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Festive prints



Winter fun

Welcome G

et Active! brings a festive flavour to winter with activities to get your section sharing fun and everyday adventure, whether you plan to brave the chilly weather or head indoors. Our indoor creative activities also teach practical skills. Whittle some colourful Norwegian spike trolls (page 14) or make some great wintry art with linocuts (page 4). Another creative project is our LEGO challenge (page 9), with great prizes up for grabs from Scout Shops and Get building! We also focus on making music with ukuleles (page 11). These versatile little instruments are often spotted at Scout camps and jamborees, and it’s easy to see why they’re so popular. If you’re running a winter camp check out the Swedish log candle (page 19), a self-feeding, onepiece fire unit that belts out heat and light to keep the cold at bay. Toasty! This issue has adventure too – and lots of it. Find 10 great things to do this winter on page 26.

Matthew Jones, Editor

The national magazine of The Scout Association, Gilwell Park, Chingford, London E4 7QW Tel: 0845 300 1818 Get in touch at Read Get Active! and Scouting online at Please note that the views expressed by members and contributors in the magazine are not necessarily those of The Scout Association. Get Active! Editors Lee Griffiths, Matthew Jones, Antonia Kanczula and Vicky Milnes Content Advisers Ashleigh Grimes, Sally Hilton, Jess Kelly, Michael Regan and Kevin Yeates With thanks to... Jo Bateman, Joly Braime, Diane Campos, Dave Coupland, Chris Elmer, Chris James, Terry Longhurst, Chloe Luxford, Hayley Mann, Paul Masters, Chris Mossop, Mandy Pollard, Leona Smith and Ralph Spegel Cover illustration Gillian Hibbs

Get Active! is produced by Immediate Media Branded Content, 9th Floor, Tower House, Fairfax Street, Bristol BS1 3BN ADVERTISING Advertising Manager Tom Parker Email: Tel: 0117 314 8781 110,004 average circulation of Scouting from 1 Jan–31 Dec 2012

© Immediate Media


Branded Content. Printed in the UK by William Gibbons. All rights reserved. Unauthorised reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited without written permission. Every effort has been made to secure permission for copyright material. In the event of any material being used inadvertently, or where it proved impossible to trace the copyright owner, acknowledgement will be made in a future issue.

This magazine can be recycled, for use in newspapers and packaging. Please remove any gifts, samples or wrapping and dispose of it at your local collection point.

We are proud to say Get Active! is PEFC certified. For more information go to Promoting sustainable forest management.

ISSN 0036 – 9489 © 2013 The Scout Association Registered Charity Numbers: 306101 (England and Wales) and SC038437

Contents Create 4 Linocut prints Learn craft skills to make your own cards and prints 7 Make a Christmas tree Try B&Q's woodwork project to create a mini tree 9 Build your dream HQ Design a Scout HQ in LEGO to win fab prizes! 10 Create festive pencil toppers Earn badges while jazzing up stationery

Discover 11 Ukulele Get started with this musical campfire favourite Pet 13 fact bingo Find out about pet care with this fun game

Learn 14 Carve spike trolls Practice whittling with these Norwegian folk figures 17 Grow yourself a bean Teach Cubs about nature and food production 18 Secure your meeting place Educate Scouts about security with Chubb 19 Make a Swedish log candle An ingenious one-log fire for all-night winter warmth 22 Cycle safety Be seen and be safe on the winter roads 24 Keep an electronic diary Boost awareness of electronics and energy use 25 Invent and sell a gadget Build entrepreneurial skills with a fun enterprise

Explore 26 Winter activities Five great ways to make the most of the big freeze 28 Indoor activities Hunker down inside with five more fun ideas 29 Plan a hike Grab a map and set off on an adventurous walk

30 Fundraise in store

Now’s your chance to pair up with local retailers and raise funds for your Group



e t a e r C

As the festive season approaches, make unique prints and greetings cards using linocut techniques Suitable for Scouts+ * Linocutting is a classic printing method that uses sheets of linoleum and cutting tools to make patterns and prints. You can make dozens or even hundreds of copies of the same image from a single linocut block.

Design ideas

Celebrate the festive season by making linocuts of winter scenes – it lends itself particularly well to this time of year. Take inspiration from the world around you by including trees, buildings, plants and animals. Alternatively, you could draw a simple snow-covered landscape and use it to create a series of limited-edition prints as gifts for friends and family. You could even use linocuts to make a unique run of greetings cards.


s Linocutting is a form of relief printing. Anything you cut away is ‘negative space’. s Remember that your design will print backwards. So if you’re including words or numbers in your print, you’ll need to design and cut them out as a mirror image. s Warm your lino on a radiator before starting. This makes it much easier to cut.

