna radioes in to advise of a First Aid stop, after one of the Cubs cuts their finger on a leaf. Fortunately, Anna remembers some of her First Aid training!

Then it’s a constant climb back up along (and sometimes on top of) the water pipeline to our starting point.

Well done Anna… great leadership and an enjoyable bushwalk for the Cub Scouts and adults.

Isabella’s Grey Wolf hike – July 2020

My Grey Wolf walk was the section of the Great North Walk from Mount Kuring-Gai to Berowra. It was 10.56km long and the elevation gain was 306m.

The people who I led on the walk were Grace, Amalia, Charlotte, Sina, Kira, Syssy, Chris and my Mum, Tanya. We started on the 12th of July at around 10 am and finished off at about 2:30 pm. The track started on Glenview Road at Mount Kuring Gai. We walked along the Benowie Walking Track and went up the mountain until we reached the Berkley Trail. We went right along the Berkley Trail until we got to Crowley road in Berowra, which is where we stopped and drove home. The weather was cool and windy, and we thought it was going to rain, so we brought rain jackets and non-cotton pants, but we were very lucky, because just as we finished the walk it started to sprinkle, and then rain.

I navigated the way with a compass and two maps. The two maps were because the walk continued off the Hornsby map and kept going on the Cowan map! This was annoying, but at least it worked. The compass was very useful when I wanted to know which path to take or if we were going in the right direction.

My favourite part was at the saltmarsh. This is a type of marsh that has lots of salt in it from the sea and provides a unique habitat for many animals. we had to cross it, so luckily there was a boardwalk that went across the big marsh. It looked like a giant field of long grass, but if you went up close you could see that the soil was actually all mud. It felt so cool walking across the flat saltmarsh landscape when everything else around me was steep and rock with lots of hills and cliffs everywhere.

From far away it looked like the people who were walking across the boardwalk were actually just walking around in the grass, and at first I thought that they were being very silly and were going to get bitten by a spider or a snake living in that long grass, but then I discovered that it was a saltmarsh and there was a boardwalk. It looked very beautiful. The funny thing was that there was just a lone tree right in the middle of the saltmarsh. We stopped for lunch there. When we were walking across the board walk to the other side, I saw a bright red dragonfly.

I would do this walk again, and I recommend it to you because it was very beautiful, and I enjoyed it very much. The cliff next to the saltmarsh had trees, plants, grass, and roots of all sorts sticking out of it. It felt wonderful to look up at it. Next time, if there was the same amount of people or more coming, I would bring even more extra water, because by the end the extra water had ran out and I still could have drunk more. This means an extra bottle or something like that to make sure no-one goes thirsty.

Amalia’s Grey Wolf hike – July 2020

My Grey Wolf Walk

On Saturday the 4th of July 2020, at 10:15am, my group and I set off on the Thornleigh to Hornsby part of the Great North Walk. The people in the group were me, Isabella, Grace, Kira and Charlotte (from Scouts), and of course the adults Tanya, Chris and Brian. It was 9.52km long and took about 3 hours and 26 minutes. Of that time, about 3 hours and 15 minutes were spent moving.

On my walk I had to stop regularly to check the map to see which path to take. I also carried a compass with me, and I used that sometimes as well. My mum also asked me a lot where we were on the map. I used contour lines, rivers, paths and other landmarks as well as using my compass to figure it out.

In planning for the walk, I asked everyone to bring:

  • A backpack
  • Food for lunch
  • A water bottle
  • A sunhat
  • Sunscreen, and
  • A personal first aid kit

On the walk, one of my favourite things were that there were lots of beautiful flowers and scenery.

We had lunch on top of big boulders and had a wonderful view from where we had lunch. Walking through the bush, we were surrounded by fascinating bird calls of all types.

We had lots of fun making impersonations of characters from movies that we had watched (especially Hela from Thor: Ragnarok).

At one point, we had sat down to have a snack on top of some rocks (not the big one in the picture), and Isabella fell back and did a nice backwards roly-poly! Luckily, she stopped herself before she rolled all the way down the hill.

We once crossed some big boulders that were stopping water from flowing through, creating a mini waterfall. There were lots of holes in the rocks created by erosion, and one particularly big one was connected to the waterfall and had a giant mass of bubbles wobbling up and down in it! It almost made me want to jump in like a bubble bath.

Overall, I think this walk was a very good choice; it was fun, had lots of wonderful flowers and scenery, the weather was just right, it was not too long or short or up and down, and it had just the right amount of people! I feel that after this walk I am now more confident in my map reading skills than before. I would love to go on this walk again.

Amalia (Patrol Leader)

Virtual Cub Program launch – Mar 2020

Making the best of our self-isolation situation, we launched the Virtual Cub Program with our first video-conference call to introduce to the Cubs what we’ll be doing for the next two months. A new experience for most of the Cubs, it enables our youth members to keep in contact, socialise and undertake some joint activities.

The program has also been designed to let Cubs continue their progression through the Achievement Pathways (ie. earn badges) through some fun and engaging activities.

Some the activities we have planned over the next couple of months include:

  • Minecraft Monday
  • Virtual Scavenger Hunt
  • Virtual Pet Night
  • Scouting Bingo

We’ve also got some “Challenges” for the Cubs to undertake at home, including the ISOLATION CHALLENGE and the CAMPING CHALLENGE!

