June/July 2013 CubJam - It's a Pirates Life !
By A Ferneau and Jeremy Styles
Over 1,000 cubs (8-11 year olds) descended upon Gilwell, North London (the home of scouting) for a week of swashbuckling adventure from all over the country – Cornwall to Guernsey, Wales to Tower Hamlets. Fleet, Church Crookham and Zebon Copse were well represented with over 30 cubs. We were on board Flying Dutchman, the other ships being Victory and Black Pearl; a friendly rivalry developed over the week, with much singing and chanting. Being cub scouts, this was not your average “half-board in a hotel job”; oh no. This was put-up your own tents, live and eat in the open, get involved in a whole range of activities from zip wires, grass sledging, rifle shooting and zorbing to treasure hunts, climbing walls, face painting and camp fires. 1st Crookham had a great secluded 2-level location to the north east of the site, with the sleeping tents nestled inside a copse of trees, down a steep slope (more of that later!) to the mess tent and kitchen.
The cubs started arriving early on Saturday afternoon, set up their tents and stored their gear for the week. The opening ceremony included an address by Bear Grylls (Chief Scout) and some early practice of the Cubjam song. There was a “pirate” radio station set up for the week – Cubjam FM, passing out news and updates during the week, and playing loads of great songs for the cubs to sing along to. The programme started in anger on the Sunday with cubs having the choice of over 30 different activities to get involved in, as well as a talent show, bingo, cinema, record attempts and a carnival. These were spread over the six days and somehow a day-trip to London was managed to be squeezed into the schedule as well. Rest assured, the cubs did not need to search around for things to do. “I’m bored and don’t know what to do” wasn’t a phrase any of the leaders heard whilst there! The fantastic weather of Sunday and Monday did take a bit of a turn for the worse on Tuesday, with a virtual downpour and turned our slope into a mud-slide – something which the cubs enjoyed, even if the leader’s didn’t! Try carrying a full bottle of gas down a muddy slope and you’ll know what we went through on a regular basis. The Cubjam theme (as you have probably guessed) was pirates and there was a magnificent show, with all the cubs and leaders dressing up for a fantastic parade. Thankfully the rain that had bedevilled the last few The Newsletter of Odiham Scout District, page 2 Got an idea for an article? Email Catherine Read at: firstname.lastname@example.org