IN A BARGA PACK CAMPING
ine The magaazders e L r Scout for Explore arch 2010 a u Febr ry/M
Get skilled up in backwoods and campcraft
An adventure alphabet you wonâ€™t regret
T C A O T E M TI hange c e t a m i l c e l Scouts tack
Your Explorer Scout Section Working Group Alex Minajew, UK Commissioner for Programme Gemma Veitch, Programme and Development Adviser
Back to basics
Contact them at: firstname.lastname@example.org Programme Team, The Scout Association, Gilwell Park, Chingford, London E4 7QW Tel: 0845 300 1818 ADVERTISING Richard Ellacott email@example.com Tel: 020 8962 1258
This is the last issue of Explorer compiled by Mel Brammer, and it’s as action-packed as ever. As we wish Mel well for the future, she introduces a magazine with ideas aplenty
ON THE COVER
Explorer Scout Jack, 17, attended a Q&A with Ed Milliband on the COP15 Climate Conference. Jack said: ‘We need to get a stronger, legally binding treaty that ensures that climate change is taken more seriously across the world. Scouting has a massive part of play in this. We’ve got to make a big move before it’s too late.’ Correction In Young Leaders’ Essentials chapter 5 there is an error on Mission One. It should read: Plan and run three indoor activities for the section with which you are working. Sorry for any inconvenience this has caused.
The focus of the main magazine this issue is Scouting skills. In the Explorer Scout section, we are perfectly placed to build on the foundations laid during the younger sections and develop those skills. We may even help teach them to the younger Scouts. Scouting skills covers everything from pioneering and fire lighting to tracking and camp oven building. Check out pages 4-5 for more. With Bear Grylls as our Chief Scout there’s really no excuse for letting these areas slip out of your programme. Start planning your summer programme now and make sure it’s brimming with outdoor adventure. In this issue, we open the purple pages of programme activities for you to add into the mix in your Unit. Two are explored in more detail. We consider the tricky area of how to get support from the District for Explorer Scouting. There’s also important follow up information about the changes to the upper age range we reported in December.
A date for your diary Don’t forget Founder’s Day (Baden-Powell’s birthday) is 22 February. If you aren’t holding a Founder’s Day service or other special event perhaps spend some time with your Explorer Scouts telling the story of Scouting’s beginnings, or impart some of B-P’s wise words as you pause for thought at a meeting.
Contents 4 Skills with pedigree A quick-fire guide to the skills Scouting was built on
6 The adventure A to Z Your handy directory of programme gems
8 Bat boxes A conservation activity your Explorers will love
10 Jet ski Get wet, go fast, and go home
11 A question of support The big question asks how to get more from the District for Explorer Scouting
14 Moving with the times Important information regarding the moving-on age for Explorer Scouts
17 Two of the fest Dates to inspire and evoke reflection
18 Sitting pretty More from our resident games experts
Skills with e e r g i d e p I
t can be easy to forget that many Explorers have never been Scouts before they join the Unit, so while some traditional skills will be second nature to you, they might be completely new to them. While saying that, there will also be Explorers in your Unit who could light a fire with their eyes closed (don’t try this at home!) and they can be useful in introducing the core skills of Scoutcraft to the newer recruits.
Why teach Scouting skills? The answer may seem obvious to you, but every one of the skills featured below have been met with an incredulous ‘What’s the point of that?’ at one point. If not explained and contextualised, young people can feel like they are not learning anything with a practical use, but the bottom line when it comes to Scouting is that the skills you gain prepare you for adulthood or increase your selfreliance and independence. There may be little use for a bivouac in the classroom, but when faced with a survival situation (which given the weather events of January is a distinct possibility) knowing some Scouting skills can mean the difference between life and death.
What skills are there? Survival skills and fieldcraft. This includes: • animal tracking • skinning a rabbit 4
• • • •
Kicking off the of Scouting skills issue er Explorer, Mel Bramm e shares some creativ eideas to put some tim honoured, outdoor skills at the heart of your Unit programme
knife, saw and axe skills shelter building fire lighting backwoods cooking.