 

Family Camp on the Colo River – Mar 2020

As the threat of Coronavirus looms and lockdowns seem only a matter of time, we escape reality for a couple of days at Camp Bielany on the Upper Colo River… It will be the last camp we have for a while, so the Cubs (and parents) enjoy the opportunity to get outdoors while we still can! (Thanks Sarah and Rod for the photo contributions!) – more photos in our Cubs Photo Gallery.

We’ve got a fairly quiet first night with a few families arriving on Friday: the first task for the Cubs is demonstrating their ability to get the fire going…

The equally important next task is to cook some marshmallows… the theme of this camp being not so much “Surviving Coronovirus” but “Eating Marsmallows”. Fortunately the Cubs were not responsible for Coronavirus panic-buying, as marshmallows were still available in the supermarkets and we had a good supply at our camp!

The next day brings many more families – we have 16 Cubs in total (plus many older siblings and Future Cubs!) as well as Jade, Charlotte and Aiden from our Scout section. There’s also lots of outdoor activities taking place… The main activity is swimming and “tubing” on the Colo River, the last pristine river in NSW which flows from the Wollemi National Park down to the Hawkesbury River.

Of course, it’s not ALL play when you’re a Cub… more serious activities involved building a bamboo teepee, putting up the tents and making some notes on how to improve the design of future camps…

All this activity generates a healthy appetite: fortunately there are still marshmallows available to sustain the Cubs, Scouts and siblings through the evening!

As the day winds down, the Cubs seem to adapt well to their electronic-device-free surroundings, playing card games by torch-light as the day draws to a close…

There’s a bit of overnight drizzle, but we awake to a sunny and cloudless morning, and a last chance for a swim, before heading reluctantly back home.

Gordon Creek Bushwalk and Investitures – Feb 2020

We’re off on our first bushwalk of the year – a loop down to Gordon Creek in East Killara. We like to challenge the Cubs a little on our bushwalks, so we’re starting out with a short “off track” section down to Middle Harbour Creek.

Once we reach the track at the bottom, the Patrol Leaders (who have a topographical map) lead us in the correct direction, along Gordon Creek. Although we are now now a marked track, the storms a few months ago mean we still need to negotiate some fallen trees and branches!

Our destination is a flat and sandy clearing by Gordon Creek, where we are investing three of our Cubs who joined last year – congratulations to our newest 2nd Gordon Cubs:

  • Genevieve R
  • Angus W
  • Connor W

And thank-you to Kira, our investiture photographer!

The last part of the walk is up from Gordon Creek back to the end of Barrie Street, where the Cubs still display an alarming amount of speed and energy as they power up the hill!

More photos on our Cubs Photo Gallery page!

Burning Palms Loop (Grey Wolf) – Nov 2019

Track: Burning Palms Loop Track (Royal National Park)

Length: 8.2km
Grade: 4
Start/End: Garawarra Farm Carpark
Duration: 4 hours

After a long drive across Sydney (thank you Toby and Dad), we arrived at the Royal National Park at 10:00am. After checking out the portaloos in the Garawarra Farm carpark, we set off on our hike starting on the Garawarra Ridge Management Trail. After 3.11km we turned left to join the Coast Track, an epic multi-day walk between Bundeena and Otford. After a while we stopped at a lookout over Werrong Beach to have morning tea, making sure to not get too close to the edge of the cliff.

After morning tea we resumed our hike on the Coastal Track, walking initially along the newly constructed board walk, then down a steep slope, as we passed puffing walkers going the other way. Around 4.42km we entered the palm jungle. My friends and I found the palm jungle very exciting . After the palm jungle, we emerged onto a boardwalk over thick lush grass. We stopped briefly to admire some hang gliders floating above us.

Our next location on the walk was the Figure of Eight Pools. Sadly it was high tide and not safe to go near, so we instead continued to Burning Palms Beach and had lunch. We spent 30 minutes on the beach eating. After we finished eating we decided to explore the rocks, and one of us was silly enough to fall in and get wet.

After lunch we walked along the beach and headed back onto the track. This part of the Burning Palms Loop track was the hardest as it was up a very steep hill, all the way from the beach to the top of the ridge. It was so steep we needed to stop several times to allow everyone to catch their breath. On the track we stopped to look at some facts about the land and history on the signs along the track. After approximately 4 hours we had completed the Burning Palms loop track, stating and finishing at the Garawarra Farm Carpark. Everyone was hot and sweaty and ready for the long drive back to my place to cool down and relax. Thank you to all my friends for supporting me on the walk, and to Toby and Dad for giving up their time to allow it to happen.

 

 

Soccer Competition and BBQ – Dec 2019

We usually finish Term 4 with our traditional Iceblocking activity: this year we decided to do things a bit differently! After the unfortunate cancellation of the District Soccer Competition due to heavy rain a few weeks prior, the Cubs voted to finish the term with a Soccer night. Even better, we were joined by 1st Gordon and 2nd Turramurra, adding a bit friendly rivalry to the evening. It also meant a bit of initial chaos as we herded about 70 Cubs onto the three soccer fields at the St Ives Village Green (a HUGE thanks to David Howard from Primary Soccer, who kindly donated two sets of goal posts and let us use his professionally marked fields).

The Cubs enjoyed a couple of games of soccer, very professonally refereed by three of our of Scouts – thanks Luke, Lachlan and Alex. (More soccer photos in our photo gallery!)

For those not playing and younger siblings, there was also a game of bocce –  a ball sport closely related to British bowls and French pétanque. Traditionally a match is started by throwing a smaller ball, or jack, into the playing area. As it was a bit hard to see the jack, Cub Scout Bocce used a bright red, and now slightly dented drink bottle (thanks Nico!).