*alternative activity offered for Beavers and Cubs


December/January 2014

You will need Linoleum or vinyl

Available from art and craft shops such as Hobbycraft. You may also be able to use vinyl floor tiles.

Linocutting tools and tips

Handles with a variety of blades and cutters can be found in art and craft shops for around £5. You can also pick up good beginners’ kits via eBay. It’s usually possible to negotiate a Scout discount when buying in bulk.


Aim for a variety of colours to contrast with your inks. Ideally, use a good-quality lightweight paper, but avoid heavily textured papers. Standard printer paper will do.

A rubber art roller

Available from art and craft shops.

An old spoon or rolling pin To press the linocut on to the paper.

Make sure it can be used for printmaking; any colour will do. You can also use watered-down acrylic paint.

A piece of glass or upturned lid

Use the glass from an old picture frame or the lid from a tin or container. You’ll need this to ink your linocut.

Potato printing is a great alternative activity for younger sections. You can cut geometric shapes from potato halves for Beavers. Use them with acrylic paint and sugar paper to make fun prints. Cubs can make their own potato stamps using shaped cookie cutters or even sharpened lolly sticks to create their own designs. You can also make amazing patterns and wiggly lines by cutting designs into discs of potato and threading them onto a drinking straw.

Picture: 7th Crawley Cubs


Easy alternatives for Beavers and Cubs



What to do


Draw an image onto your lino with a pencil.


Cut away the negative space (background) with your linocutting tool. Wipe the finished linocut down with a rag to sweep away any stray bits of lino.


Teach Scouts about blade safety: Always cut away from yourself. Watch your fingers too – you’ll need to hold the lino down to stop it moving, but always keep your hand behind the blade. Keep a first aid kit to hand and be prepared for the occasional nick.

What will Scouts learn?


Coat your glass or upturned lid with a thin layer of ink. Roll it out using your art roller, as evenly as possible.


Use your roller to ink your linocut. Place a piece of paper on a flat surface and gently lay your design on top, ink-side down. Don’t let it slide around.

Scouts will begin to understand traditional printing methods as well as how to use cutting tools safely and accurately.

What can Scouts earn?

Linocutting and potato printing can help Beavers, Cubs and Scouts earn Creative and Artist Activity Badges. It can also help Explorers get their Creative Arts Activity Badges.


Smooth it with the back of a spoon or rolling pin.



Lift the linocut block carefully away from the paper. This is your first print! You can make as many prints as you like, but remember to number and sign each one – each copy is known as an impression. December/January 2014


Make a Christmas tree This plywood Christmas tree can be redecorated and reused year after year Suitable for Beavers and Cubs (with adult supervision)

You will need s Cardboard template, cut as shown s 2 pieces 18mm ply, 200 x 300mm s 1 piece 6mm ply, 200 x 300mm s Sandpaper s 3 x 16mm screws s Screwdriver s Blue and white glitter stars s Paint s Pencil s Goggles s Dust mask s Jigsaw s Drill s Tape measure s Hammer s Workbench and clamps





When the two pieces have been cut, cut out two 18mm wide slots along the centre lines you marked earlier.


Clamp the plywood to the workbench and use a 10mm bit to drill a hole either side of the tree trunk. Then saw around the outline of the tree using a jigsaw.

Using a 1.5mm bit, drill a pilot hole into the tree-top end of the piece with the slot in the bottom. Screw a 3x16mm screw into this hole.


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Draw the centre and horizontal vertical lines. There will be a slot from the top to centre of one piece and the bottom to centre of the other, so draw those in.


Take a glitter star, remove its metal hoop and push the star over the head of the screw. Slot the two halves of the tree together. Paint and decorate your finished Christmas tree. Enjoy!



Using the template, draw the outline of the tree onto the two pieces of 18mm ply.

200mm 20mm


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What to do

*Not to scale




More info For more seasonal DIY favourites like this, book a B&Q ‘Kids Can Do It’ class or download B&Q’s DIY badge resources for Cubs and Scouts. Visit to find out more.