Pioneering projects. It’s amazing what can be built from wood and rope. From simple structures like A-frames to complex bridges and intricate gateways, Explorers can get seriously addicted to pioneering if they are confident in the basics. Pioneering materials are getting harder to come by, but several Scout campsites offer this as an on-site activity and it’s well worth investigating if you’re a novice. See www.pioneeringmadeeasy.co.uk – a website started by Scout Leaders with a passion for poles. Tracking wide games. Fun in the woods teaching strategy and teamwork, while developing wit and derring-do. Codes and signals. Espionage may not be an entry-level industry, but learning codes and signals will improve your Explorers’ communication skills, and can be fitted in to various games and activity base meetings to give added flavour. Knot tying and lashings. Useful in several scenarios from climbing to sailing, knowing knots will put your Explorers ahead of the pack.
Explorer February/March 2010
SKILLS FOR SCOUTS
‘Skilling up’ Making and reading plans, charts and maps. Scouts should be experts in getting from A to B in the fastest and most comfortable way. Making maps is a highly skilled profession, which Scouts should be well-placed to consider as a career. Weather forecasting. Recognising cloud patterns, wind direction and other natural signs that can turn your Explorers into amateur Ulrika Jonssons. A Scouting skills camp. Get back-to-basics on a greenfield site (a greenfield Nights Away Permit is required). Include some of the following activities in your camp programme: • Dig a latrine • Make camp gadgets • Pioneering project • Make a camp oven • Explorers cook a meal, at least some of which on an open fire.
The Scouting Skills Activity Badge is a good way of structuring your programme with a common aim in mind. The basic requirement is lots of camping, and while working towards your 20 nights the Explorers can begin to take on higher levels of responsibility, so that by the end they are able to plan and organise the camps almost unaided.
If you aren’t sure where to start with some of these activities, and it’s as new to you as to some of the Explorer Scouts then there are plenty of places you can go for help. The first port of call should be a fellow leader. There will always be a leader in the District with eons of experience in these more traditional skills who would be only too happy to have you along to one of their camps to train you, or who you could ask along to run the activity and teach you and your Explorer Scouts at the same time! You can also check out the factsheets on www.scouts.org.uk/ infocentre in the General Activities, Land Activities, and Scout sections for information on fire lighting, shelter building, pioneering and more. The Scout Handbook and the newly-published Scouting Skills book are also must-haves. See the main magazine pages 20-25 for details of this new book.
SCOUTING SKILLS ACTIVITY BADGE
Find the requirements of this badge in The Unit Programme or by searching for ‘Explorer Activity Badges’ on www.scouts.org.uk
The adventure A to Z Outdoor adventures are the bread and butter of the Explorer section. This article has an online counterpart, and the A-Z of Activities at www.scouts.org.uk/a-z should be your starting point when planning adventurous activities for your Unit
A Aerial runway Aircraft identification Allotment Archery Astronomy Athletics Axes and saws
B Backwoods cooking Ballooning Bat boxes (see page 8) Bat walk Bell boating Bike maintenance Bird boxes Birds of prey Bouldering Bungee running
efore you read the list, a word of guidance. These arenâ€™t meant to be off-the-shelf ideas; for those you should go to Programmes Online at www.scouts.org.uk/pol However, the list below should at least get you and your Explorer Scouts thinking. Get them to add to the list and before you know youâ€™ll never be without an idea.
Camping Canadian canoeing Candle making Canyoning Car maintenance Carving Caving Clay pigeon shooting Climbing Coasteering Code of conduct Come dine with me
Community survey Conservation Coracle making Cow milking Crafts Crate stacking Cycling
D Decorating Dinghy sailing Dragon boating Drumming Dry-stone walling
E Equipment maintenance
F Fairtrade quiz Fencing Film making Fire lighting Fire safety First aid Flying Forestry
G Gardening Ghost walk Gliding Go-karting Gorge walking
A to Z
Over the next few issues, weâ€™ll randomly take a few of these activities and explore them in more detail with further information and inspiration for you.