And how else to finish a fun evening then with a sausage sizzle – thanks to Garry and John for cooking what must have been about 120 sausages for a never-ending queue of hungry Cubs!

Another Stony Creek Cleanup – Nov 2019

It’s exactly a year after our last clean-up of Stony Creek in Gordon, and the area around our Scout Hall. This activity is back by popular demand from the Cubs, who are excited about what they might find this time. Last year we ended up with an abandoned bicycle, a shopping trolley, an office chair – and many bags of garbage.

After scouring the creek and bush, the competition is on for who has managed to collect the most garbage… Anna and her patrol have a strong claim for bragging rights, managing to  drag a cane chair from the depths of the valley back to the Scout Hall!

The end result is both impressive and depressing… the Cubs manage to amass an impressive collection of two shopping trolleys, a cane chair and a gold trophy – as well as five big bags of rubbish. But it’s sad that within a year of our last clean-up, there’s so much garbage that’s been thrown into the bush.

Spring Cub Camp – Oct 2019

Day 1: we put up tents and toast marshmallows

Despite the forecast of a wet weekend, 18 hardy Cubs headed off to Cataract Scout Park for our Spring Camp. A break in the rain allowed our Cubs to put up their tents, which they managed with minimal adult help… before retreating to the shed for some marshmallows by the fire.

Day 2: we learn some new skills in the morning…

The weather is overcast on our second day, but after some heavy overnight rain there’s some respite in the morning. Almost all the Cubs survived the night – a couple have retreated to the dormitory after a leak in their tent. After breakfast, we break up into smaller groups to brush up on some of our core outdoor skills…

1. Navigation

Armed with a compass, the Cubs create a basic compass around the bush, with a “hidden treasure” at the end. The groups then try and follow each other’s trails.

2. Cooking

Always a favourite activity, the Cubs make damper, cooking it over the campfire.

3. Bush Shelters

Utilising different “construction techniques”, each Cub group collects sticks and branchs, to build a basic shelter.

4. First Aid

From dealing with cuts and bruises to tying an arm bandage, the Cubs brush up on their First Aid skils.

…and have some fun in the afternoon!

To the untrained eye, our afternoon’s activity could look more like a forced march through a dangerous obstacle course than fun. But to the Cubs, Challenge Valley is one of the highlights of our Camp as the Cubs climb over obstacles, swing into pools, clamber through water-filled pipes and stomp through muddy puddles. They end up very wet and cold – and surprisingly happy!

We finish the day with two investitures

We finish our second day by investing Will and Parker, two of our newest Cubs. They make their Cub Scout promise and are welcomed to the 2nd Gordon Cub pack with a rowdy cry of 1-2-3 WOLF under a moonlit sky.

The day is not quite finished… before retiring to their tents, our exhausted Cubs enjoy some marshmallows – and iceblocks – by the campfire. It’s been a great day!

Day 3: we head underground as the sun comes out

It’s a cold but sunny morning on our final day, as we wake to a cloudless sky. A couple of Cubs volunteer to cook breakfast for us – and others take advantage of the last opportunity to poke sticks in the fire. (If there was an Olympic event for running around with burning sticks, the 2nd Gordon Cubs would be contenders for a world record…!)

The highlight of Day 3 is the Caving Adventure, with the Cubs heading underground and squeezing through some tight passages as they explore the natural caves at Cataract.

Then it’s time to pack up the tents, clean up the site and have a debrief with the Cubs before we head home. The verdict: a great camp, but next time more activities – and more mud!

A huge thanks to Justeen and Shane (who ran the activities) at Cataract Scout Park – and to David, Simon, Garry, Rick and John – our Parent Helpers who helped run the activities and ensure everything went smoothly.

Region Cub Challenge – Sep 2019

The Region Cub Scout challenge is designed to enable a Patrol of Cubs to work as a team to complete a range of activities that are both challenging and rewarding. The 2nd Gordon Cub patrol rose to the challenge, successfully completing all of the activity bases and learning a lot in the process.

  1. Australia

After a briefing by Region Cub Commissioner Martin Jones, the Cubs started with the “Australia” challenge. The content of this base was quite theoretical, and tested the Cub’s knowledge of our state shields, flags and emblems. Do you know the NSW state flower, animal, bird, fish and gemstone (the answer is: waratah, platypus, kookaburra, blue groper and black opal – and we even have a Fossil Emblem. the Mandageria fairfaxi).

2. Mapping

This station tested the Cubs’ knowledge of mapping: can they recognise key features on a topoagraphical map, and work out a viable route between two points on a map? The consensus was if we dropped the Cubs in a field somewhere with a map, they could find their way home… we might test this on a Monday evening one day!

3. Knotting

A largely practical test of knots, this base required the Cubs to work as a team to build a structure with rope and bamboo poles, that could be lifted off the ground without losing its shape (or falling apart). This required a number of knots, including lashings and clove hitches. While our Cubs normally groan when we teach knots on a Monday, they rated this as their #1 activity at the Cub Challenge!

4. Cooking

The most significant activity for the Cub Scout Challenge is the cooking base. Ideally we would have done some work and planning in advance of the event, but we entered the Challenge late, and really threw the Cubs into the deep end with this acitivity! The Cubs had to prepare and light a fire, cook a damper, meat and two vegetables and a hot drink and clean up – in 90 minutes. Despite some challenges keeping the fire going, the Cubs did a great job cooking lunch!

