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June 2010

Welcome to the third issue of the Scouting Star, giving the reader a detailed view of the various activities undertaken by the Group during the Easter period. Last March, the Group led the Our Lady of Sorrows procession at the Balluta Parish and participated in the Annual Parade in Valletta, marching down Republic Street proudly showing the group colours. The Pack and Troop sections are steadily working on their progress and proficiency badges and are constantly coming up with new, different and challenging activities to keep the scouting experience fresh and enjoyable. The Unit has recently been restructured, and a committee has been formed to manage the section. All Ventures have also started working on the Discovery Award. Following the success of the course in land rescue, the Crew went on to undertake fire fighting training with EFRU. Having recently being appointed as part of the EFRU Auxiliary Unit, the Crew also started participating in first aid and rescue posts. These included the Pope’s visit and the Puttinu Cares Marathon. On a different note, the band section is also making good progress, with the recent addition of ten new members from the Troop Section. While wishing all scouts and leaders an enjoyable summer, we urge everyone to look forward to the upcoming Summer Camp, challenges and activities that we have planned for the summer months! SMC Scout Group Leaders

Daniel Cuschieri – SL Mario Attard – ASL Send in your photos, comments, suggestions and articles to be considered for publishing on scoutingstar@smcscouts.com.

Stella Mairs College Scout Group, c/o Stella Maris College, Upper St Albert Street, Gzira GZR1152 Malta T e l: Email: Website:

+356 2733 7082 mail@smcscouts.com www.smcscouts.com

We are looking for companies wishing to advertise in the Scouting Star, in order to help us cover the expenses involved. If you can help, please do get in touch with us!


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June 2010

3 1 / 0 5 / 2 0 10 The band section is progressing at a good pace, with the drummers rehearsing six march pasts during their weekly practice sessions. The plan is to expand upon this repertoire in the near future by coming up with more original march pasts and tunes. As from last February, the band section also recruited ten new members from the Troop section, who have been busy learning the basics of drumming. They picked these up extremely quickly (although the paradiddle-diddles aren’t exactly their favourite!), and have started learning their first march. Progress has been steady, and they are now working upon their drum rolls. The group has now purchased a set of marching bells, which will introduce a melody to the drum line, enabling us to play the marching tunes associated with parades. The band section plans to recruit new members interested in learning this instrument once this arrives. Daniel Cuschieri – Skipper

15/ 02/ 2010 On the 15th of February, twenty four Cub Scouts met at the Group’s HQ for their yearly Carnival Party. Unique and creative costumes where worn by all, encouraged by the costume competition that was held at the end of the evening. The party consisted of a number of fun games where the cubs had the opportunity to use their imagination in a series of role plays, where everyone acted out parts in relation to what they wore. Each costume was judged according to originality and effort. Prizes were awarded to the Cub Scouts placing first and second. Michael Sant Fournier, wearing a costume of ‘A Cereal Killer’ won the competition. His costume included a number of cereal boxes attached to a white shirt, with plastic knives coming out of them. Jack Bartolo Parnis – Chil


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1 5 / 0 2 / 2 0 10 Jgħajtu x-xjuħ u jgħajtu t-tfal, Viva! Viva! Il-Karnival. 15th February, our weekly meeting had arrived. Upon approaching the SMC Head Quarters, I was greeted by painted faces, masks and bright colourful costumes. Carnival spirit was in the air! I had decided to go as a soldier in army gear and a painted gory face. Although a fun atmosphere was instantly present we started our usual fall in formation. It was the brightest one ever! The troop attendance was high and it seemed many were in fits of laughter enjoying each other’s creativity and costumes. The cub scouts were also in full carnival spirit, all happy representing their favourite hero, having some creative costumes. The carnival party kicked off with an avalanche of fun filled competitions, ranging from bobbing apples, eating games and balloon bursting, besides many others. The theme was laugh till you drop. It was hilarious to watch and even greater fun participating. Unfortunately the party had to come to an end at 2030hrs, with the flag down. Looking at all the happy faces and laughter surrounding us, I wish it could be carnival every day. Looking forward for the next one! Matthias Cristiano – Hawk Patrol

26/ 02/ 201 0

As the 26th of February approached, everyone was anxious for the Founder’s Day Competition. It was held at the Island Head Quarters in Floriana from 1830hrs till 2030hrs. Various games were organised and we all had the chance to participate. All games, especially the buzzers were very exciting. These included; wheel of fortune, weakest link, jigsaw puzzle, vice-versa, timeline, who wants to be a millionaire and drawing a picture of Baden Powell which proved to be challenging for all. Time flies when you’re having fun! Everyone was having an awesome time but it passed so quickly. All the patrols gave their 100% to win but only one could. The Kestrel Patrol won with only just a slight margin. Kylie Fiteni – Bulldog Patrol


