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Business N ame

THE PIONEER The Official Newsletter of the

1st Sliema Scout Group Member of The Scout Association of Malta

April— June

Editorial

2008

Vol. 4

Issue 2

Contents Message from GSL

2

Letters to the Editor

3

B.P. on ...

3

Pack Corner

5

Troop Update

6

Venture Unit News

8

Extract from SfB

10

Quarter Master News

11

Group Activities

12

Scouting News

13

In our second issue of ‘The Pioneer’, as promised, we have added a Letters to the Editor section and in all after our first edition we have received a good number of letters and emails. It is impossible to publish them all, so a few were chosen which in our opinion are of interest to our readers. We thank you most heartily for your very generous comments and kind gestures. Do continue sending ideas and opinions on thepioneer@sliemascouts.net We are sure you appreciate the fact that to have such a quarterly publication as ‘The Pioneer’, it costs a considerable sum of money and although it contains a few adverts, we are not collecting enough money to keep it going. We appeal to all parents and supporters who are always ready to help the Sliema Scout Group to contact us to include more adverts which would not only help us keep this magazine going but also to keep the standard required. We would like to take this opportunity to wish you all good luck with your exams and a fully active scouting summer which is just round the corner.

Group History (Part 2) 16 Scoutoku

17

The Group in Photos

22

The Last Laugh

24

THE PIONEER EDITORIAL TEAM David Darmanin

Editor Tim Cutugno Deputy Editor Sam Cremona Photos Jonathan Mercieca Formatting Group Scout Leader Andrew Cutugno Published by: 1st Sliema Scout Group Printed by: Abbey Printers

The Editorial Team

Photo Cut : The Group in full force at Annual Parade held on Sunday 4th May, 2008 in Valletta


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Message From GSL Andrew Cutugno Believe it or not we are publishing the second edition of the NEW Pioneer. Judging from the feedback we got with the first one I am sure everyone was eager for this edition to be published. The next year is the year when Sliema celebrate our 100 years of existence and by the end of this year we will have a new GSL leading the Group. I intend to resign from the post I have held since 2003 at the year end. I have received various nominations from different people but they all proposed one person as GSL Designate and that’s AGSL David Darmanin. Obviously this process will take a while since David is currently acting as CSL Akela following the resignation of Kirsten Demicoli. We look forward to people coming forward if they are interested in the post of CSL.

GSL Andrew Cutugno

As promised in the last edition , I will make a notes on the second part of the Scout Law. 2) A scout is loyal The word loyal originally comes the word "law". This was meant to express faithfulness to the law. As time passed, it was extended out to mean loyalty to those in position of authority. Loyalty to our country is loyalty to its laws and to those who represent them, and willingness to give up our private interests for the public welfare; Loyalty to one's scout leader is loyalty to the scout law in all its applications; loyalty to one's home and parents is loyalty to the laws of the home, by which it is made a happy place for all the members of the family. Lord Baden-Powell once said that "loyalty is a feature in a boy's character that inspires boundless hope. "I asked other Scouters how they would define "Loyal" in regards to scouting and here is what they said. Being loyal to your family, your friends, your country and to God. I think that being loyal means you are trustworthy and accountable . If someone is loyal to you it just means that whatever you need they will be there for you. If you are loyal to others, it is right to expect them to be loyal to you. Some examples of Loyalty and or the Lack of it

loyalty is a feature in a boy's character that inspires boundless hope

1)

Talking badly about your parents, your leaders or your friends shows a lack of loyalty.

2)

Criticizing your Sixer, Second Sixer , Patrol Leader or APL shows lack of Loyalty.

3)

Making fun of Religious Leaders or Ministers of Religion is a lack of Loyalty

4)

Breaking the country’s laws such as littering causing damage to public property shows a gross lack of loyalty.

On the other hand 1)

Supporting your leaders in the Group including the Sixer or PL is being loyal

2)

Studying as much as you can in order to get through your exams at the first go is loyalty to your parents and teachers.

3)

Respecting the laws of the country shows loyalty to your country and fellow country men

4)

Being there for your friends when they need you is proof of your loyalty to them.

I hope you enjoy the second publication Yours in scouting GSL Andrew Cutugno


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Letters to the Editor Lovely to see the Pioneer back! Congratulations on a wonderful presentation. Please include me in your list of people who would like to receive an electronic copy. I like to keep in touch with my old group. Yours, Avril Frendo Deputy Chief Scout & former Cub Scout Leader - Sliema Scout Group First of all I would like to tell you well done for the great job of the The Pioneer. It is full of info and great to read about what is happening in the group. Myself from the UK I do enjoy reading about the Maltese scouts as I miss my group so much. Could you kindly enroll me onto your electronic mail list as I would like to receive it quarterly. Well done for a great Newsletter, keep up the hard work so all issues of The Pioneer will be as good as the first one!! Best regards to everyone & see you at Verdala! Andre Brincat Scout Leader St. Aloysius College Scout Group