Create more


Customis s LEGO goodie

Build your dream HQ

Are you a LEGO master builder? Then you’ll love our new competition Suitable for all

Have you seen the new Scout mini figures? A whole range of figures are available, including Beavers, Cubs, Scouts, Explorers, Scout Network, Sea Scouts, Air Scouts and, of course, leaders. In addition, Scout Shops has produced two great T-shirt designs featuring the Beaver and Cub minifigs, which are available in both youth and adult sizes. To celebrate, we’re launching an exclusive competition for Scouts, open to all sections. Two Scout minifig T-shirts and 10 custom minifigs are up for grabs. Choose any Scouts from the minifigs range and even personalise your figures with the colours of your Group scarf. To enter, Scouts need to design and build their dream Scout HQ in LEGO. It could be as realistic or as fantastic as they like. Why not include custom climbing walls, an amazing obstacle course, a theatre space for the world’s best gang show, bushcraft and water zones for adventurous activities, giant slides and ziplines, or even a helipad so Bear Grylls could drop in? Let imaginations run wild.


Scout minifigs are available at minifigs. me, while Scout minifigs T-shirts can be ordered from Find our minifigs film, What Cubs really think about Scouting, on YouTube.

Send high-resolution photographs of your Scouts’ LEGO creations to scouting. with an email explaining some of their dream HQ’s amazing features. The closing date for entries is Monday 3 February 2014. Happy building!



Create festive pencil toppers Using craft materials and lots of imagination, Cubs can jazz up their stationery this winter with Hobbycraft Suitable for Beavers and Cubs As sponsors of the Beaver Creative and Cub Artist badges, Hobbycraft has created two fantastic resource packs for the festive period: a Christmas pack brimming with seasonal craft activities and the Cultures of the World pack, which introduces Cubs and Beavers to the myriad of global festivals celebrated during the winter months. This simple activity will certainly get them in the mood for festive crafting!

Father Christmas

• Cut out two matching head shapes, one red, one white. Slice the top from the white head to reveal the red hat. • Cut out a face and nose from the pink felt and a beard from the white felt. Glue in place on the white head. Glue a pompom on to the hat. • Twist a chenille stem around a pencil leaving a straight tail. Glue the white head on top of the red head, sandwiching the tail of the chenille stem inside, then leave to dry. • Finally, paint on two eyes and a mouth using the foam paint.

Red chested robin

• Cut out two matching head/ body shapes and two wings from the brown felt, plus a red felt chest. • Add the red felt chest and wings to one of the head/body shapes. • Twist a chenille stem around a pencil leaving a straight tail. • Glue the front head/body and red felt chest on top of the undecorated head/body, sandwiching the tail of the chenille stem inside, then leave to dry. • Finally, paint on two eyes and a beak using the foam paint.

You will need s Felt – white, red, baby pink, brown, orange s Chenille stems s Pom-poms s Foam paint s All-purpose glue s Scissors

Frosty the snowman

• Cut out two matching head/ body shapes, two arms, a nose and a scarf using the white, brown, orange and red felt. • Add the nose and arms to one of the head/body shapes. • Twist a chenille stem around a pencil leaving a straight tail. • Glue the head/body with the eyes, nose and arms on top of the undecorated head/body, sandwiching the tail of the chenille stem inside, then leave to dry. • Finally, paint on eyes, a mouth and buttons using the foam paint and glue the scarf in place.

More info Section leaders are entitled to a 20% discount on selected items when spending £20 at Hobbycraft stores; simply sign up at for exclusive access. Download the festive activity packs at


December/January 2014

The ukulele

Scout Groups across the UK are picking up this versatile instrument, as uke player David Tattersall explains

Picture: Dave Coupland/5th Medway Towns ESU

Suitable for all

The ukulele, once regarded as an old-fashioned relic of the music hall, is very much back in fashion. Suddenly it’s cool – in fact, it’s now the fastest-growing form of musicmaking in the country. The instrument – made famous in the 1930s by comedian and actor George Formby – has actually been loved for years among musicians and a surprising number of well-known celebrities including former Scouts John Lennon, Paul McCartney and US astronaut Neil Armstrong, who all played the ukelele. Chart-topping bands like Mumford & Sons and Florence and the Machine have also made use of the uke on their records. Hundreds of local ukulele clubs are mushrooming all over the UK and many offer beginner sessions for new learners, including special

workshops for Scouts. Small groups can learn basic chords before moving on to playing and singing some great tunes. The Friday Cub Pack of 237th Castle Bromwich Scout Group in Birmingham are just one of the many Scout Groups across the UK who have enthusiastically embraced the potential of the ukulele. They have a number of keen uke players, as Cub Scout Leader Hayley Mann reveals: ‘I was surprised at just how many of my Cub Pack played the ukulele. Recently we had a music night featuring one of my leaders with six Cubs and two Young Leaders, playing their ukes together. We all had a real laugh!’ It’s easy to get started with simple songs. Not only that, it makes a great accompaniment to any traditional campfire singalong.

What will Scouts learn?

It's a great hobby, and taking a uke on camp can really liven up a campfire.

