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.
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).
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!
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!
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!