Last Tuesday night’s Scout activity was all about understanding RISK and making things SAFE – and practical application of “being prepared”.

Our enterprising scouts carried out a brief health and safety check of the Scout Hall and the surrounding areas we use, including the Brooklyn community centre playground.  They came up with good observations and some practical ideas (floodlights on the lawn area so we can continue to use the area on fine but dark nights was one highlight!)

We then watched two brief Mountain Safety Council film clips on the Outdoor Safety code:  “Plan your trip” and “Tell someone”.  We used these to work out how to prepare for our upcoming tramping trip into the Tararuas.    Most scouts had a chance to work in small groups on either an activity intentions form, or a RAMS (risk assessment and management system) form.   A number of scouts have brought a blank form home so that they can practice putting a form together.   Knowing how to do this is an essential scouting skill, so please help and encourage your scout to take on the challenge.  You’ll find some guidelines in the handy “bronze/silver/gold badge resource books” which are on the downloads page of the Brooklyn website.

Our youngest scouts, meanwhile, covered the territory for the Scout badge.   New scouts will be invested on Tuesday 3 June and parents are welcome to attend the brief ceremony at 7pm.

For those interested, a summary of the outdoor code is below.   This is a good thing to be aware of for any trip into the outdoors.  You can also click on the titles to access the short on line clips – just 3 minutes each and a good talking point with your scout.

• Plan your trip
Seek local knowledge, plan the route you will take and the amount of time you can reasonably expect it to take.
• Tell someone 
Tell someone your plans and leave a date for when to raise the alarm if you haven’t returned. 
• Be aware of the weather 
New Zealand’s weather can be highly unpredictable.  Check the forecast and expect weather changes.
• Know your limits
Challenge yourself within your physical limits and experience.
• Take sufficient supplies
Make sure you have enough food, equipment and emergency rations for the worst case scenario. Take an appropriate means of communication.

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