What can Scouts earn?

Learning to play the ukulele can help Scouts achieve the badge requirements of the Musician Staged Activity Badge for all sections.


It’s simple to play

That’s why many schools all over the country are switching to ukes for musical beginners rather than using recorders. There are only four strings compared to six on a guitar, so, after only a short time, you’ll have learnt how to use your fingers to play a couple of chords and strum a simple tune.

It’s inexpensive

You can buy a decent playable one for between £20 and £35. But although it appears that there are some very cheap examples around, be warned many are only toys and unplayable even by experienced people. So be careful before you buy, and try to get good advice from someone who plays a uke or a guitar. But don’t be put off by the fact that some of them are tough plastic. These models, like the Makala


‘I learned to play the ukulele over the school summer holidays. It’s a great instrument!’ James, 15, Explorer Scout


brand and other makes, are very well made and ideal for beginners.

Playing ukulele is fun

Ukes make you smile and lift your spirits. Lots of research proves that making music and singing is really good for you.

You don’t have to read music to play

Ukulele tablature (‘tab’) is easy to read. The dots and numbers show you which finger to place on each string, and at which fret. After you have learned just a couple of chords you can play many simple tunes… especially lots of well-known campfire songs!

It’s easy to carry around

Few instruments are more portable than a little ukulele. You can even fit some of the smaller models in your hand baggage on a plane and take it with you on holiday.

Friendly folk can help you learn to play

Uke players, of all ages, are a particularly cheerful bunch of people. New local groups are being formed all the time in cities, towns and villages throughout the country by people who want to get together and share the enjoyment of playing and singing and most of them run friendly beginners’ sessions.

The standard Hawaiian ukulele has four strings – two less than a guitar. Although the uke is popularly associated with Hawaii, it first originated in Portugal, where it was known as the baringwa. Ukuleles come in soprano, concert, tenor and baritone sizes. The first three tune to the key of C, while the baritone tunes to the key of G (like the 4 smallest strings on a guitar). All four of the Beatles played the ukulele. In Hawaiian, the word ‘ukulele’ translates as ‘jumping flea’.

Three chord tricks

These easy songs rely on just three basic chords; C, F and G.



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1 3 2

The Proclaimers 'I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)' Johnny Cash 'I Walk the Line' Van Morrison 'Brown Eyed Girl'

Point at this page for our exclusive Scouts ukulele music video.

December/January 2014

Pictures: Mandy Pollard and Hayley Mann/Friday Cub Pack, 237th Castle Bromwich Scouts

So what’s so great about the humble uke?

Did you know?

Pet fact bingo


Teach young people about their pets with this fun game from Pets at Home Suitable for all Caring for a pet isn’t easy. Many of them need more than just food, water and a bit of love. Why not play this great game with your section and learn some fascinating facts about pets?

What to do

Make multiple copies of the pet fact cards so that your Beavers/Cubs can have five cards each. Cut the cards out and distribute them randomly to each Beaver/Cub. Keep one set for yourself. Then put your set in a hat or bucket. Draw the facts one at a time, reading each fact aloud. The first Beaver/Cub whose cards all come out is the winner.

You will need s Photocopies of the pet fact cards (see below) s Scissors

Most geckos cannot blink, so they clean their eyes with their tongues.

Snakes have ears inside their body.

Rabbits are born with their eyes closed and without fur.

Dogs don’t understand pointing. They focus on the tip of your finger, not what you are pointing at.

Snakes shed their skin a few times each year.

Puppies have 28 teeth and normal adult dogs have 42.

Cats can see in the dark. Their vision is six times better than humans.

Hamsters are colour blind.

A cat’s front paws have five toes, but the back paws have four.

More info Pets at Home is a proud partner of The Scout Association. Visit to download the Beaver Animal Friend and Cub Animal Carer Badge activity packs.


To carve spike trolls Suitable for Scouts+ Spike trolls come from Norway, where they are known as spiktrollet (literally: ‘carved troll’). The Norwegian departments of Culture and Forestry came up with the idea by drawing on traditional children’s toys found in Norse, Swedish, Sami and Finnish cultures, promoting them as a simple whittling project that would help to promote the age-old Scandinavian tradition of working with wood. Making spike trolls is an activity that is ideally suited to UK Scouts too, as an entry-level carving project. They’re simple enough for a beginner to make from any small piece of branch, and can be completed in a single meeting, and look very festive! Using greenwood sticks will make carving quicker and easier, although seasoned wood also makes great spike trolls. You can experiment with oddly-shaped pieces of wood to carve some unusual creations too.


What can Scouts earn?