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6 -7 / 0 3 / 2 0 1 0 An expedition was organised between the 6th and 7th of March for the Troop section of the Stella Maris College Scout Group. This was part of my final work within the new Scout Program, taking the form of a 35 kilometre hike, spread over two days. We met at our headquarters at 0815hrs and headed towards Rabat, our starting point. We departed from Mdina’s main gate at 0900hrs, passing through Rabat, Dingli Cliffs, Girgenti and Qrendi reaching our 20 kilometre target, arriving at the Zurrieq Scouts campsite late in the afternoon. Being all very tired, we had an early dinner, pitched the tents, and slept. We woke up early the following morning after a cold night, as we had to eat breakfast, pack our gear and strike the tents, leaving the campsite at 0900hrs. The bad weather on the second day made it tougher to walk due to the rain and strong winds. We didn’t give up and kept on walking, passing through Zurrieq, Hal Far, Benghisa, and Birzebbugia. We completed the final 15 kilometres, arriving at Marsaxlokk church at 1430hrs. Everyone was exhausted and wet but proud of having completed such a task.

I would like to thank the leaders who helped me to make this expedition possible and my fellow scouts and friends who willingly accepted to attend and complete this expedition. Daniel Scicluna – Senior Patrol Leader


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2 0 / 0 3 / 2 0 10 Following the success of the course in land rescue, seven Rovers and a Venture followed a four-week course in fire fighting with the Emergency Fire and Rescue Unit. The first session which included an introduction to fire safety, was very informative. The required steps to prevent a fire, and those which need to be taken in case of a fire were discussed. This was followed up with a practical session using different types of extinguishers ranging from water, foam, powder and C0₂. The proper use of a fire blanket was also demonstrated. Flaking, coupling, branch and dutch roll, were new terms used when dealing with fire hoses. The standard procedure to unroll, attach two hoses together through the male and female couplings and roll up, using the single and dutch roll methods for store and reuse was explained. The crew was then divided into two teams of four, for practice. The teams raced down towards the given direction, attaching one hose to another with a branch to finish it off. Flaking the hoses was found to be useful for attaching an extra hose, in case the need to move forward arose. This was done by placing the hose in semi circles forming zigzag shapes, thus allowing the water to dash through. It was finally time to get soaked! For the final session a high pressure pump was used to drive water through the hoses. The crew was again divided into two teams and they were given the objective to put out a fire, one hundred metres away from where the pump was situated. The teams ran towards the fire, while attaching the hoses together to reach the required distance. As soon as both teams were in position the signal to start the pump was given. Within a few seconds, the water was shooting through the branch. All that pressure and weight made it difficult to manoeuvre and keep it steady. Extensions were added and leaking hoses changed. The crew had a few seconds to detach one coupling and reattach another, once the pump had been turned off. Moving forward together was essential to pull the heavy filled hose whilst the branch man focused directly on the fire. The practical session was completed by draining out the remaining water, rolling up the hoses and storing them in the EFRU Landover. Any new experience is worth having, and this one was no exception! The crew gained valuable knowledge in fire fighting, made lots of new friends, and had a great time! Mario Attard – ASL


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2 1 / 0 3 / 2 0 10 Fifteen teams coming from seven different Rover Crews took up the challenge organised by Edward Vella, Assistant Commissioner for Training and Programme, on Sunday 21st March. SL Daniel Cuschieri, ASL Mario Attard and ASL Keith Camilleri, who had also competed in the 2009 edition of this Challenge, represented the Stella Maris College Rover Crew. A briefing session was held first thing in the morning, at the Association’s campsite at Ghajn Tuffieha. The team then immediately headed off to Selmun Palace, which was the starting point allocated to our Crew, and the competition kicked off! They quickly made their way to Mistra Bay where their knotting, pioneering and teamwork skills were put to the test. Good coordination between the team members and some quick thinking were necessary here, in order to come up with a pioneering gadget capable of transferring water from one location to another a couple of meters away. This they successfully did, before racing off to the next incident point at Xemxija, where a game of charades awaited them. This, the team found out, was definitely not as easy as it seemed! First Aid cannot be left out from such a competition, so surely enough the Rovers were given a number of practical first aid tasks to complete at Mizieb. These they managed to complete just before the allocated time ran out. The team then made their way in the direction of Mellieha, where they were then asked to build a bivouac. The only catch was that this had to be built and dismantled again within only a few minutes. Improvisation and good teamwork were critical in helping the Crew to place first in this task. Likewise, the team also managed to obtain a very good placing in the abseiling task given at Popeye’s Village. Despite rushing from one location to another, there was no time to rest as the next incident point was uphill, right in the centre of Mellieha. A steep footpath led the team straight to the outskirts of the village, after which the Rovers’ navigation skills were put to the test as they made their way through the maze of streets in the village, until they arrived at Mellieha Scout Group’s fort. A cooking challenge awaited them here, where the hungry team members cooked a mouth-watering dish of pasta with a Mediterranean-style chicken sauce, over an open fire. The team then quickly returned the site used for cooking back to its previous condition, before once again hurrying off to Selmun Palace, where the clock eventually stopped ticking. Results were then given out to all teams a couple of weeks after the challenge and, for the second consecutive year, the Stella Maris College Rover Crew placed second, just a few points short from winning the competition! Who knows, third time lucky?! Daniel Cuschieri – Skipper