Good luck and take care. Yours in scouting, Pauline Cefai ACSL 39th Loughborough Scout Group, UK Former Hon. Secretary - Scout Association of Malta & ex-GSL - Stella Maris College Scout Group

B.P. on ‌

CO-OPERATION : 'When you are playing football and you get possession of the ball, you know as well as I do that it is not your business to stick to it too long, although it may be great fun for you to see how long you can play it; you must not play a selfish game, but must do your best with it and quickly pass it on to one of your side. So it is with any other good thing when it comes your way. Don't keep it to yourself, but share it with others - 'pass it on' to them.' Yarns for Boy Scouts (1909)

PERSEVERANCE : 'A Scout's saying is ''Never say die till you're dead'' - and if he acts up to this, it will pull him out of many a bad place when everything seems to be going wrong for him. It means a mixture of pluck, patience, and strength, which we call ''endurance''.' Scouting for Boy, (1946 World Brotherhood edition)


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Cub Pack Corner

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by ACSL Michael Debono - Hiawatha

Hello again, I hope everyone is good.

Since the last Issue of The Pioneer lots has happened at Cubs. We had a very successful and fun Easter camp which was filled with activities, such as Harbat Mdina, Group Day activities, conquering the Castle, crafts, a Visit to Palazzo Falzon, Campfire and many more exciting games. We would like to congratulate Connor Jochimsen for winning the best sixer award after a fine display at camp. Also a big well done to the La Valette six comprising of Aryton Micallef, Scott Degiorgio, Jake Ghirlando, Thomas Camilleri and Jon Jon Micallef who had most points at the end of camp. But most importantly we feel that it was the support from the boys, parents and group that enabled such a successful camp. Recently we have had a change in leaders’ responsibilities as Akela Kirsten Demicoli has now taken up her previous rank of ACSL as Rikki Tikki Tavi, and AGSL David Darmanin is performing as Akela, a role he used to do in the past. With exam period approaching quickly, the leaders are hard at work planning some very exciting activities. The summer months are to be packed with fun and interesting events, especially when Summer Camp arrives. If anybody has any ideas for activities or games (or anything else), do not hesitate to speak up. Just tell your Sixer and he will then pass it on at the Sixers’ Council. Your ideas are important!

it was the support from the boys, parents and group that enabled such a successful camp!

See if you can spot yourself at this year’s Annual Parade (photo rleft). Best of luck to all who are sitting for exams, and remember to always do your best! We all look forward to a joyous summer with you and your friends.

Pack Investiture

During a ceremony that was held on Thursday 29th May the Pack invested 12 new boys. We wish to welcome the following Cubs who have completed their Tender Paw badge : Brandon Attard Montalto, Isaac Bajada, Jacques Calleja, Theo Camilleri, Thomas Camilleri, Steven Camilleri, Gianluca Desira Buttigieg, Sam Felice, Alistair Gollcher, Jon Jerome Micallef (right), George Mamo, Gabriel Spiteri. ENJOY YOUR CUBBING!


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Troop Update To keep an axe sharp, you must sharpen it regularly... needless to say, the Troop has been sharpening very very often...

Some scouts and Abraham

We have been out and about again! After a long, exciting, adventurous, fun and tiring Group Easter Camp the Troop scouted on for more activities! A couple of days after camp the Patrol Leaders met for a PLC to set dates and chose the upcoming activities, the first one being a joint fire and cooking activity with the Birzebbugia Troop.

On the weekend after camp, although still recovering from camp, the Patrol Leaders, together with ASL Jean Marc and Skipper T visited the Birzebbugia Scout Troop at National Camp, which was held at Ghajn Tuffieha. During the visit the Patrol Leaders discussed the upcoming joint fire and cooking activity. After an hour or so, we were done; we decided to have a look at all the groups that were present there, as you can imagine walking in the sun made us a bit tired, so we popped over to Apple's Eye to grab a bit to eat and something to drink. We then decided to go exploring on the clay hills, which turned into quite an exploration! During the first Friday of April we had some fellow scouts visit us during our meeting. Skipper Charles Griscti of St. Michael's brought over a couple of his patrol leaders to take part in our meeting, during the meeting Skipper Charles also organised quite an interesting game for the troops which involved the scouts trying to all fit, in little shapes drawn with chalk, on the floor. Ah I hear you say, sounds easy...try it with the lights turned off! On that same weekend the troop travelled to Birzebbugia for the joint activity, together with Skipper T, ASL Mark and Peter Neville (an ASL from 1st Henley and Wootton Scout Group, Warwickshire, UK). The activity started off a bit Max digging in at the joint Fire & Cooking activity slowly as the scouts who were supposed to get the fire wood, well to be fair they did get firewood, they got enough fire wood to cook their food for a bout 10 seconds!! Over all the activity was a positive one, with both troops learning from each other. During the weekend of the 12th and 13th April some scouts together with members of the unit, scraped, plastered and re-painted three of the walls in HQ. This was much needed as the concerned walls were covered with small black marks. All is looking nice a fresh now! The much awaited LAN PARTY arrived! Towers, mice, keyboards, TFTs, extensions, monitors and playstations all Ventures and Scouts doing their part... started appearing into HQ; soon we had a corner of HQ full of electronic gadgets!! During that Friday meeting the patrols cleaned up a bit from dust that was left from the HQ maintenance weekend. As soon as the meeting was over, it was time to set-up the computers and playstations. This activity was organised and run Big Jon happilly scraping away! by the patrol leaders, so, the rules were explained, the schedule agreed, all stations were set-up and the gaming began! Everyone was free to eat, drink and sleep at any time he liked, and some didn't even sleep! At about 0700 we all had breakfast together and got back to playing. The activity ended at about 1230 when the older scouts started preparing HQ to be washed. It was time to brush up our scouting skills. This was the aim of the Patrol Leaders Training Camp, whish was held at Sliema HQ. The scouts took part in Pioneering, Pioneering Knots, First Aid and Fire Building workshops and finally together, they built a pioneering structure inside HQ. All the scouts who attended Max lifting Jon using the Fireman's lift