5. Compass & Navigation

A test both of navigation, teamwork and trust: each Cub must make their way blindfolded through a “minefield”. The other Cubs can only provide compass bearings and number of steps to walk, to avoid stepping on a mine.

6. First Aid

One Cub has sprained their ankle and has a bleeding nose. Another has burnt their hand in the fire… sounds like just another Cub Camp, but this time the Cubs are in charge of first aid. This base focussed on the practical application of first aid skills the Cubs have learnt.

7. Tracking and Environment

The last base for the day, this one tested the Cubs knowledge of tracking signs and how we should care for the environment. While they did quite well as a group, this one of of the stations where the Cubs learn the most, about different trail signs and markers.

It was a long and exhausting day for the Cubs, but they all had a great time – and most importantly they (and the leaders) learnt a lot and have lots of ideas to bring back to our unit. The Cubs even managed a third placing out of the “non-competitive” teams (as we entered a team that didn’t have the required spread of ages). We’re all looking forward to next year’s Challenge!

Grey Wolf awards – Aug 2019

Congratulation to Dylan A and Luke D, who achieved the Grey Wolf award (and were the first 2nd Gordon cubs to achieve this under the New Youth Program).

The Grey Wolf is is the peak award for a Cub. Earning this award requires initiative and commitment by a Cub Scout, and includes additional activities like leading an adventurous journey as well as achieving Outdoor Adventure Skills across at least three areas and completing six Special Interest Areas.

A big thanks to Rod, our district Cub Commissioner, who presented the award to Dylan and Luke. (The Grey Wolf Award is the only Cub badge that can be worn on the Scout uniform.)

Perhaps most importantly… at least for the Cubs… we concluded the evening with a small celebratory feast of chips and cake!

Ollie’s Grey Wolf hike – Aug 2019

It’s time for another adventurous journey, as Ollie K completes one of the activities required to achieve the Grey Wolf award. We’re walking from Taronga Zoo to Balmoral Beach, along the coast.

There’s iconic views of the city and harbour as the track follows the coastline. We make a side-trip down to a beach that was site of a WWII degaussing range (where cables were placed around the hull of ships, acting as a demagnetising agent to provide protection against magnetic mines). A bit further is a sign denoting the site where two of the Japanese midget submarines which entered Sydney Harbour in May 1942 were sunk by depth charges.

Near the middle of our walk is Clfton Gardens and Chowder Bay, which played an important role in the defence of Sydney from the 1890s until 1922 as the base for the Submarine Mining Corps, and later the Army.

The second half of the walk takes us up Bungaree’s Walkway to Georges Head, which was a restricted-access fortified military base until 2002. Now the old fortifications make a fun playground for the Cubs.

It’s then (almost) all downhill to Balmoral Beach, where we enjoy a picnic lunch before heading home.

 

Cubs Medieval Night – July 2019

The Cubs enjoyed a hugely successful Medieval Night to finish off Term 2.

The first step is to don some medieval costumes, traditionally worn by Cub Scouts in the 6th century BC.

This is followed by some intense sword-fighting and other medieval games, led by Ollie the Self Proclaimed King. (No Cubs were seriously harmed in these hostilities.)

And last but not least, the Cub Knights put away their swords, cuisses and faulds, and partake in a feast of chicken, corn bread and fruit, before we call an official end to the night.

A huge thanks to Simone, our guest Chieftess,for fearlessly taking on the challenge of running this magnificent evening!

Cubs visit the Wildflower Garden – Jun 2019

It’s our second visit to the St Ives Wildflower Garden, with the Cubs keen to earn their “Environment” badge. Their first task is to construct an “activity book” so they can write field notes on what they see. We’re in the expert and patient hands of Jenny the Ranger and Cub Tamer, who soon has the Cubs engrossed in creating their books.

Since the weather isn’t great, we start by looking and touching a few captive animals. The Cubs sketch and document the stick insect: as well as having unusual shapes to camouflage themselves, we learn that the males are smaller than the females, and possess functioning wings so they can fly a short distance.

Looking more like a scorpion but far less dangerous (at least, that’s what Jenny assures us) is the Spiny Leaf Insect.

Next is the blue-tongued lizard, the largest members of the skink family, which the Cubs were able to touch. When threatened, blue-tongue lizards their mouth wide and stick out their broad blue tongue; surprisingly, this one was not overly intimidated by our rowdy Cubs!

Last but not least is the Children’s Python, named after the scientist John George Children, who first described them in 1842. Currently 43cm long, it will grow to a little over metre.

We still have time for a short walk around the Wildflower Garden, with the rain holding off… unfortunately, and perhaps not surprisingly (considering that “quiet” is NEVER a word that has been used to described our Cubs), we don’t manage to spot anything!

Another great evening – many thanks to Jenny for hosting us!

Luke’s Grey Wolf adventure – May 2019

A number of 2nd Gordon’s Cubs are working hard to achieve the Grey Wolf award, the highest award a Cub Scout can achieve. Part of this achievement is to undertake an “adventurous journey”: Dylan led a Grey Wolf Hike in March, and the second adventurous journey was Luke’s challenging 15km bushwalk from Cowan to Berowra. There’s been a lot of planning by Luke including working out the route, organising logistics around the BBQ lunch and deciding what trains we need to catch.