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27-31/03/2010 Saturday 27th March, 2010 The long awaited Easter Camp had finally arrived! We all met at our Head Quarters in the morning were a coach took us to Zurrieq. We started off by pitching the ridge tents followed by a delicious pizza for lunch. In the afternoon we were divided into two groups for a pioneering project. The pathfinders built a gate while the advanced pioneers made a tower, which eventually was used for climbing and abseiling. Later we had dinner together, after which we prepared the route for the Easter competition before retiring to our tents to sleep. Sunday 28th March, 2010 After an early breakfast we set off for a whole day of walking and adventure on the outskirts of Żurrieq and Qrendi for the Annual Easter Egg Competition. Arriving back to the campsite really tired we had a short break and headed off to the Żurrieq parish church for Sunday Mass. After a good dinner and a short rest we reenergized for a game of light house before lights out. Monday 29th March, 2010 After flag break, we had breakfast, after which each patrol prepared part of an obstacle course which we then competed in. We then chose our partners for the stunts and we were given some time to prepare for Tuesday’s campfire. We also learnt how to make key chains called Sinnets out of thin colourful rope. In the afternoon we were separated into three groups. One group going for a shower, the second group had a go at the climbing wall whilst the third practiced their stunts. Having completed all the tasks we prepared the dough for the figolli which we finished the following day. Tuesday 30th March, 2010 Waking up at 0730 we had enough time after breakfast to dismantle the pioneering projects which were built on the first day. The Leaders gave an introduction on the World Conservation Badge and the first requirement included, building a shelter which was later used to observe the wildlife. In the afternoon we practised our stunts and songs for the campfire and made all the necessary preparations.


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Whilst we waited for our turn to have a shower we continued working on the Sinnets which we had started the day before. Soon after flag down parents started to arrive at the campsite for the fundraising barbeque. Campfire started at round 2130hrs and we were all given the chance to perform our stunts in front of parents and friends. Everyone, including parents sang and danced to well known campfire songs, conducted by our ex-GSL, Pauline. Wednesday 31st March, 2010 We had no time to waste on our final day of camp. After breakfast we went back to our tents to pack our gear and in no time started striking down the ridge tents. Whilst doing so the leaders constructed a large tripod and setup an aerial runway, and we all had a go after lunch. We started loading all the equipment into the van at around 1500hrs and had a good look around the campsite to check that nothing was left behind. Our transport arrived just after flag down and we all departed to our Head Quarters. We unloaded the van and placed everything back in the store. Dead tired but satisfied, we all headed home at around 1800hrs for a long awaited sleep! Jeremy Sant Fournier – Stag Patrol

28-31/03/2010 Between Sunday 28th March and Tuesday 30th March, the pack section joined the rest of the group for the Easter camp which this year was organized at the Ĺťurrieq campsite. The theme chosen for this camp was Robin Hood. The pack arrived early on Sunday morning and where divided into two sixes, Friar Tuck and Robin Hood. Cub Scouts helped in pitching two ridge tents in which they would be sleeping in and soon after busied themselves, preparing their sleeping areas. Time passed quickly and lunch was served, after, the first theme related activity took place. ASL Sarah, Baloo and Chil had designed Robin Hood green hats complete with paper feathers for them to wear. The cubs also cut up green pieces of cloth which they wore through their head to resembled the green costume of the merry men, with the help of Baloo. Whilst the hall was cleared and dinner was ready the boys were now given a short break. It was pleasing to watch them running around, all pretending to be Robin Hood! Upon request from