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learnt a lot from this experience. We will be having more! Sunday 4th May, the Group joined in at the Annual Scout Rally in Valletta. Members from all sections turned up in full smart uniform on the warm sunny morning to show off their skill as a smart, cohesive group. Needless to say, yet again, Sliema has silently proven that on the outside it is a properly trained and interlocking community, while on the inside it is strong and proud as ever!

Group photo with the Birzebbugia Group

The Parade started with the traditional Pastizzi and water for breakfast (which, one could say, is the best tasting cheese/pea cake of all maltese pastizzi) where we promptly formed up and began the long route down Republic Street and to the Presidential Palace. One could observe that it is the crowd making more noise than the Group, yet the group was able to keep step properly and appear smart! The 1st Sliema Group has once again showed that we are proud of our group and that we are ready to stand up and show it! I’m sure you know by now, but just in case you don’t...We had a Bowling Night and Disco Night on the 23rd and 24th respectively which were both a huge success!! The Troop would like to welcome to their leadership ranks VS Peter Pullicino and VS James Spiteri who will be taking up leadership roles within the Troop during their Tour of Duty. We are currently working on the MoW and the Beach Meetings...so stay tuned!!

The Scout Forum During the Scout Forum, two of our Patrol Leaders attended. This is what Benji Mifsud had to say : Two scouts from every scout group met together with leaders from IHQ to talk about a lot of topics, such as what the scouts want, how PLC's are run, the scout uniform and the new scout programme. It was quite interesting, as there were a lot of games, and we socialised with scouts from other troops. But, the discussions were also interesting, such as the new scout programme, which is split up into 5 sections. The first is a sort of induction course and the other four are simpler versions of the standard, advanced and chief. The dePL Benji and scouts from other bate of the scout uniform was whether we should leave it as it is or groups discussing make a new uniform more suitable for other activities. The conclusions varied, seeing as some scouts think we should stick to tradition, where as others feel that a change would be more convenient. When asked what scouts wanted from scouting, there were many answers such as; sporting activities, outdoor activities and social activities. The leaders took note and will keep them in mind for the future. When it came to the PLC ,the leaders told us how important our role as patrol leaders is and that we basically run the troop. I think that the scout forum is a very good idea and should be held more often.


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Venture Unit News At first this page was going to be dedicated to a full length interview with Jimmy Page (ex-Led Zepplin guitarist). Then we decided to do a feature on John Rambo. Unfortunately neither of them could make it... so here's the Venture Unit News instead!

Since the last segment of Venture News the Unit has seen several exciting activities and challenges. Among these were Easter Camp, Bridge Building, Abseiling weekend, boatfishing and more. The Refurbishment has also been commenced, Project Super Saiyan has finally been completed just recently and an XO reshuffle was held. As you can see, the Unit has been quite busy (as always!). As promised in the last issue, in this issue we will be telling our distinguished readers all about the major projects currently underway in the Unit. The refurbishment of the Unit's section of HQ has been long awaited by all and it is finally getting underway. On the 12th and 13th of April members of the Unit along with the some members of the Troop met up to start scraping off the paint from the walls and began the white-washing process. As well as white-washing the walls the Unit also intend on doing several Among these were other upgrades to the facade of the Unit area, such as new Easter Camp, Bridge frames with recent pictures and we're also going to be repairing Building, Abseiling and hanging up the camonet to create a more SVS feel. Most of the Unit members involved in the Refurbishment project are doing this as their Commitment; which is part of the Basic Training Programme in which the recruits will need to plan and execute an activity to really show their commitment to the Sliema Venture Unit and to the Group as a whole. XO Allen scraping off the last bits of paint

"get ready for a summer weekend, boatfishing packed with and more adventure!"