The journey started with a train trip from Gordon to our starting point at Cowan, with Luke leading his patrol of five Cubs (supported by three adults and a Rover Scout). The first section is just over 8km to Berowra Waters, our lunch destination. There’s an early lession about not just relying on a map, but checking signage, as the Cubs walk straight past a “Great North Walk” marker and back up to the highway…

The first section is pretty hard work – the track crosses several valleys so there’s one fairly long climb as well as some steep descents. In a few places there are iron rungs bolted into the rock – and some interesting rock overhangs and caves to explore. As we get closer to Berowra Waters, there are nice views of Berowra Creek below.

The last stretch is on the free car ferry that takes pedestrians and vehicles across Berowra Creek. The Cubs cook a sausage sizzle lunch and enjoy a break at the Furber Recreation Reserve before the second part of our bushwalk.

Berowra Waters to Berowra railway station is only 5.5km – but it’s mostly uphill. All the Cubs are doing well as they power up the initial steep section from the creek, before reaching the Berkely Firetrail which is fairly flat, and goes past a nice lookout (Naa Badu Lookout – which means “see water”).

Everyone’s happy when we reach Berowra Station, with just enough time at Hornsby for an icecream while we wait for out connecting train…  There’s a few tired legs – the bushwalk involved almost 700m of vertical ascent – but it’s been another successful 2G outing!

Map of route

New Cub invested – May 2019

Congratulations to Michael W – our newest Cub in the rapidly growing Cub section. Michael was invested in a “secret location” near the 2nd Gordon Scout Hall.

Michael pledged his Cub Scout Promise and recited the Cub Scout Law, before being congratulated by the pack in the customary manner (1-2-3-WOLF!!!).

Seven new Cubs invested into 2G – Mar 2019

Congratulations to our seven newest Cub members, who were invested at a Secret Location near the Scout Hall:

  • James A
  • Felix B
  • Nico S
  • Oscar W
  • Scarlett M
  • Andrew Z
  • Ryker B

All new Cubs pledged their Cub Scout Promise and recited the Cub Scout Law, and each Cub was congratulated by the pack with the Cub Yell (1-2-3-WOLF!!!) which echoed down the creek…

Dylan’s Grey Wolf Hike – Mar 2019

The Grey Wolf is the highest award a Cub Scout can achieve, requiring additional activities be undertaken by the Cubs. One of these activities is to lead an “adventurous journey” – which for the Cub Scout section generally means a bushwalk.

This undertaking is designed to test the Cub Scout not only the practical skills they’ve learnt through the scouting movement, but also to demonstrate their initiative in organising and executing an outdoor activity with minimal parental or Leader involvement. As with all scouting activities under our new program, the activity involves planning, doing – and reviewing.

Plan

The first step in any activity is the planning stage, and Dylan produced a very comprehensive bushwalk overview PDF to help the other cubs with what to bring and where to meet. He selected the Resolute Beach Loop, and researched additional things to do along the walk.

Do

Despite the overcast weather, we set-off from West Head lookout in the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. After a teeny bit of prompting, Dylan points to the correct path, having decided in consultation with his group that they would do the loop in a counter-clockwise direction.

It’s a slightly unnerving experience watching the Cubs set-off down the trail… Although we are shadowing the Cubs and they are always in sight (or at least in earshot, which for our Cubs is about 4km!!), this is about the Cubs making decisions. A conscious effort is needed to adapt to their pace let them decide when to have a break and allow them to work out the correct route…

The first stop and snack break is the Red Hands Cave, where the Cubs look at the Aboriginal handprints and make some sketches.

The next stop is the picturesque and almost deserted Resolute Beach, opposite Barrenjoey Head.

While we keep an eye on the Cubs from the shelter of a sandstone overhang (it’s finally started to rain), the Cubs play a game of beach cricket.

Dylan does a great job in getting the Cubs packed and back onto the track after an extended break, for the last section along the coast to West Head Beach, and then up to the carpark. There’s an old WWII embankment just off the track, which makes for another brief photo stop and discussion.

Review

The last part of any activity is the review – what went well, what didn’t work and what could be improved. Dylan asked everyone for their thoughts, so he could reflect on his walk and provide some feedback to the Cub Leaders. Overall, Dylan did a fabulous job leading the bushwalk and keeping his group together, and some of his ideas (like bringing walkie talkies) we will use on future walks. He also had some great suggestions for improvements that will help the next Cubs who are doing their Grey Wolf bushwalk.

Cub Leadership Day – Mar 2019

With the recent addition of quite a few new Cubs to 2nd Gordon, and many of our more senior Cubs eager to achieve the Grey Wolf peak award, we decided to run a Leadership Course for our current and soon-to-be Patrol Leaders and Assistant Patrol Leaders. The objective was to challenge the older Cubs and instill a sense of leadership – and to have some fun!

We started with the Cubs lighting a fire and cooking themselves (and the Leaders!) some sausages. As with all of the activities today, the role of the (adult) Leaders is to provide supervision and coaching – and to let the Cubs “learn by doing”.

Activity 1: Fire and Lunch

The Cubs demonstrate their ability to light and maintain a fire, and cook a healthy(ish) lunch. We also discuss fire safety.

Having enjoyed lunch, we’re onto our first activity. The ability to navigate and read a map is an important skill, especially for Cubs who are linking (moving up) to Scouts.

Activity 2: Maps

The Cubs demonstrate their ability to identify features and landmarks on a topographical map, followed by relay race competition to identify specific features.

We’re joined by a Cub parent and Special Guest for our next activity: Brian has over 30 years experience in facilitating leadership and developing teams. He’s created an engaging program for our Cubs to help them understand and put into action what it means to be a great leader, and how to effectively lead their patrols.