Grass sledging Gym fitness assessment
Letter writing Life saving
Hang gliding High ropes Hill walking Horse riding Hot-air ballooning Hovercrafting
Ice climbing Ice cream making Incident hike International evening
Marshalling Martial arts Microlighting Mini hot-air balloon making Mini pioneering Model making Monopoly games Morse code Mountain biking Mountain rescue Museum visit
Jet ski (see page 10) JOTA/JOTI Junk band
Narrow boating Newsletter Night hike
K Kayaking Kite flying Kite making Kite surfing Knot tying
L Laser games Leadership and team development
P Painting Parachuting Parascending Phonetic alphabet Photography Pioneering Pizza making Prison visit
Quartermaster Quad bikes Quiz
Theatre performance Treasure hunts Tree/plant identification Trips abroad
R Radio broadcast Radio production Raft building Ready, steady cook Relay games Remembrance RNLI Role-play games Rollerskating Route planning Rowing
Waterskiing Weather forecasting Website workshop White water rafting Wide games Wild food walk Windsurfing
Sand sculpture Scouting history Scoutsâ€™ Own Scuba diving Sculpture Sheep shearing Shelter building Skateboarding Skiing Snorkelling Snowboarding Surf rescue Swimming
Urban golf Uniform tidying
V Voluntary work Viking night
X Xylophone making
Y Yo-yo tournament
Do this as a stand alone activity or as part of a conservation project on bats. This would also make a good joint activity with Cubs or Scouts: the Explorers learn how to do it first and then guide the younger section. This way, all the Scouts can work towards the Environment Partnership Award.
Skills and equipment It would be helpful to have enough equipment for the Explorer Scouts to use in pairs or threes rather than everybody waiting to use the only hammer or drill. This activity is well suited to asking someone with skill in woodwork/DIY to come in and deliver the session. This could be in the form of a parent, local wildlife trust volunteer, or a Scout Active Support member (formerly Fellowship). This frees the leadership team up to supervise the wilder Explorers who your risk assessment judges more likely to take somebody’s hand off with the saw!
Building the box you will need (per box): • plank of untreated wood 120 x 23 x 2cm • odourless external wood glue such as Extramite • nails (40mm) • metal eyelet for hanging • pencil • woodsaw • hammer • ruler.
1. Using a pencil, divide and cut the plank as shown in diagram 1. 2. Place the backboard on a flat surface and cut ridges into it, 2mm deep every 5mm, to make a ‘ladder’ for the bats to climb up. 3. The top edge of the backboard and the rear edge of the roof must be bevelled to fit. 4. Fix the box together as shown in diagram 2, but cut off the acute angled ends of the sides to give the entrance slot the required width. 5. Use both nails and glue and make sure all the sides fit together well to prevent drafts. Ensure the door is a loose fit to allow for the wood swelling.
Where to put your bat boxes Aim to put your bat boxes where bats are known to feed, such as woodland, parkland, riverbanks and of course Scout campsites! Try to keep the boxes sheltered from strong winds. Make sure they are close to a tree line or hedge, as bats will often use these to navigate and are reluctant to cross open spaces to get to roosts. It’s a good idea to position bat boxes in threes, all facing in different directions around a tree trunk for example, so that the bats can move into the one that is the optimum temperature depending on the time of day or year. They should be at least 5m from the ground.
Diagram 1 - Cutting plan for wood 8
Going batty Bats need a range of roosting sites and their natural roosts in the wild are often disappearing as modern houses seal up the nooks and crannies favoured by these fascinating creatures. There are a range of different bat box designs online, some of which can be found on Programmes Online. The most important features are insulated and rough sawn, untreated wood. Don’t be alarmed if bats don’t take to your box immediately, they can take a while to move in to unknown premises. Check for crumbly black or brown droppings on the ground to see if it’s occupied, and if it isn’t after three years, then you might want to consider moving the box. It is illegal to disturb any bat when it is roosting, or to kill, injure or handle a bat without a licence. If your box is occupied or you find an injured bat, contact your local bat conservation group or wildlife trust – both are good contacts for extending this project or borrowing bat detectors.