Another project which has now been completed was Project Super Saiyan. This project commenced in December, and was put in place as a self-training programme. In this programme the members looked back at what they learnt in the Basic Training, revised their skills and then expanded on those techniques and ideas. Although the training involved a good chunk of theory, we often put that theory to the test in real life. A great example of this was the Pioneering activity, where after weeks of practice and gathering information on pulley systems, the Unit took a couple of poles and lashings and built themselves a fully functioning suspension bridge! Another occasion when the Unit put their skills to action was during the Fire and Cooking activity held earlier this year. There, the members got their knowledge of fire building and cooking, constructed two fires and made a 3 course meal for 12 people! This project also continued through The Unit and others providing moral support Easter Camp, where the Unit got to practice for XO Matteo who's using the powerisers their skills on estimation and ranging, landing zones and pioneering. At Easter camp the Unit also got to try out some new skills, powerisers! These are basically big shoes with leaf springs! Needless to say, the ventures got quite a kick out of it and a couple of laughs too. As for the climbing wall project, things are still in the early stages. Though don't think that the project hasn't progressed! On the contrary, most of the research into equipment and materials has already been done, now it's just a matter of fundraising and initiative. That's where you folks come in! With everyone's help, the Group's dream of having a secure and safe XO Sam testing out the bridge


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climbing wall in a controlled environment can finally become a reality. So for now, your participation in fundraising activities is the best help of all. The Unit as well as the Group as a whole have been arranging some fundraising activities with outside organizations, which probably none of the other members know about. Such an example is the Fundraising Abseil at St. Edward's College, in which leaders of the Group along with 2 ventures rigged a CXO Luca and VSL Anthony sharing a light short abseil for a 'Fun Day' organized by a local accountancy firm. The event moment during instructions at the Abseil Camp was quite a success and the ventures present also managed to take the opportunity to do a couple of jumps and also try out the forward rappel. The Unit also took part in another fundraiser where they acted as 'runners' during the 1st Malta Scrabble Club tournament. The tournament lasted the whole weekend from Friday afternoon right up to Sunday evening! Yes, a whole lot of scrabble!

AGSL Ellul was certainly the star of the weekend!

As well as funds going towards the refurbishment of HQ and the climbing wall, the Unit with the help of the Group will be investing in some new abseiling and climbing gear. The gear is already a couple of years old and is used quite frequently by yours truly! Even just by going through Mo$es' blog you could tell that the Unit seem to have a craving of dangling off the side of a cliff on a rope! In fact just a couple of weeks ago, the Unit along with the help of AGSL Ellul, spent the weekend learning more about abseiling equipment, rigging and techniques.

They also got the chance to rig two abseils, one at Wied ix-Xaqqa in Siggiewi and the other at 'Top of the World', Madliena. During the abseils they also took the opportunity to practice some skills such as recovering from a fall, locking and the inverted rappel. At the moment the Unit is currently gearing up for exams, and some have already started! So during the months of May and June, the Unit will probably be slowing down in terms of activities. Though, in the back of every venture's complex mind is one thing...something which is stuck in the memory of ventures and ex-ventures alike. Can you guess what it is? Yes! You've got it! The Basic Training! Even though the first meeting with the new recruits is still a couple of weeks away, the ventures have been preparing activities and meetings for the new arrivals. Many seem to think that the Basic Training isn't fun and they wouldn't enjoy it...Though if you had to go up to any venture he'll tell you it was the best time of his LIFE! So a couple of words of inspiration for the to-be recruits...get ready for a summer packed with adventure!

SVS gone fishin'

Falling sideways...easier said then done 30+ meters from the bottom!

In the upcoming segment, we will be updating our loyal readers with all the latest buzz surrounding your favourite section. A couple of things you'll be sure to catch up on are the progress with the Basic Training and the new recruits, our canoeing training, and what we've got in store for the next couple of months. Oh yes, I almost forgot to mention, at the end of summer the Unit are going to embark on a vast expedition, probably covering the coast of all three islands! Oh and did I mention...on a canoe?!?!

Well until then... see you in the field! For more information on how the Unit works please visit www.sliemascouts.net and proceed to the Unit section. For a more detailed description of our activities visit Mo$es' blog, the link can be found on the group website under Unit Blog!