Activity 3: Leadership in Action

The Cubs discuss what a good leader should do – and what they shouldn’t do – and participate in some team-building activities to reinforce the desired behaviours.

The Cubs enjoy a team game where they need work out the right sequence of squares to take, in order to successfully cross a 16×16 grid!

Next, we have some of our Scouts join us to lead the M&M Challenge… it’s a great way of learning the clove hitch and square lashing by building a table from some basic materials. Why the “M&M Challenge”? Once the table has been constructed, a bag of M&Ms are released on the table. The team with the least M&Ms rolling off the table and onto the ground wins!

Activity 4: Knots

The Cubs compete in two teams to build the most level table, using only ropes, bamboo poles and a timber board. 

There’s tension in the air as Glenn, one of our Scout Leaders, unleashes the M&Ms to see which of the two teams will emerge victorious…

Team one

The result

Team two

The result

It’s almost time for dinner… time flies when you’re having fun! Unfortunately, it’s inappropriate to set the Cubs a challenge to see which team can mix the best cocktail (the Leaders were about ready for a drink)! Instead we give each of the four groups of Cubs the same ingredients (mince, pasta, crushed tomatoes & tomato paste, flour and some spices) and ask them to cook dinner, using outdoor gas cooktops we’ve borrowed from the Scouts and the firepit. The Scout leaders and Scouts also talk to the Cubs about hygiene and safety techniques when using gas and cooking over a cooktop or fire.

Activity 5: Masterchef Challenge

The Cubs work together in small teams to cook a meal using a set of ingredients, a gas cooktop and the firepit!. 

Of course, the success of this activity is determined by the outcome! The Leaders (and Scouts) were impressed with the results served by our junior outdoor chefs, with tasty spaghetti bolognaise and perfectly cooked damper rolls. One trio ignored the suggested recipes and cooked hamburgers, which turned out perfectly! Though perhaps the most rewarding feedback, the following day, was one of the Cubs keen to practice their new-found skills at home: “Grace thoroughly enjoyed the day and is keen to make us some spaghetti bolognese, which is a bonus!”

No dinner would be complete without dessert, and with less than half an hour before the Cubs are due to finish, they’re using the embers of the firepit to make some s’mores. “A dessert or snack made of marshmallows, usually toasted over a campfire, and thin slabs of chocolate, which are then sandwiched together between crackers”, the invention of s’mores is generally credited to Loretta Scott Crew, who made them for Girl Scouts by the campfire in the 1920s.

 

Cub Leader Toby invested to 2G – Feb 2019

Congratulations to Toby who was invested to the group in the Cub Scouts section. Toby has a son in Cubs, and a daughter in Scouts, and along with his wife Helen, their family participates at numerous events. Toby was joined by his fellow leaders at his formal investiture ceremony followed by a casual function at one of the National Parks.

Cubs clean up Stony Creek – Nov 2018

It’s amazing what you find, only a hundred metres from the Scout Hall…

The Cubs all participated in an activity to clean up the local creek, Stony Creek, and collected a diverse array of garbage including:

  • a bicycle, in fairly good condition
  • a rather worn office chair – still at the Scout Hall (we’re open to any reasonable offers!)
  • Woolworths shopping trolley
  • remnants of a flat-screen TV
  • and of course, countless bottles and cans.

The evening did raise some interesting questions: such as, do you need to wear a helmet when riding an office chair (or shopping trolley) along the footpath?

The Cubs had a lot of fun, and more importantly learnt about looking after our environment.

 

Cubs Camp at Crosslands – Nov 2018

The Cubs have been looking forward to our Term 4 Summer Camp – we’re heading to Camp Windeyer on Berowra Creek for the weekend. While it’s only about half an hour drive from our Scout Hall, it feels like a world away from Sydney.

After arriving on Friday evening (crossing the creek on a barge to get to the camp), we start on Saturday morning with an obstacle course.

It’s a challenging course – especially when a mis-step means landing in the swamp below…

As the day warms up, the Cubs head to the water – Camp Windeyer is surrounded by Still Creek and Berowra Creek, so there’s plenty of places to swim and ropes to swing from!

There’s a rope swing which provides plenty of entertainment for the Cubs!

After lunch, it’s back into the water for some more aquatic activities and games.

The only way to and from Camp Windeyer is by barge across Still Creek – we cross back to the cars to get some more ice, and farewell one of our Cubs who needs to leave early.

Before it gets too dark, Toby musters up a few Cubs to help light the fire under the boiler, which provides hot water for cleaning up. (Camp Windeyer has town water and flushing toilets, so quite luxurious for a Scout camp – but no mains power and cooking is by gas BBQ or stove).

The Cubs are fast asleep by 9:30pm after an exhausting day… and the Cub Leaders and parents are not too far behind them!

Sunday’s our last day, and despite the promise of ice blocks none of the Cubs demonstrate much energy. It’s been an exhausting (and hot) day on Saturday, and they all want to go home and play on their iPads!

We manage get the Cubs mildly excited by a competition to “Pop the Top” – the Cubs compete to light a fire underneath a coffee tin with some water inside, and “pop” the lid off from the steam that builds inside. It turns out to be a great activity, despite the wind making it challenge to light the kindling. A big thanks to Cameron, the Camp Warden, for suggesting this activity (we’ll be doing this again with all the Cubs at our Scout Hall).

Even though we all know the top is about to “pop” – it still startles the Cubs and adults!