Diagram 2 - Side view of bat box
Bat walk. Contact your local bat conservation group or Wildlife Trust and ask them to take you on a bat walk with detectors. The best time would be late spring or early autumn when dusk hits at Explorer Scout meeting time. Bat talk. Ask a representative of your local bat conservation group to come and do a talk on bats.
MORE INFO Diagrams courtesy of the Bat Conservation Trust (www.bats.org.uk)
Bat Conservation Trust. www.bats.org.uk Local Wildlife Trusts. www.wildlifetrusts.org
A TO Z
For all your activity needs, make the A-Z of Activities your first port of call. www.scouts.org.uk/a-z
Offering the chance to jet ski would be a programme highlight for many Explorer Scouts. A jet ski is a lightweight motorised personal watercraft which can be sat or stood on.
Do it yourself If you are lucky enough to have personal watercraft at your disposal then you need to look at the Scout Led Activities Index (FS120086). This lists all the relevant rules and guidance needed to run this activity yourself. The main factsheet is Personal Watercraft (Jet Ski) (FS120658). To run the activity you will need to have either somebody with a leadership permit for this type of craft and class of water responsible for each craft or a supervisory permit holder supervising up to three craft and with immediate access to a rescue craft. Alternatively, the Explorer Scouts and leaders taking part might have been assessed previously and hold a personal permit (this would indicate that they’ve quite a bit of experience).
Buy it in As few Explorer Units would be lucky enough to have access to jet skis for all their members, or enough people with the appropriate permits, it’s more likely that you would buy in this activity, perhaps as a taster session. Use the Commercially Led Activities Index (FS120086). This refers you to the relevant rules and factsheets to look at before you start, and also takes you through the steps you need to take before you engage an outside organisation to run the activity. For jet skiing, the external provider does not need to be licensed by AALA (Adventurous Activities Licensing Authority), but instructors should at minimum have the RYA Personal Watercraft Instructor Qualification. Finding an external provider might prove tricky. Try the ‘Where’s my nearest’ tool at www.rya.org.uk and select Personal Watercraft. A local shop that sells jet skis may point you in the right direction, but then do your insurance and safety homework very carefully.
A question of support We are doing quite well with our Explorer Unit, but I don’t think that we are getting enough support from the Groups or the District. What do we do? Travelling around the country speaking to Explorer Scout Leaders has shown Mel Brammer that District support is clearly a key issue for the section. It’s obviously not easy to overcome, and one size fits all solutions are few and far between. Here she offers some personal thoughts on the matter What‘s the problem? In my view some of the problems here stem from the way that Explorer Scouts was set up in many Districts. The idea of the section being a District-wide provision and managed at District level, meant to overcome some of the problems with low numbers that the Venture Scout Section had experienced, has been shown to work, as the Explorer Scout section has been able to offer a vibrant programme and has continued to grow since its introduction. However, the concept was a new one and some people struggled initially with its intended flexibility. In some Districts it became a bit of a wrestling match between the newly appointed District Explorer Scout Commissioner and the Group Scout Leaders. The District Explorer Scout Commissioner had his or her own ideas about where the Explorer Units should be placed, and in many cases the Group Scout Leaders wanted Units partnered with their Groups. Some wanted Units to ‘belong’ to them, which wasn’t quite the idea! As a result a lot of Groups out there felt disenfranchised about the whole section, and felt 14 year olds were being ‘taken away’ from them. Added to this, District Executive Committees now faced having direct responsibility for a youth section, a new concept and one which is still escaping many Execs. Several years on, some may still feel the section is not very well served by the Groups and the District.