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Extract from Scouting For Boys by Lord Robert Baden-Powell ENDURANCE FOR SCOUTS Camp Fire Yarn No.17 HOW TO GROW STRONG A SCOUT LAY SICK IN HOSPITAL in India with that dangerous disease called cholera. The doctor told the servant attending him that the only chance of saving his life was to warm up his feet and keep the blood moving in his body by constantly rubbing him. The moment the doctor's back was turned, the servant gave up rubbing and squatted down to have a quiet smoke. The poor patient, though he could not speak, understood all that was going on, and he was so enraged at the conduct of the attendant that he resolved then and there that he would get well if only to give the servant a lesson. Having made up his mind to get well he got well. A Scout saying is "Never say die till you're dead"-and if he acts up to this, it will pull him out of many a bad place when everything seems to be going wrong for him. It means a mixture of pluck, patience, and strength, which we call "endurance". A Sample of Endurance The great South African hunter and scout, F. C. Selous, gave a good example of scouts' endurance on a hunting expedition in Barotseland, north of the Zambesi River; some years ago. In the middle of the night his camp was suddenly attacked by a hostile tribe, that fired into it at close range and charged in. He and his small party scattered at once into the darkness and hid themselves away in the long grass. Selous himself had snatched up his rifle and a few cartridges and got safely into the grass. But he could not find any of his men, and, seeing that the enemy had taken possession of his camp, and that there were still a few hours of darkness before him in which to make his escape, he started off southward, using the stars of the Southern Cross as his guide. He crept past an outpost of the enemy whom he overheard talking, then swam across a river and finally got well away, only dressed in a shirt, shorts, and shoes. For the next few days and night he kept walking southward, frequently hiding to avoid the enemy. He shot deer for food. But one night, going into what he thought was a friendly village, he had his rifle stolen from him, and was again a fugitive, without any means of protecting himself or of getting food. However, he was not one to give in while there was a change of life left, and he pushed on and on till at


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length he reached a place where he met some of his men who had also escaped. After further tramping they got safely back into friendly country. But what a terrible time they must have had ! Three weeks had passed since the attack, and the great part of that time Selous had been alone-hunted, starving, bitterly cold at night, and in sweltering heat by day. None but a scout with extraordinary endurance could have lived through it, but then Selous was a man who as a lad had made himself strong by care and exercise. And he kept up his pluck all the time. It shows you that if you want to get through such adventures safely when you are a man and not be a "slopper," you must train yourself to be strong, healthy, and active as a lad. The Wrong Way to Endurance A man told me recently with great pride that he was teaching his son endurance by making him do long marches and bicycle runs. I told the man that he was likely to do just the opposite for his boy -that the way for a lad to gain endurance was not by trying to perform feast, as these would very probably injure his heart and break him down, but making himself strong and healthy, by feeding and moderate exercise, so that when he become a man and his muscles were all "set" he could then go through hardship and strains where an- other weaker

News From The Quartermaster Three months have gone by from our last update and much has been done to upgrade our premises and equipment. Our hardworking QM, using his welding skills has completed the custom-made stairs which lead to the new toilets and showers. In fact this project is well on time with the established plan which will facilitate the use of Sliema HQ during overnight activities. Once the project is ready, HQ will boast of new toilets and shower facilities. Some of the action at the Easter camp preparation

Our hardworking QM,

Preparations for the annual Group Camp start well in using his welding advance with arrangements to inspect and repair any tentage and camping equip- skills has completed ment. The need for a larger dining area had long been felt and this was seen to, by the custom-made refurbishing a former flysheet to serve this purpose. We also upgraded our cooking stairs facilities with the purchase of a 'mobile kitchen' which includes a stainless steel preparation table and a set of four burners, which will also come in handy for shorter camps. Also two new tables and four benches were purchased to accommodate more people under the dining shelter. QM Mark had the task to make sure that all equipment would reach Verdala, a challenge which he always rises to! During camp he would then have to make sure that equipment is properly used and make any necessary repairs on site. Once camp is over all gear has to be put back in its place clean and ready for use next time. Easter Camp came and went but it surely kept us busy! The Group's Mirror 10 sailing dinghy 'Wings' is in need of repair so this is being taken care of so that we will be able to make use of it during the summer months. Many thanks go to Mr. Baldacchino, a parent of one of our members who has expertise in all things sailing, has offered to help out in this mission.


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Upcoming Group Activities Description

Dates

Organised by

Leader Investiture – Claude Cassar (Shada)

2nd May

Group

Annual Parade

4th May

IHQ / Group

Night Hike & Cooking

9th – 10th May

Scout Troop

16th May

Group

Bowling Meeting

23rd May

Scout Troop

Disco Night

24th May

Scout Troop

Cub Investiture – 12 boys

29th May

Cub Pack

Leaders Activity

1st June

Group

Meeting On Wheels

6th June

Scout Troop

1st Unit Meeting – ‘Oscar’ Company

10th June

Venture Unit

Beach Meeting Beach Meeting

13th June 17th June

Scout Troop Scout Troop

Navigation Exercise I

21st June

Venture Unit

Air Rally

28th – 30th June

Scout Troop

Canoeing Training

3rd July

Venture Unit

Campers Badge Weekend

4th – 6th July

Scout Troop

Training Camp & Navigation Exercise II

11th – 13th July

Venture Unit

Boathouse Weekend

18th – 19th July

Scout Troop

Canoeing Training (BCU 1 & 2 Star)

20th July

Venture Unit

Natural Bivvies

26th – 27th July

Scout Troop

‘Our Lady of Fatima’ Procession

(Dates are tentative and are subject to change due to various circumstances. Any changes will be advised beforehand. These activities exclude the sectional meetings held on a weekly basis. For an up-to-date program of activities visit the Group’s Website on www.sliemascouts.net)

VS Martin Pisani happily receiving his certificate upon being invested as a Venture Scout. Also present at the investiture were a couple of members from the Troop, Skipper, GSL and some parents.