Simple whittling projects teach practical knife skills and the safe use of tools. Working with wood is a traditional craft that can be immensely absorbing and satisfying. Making spike trolls is also an excellent creative activity. Pictures: Thinkstock

Make a colourful festive friend from wood with this basic whittling project

December/January 2014

Carve a blunt spike at the end of the branch using a sha rp knife

Give each troll a coloured painted hat

What to do

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Take a short section of branch and carve a blunt spike at one end, leaving a ‘bobble’ at the point. Shave the bark off a piece of the branch and add a face with paint or a marker pen. Once the whittling is complete, finish each troll with a colourful painted hat. For clothing trolls usually wear their natural bark, but you could add extra details to give each one a personal touch – how about sticking on or carving curly shavings of wood to form an outsized moustache or a beard. You could even carve a Scout scarf on your troll and paint it in your Group colours.

Stay safe

Knives are a tool and using them requires training. Teach Scouts to use deliberate, controlled cutting motions and never to cut towards the body. Always supervise Scouts closely when using knives to ensure safe use. When practising knife skills in a Scout HQ, knives should be taken to and from Scouts by an adult. 


‘We got to use knives, which was cool, and to personalise our trolls. The best bit was when our leader taught me how to sharpen a knife, which will be useful on camp.’ Make sure you have plenty of different paint colours to decorate your troll


October/November 2013

Joe, 13, Scout



Soap wizards You can still teach Beavers and Cubs simple whittling skills by substituting knives for sharpened lolly sticks and carving bars of soap or sweet potatoes. Both materials are much easier to work than wood, and are ideally suited for younger hands. Why not try carving soap wizards?


‘This is a great activity. A couple of tips – keeping the sticks longer made it safer and easier. Using a piece of masking tape as a guide also improved the Scouts’ accuracy and tidiness.’ 16 GET ACTIVE!

Terry Longhurst, Scout Leader, 2nd Chadwell Heath Scouts

December/January 2014


Why adapt th not is for your activity Be as part o avers ft Experim he ent Activity Badge?

Grow yourself a bean Teach your Cubs about the living world with Rolls-Royce Suitable for Beavers+ To earn their Cub Scout Scientist Badge, Cubs must do a number of activities designed to educate them about the physical and living worlds. This project will show them how to plant a bean and investigate all the different factors that affect its development – so Cubs understand the growth of natural life at the most minute level.

What to do

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Roll two or three layers of kitchen paper around the inside of each cup. Wedge a bean (or pea) inside each cup, halfway down between the kitchen paper and the side. Put about 2-3cm of water into each cup. Leave one bean (or pea) somewhere light – a windowsill is ideal – and check regularly to make sure the kitchen paper is moist. Add a little more water if it starts to dry out.

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Leave the second bean in a dark place and the third in a light space but without water. Check each bean or pea regularly to see how these conditions affect their growth. When the beans (or peas) have started to grow shoots, turn one of the beans upside down. Leave to grow and check every day or so to see what happens.

You will need s 3 x containers, such as clean, clear pots or cups s Kitchen paper s 3 x bean or pea seeds s Water

How does it work? A plant’s growth is affected by a number of factors, including light, food and gravity. When they start to grow, the roots grow downwards and the shoots grow upwards. When you turn one bean upside down, the bean senses that it is now growing in the wrong direction. The roots and shoots change direction, so they are growing the right way again.

More info Visit to download the Cub Scout Scientist Activity Badge activity pack in full and to access more fun and engaging science projects.



Secure your meeting place Shore up your HQ and teach your Scouts about security Suitable for Scouts+ Long-time sponsor of the Scout Fire Safety Badge, Chubb has expanded its resources to include a security audit to help leaders keep their meeting places secure. Chubb also wants to use this opportunity to educate young people about the measures they can take to keep their Scout meeting places and homes secure. Encourage your Scouts to do a mock security audit on your premises, and you may be surprised at the threats they find.

What to do

Example building illustration

s Study the list of potential security threats below and work out whether any of them are present in your meeting place. If not, then temporarily set up some threats for your Scouts to spot, although remember to remove them again once the session finishes. s Split the Scouts into small groups and give them 15 minutes to find as many of the threats as they can and mark them on the meeting place plan with an X. Can they find any that aren’t on the list? If so, ask them to write them down. s Spend 15 minutes discussing what the Scouts found. How can each of the threats be eliminated?

You will need

s A photocopy of the meeting place plan and security threat list for each group s A pen

for Scout Security Audit

Tool Store - tools could be used to break in? Ladder left out?

Fire Exit Remember - Sky lights can an access point


Rear Door - Hidden from view Windows - do they have locks




Lighting - broken, not working Window - left ajar?