After “Pop the Top” it’s time for Closing Ceremony and lunch, before we head home, back across the creek and along the winding road through Galston Gorge. It’s been an exhausting but fun weekend. A huge thanks to Cameron, the ever-helpful Camp Warden, who’s help made our stay so enjoyable.

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!

 

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!

Australian Scout Medallion Project – Aug 2018

On Sunday 5th August, Tom L, our Australian Scout Medallion candidate organised and documented the planning of a brilliant project for his award requirements.

It included all sections of 2nd Gordon’s group including Cubs, Scouts, Venturers and Rovers in canoes and kayaks scouring the shorelines of Cowan Creek from Apple Tree Bay Bobbin Head for rubbish.

25+kg of general rubbish and a very old 20kg wheel/tyre was collected with support from Clean Up Australia (also organised by Tom in conjunction with National Parks).

Of no surprise, a large amount of rubbish amongst the rocks and oyster shells or wrapped around trees were plastic shopping bags and bottles of all shapes, sizes and materials. And the two oddest items we found were a rusted out cast iron camp oven and a pitch fork with wooden handle intact.

The weather was another beautiful warm Winter’s day. Leaders from all sections were present.

This activity was particularly inspiring because it entailed conserving our natural environment, inter-group socialising, and most of all, a fun way to do it by paddling!

We wish Tom all the best in finishing his ASM before moving up a section to Venturers. Thank you to all members and parents who helped out today to make this happen for Tom, Bobbin Head National Parks for hosting us, and West Pymble Scouts for the loan of extra canoes.

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”

Cubs linking to Scouts farewell – May 2017

Congratulations to Jack R, Matthew L, Aiden K, and Will S who had their last night with Cubs this month and have linked up to our Scouts section. Their send off included a creative challenge course (built by one of our Scouts, Ed H) and water shooters!

We also farewelled our Spanish visitors for the month of May, Carla and Charlie. We trust you can share some great stories with your Scout group back home; it was great to share our traditions.

 

3 new Cubs invested into 2G – May 2017

Congratulations to Jade D, Luke D, and Will G-J who were invested into 2nd Gordon Cub Pack this week at a special pack ceremony alongside Middle Harbour. We also had 5 parents come along to be a part of our night hike and take part in our three investitures. All new Cubs pledged their Cub Scout Promise and recited the Cub Scout Law. Each Cub was congratulated by the pack with the Cub Yell (1-2-3-WOLF!!!) which echoed loudly across the harbour.

 

The investitures occurred during our pack night hike in an area near Founders Way/Bungaroo Track, St Ives on the Pipeline Track. Of historical significance, it was in this area where Admiral Arthur Phillip (RAN), the first Governor of NSW, 1788, camped and explored with an expedition to find suitable farming land. We felt this was a significant and memorable location.

 

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

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

Spanish Cubs Visitors May 2017

2nd Gordon Cubs started off Term 2 with two special (Cub) Scout visitors from Madrid Spain, Carla and Charlie. Carla presented a scarf from their home Scout group as part of their custom when visiting another international group. Welcome to 2nd Gordon Carla and Charlie! During Term 2, Cubs leaders have also re-organised the Six teams for optimal succession planning and promoted numerous Sixers and Seconds.

 

2nd Gordon Cubs parade Pets Mar 2017

The 2nd Gordon Cub Scout pack had their first pet parade in many years, mostly cool-canines, accompanied by a coy-cat feeling outnumbered and two very beguiled-Guinea-Pigs!

Cubs also earned their Level 1 Pets achievement badges, with four Cubs earning their Level 2 Pets badge by further explaining about pet care, challenges through growth, and local laws of ownership. The night had strong participation from all Cubs.

Cubs BLAST off Term 1 with Water Rockets Feb 2017

Cub Scouts were able to enjoy a toned down version of a traditional 2nd Gordon Scout section activity with water rockets. Our theme this term is to enjoy the outdoors while we still have daylight saving.

These rockets have a unique design modified by engineers in the 2nd Gordon leadership team to optimise flight with very simple design modifications where rockets can be built in about 10 minutes from recycled soft drink bottles, and launched with nothing more than water and bicycle pump air pressure. Firing them is always lots of fun, with some rockets going high, some far, and some spiralling out of control! Thanks again to Connor, an extra Scout leader present to supervise a second launcher, and four committed parent helpers, Toby, Mike, Eric, and Oliver who also kindly donated the very professional looking photos attached.

Cubs (…and leaders) never seem to get tired of this!

New Leaders invested to 2G group Jan 2017

Congratulations to both of our newest leaders, Connor Holmes (Scout Leader – far left in pic) and Tanya Fiedler (Cubs leader in final training – centre of pic). Both are professionals/executives who have already committed much of their time towards the Scouting community last year. They both have children at 2nd Gordon so get to share time with them in a great environment with the support of their fellow leaders. Leader profiles will be added to a new web page tab in near future. Next time you see Connor and Tanya, both will be wearing their one-of-a-kind tartan 2nd Gordon scarves and membership badges. Please support them supporting your children. [Photo apologies absent: Rod and Geoff from our Venturer Scout unit, and Rovers leaders].

Last Cubs Meeting for the Year Dec 2016

We had a triple-fun send off for 2016 including a 90 minute packed night including water shooters (where leaders found themselves targets…), ice-blocking grass sleds, followed by a Kris Kringle/Secret Santa, and along with cupcakes. The weather was sunny and a perfect 26 degrees. We farewelled Thomas H who is moving north and we wish him and his family all the best for the future.