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International Scouting News Scouts Help Kick the CO2 Habit! Scouts are making sure they will be prepared for World Environment Day (WED) on the 5th of June, with this year's theme being 'CO2 Kick the Habit! Towards a Low Carbon Economy.' This theme challenges all of us to look critically at our day-to-day lives and take steps to reduce our climate change impact. Scouts are already doing many good turns for the environment and focusing on the climate change problem. Scouts Canada have a Climate Change Ambassadors Programme and have worked with 10 countries in Southern Africa to develop their climate change pro“What we need is grammes. action to slow, stop More than 15 million trees have been pledged by Scouts through the UNEP Billion Trees Campaign which act as an important carbon sink. Scouts are encouraged to still further pledge and register their tree planting efforts through the campaign on the Billion Trees Campaign website.

and then to reverse the growth of global greenhouse gas emissions “

Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director, said: "What we need is action to slow, stop and then to reverse the growth of global greenhouse gas emissions. A transition to a low carbon economy is essential to achieving this," said Mr. Steiner. "Along the way we will see more rapid and widespread access to cleaner and greener energy, new job opportunities and reductions in unhealthy urban and in-door pollution. WED is about positive perspectives on change," he added.

Scouts are encouraged to learn about alternative energy sources like solar power for this year's World Environment Day.

The World Organization of the Scout Movement's (WOSM) Acting Secretary General, Luc Panissod encourages Scouts to participate in WED, "Through local-level action throughout the world, Scouts are taking the lead in their communities and making a real impact on environmental issues. At all levels of Scouting we must look to see how we can be a part of the solution." For more information on World Environment Day celebrations and suggestions for what you can do, plus to register your activity visit the WED website. For more information on how you can help Kick the CO2 Habit, check out the latest Tunza Magazine.

Please share your environment activities with the World Scout Bureau by emailing Rod Abson, Unit Manager Environment Education. Author: Vanessa Von der Muhll for www.scout.org


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Sliema HQ Ghost Stories by Paul Calleja Gera (Group Scout Leader, 15th Cheltenham (Shurdington) Scout Group - UK & ex-Adult Leader, 1st Sliema Group)

On a winter's day, I was quietly making an inventory of our climbing

and caving equipment, of which we had plenty. On this occasion the time was past midnight. I was sitting on a wooden bench at the Mitchell Patrol table facing the wall. Remember, this wall was underground. Without hearing anything, or any warning, I suddenly found myself being pushed in the chest and went sprawling backwards on to the floor. I never wish to experience again the cold sweat that rolled down my face when I looked around and saw no-one else in sight and no obvious cause for what had pushed me off the bench. I was quite frightened, and ran outside into the street. A man was strolling past walking his dog. I asked if he had either seen anyone or perhaps felt an earth tremor. He replied no to both and walked away. It was not till late the next morning that news hit the streets of an almighty explosion in a fireworks factory some 6 miles away from our Headquarters. It happened to be at the same time that I was pushed off my seat. Malta being geologically mostly limestone, the shockwaves from the quarry where the explosion occurred, travelled through the rock till it emerged through the wall of our Headquarters. It didn't half pack a punch!


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Troop Badge Progress Name & Surname Terrence Tanti Max Micallef Jonathan Mercieca Andrew Mercieca Godfrey Sapiano Aiden Grech Aiden Grech Adam Micallef Michael Azzopardi Adam Micallef Aiden Grech Aiden Grech George Cassar

Badge Name Scout Standard First Aider Artist Artist Artist Artist Collector Artist Artist Collector Scout Standard Observer Model Maker