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all the Cub Scouts, Chil and I prepared a small fire for them and we spent the next hour dancing and singing to campfire songs. The boys were tired at lights out so they were told to go into their tents and get some sleep. The next morning, they were the first to wake up and ready for a full day of activities that had been prepared for them. So after flag break and breakfast, the boys were told to arrange their tents as we would be checking that all their belongings were in order during inspection. To the cubs delight the next activity was Archery. Earlier the same day, Chil and I had managed to make up two bows and arrows from fallen tree branches and a piece of elastic, so now it was time to give them a test! We prepared a board for them to aim at, and one at a time the boys took their turn in trying them out. As always, time flies when you’re having fun, and it was now time for lunch. The pack gathered in the hall together with the rest of the group to eat. After washing up their cutlery, they started to prepare for their stunts which would be performed in front of their parents the following day. After an hour or two, they went back to the hall were Baloo gave instructions to the next activity, this was mainly colouring and completing the word search and other games in their camp booklet. Silence filled the hall as they busied themselves in colouring figures of Robin Hood, Maid Marian, Friar Tuck and other characters related to the story. It was clear that they were exhausted from the fun packed day they had been through because the boys ate in silence and were quiet. After dinner, they headed into another room were a big screen had been prepared for them to watch the Robin Hood film itself. After the film, the boys walked back to their tents and were all asleep a few minutes later! The next day, the boys started off by packing their gear, and with the help of the leaders located any missing items. This was followed by the putting down of the tents, halfway through which they stopped for lunch. The boys got cleaned up, practiced their stunts and excitedly started waiting for their parents to arrive. The evening was filled with cubs telling their parents what they had done and how they had done it as dinner was served to all those present. The traditional campfire began after dinner, were the boys acted their stunts in front of their parents and sang loudly with the rest of the group. Finally it was time to go, so after quick goodbyes to their leaders, the boys went happily home with their parents. Joseph Grech – Kaa


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2 7 / 0 3 / 2 0 10 The second day of this year’s Troop Easter Camp was mainly focused on the Easter Egg Completion. We were given the route the night before thus making an early start possible on the following day. The Bulldog patrol was the first to plot the route using the given trace followed by the Stag, Hawk and Kestrel Patrols. The first patrol set off at 0900hrs and the other three patrols followed at ten minute intervals. This year’s competition was slight different than usual. Every patrol had a roadbook which had to be filled in with the markings found on signs along the route. Every few kilometres, there were incident points which included topics such as knots & lashings, brain teasers and a casualty rescue simulation organised by EFRU at Wied Bassa. All four patrols finished the competition on time! Points show that it was very close and everyone did a great job! The competition was ultimately won by the Bulldog Patrol followed by the Stags. Andrew Scicluna – PL Stag Patrol

04/ 04/ 2010

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Easter Sunday turned out to be a great day, all was on our side as weather was perfect and most of the rovers were available for an afternoon activity. Seven rovers - Daniel, Mario, Derrick, Joseph, Sarah, Trudy and myself - , met at the college headquarters at around 1400hrs. Soon afterwards we departed to ix-Xaqqa which is located at the limits of Siggiewi. Upon arrival we first inspected the place, rigged the main ropes and safety ropes for utmost security. This activity was the first for both Derrick and Trudy who had never abseiled before. Being scared of heights I was hesitant to go down at first. We, therefore, decided to take the shortest path down which was around 25 to 30 meters. After having rigged and double checked everything, we started to abseil. Since we rigged for two people to go down simultaneously, Mario and Daniel, who were the most experienced, were the first two to abseil. When it was my turn I started having second


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thoughts, but my friends encouraged me and in no time at all I had reached the bottom of the abseil. It was very exciting and I was soon up ready to abseil down again. Joseph, Derrick and Trudy then followed. They all had an awesome time, even though it was the first time for some of them. After everyone had abseiled several it was getting late, so we decided to start packing and head back to our headquarters. At around 1930hrs we were back at Stella Maris College. After this activity I can easily say that I am no longer so afraid of heights and since we had a great time we are all waiting for our next abseiling activity! Keith Camilleri – ASL