What do we want? In answering this question, we first need to look at who ‘we’ is, which goes to the heart of the matter. Groups, Explorer Units and ‘the District’ should not be viewed as separate entities. Groups and Explorer Units (together with local Networks and Scout Active Support Units) go together to make up the Scout District. Explorer Scouting may belong to a District, but so do all the Group sections, and every Member has a role to play in supporting its Units. Equally, Explorer Scouts have a role in supporting the Groups. Group volunteers have to understand that the Explorer Scout section is a youth section with a Programme of its own (not just a reservoir of Young Leaders). Older Scouts need to be told about Explorers by their leaders, so that they see the Unit as a natural progression from the Troop. We need more cooperation and sharing of expertise, experience, skills and equipment in both directions between Groups and Explorer Units. After all, Scout Groups and Explorer Scout Units are in this for the same purpose: providing activities, experiences and development opportunities to young people. It isn’t a competition and a case of us and them. Scouting is about working together to offer a life changing opportunity to young people. Of course we also need more District Executives to understand and take their role and responsibility as the Executive body of the section seriously. (This was covered in more detail in the April/May 2009 issue of Explorer.
How can we achieve it? It’s all about building good relationships and re-educating people without conflict, with perhaps a bit of a reminder about what Scouting is all about! The role of the DESC includes making sure that the section is supported by the District and there are good
>> relationships with the Groups, so they need to manage this. They should be supported by the District Commissioner, who is both their line manager and the line manager for the Groups, as well as being the person who appoints the District Chairperson. If there are real issues then an intermediary such as the Assistant County Commissioner (Explorer Scouts) or the County Commissioner might be called on to lend a bit of support. It might be worth exploring some of the issues at a District Team or District Leaders’ meeting as well as the District Executive. Some of the problems in this area may have been festering beneath the surface now since Explorer Scouts was introduced in 2001. Talk about what the problems seem to be and the outcomes that you would like, and be prepared to listen to what everybody else thinks too.
Partnering up As time goes by it could be that a Group would like to be partnered with an Explorer Unit, is well placed to do so and would offer a lot of support. Their request shouldn’t be ignored ‘because it’s a District section and we’ve got one District Unit’. Embrace the flexibility which was such
an important building block of the section. As long as the section is managed by the District and is offering a Programme which is open and accessible to all Explorer Scouts in the District, the placing of Units is entirely up to the District – which should be the District Explorer Scout Commissioner, in consultation with other members of the District, including Group Scout Leaders. With an open and frank discussion about what support the Explorer Section wants, and how that might be achieved, great steps forward could be taken. On a smaller scale, Explorer Scout Leaders should be in regular communication with Scout Leaders and Group Scout Leaders. If they aren’t telling you about their older Scouts then a) keep asking them, and b) think about how well you communicate in the other direction – do you tell them about your Programme, do they know who you are and what your Explorers get up to? As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, from anecdotal comments and questions from District Explorer Scout Commissioners and Explorer Scout Leaders we know this is still a very big issue out there. If Explorer Scouts has managed so much success with limited support
With effective District support, bigger camps and wider opportunities become a possibility.
Explorer February/March 2010
From Groups and Districts in some places, imagine the exponential leap we’d make if we managed to sort the problem out! In the next issue we’ll explore how to get ideas for the Community Service, Values and Relationships and Global Programme Zones. In the meantime get back to us with some answers to this question for a future issue…
We want to offer the Chief Scout’s Platinum and Diamond Award in our Explorer Unit, and the linked DofE Awards. None of our leaders have any experience of the awards or the permits or know how to train for, organise and supervise expeditions in the outdoors. How can we offer these Awards? If you have any answers to this question, or would like to ask readers of Explorer your own Big Question, then please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘Explorer Scout Supplement: Q+A’ in the subject line.
Caption competition Open to Explorer Scout Leaders and Young Leaders (so please share with members of your Young Leader Unit) can you come up with a cunning caption for this photo? We are looking for the funniest and most poignant entries, to celebrate the value of Young Leaders within Scouting. Entries must be submitted by 31 March, to email@example.com with ‘YL Caption Competition’ in the subject line. Please include a name, age and postal address. Depending on the quality, appropriate prizes may be given. Good luck!