Volume 4,

I ssue 2


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Group History (Part 2) …..Continued from Issue 1 In the thirties, the Group with four full Sections conducted by Group Scout Leader C.J. Crockford (picture right) kept flourishing and alot of memorable activities were organised. In June 1931, a group rally was held at Manoel Island where the Scouts built a long monkey bridge and organised a First Aid and a Fire Alarm Display. Sir Edgar Bernard, Island Commissioner, who was present was impressed with the very high standard achieved. Weekend and Summer Camps were frequently organised and it is practically impossible to mention all the activities and camp-fires organised, all that one could say is that it was enjoyable by all including the Rover Scouts who were always up to some mischievous ideas and games. In July 1934, Rover Scout Leader Edward Tortell was appointed Group Scout Master and at the same time kept his rank as Rover Scout Leader. In February 1935, the Group Patron Count Francis Bernard and his mother Lady Bernard were guests of honour at the ceremony of Bernard Memorial whilst the Sliema Scouts lined up as a guard of honour. In 1938, the Group was celebrating the 28th Anniversary of its formation, and a concert and ‘at home’ were organised; special guests were Lady Bernard and Cmdr. R. Price, Island Commissioner. In 1939, the Group transferred its H.Q. to the basement of the Government School in Sliema and on the 23rd April the new Headquarters were officially inaugurated by Lady Bernard in the presence of Count Bernard, the Group Patron, Cmdr. Price, Mr. Cutugno, District Commissioner, Col. V.C. Micallef, O.B.E., Mr. A. Azzopardi, Rev. Fr. Louis Darmanin, O.P., other guests and all members of the Group. Before performing the opening ceremony, Lady Bernard said that she was glad to hear that the Island Commissioner had given his approval to the 1st Sliema Group to be known as ‘Bernard’s Own’ in memory of Sir Edgar who had done so much to put Scouting in Malta on a sound basis. (to be continued) Left : Abstract from the Group’s 1909-1939 Logbook ‘Summer Camp at is-Swieki’ (1932)


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Scoutoku After the popularity of our last brainteaser we bring to you this Sudoku ‘Squiggly’ puzzle. Complete and send it scanned to thepioneer@sliemascouts.net, with the first correct and completed puzzle winning a German Mountain Pack which will surely come in handy during outdoor activities. (Difficulty : Medium) The winner of last issue was Andrew Mercieca of the Panther Patrol, who was also the quickest participant from all those who tried their hand at our Scoutoku, to send in the completed puzzle.

So last issue we promised to give you the meaning of ‘Sudoku’ – here it is …. The name Sudoku (Japanese : 数独) is short for "数字は独身に限る" which is read in Japanese as ‘Sūji wa dokushin ni kagiru’, meaning ‘the numbers must be single’, or ‘the numbers must occur only once’. Here "SU" means number and "DOKU" means single. (Source : www.nikoli co.jp). This game was sponsored by:

Prizes can be collected by appointment by contacting Zed's Bunker on the contact details provided.


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I ssue 2

Drumming

For the first time in Sliema’s History, something musically big is happening. Over the past few months, a small group of scouts led by a leader have trained rigorously with the Naxxar Scout Group in the ways of drumming… with the hopes that one day Sliema won’t march in silence anymore, but to the tight and awe-inspiring sound of the Snare drum. Andrew Mercieca wrote, “Every Tuesday a group of 4 scouts and 1 leader have been going to Naxxar scout group to learn the basics of drumming. This is because we want to have a marching drum line.” “We have already learnt at least 2 songs and are starting the next song. I think that it’s a really good idea and the rest of the group surely agrees with me. We hope to continue learning and doing our best so that our group can make some 'noise' for when we’re marching.” Along with Andrew Mercieca, his two brothers, Jonathan and Chris have been attending sessions as well, as well as George Cassar, who has, on more than one occasion, openly voiced his deep-rooted enthusiasm for the project.

Jon and Andrew with Naxxar SL John Barbara during a drumming session

ASL Jean-Marc Chapelle has headed the project, and earlier this year prepared a presentation to the rest of the Group, which was met with praise and equal enthusiasm. To date, the concept of marching with music has been introduced to the pack as well, who found the loud way of marching quite surprising!

Now that the ‘core’ of the project has been finished, the steps to build it up into something grand are now underway, needless to say there are a lot of talks and window shopping going on! If you are an active member in the pack, troop or unit and would like to try out being a drummer, contact

James Slater, a Cub Scout from 1st Stone Group, UK presenting some gifts from his group to Akela. During his visit James spoke to the Pack about his scouting back home. .


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Mrs. Fenech Adami, a nun from the G’Mangia childrens’ home, and the VSL having a chat during HE The President's visit to our Easter Camp in the Verdala grounds

Group Achievements AGSL Andrew receives Chief Scout Commendation for Good Service During this year’s Founder’s Day Ceremony held at Island Headquarters, our very own AGSL Andrew Ellul affectionately known as ‘U’ by the Cubs, was included in the Honours List as a recipient of the ‘Chief Scout Commendation for Good Service’. This recognition is awarded to Adult Leaders which have given good service to Scouting of over 5 years from the date of their first appointment. AGSL Andrew has been an Adult Leader since 1998, completed his Woodbadge in 2002 and has held the ranks of Assistant Venture Scout Leader and Venture Scout Leader, before taking on the role of Assistant Group Scout Leader last year.

Other Group recipients of this award are GSL Andrew Cutugno (2006), AGSL Ray Manduca (2007), Aux. Martin Farrugia (2007) and AGSL David Darmanin (2007).