1 8 / 0 4 / 2 0 10 Five rovers joined the Emergency Fire and Rescue Unit as an Auxiliary Unit during Pope Benedict’s visit to Malta. On Saturday 16th April at around 2100hrs, the crew met up with the EFRU team at the Civil Protection, Humanitarian Aid Headquarters in Marsa. A hot plate of pasta was prepared as the team settled in. There wasn’t much time to socialize as everyone went straight to sleep, dreading the fact that they had to wake at 0430hrs the following day. Sunday 17th April started with a cup of coffee and a good breakfast. A short debrief was given and the team headed off to Floriana. Still half asleep, they eagerly pitched two inflatable tents on opposite sides of the granaries. As time passed the crowds started to grow. Separate units took position in their assigned zones around the granaries, whilst a few manned the tents. Other EFRU members took charge of the ambulance which was parked close to the granaries. All units used walkie-talkies to keep in contact, with each other and to a central unit which coordinated all the rescue and first aid units involved. There were a number of minor incidents, including fainting, dehydration and even some fractures during mass, all of which were immediately dealt with. Following a long awaited lunch the team deflated both tents, loaded the vans and departed to the Valletta waterfront where the Pope was scheduled to arrive by catamaran at 1715hrs for a meeting with Maltese youths. EFRU took both land and sea safety into consideration and the rescue boat was also used. This event went by without any major problems. However, as time passed, fatigue started to sink in. By 2000hrs the event was over and everyone was pleased to return back to Civil Protection headquarters for unloading and dismissal. The Crew undertook an exhausting yet amazing challenge, an experience which will surely be remembered. Mario Attard – ASL


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3 0 / 0 4 / 2 0 10 Ventures and the Patrol Leaders from the Troop section participated in a badger karting session at the track in Ta’ Qali after Friday’s meeting. Starting at about 2100hrs, we had the track for ourselves for half an hour. We drove around as fast as we could, crashing in the surrounding tires whilst attempting some awesome manoeuvres with our go karts. This activity was great for all those who participated and I could notice that we were all still pumped up after this experience on our way back. Arriving at the Head Quarters at around 2300hrs we headed home satisfied after a great night with friends! Sean Schembri – Unit Chairman

2 8 / 0 5 / 2 0 10 On Friday 28th May at around 1900hrs, around 30 scouts were gathered outside of the archery association’s indoor range in Pembroke. We were about to experience a good training session in archery. Divided into patrols we practiced our technique and aim having a professional archer to help us along the way. First we started trying to hit the target from close range. My turn soon came, and with the help of the friendly and helpful archer I managed to hit a bull’s eye! When we mastered the technique we moved further away making harder to get a perfectly aimed arrow. Still with our guides’ help we still managed to get close to the bull’s eye. We had around six to seven rounds each, by which time we were able to perfect our aim and skill. In my opinion it was a memorable experience which I personally would do again. Gianluca Vella Valletta – Hawk Patrol


June 2010

Jerome Micallef – Kestrel Patrol

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June 2010

The following scouts were invested as new members of the worldwide brotherhood of scouts:         

Aden Fenech Clyde Briffa James Cachia Joseph Izzo Kieron Fenech Kyle Fenech Liam Xuereb Ryan Psaila Sean Bonnici

Collector

Luca Gouder

Alter Server Collector Pet Care

Francesco Scicluna, Gary Lee Vella Francesco Scicluna, Liam Xuereb Adam Borg Mercieca, Matthias Buttigieg, Luca Camilleri, Adam Polidano, Francesco Scicluna, Liam Xuereb

    

Scout of the Month January – February Scout of the Month March – April Scout of the Month May – June Founder’s Day Competition 2010 Easter Egg Competition 2010

Daniel Scicluna, Matthias Cristiano Andrew Scicluna, Daniel Vella Gianluca Vella Valletta Kestrel Patrol Bulldog Patrol

 Sean Schembri – Unit Chairman  Andre Lapira – Unit Treasurer  Robert Cachia – Unit Quartermaster  Andrew Montebello – Acting Assistant Patrol Leader Bulldog Patrol


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’ I should like to urge upon all Scoutmasters the great importance of getting their boys into camp during the summer. The camp is the thing that appeals to the lads. It is in the camp that the Scoutmaster really has his opportunity. He can enthuse his boys with the spirit that is required; the spirit is everything. Once that is developed, everything comes easy; without it, success in training the boys is practically impossible I don't care what sort of camps they are - tramping camp, week-end camp (provided that they come frequently), boat cruising, or woodland camp; all are equally valuable for the purpose in hand. But camp, in one form or other, is, I think, essential to the successful training of a Troop. And when in camp, it is again essential to have a definite programme of work laid down for each day, with an alternative in case of its turning out wet. The camp must be a busy one and not a school for aimless loafing. I hope to hear of great developments in this line during the present summer. Baden-Powell – The Scouter (July 1913)


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Scouting Star June 2010