Moving with the times
If you read your December/January issue of Explorer you will know that from July Explorer Scouts will be required to move on from the section on or before their 18th Birthday. Gemma Veitch answers your questions
uring the past few years we have received numerous pieces of feedback from the Movement that the current age range flexibility (up to 18½ years old) causes confusion in the Explorer Scout section in relation to the following: • Lack of clarity as to the need for a CRB/Access Northern Ireland disclosure*SV at 18 years old. • An individual can hold an adult appointment and be an Explorer Scout at the same time – giving rise to conflicting responsibilities and confusion about their status. • Confusion surrounding sleeping arrangements for someone aged 18 to 18½ years old when on an Explorer Scout event with fellow Explorers aged between 14 and 18 years old. • The Scout Association’s Permit Scheme applies to those aged 18 years old and over. • Confusion regarding the position of Explorer Scout Young Leaders aged between 18 and 18½ years old. With the implementation of this change from July 2010 the above issues will be clarified.
Q: When do people have to get a CRB/ Access Northern Ireland disclosure?*SV A: When a young person reaches the age of 18 (and wishes to remain in Scouting) they must be registered on the Vetting and Barring Scheme and complete a CRB/Disclosure check.*SV
It is hoped the age changes will encourage more 18-25 year olds to take on section leader roles
Q: When an Explorer moves on where can they go? A: Explorer Scouts can move on to any or all of: • The Scout Network section (from 17½ years of age) • To a role in Scout Active Support (from 18 years of age) • To any other adult role in Scouting (from 18 years of age).
Explorer February/March 2010
Explorer age range
Move on up! Reaching 18 can be cause to celebrate, as many options are available to Explorer Scouts
*SV Scottish variations
The legislation regarding the availability and applicability of disclosure checks is different in Scotland. For further details please contact Scottish Headquarters on 01383 419073 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: When will Explorers have to move on by? A: The transition window to move on from Explorer Scouts will be from 17½-18 years old. They will have to move on by their 18th birthday. Q: There is no local Network for my Explorers to move on to? A: This is an ideal opportunity to look at the Network provision across the County and ensure it is suitable. Your District Explorer Scout Commissioner and District Commissioner should be having conversations with the County Scout Network Commissioner/Area Scout Network Commissioner/Assistant Regional Commissioner Scout Network (Scotland) to help this process move smoothly. Encouraging Explorers to move by the time they are 18 years old allows the local Network much more opportunity to build an attractive
and active programme with the larger numbers and utilising the skills the Explorer Scouts will be bringing as they move on. Q: I have an Explorer Scout who will turn 18 during summer camp/Jamboree what do I need to do? A: Before the camp the Explorer Scout will need to complete a CRB/Access Northern Ireland disclosure*SV. It will be good practice for them to have their own accommodation from the beginning of the camp instead of having to move on their birthday. This can be a great opportunity to invest them into the Scout Network in a memorable way! Q: Does this affect the DofE and Queen’s Scout Award Expedition? A: No, Explorer and Network members will still be able to complete their expeditions together. They will still need to ensure that their accommodation is separate for over 18’s and under 18’s. Q: Does this affect DofE and Queen Scout Award Volunteering/Service in Scouting?
>> A: No nothing will need to change. If someone is under 18 they will be participating in the Young Leader’s Scheme. Once they turn 18 they will participate in the Adult Training Scheme. Q: I have an Explorer Scout who is definitely ready to move on at 17½. How can I support them with this? A: You need to contact the local Scout Network Leader so they are aware of this Explorer Scout. Ideally you will have already had joint meetings so the leader will be known to both you and the Explorer Scouts. When they are invested into the Scout Network section they automatically need to register on the VBS and complete their CRB/Disclosure. They will need to continue having separate sleeping accommodation until they are 18 years old. The person running any activities that they participate in before they turn 18 will need to hold the relevant permit.
