Duane receives his Bronze Tiki and Cubs Celebrate Baden Powell’s 110th Birthday

Tonight Duane Stewart was presented with the Bronze Tiki for his outstanding work over the last 19 years for our Cubs and Kea’s! Our hall was packed with youth, families and leaders from all sections and other groups, the best tribute to Duane.
Congratulations and thank you Duane.

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Brooklyn Cubs celebrating Baden Powell’s 110th Birthday.

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Staveley Adventure Camp, mid-Canterbury, January 02-09, 2018

12 of our youth were lucky enough to be invited to join with about 350 other Canterbury Scouts and Venturer’s on what turned out to be a magic and fun (but at times challenging) activity filled week long camp. Second only to a Jamboree in terms of scale, the youth got to choose their activities (unlike a Jamboree) and there was much more time to wander around the site and socialise!

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Our Scouts were supported by David, Terry and myself.  It wasn’t a promising start though, as both David and Terry travelled ahead of our flight and I was left to coral the 9 youth that chose to fly (and I was not that familiar with the check-in process either – I don’t fly much)!? Needless to say, several youth took charge (a management model that I encourage!?).

We arrived to find the camp largely set up (bonus!) and quickly set about getting ourselves organised and integrated with the rest of the contingent before the opening ceremony and dinner (which we soon learnt was always of the ‘meat and 3 veg’ kind!).

Two activities were undertaken each day and ranged from carving Oamaru stone, rock climbing, fire fighting and flying to rafting, shooting, overnight survival and fishing. One popular activity, Weld ‘n’ grind, involved scrounging around in buckets for old metal components (truck bearings, gearbox gears, valves, camshafts, piston-conrods etc.) to make anything from helicopters and cats to Daleks and candlesticks.  Some activities took us into beautiful beech forest where we saw Tomtits/Miromiro and Bellbirds/Korimako.

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Those flying home returned exceptionally clean due to an overnight ‘urban survival’ bonus activity on the way home: a night in the 4 star luxury Christchurch Airport Hotel, followed by a swim in their pool (as Wellington airport was closed due to fog).  Thanks to Air New Zealand for coming to the party and providing us with somewhere to sleep (and eat)!

A HUGE thank you to the Richard, from Ellesmere Scout Group, for extending the invitation to join with his Scouts, for running us from and to the Airport and for introducing us to deep fried jam wraps (a jam filled donut coated in cinnamon and sugar – yum!). We met Richard on the last Jamboree where he joined with us to form the Wellington Southerlies Contingent.  We will be hosting his Scout Group in Wellington sometime later in the year!

And THANK YOU to the organisers of the Staveley Adventure Camp for organising such a great event!  Is it better than a Jamboree? – we’ll see!

YIS John

Heaphy Track Tramp

During the October school holidays 1 Kea, 2 Cubs, 9 Scouts, 1 Venturer, 2 high school exchange students, 2 leaders and 7 Parents tramped the Heaphy Track (one of New Zealand’s nine Great Walks).  As Kahurangi National Park is remote and we split into two groups, walking in opposite directions (and swapping car keys along the way) to simplify the logistics of getting our vehicles back!

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‘The Karamea Crew’ (starting on the West Coast) stumbled on the most amazing natural phenomena within hours of starting the tramp – enormous quantities of (natural) sea foam on the beach.  This was the result of large amounts of phytoplankton (single-celled algae) being smashed up by a particularly relentless crashing surf, combined with circular currents leading to nutrients (from sand dwelling organisms) being trapped in the surf zone and the fierce wave action trapping air bubbles.  The foam rushed up the beach (ahead of the waves) enveloping those brave enough to enter the ‘danger zone’ but not actually leaving you wet!  The foam is a sign of a healthy productive beach ecosystem.  Lots of fun too!!

The enchanted forest was another highlight, with the trees being draped in thick coating of lichen, algae and moss.  Swing bridges were plentiful with the wind making our first crossing ‘interesting’ and one bridge being the longest DOC swing bridge in NZ.  We saw Weka, looked unsuccessfully for Great Spotted Kiwi, saw numerous carnivorous land snail shells and found a live one, saw a South Island Robin, heard a Kea and were passed by quite a few mountain bikers.

The days were quite long and we were rained on for one morning.  The youth performed amazingly and never complained (well except for corny jokes )!?  We stayed at Tahoma Sea Scouts hall (in Mapua) on the way back to the Ferry (thank you Tahoma!) and we found the most amazing French bakery near the hall for breakfast!?

A special thanks must go to the supporting adults – for their help and assistance!  And to Gary for organising the trip!

Yours in Scouting