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My Time Scouting in Malta Peter Neville ASL 1st Henley and Wootton Scout Group, Warwickshire, UK I have been working in Malta since the beginning of February with the Malta Roads Authority, helping them to obtain some much needed finance to improve five sections of Route 1 and Routs 6. I expect to finish here at the end of May and then it will be back to the cold, wet UK. My Scout Group is made up of three sections, Beavers, Cubs and Scouts. The Explorers (Venture unit) are run by the District. We have total of about 80 on the books, 25 Scouts half being girls. When I arrived in Malta I contacted your Chief Scout, who I had meet on a previous visit, and offered to get involved with Scouting here. He invited me to the Founder’s Day celebrations at the Island HQ, saying that we could then sort out what I could do to help. I met a lot of very friendly leaders at the IHQ and was invited to visit the Gozo group, by their GSL who I had meet at last year’s jamboree, who were holding a church parade to mark Founder’s day. This was my first exposure to the military precision of the parades out here. I had never heard the “Left, Left, Left, Right, Left” call that was used all to way to the Church. It was also the first time that I had been welcomed by name during a mass. The following week I went back to the IHQ to meet the Scout Commissioner who introduced me to Skipper and invited me to get involved with the Sliema Scouts. Since them I have meet leaders from Naxxar and Birzebbugia, helped to paint the HQ, cooked a meal during the PL’s training camp week end, visited the Easter camp, taken part in the annual parade and generally helped out at troop nights. I was asked to talk to the Scouts about Scouting the UK which I did by showing a presentation of photographs of my Group and other Groups in the county. So what are the differences between Scouting in the UK and Malta? We have a different uniform but the same world membership badge, we don’t know how to march (I may introduce drill into our meeting when I get home), and we have a different programme, including badges showing how long a Scout has been in the movement and one showing how many night he has spent away with us. Otherwise we all enjoy doing the same things, camping, walking, climbing, cycling, boating, and cooking in fact anything out side. Scouts are exactly the same in the UK and Malta, and Scouting is here to help them to have fun, to reach their full potential and to do things that they would not usually do, all in a safe environment. I would like to thank every one at the Sliema Scout Group who have made me feel so welcome and helped to make my stay in Malta so enjoyable. Finally in the words of our founder, “Try and leave this world a little better than you found it and when your turn comes to die, you can die happy in feeling that at any rate you have not wasted your time but have done your best.” Scouting is a fantastic worldwide organisation, be prepared to get out there and make the most of it.


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BMW Half Marathon by VS Ian Abela On Sunday the 24th of February 2008, two members of our Unit took part in the 23rd edition of the Malta Marathon, namely myself (Ian Abela) and the VSL, Anthony Debono. The silent city of Mdina was given an early wake up call, when over a thousand runners gathered at the starting line, which was just metres away from the famous City Gate. There was definitely a multi-national feeling to the event as athletes from all over the world came to test their endurance and stamina, and to compete in one of the most physically arduous sports event that takes place on the island. Anthony and I did not turn up on race day unprepared, as we had been following a training program since September. The build up to the race was a gradual one, starting with short 1 mile runs, and then moving up in increments of 1 mile roughly each week. It seemed unimaginable to me at first that in a matter of 5 months I would have to run 13.1 miles in under two hours. Preparing for a marathon is no walk in the park, and requires a lot of dedication and sweat, as we can vouch for. Our heartfelt appreciation goes out to all those people- Unit members, family or friends who offered their invaluable support, help and patience throughout the training process.

Almost there!!

After the Christmas holidays, Anthony and I started training together, so as to start pacing ourselves in tandem. Twice a week we would do short runs along the front, ranging between 5 and 8 miles. I downloaded the route off from the BMW marathon’s website, and transcribed it onto an ordinance survey map. We then went by car to check the route, so as to get the feel of it and know all its twists and turns. A route plan was also devised, indicating at what time we should pass certain landmarks. The following Sunday mornings until race day were dedicated to running the actual route of the marathon. This served as a very good set of practice runs, since the distance, route and conditions were the same as those to be challenged on race day. The average time we completed such runs in was that of two hours flat. Our ambitions, though, told a different story. The idea was to do it in just under two hours. Just like the previous few Sunday mornings, Anthony and I went A big smile on their faces as they up to Mdina and did our stretching, this time accompanied by over wave the Unit flag past the finish line seven hundred other half marathon runners. Dressed in running shorts and the Unit’s latest T-shirt, with a palpable feeling of ambition, nervousness and drive, the Unit’s two runners set off to conquer their 13 mile endurance test.


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The Group in Photos

Volume 4,

I ssue 2


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The Last Laugh By Ian West

If you would like to receive an electronic copy of The Pioneer send an email to thepioneer@sliemascouts.net www.sliemascouts.net

The Pioneer Issue 2  

Welcome to the Official News letter of the 1st Sliema Scout Troop, brought to you by the Patrol Leaders, with the help of our leaders.

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