Could hinge be unscrewed?

Wheelie Bin - unsecured? Could be used stand on to gain access to building

Door Lock / Padlock

Water Butt - could be used to stand on to gain access to building


Security threat list s Occupied adjacent buildings s Public footpath beside or behind building s Busy road nearby s Open access to site s Minimal/no fences or walls

s Insecure fire exit s Multiple entrances/exits s Skylight s Security light not working s Open/unlocked window s Accessible ladder

s Poor street lighting s Easily accessible tools (can be used to break in) s Wheelie bin left outside (can be used to climb on) A basic guide to...

Security Audit for Scout Premises

More info A full HQ security audit is available for leaders at


December/January 2014

When making a log candle, use hardwoods such as beech, oak or ash

To make a Swedish log candle Getting ready for a winter camp? Prepare these one-log fires for simple, long-lasting warmth Suitable for Scout Network and adult leaders The Swedish log candle is the ideal winter campfire. It’s a single, specially prepared upright log that, once lit, creates a long-lasting fire which is raised up off the damp ground. It doesn’t need feeding yet gives out plenty of light and heat. The Swedish log candle is a relatively slow-burning fire, which goes through distinct stages that are well suited for different uses. When first lit it makes an excellent light source. Within half an hour, the flat, circular top is ideally suited for a kettle, skillet or billy. After an hour, the log will emit considerable heat, and finally, as the log burns from the inside out, it creates a unique 360-degree natural oven for cooking kebabs of any sort. Making Swedish log candles does require some preparation but campsite service teams can often give you a hand.

What will Scouts learn?

Backwoods cooking is a traditional Scouting skill, but cooking with a Swedish log candle is a different way of approaching it that draws on the fire craft of Scandinavian cultures.


en c i l Use a p ler to u r a nd ut mark o t cu to e r e wh

n he log o Stand t st end e k its thic

Preparing a Swedish log candle

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Ensure that both ends of the selected log are level. The thickest end will form the base.

Set the log upright on the ground. Use a pencil and straight edge to mark cutting guidelines. The idea is to create three intersecting lines so that the top of the log looks like a pie that’s been sliced into six pieces. Make the first cut with a chainsaw or large ripsaw. Cut down to about 5 inches from the bottom of the log, then angle the saw downwards so that the cut is lower on each side of the log. This will help draw air into the log once it is lit, creating an updraught. Repeat this cutting technique, making two more cuts in line with your guide marks.


Log candles are an unusual alternative to conventional camp cooking. Cook on top with a skillet or billy, or make roasted vegetable kebabs, chorizo or halloumi skewers, kofte with minced lamb or beef or even pork and chicken shish.

Top tip

Prepare a few Swedish log candles with the help of a service team or your volunteer team and get your Scouts to light and cook on them. They make excellent patrol fires for winter camps.

5 inches


December/January 2014

tinder Collect to t fi to in the cuts



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Place the log upright on flat, solid ground, or dig the base of the log a couple of inches into the soil for added safety. Ensure that the area surrounding the log is clear, as it may drop a few coals after an hour or more of burning. Fill the cuts with tinder – strips of birch bark are ideal. The bark’s high natural oil content means it makes excellent tinder, even if damp. Do not pack too tightly as good air circulation is required. Light the log from the top. When first lit, a small flame will flicker at the top of the log, which will gradually die down. The log will smoke for a while before the flames emerge again as the log burns from the inside out. In general a log candle of the size shown above will burn for two to three hours.

g rage lo An ave ll i w le ca nd r a fe w b u r n fo h ou rs



What you’ll need:

Learn about cycle safety Teach your Cubs about the importance of high-visibility cycle gear Suitable for Cubs+

s A photocopy of the meeting place plan and security threat list for each group.

You will need s Reflective vests or reflective strips to stick on clothing s Various dark and light shirts s Bicycle reflectors s Bicycle lights s Torches s Long tape measure s Sunglasses

Cycling is brilliant for our health and the environment, but it has minus points too; not least the safety of cyclists on the roads. Along with wearing a helmet correctly, staying visible to traffic and pedestrians is paramount to staying safe. This simple and fun game will teach Cubs how and why certain kinds of clothing will make them more visible than others.

What to do s Split your Pack into two halves: group ‘A’ and group ‘B’. s Give a torch to each member of group A. s Ensure that group B are wearing a variety of different clothing: some light, some dark, some reflective. s Send one group to one side of the HQ, and one to the other.

s Turn off all of the lights in your HQ. Make it as dark as possible. s Get group A to turn around and see if they can identify any of the Cubs in group B. Ask them to switch on their torches and shine them at group B, being careful not to shine directly into their eyes. Who can they see better? Why do they think this is?

s Get group B to take a step towards group A. Ask them to move closer until their counterparts can see them clearly – and get group A to notice how much further away they can see those with reflective clothing than those without. s Switch the groups around and do the activity again.