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See you all in Term 1 2017 with another BIG fun program, along with several new Cubs joining our Pack. Happy holidays, and have a Merry Christmas!

Another Successful XMAS Tree Sale Dec 2016

2nd Gordon Scout Group had fantastic help from scouting families to sell Christmas trees at our annual sale we have run for many years. So, thanks to parents, leaders, and committee members for making another very successful Christmas tree sale and fundraiser.

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Thank you to our customers and annual supporters within our local community and beyond. We even had one family come as far from the south of the Harbour Bridge, and it was great to see numerous customers continue with the Christmas tradition of coming into the hall to choose their tree as a family. We received an excellent quality crop this year thanks to a great relationship we have with the supplier, and excellent weather ideal for tree growth. The group had many more large trees this year due to the huge demand and sell-out last year within the first hour of sale.

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Like every other year, 2nd Gordon provided care advice to prolong the life of the tree, car service, and delivery services.

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Thanks Paola for designing our cool advertising flyer:

Christmas tree sale

2016 Christmas tree sale

Cubs visit local Fire Station Nov 2016

On 28 November 2016, Cubs were treated to a unique insight of an operational fire station at Gordon. This is our group’s closest fire station which is also an emergency rescue unit. As part of the Scouting movement, Cubs also need to appreciate how aspects of their community works, and how these fire fighters serve their community not only by helping to put out fires and performing rescues, but also community education. Cubs learnt to dial 000 in an emergency rather than 911 if you live in America, how a fire station operates, and what all the equipment on a fire truck/pump does. Thank you Nick, Andrew and the rest of the team for accommodating us! And awesome that every Cub was in full uniform and scarves!

Gordon Fire Station

Gordon Fire Station

Cubs getting fire awareness training

Cubs getting fire awareness training

How Fire (truck) pumps work

How Fire (truck) pumps work

 

Cubs having a turn on a fire hose!

Cubs having a turn on a fire hose!

 

Cub Pack fun at Camp Windeyer Nov 2016

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We had nearly all of our Cubs at our Spring getaway to Camp Windeyer in Galston NSW during the weekend of 19-21 November 2016 – a wonderful turnout and participation. The weather was near perfect at this idyllic location. We arrived at our campsite after a short shallow water crossing on a punt on Friday evening.

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The theme of the camp was Pirates and we included a mix of outdoor activities such as the Commando challenge course through mud and water.

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Then we also enjoyed traditional scouting activities such as orienteering and rafting.

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Senior Cubs, Jack R, Aiden K, Dom F, and Will S built the raft to an incredible Scouting standard with the help of leaders and parents. We look forward to their linking to the Scouts section next year.

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We cannot achieve the wonderful outcomes such as this without our generous parent helpers and leaders that give up their weekends, and they find the enjoyment of participation as far as their commitment allows. Thank you to parents Richard R, Mike S, Gavin S, and Scout leader Jeremy. It is a validation of their time enjoyed as a pack and the adult supervisory team when they subsequently comment they would like to come along to the next camp!

The leaders Caroline, Phil, Tanya (our Cubs leader in training we shall formally announce in near future), and David (absent) are delighted to see every Cub doing their best at challenges, learning an abundance of new things, tightening friendships, and strengthening the pack. We see them develop alternative skills without electronics in hand.

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A special thanks to Cameron, one of the volunteer leaders managing the site at Camp Windeyer. He currently commits two of his weekends a month managing the site so that other groups from around the country can come to enjoy it.

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Could I please leave you all with a call for your support when you receive messages of help from our committee for events such as fundraising. All committee members and leaders are parents just like yourselves, with full-time employment and endless commitments. Without your support, these events simply cannot happen. We are a volunteer group where a large proportion of your fees that only pay insurance and sustaining activities, and the rest hangs upon “every”, rather than some families supporting the 2nd Gordon Scout group. Please come along if you haven’t participated for some time; we promise to welcome you and embrace your child’s growth with our group!

Three new Cubs invested to 2nd Gordon Nov 2016

Congratulations to Will S, Amalia F, and Isabella F, 2nd Gordon’s newest Cub Scouts. Investiture took place on the 20th November 2016 at Camp Windeyer, alongside Still Creek in Galston NSW. Welcome to the Cub pack and the leaders look forward to you and your family’s contribution in future. We trust our newest Cubs will live by the Cub Scout law and promise.

Investiture of Will

Investiture of Will

Investiture of Amalia

Investiture of Amalia

Investiture of Isabella

Investiture of Isabella

 

Cubs Pinewood Derby Cars Sep 2016

Cubs celebrated along with their father, parent, or carer for a Father’s Day event to design and construct pine timber cars and race them on a custom-built derby track. Numerous recognition awards were presented to Cubs ranging from the fastest car, the most creative, to the wonkiest wheel! A favourite event with our Cubs!

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Finished cars for judging

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Construction and race track

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Two of our Cubs and their derby car creations

Cubs Camp May 2016

We had a wonderful camp with the Cubs at Camp Kariong on the Central Coast, which originated as a rest stop when the Great North Walk was established by returned Australian soldiers. For some Cubs, this was their first camping trip and they enjoyed it immensely. We also invested a number of new Cubs into our pack. Thank you to our parent helpers that make these events that much better!

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Aboriginal rock carvings – also where some Cubs were invested

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Bonding around camp

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Cubs love the chance for a group photo!

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We had a very peaceful campsite located in private grounds

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The Cubs Dilly bag screen-printing project came in handy for their mess kits

Family Camp 2013

Pictures from the family camp