Here’s another example that shows that despite the challenges during the pandemic scouting across Cambridgeshire is still going strong, all be it currently in the virtual world!

On the 6th February 300 excited Hinchingbrooke District Beavers, Cubs, Scouts, Explorers and their leaders, navigated their way around the Oceans of the world. There were lots of fun activities, all from the comfort of their own homes in Huntingdon, St Neots and the surrounding area. To recognise their achievements, a specially designed event badge will be their “treasure” reward – the winning design was by George from the 1st Stukeley Meadows Cub Pack.

They started the day with a rousing version of the “5 Oceans” song, before sailing into the Atlantic Ocean, to build some fantastic aquariums (from recycled resources). In the Indian Ocean, the younger Beavers and Cubs learned science as they made bottle divers, whilst the older Scouts and Explorers learnt navigation skills. In the Pacific Ocean they created videos, made sextants and even created their own virtual reality machine! Meal breaks were taken in the Arctic and Southern Oceans, with suitably themed delights on the menu.

As if that wasn’t enough they enjoyed a private virtual tour around the National Marine Aquarium (UK’s largest aquarium, run by the Ocean Conservation Trust) and were inspired by a session with scouting adventurer Richard Pattison, who has been to Antarctica 3 times, sailing, mountaineering and led the first sledge crossing of Forbidden Plateau. He also led expeditions to Greenland and the Arctic.

Chris Ward, Cambridgeshire Scouts County Commissioner, joined the event to make a special presentation to Aidan Joy, Hinchingbrooke Scouts District Commissioner  “It is great to see the fun being had by so many young people (and their parents too!) today. Aidan is an inspirational scouting volunteer so I am pleased to present him with his Award for Merit Medal for outstanding service on behalf of The Scouts”

Aidan Joy, Hinchingbrooke Scouts District Commissioner, said “ Scouting is about being part of a team and making a  difference as we teach life skills to the next generation. Of course the fact that I am able to join in with such fun themed events as these, so important for keeping our young people engaged during these challenging times, is one reason why people like me volunteer in the first place!”

Does that sound better than just sitting at home on the sofa watching TV? Then why not consider volunteering with Cambridgeshire Scouts – and see where the adventure could take you. More information, and to volunteer, visit this page

Feedback

Kayden (Cub Scout) said “ I enjoyed watching the National Marine Aquarium webinar and then using playdough to make the creatures that were mentioned for my aquarium”

Kathryn Bailey (parent and leader) said “ I had to help Georgia cutting out the template for the VR headset. She asked, “why is this sooo hard?!?” I told her, “because everything that’s worth doing often is!” and “ What a brilliant day! Georgia had an absolute ball, learned so much and made so much! I’d like to say a huge thank you to all the knowledgeable speakers, presenters, and everyone who worked so hard behind the scenes to make this day such a success. She’s utterly exhausted, her brain is now full  And we still have things to finish off tomorrow!”

Katie Nicholls (parent) said “I think I now have a marine biologist in the making!“

Debbie Mickelburgh (parent) said “ It was such a great tour with a very knowledgeable guide. All the family watched it and we all learnt something new. Would like to say a huge thank you to the organisers for today’s ocean adventure. Really informative. Learned new things as a parent and a scout.”

Charlotte Smith (parent) said “Wow, what an incredible day! My children have thoroughly enjoyed themselves & learnt things along the way! 2 very tired children here tonight! Thank you to all the organisers & guest speakers”

Media Coverage

As well as interviews on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire before and after the event there were also articles before and after in the Hunts Post too – all great promotion for scouting!

More details and photos are shown below, split into the different parts of the day.

Aquarium

Each section was invited to join a private virtual tour of the National Marine Aquarium, UK’s largest aquarium, run by the Ocean Conservation Trust. The experts at the aquarium showed off their various inhabitants and shared lots of interesting (and some gross!) facts about them all.

The tours certainly inspired the Beavers and Cubs when it came to building, and later videoing, their own box aquariums – just look at these photos for some example of their amazing efforts. Here’s an example of some useful instructions too.

Preventing scurvy (in otherwords, food!)

For lunch and tea all those sailing the seas were asked to have food that reflected the sea theme. Here are just some of the amazing creations they come up with!

Some of these show the older sections showing off their skills as they fillet fresh mackerel before cooking their evening meal.

     

Navigation

The inspiring session by scouting adventurer Richard went down really well, as did the elements around navigation – from using nautical maps to making their very own sextants.

Bottle Divers

The Indian Ocean provided an ideal setting for the challenge of making their own Bottle Divers, and learning that science can be amazing when you get “hands on” with such experiments.

Virtual Reality Machine

As they crossed the Pacific Ocean the older sections were talked through how to make their own virtual reality machines – which proved a trickier task than it seemed on first glance – see if you can spot the one who took the easy option!

 

Badge and Award

Competition was fierce to see who could come up with an event badge, which will be made and awarded to all those who took part. Here are a few of the great entries, plus a photo of George with his winning design.

During the event Aidan Joy, District Commissioner, had to leave his “Beach Shack” to be “presented”  with his well deserved award from Chris Ward, County Commissioner.