More info Halfords sponsors the Cub Scout Cyclist Activity Badge and has created a resource to teach Cubs how to maintain and use bikes safely. Halfords also offers free in-store workshops to help Cubs attain their badge. Visit to book a place.


December/January 2014


Keep an electronic diary Creating a log of electronic items can help young people be energy aware Suitable for Cubs+

The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) is committed to furthering Scouts’ knowledge of electronics. By sponsoring the Scout Electronics Activity Badge, the IET is hoping to enthuse younger generations into developing a love of engineering and technology. But before they move onto more challenging projects, it’s important that Scouts understand just how extensive our reliance on electronics are in the modern world.

You will need s A diary s A pen s 15 minutes at the end of each day

More about electronic devices

Electronic and electrical devices are not the same thing. Electrical devices like toasters take the energy of electric current and transform it into some other form of energy – most likely light, heat, or motion. Electronic items manipulate electric current to do something entirely different, like wake you up in the morning, make a phone call or play MP3s.

What to do

Each day, for a week, ask your young people to look back and write a list of everything electronic they used from the time they woke up until bedtime. They could even take pictures of all the devices they use and create a story board to go along with the diary. For each entry, ask them to note how much time they spent; eg ‘mobile phone call – 20 minutes.’ Ask them to bring their diaries to the next meeting and compare results. What activities do they have in common? Is there anything they can do or stop doing as a Group to save energy?

Examples of electronic items s Mobile phone s Digital alarm clock s Automatic kettle s iPod s TV remote s Digital camera

More info Visit to download the full Institution of Engineering and Technology resource pack, which is brimming with fantastic projects.


December/January 2014

Invent and sell a gadget


Teach your Scouts business basics with this fun and creative activity Suitable for Cubs+

Could one of your Scouts be the next Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg? In this ‘trading post’ activity from NatWest MoneySense, your Group will invent and sell a money-making, problem-solving product.

What to do

Divide your Scouts into teams of four or five. Explain that they are going to invent a product using the equipment on the table. Ask them to think about what they could make using the equipment. Each item will cost a different amount to buy and each team will have a start-up budget of £25. The items should be priced so that the teams can’t buy everything. Teams can sell items they’ve bought from the trading post to other teams. Each team should use the equipment to create something which the adult volunteers at the trading post will buy from them. The winning team is the one that has been paid the most by the trading post at the end of the game – unspent cash or cash received from other teams will not be counted.

You will need s Pen and paper s £25 start-up cash (or Monopoly money) for each team s Assortment of materials for model making, eg food containers, cereal boxes, Tupperware and plastic cups s Craft supplies, eg pipe cleaners, sticky tape, coloured paper and glue s Prize for the winning team

Trading post tips

s Teams can decline an offer and improve their items before finally selling them. s Each item a team sells to the trading post has to be different. s Remember, being successful in business is all about identifying a problem and thinking of a way to solve it.

More info For handy resources to help your Scouts manage their money, visit


Winter activities

Give young people a taste of adventure this winter with 10 great indoor and outdoor activities Suitable for all

The winter months present unique opportunities to experience adventure, both inside and out. You could bring an activity to your HQ or meeting place to present your Scouts with a new challenge, or make the most of the weather conditions outside with a traditionally wintry activity.





Whether indoors or out, sledging is great fun for all ages. You can create your own sledging runs in fields or campsites. Before you start, clear the run of any fallen timber or other obstacles, and check that sledges won’t hit anything at the end. Alternatively, visit your local snow centre for a more challenging experience.

December/January 2014

5 Build a snow Scout

If heavy snowfall presents the opportunity, seize the chance to get your Scouts outside and play. Why not build snow Scouts and make the most of the snow before it melts? Mould the figure from giant snowballs then decorate your snow Scout’s face and finish off by tying your Group’s necker around its neck and naming it.

Pictures: Thinkstock, Alamy


Skiing and snowboarding

Skiing or snowboarding offers the chance for further skills development. Get down to your local ski centre and find out what deals they can offer to get your Group out on the slopes. There are ski resorts in Scotland and northern England, as well as dry and snow ski runs across the country; see

3Ice climbing

Ice climbing presents a real challenge for older sections, and involves using crampons and ice picks to scale an ice wall. Many climbing centres and Scout activity centres offer this as an activity, and if they don’t have real ice, then dry tooling is sometimes available, presenting a great chance to learn the skills without enduring the cold.