Although this change does not take effect until July 2010 it is worth thinking about it now and use the opportunity to produce a strategy for moving Explorer Scouts on. It is important that everyone takes on the responsibility to ensure that these Members are supported and have full understanding of the opportunities they have within the Movement. Gemma Veitch is the Programme and Development Adviser for Explorer Scouts
more info For more information please refer to www.scouts.org.uk/vbs or contact the Programme Team via the Information Centre 0845 300 1818 or email@example.com
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Faith and awareness events for April/May April 2 Good Friday (Christian) 4 (19th Orthodox) Easter Day (Christian) 5 Ch’ing Ming/Festival of pure brightness (Chinese) 8 Hanamatsuri (Buddhist) 12 Yom Ha-Shoah (Jewish) 14 Vaisakha/Baisakhi (Sikh) 21 1st Day of Ridván (Bahá’í) 23 St George’s Day 25 Start of Save the Children week 26 Start of RSPCA week May National share a story month 2 Lag B’omer (Jewish) 3 Start of deaf awareness week 3 Start of Red Cross week (tbc) 8 World fair trade day 9 Start of Christian Aid week 13 Ascension Day (Christian) 19-20 Shavuot (Jewish) 23 Pentecost/Whitsuntide (Christian) 23 Anniversary of the declaration of the Báb (Bahá’í) 27 Vesakha Puja/Wesak/Buddha Day (Buddhist) 29 Anniversary of the ascension of Baha’u’llah (Bahá’í)
Two of the fest Spiritual development is no less important a principle in the Network, but no less difficult as we all have searching questions and different journeys. In forthcoming issues we will be mentioning events that could form the basis of an activity or discussion at a future meeting Bahá’í festival of Ridván
Deaf awareness week
Bahá’í is one of the world’s youngest faiths, founded in Iran in 1863. It was founded by a young Iranian, known as The Báb. He foretold of the coming of Bahá’u’lláh, whom Bahá’ís believe is the latest manifestation of God. The Bahá’í faith accepts all world religions as having noble, true beginnings. Unity is a core principle to followers. There are 6 million Bahá’ís in the world, of which about 6,000 live in the UK. The festival of Ridván last 12 days and commemorates when Baha’u’llah declared that he was the Promised One of all previous religions. During this time, followers observe holy days, meet together, pray and tell stories about the experiences of the early Bahá’ís. One of the special beliefs of the faith is that whenever you open your mouth to pray, whether alone or among friends, the spot you are in becomes a sacred place of worship.
Every year in May, hundreds of deafness charities get together to raise awareness of deafness. There are 35,000 deaf children in the UK and three more born every day.
Idea: Learn more about the Bahá’í faith as a Network and spend some time of personal reflection without any ritual. For more info see www.bahai.org
Idea: Contact your nearest deaf school or support group for deaf children. Put on a Scouting activity for the children, learn some basic sign language, and think about how you can raise awareness together about the issues facing deaf people.
more info Deaf Friendly Scouting, a resource produced by The Scout Association and NCDS, is available from the Scout Information Centre. Call 0845 300 1818 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Sitting pretty Iona and Alasdair are back again sharing some of the games they play at Unit meetings. Add these to your repertoire: they are both indoor games and can be played with up to 25 Explorers
My chair Equipment: a chair for everyone
This one’s a bit like the game Shuffle Bum but with a twist… • Arrange the chairs in a circle facing inwards. Everybody sits on a chair except one person who stands in the middle leaving an empty seat. • The person with the empty chair on their right moves on to it, saying ‘my chair’. • Then the second person moves to the new empty seat (directly on their right) and says ‘my chair’.
• The third person will call out somebody else’s name, eg ‘Alasdair’s Chair’, and doesn’t move themselves. Alasdair has to get up and move to the empty seat and then the game continues with the person with the new empty seat on their right. In the meantime the person in the middle is trying to get into the empty seat before the player who is due to get to it, making them the person in the middle. • Occasionally you can shout ‘change direction’ so that now the person to move is the one with the chair on their left! The confusion adds to the excitement.
Electric chair Equipment: a chair/tarpaulin/chalk circle/mess tent in bag or similar • Everyone links wrists in a circle. The chair or other object is in the middle. • The aim of the game is not to touch the chair or break the chain, but to make other people do so. When someone hits the chair they are out, the circle is re-linked and the game continues.
• If the circle breaks, then both people are out, regardless of who let go of whom, so it’s important to keep a tight hold of your neighbour. • The game continues in this way until only two people are left. They link back to back and continue until one of them touches the chair, deciding the winner. more info Check out www.scouts.org.uk/pol for more Explorer Scout games
Explorer February/March 2010
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