4 Ice skating

During the winter months, ice skating rinks pop up all over the country, offering your Scouts a great chance to try a traditional winter pursuit. Most ice rinks offer deals and discounts for groups and often have additional equipment, such as animal-shaped skating aids, to help younger members or those with additional needs to take part.

More info For guidance and rules on running Scouting activities, visit


Explore more Five indoor activities to take you through the winter


Get creative

The winter months are a great time of year to encourage your Group to get creative by putting on or taking part in a gang show, making movies and short films or singing carols. Ask your section what they’d like to do and make it happen. Why not take in your local pantomime, support others in Scouting by attending a gang show or get involved in community shows and light displays.


Get prepared with an indoor regatta

In partnership with Canoe England, we’ve put together some great preparation activities to help your Group get ready for the fun they’ll have out on the water. Best of all, they can be done in the comfort of your HQ. Download the pack at information-for-clubs-andcoaches-/scouting.

3 Fencing

Fencing is a great activity to offer in your meeting place. It gives young people a chance to develop their coordination and balance as well as helping you to forge links in the community with other providers. Go to:

4 Shooting

Why not get in touch with your local shooting team and run shooting activities at your local campsite or even at your meeting place? Remember to visit for rules and guidance.

5 On the radio

Have you got Scouts who are interested in broadcasting, media and DJing? Young people can get the chance to be involved in producing their own radio shows, which could be played on Scout Radio. For more information go to


December/January 2014


Plan a hike Discover great adventures with Cotswold Outdoor Suitable for Cubs+

From route planning and navigation to creating kit lists, challenge your Pack to plan an adventurous hike with this activity.

What to do

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In groups, get your Cubs to talk about where they would like to visit and what they’d like to do there. They should list their top six favourites. Using the maps or internet, help them to plan their route for how to get there. Include any dangers or points of interest to look out for. Ask them to think about what to wear on the trip taking into account the weather, terrain and length of the journey. List the things they’ll need and why and also the things they don’t need to take with them and why. Add these to the scrapbook with the images of what to wear. Together, list the foods and drinks to take with you and what to leave behind. Does everyone like the same foods? Consider the hazards that might affect the trip and what to look out for. Do you need to cross a stream? If someone falls ill, is there help nearby?

You will need s A map of the area you’re planning to explore s Outdoor magazines s Access to the internet/ travel books (optional) s Scrapbook s Scissors s Glue s Imagination!


y Layering is ke ly al ti en ot p in conditions. changeable jacket, A waterproof r and ye la good base sential. hat are all es

With your Cubs, create a final kit list including: navigation, what to wear, what to carry, food and hydration and safety. Finally, decide when to take the trip.

More info As sponsor of the Hikes Away Staged Activity Badge for Beavers, Cubs and Scouts, Cotswold Outdoor can provide expert knowledge and advice to help you choose your adventure essentials, with free in-store rucksack and boot-fitting services available. Get support with this activity from your local store, via


Fundraise with our retail partners Think creatively to fundraise successfully

Exclusive fundraising dates for Scouts

Suitable for all

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For the next two months The Scout Association’s retail partners are offering Groups the chance to fundraise in-store during some of the busiest shopping periods. We have put together these 10 ideas for fundraising activities to help you get thinking about how to make the most of this opportunity.



Why not tune up and try carol singing? It’s the perfect way to fundraise and entertain customers at Christmas.


Help customers with their bulky purchases. Many items are heavy and customers would be very grateful for help lifting them into their cars.

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Provide entertainment and activities for young children while their parents are shopping. Organise a raffle. You could ask the store to help provide prizes and charge customers a small donation to enter.

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Host a bake sale. Who isn’t up for a tasty treat after a spot of shopping? Ask the store manager if the musical members of your Group can have a go at busking. Not only is it a fundraising opportunity but it will lighten the atmosphere for shoppers too. Help store staff move and scan big items.

Set up your own in-store treasure hunt. Place clues and answers around the store and charge customers a small fee to enter.

Hold an auction of promises. In advance of your fundraising visit, ask people to pledge unique gifts to you, for instance an aromatherapy course or dinner party catering, and auction off to the highest bidder once you’re in-store. And last but not least – offer a bag-packing service. Check out our bag packing tips at fundraiseinstore.

More info Visit for more information, as well as details on how to register your fundraising with us.


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Get Active! December/January 2014  
Get Active! December/January 2014  

Get Active! December/January 2014 October-November 2013 issue of Get Active! - the practical skills supplement to Scouting magazine.