2009 – March


1st Cuffley Scout Troop, Patrol Leader, Assistant Patrol Leader course, Scouts, training

PL and APL Training Weekend Day One


Our 1st Cuffley Scout Troop training weekend started at midday on Saturday 31st January. We arrived and were paired up with our respective APLs and PLs (I was with someone who’s APL couldn’t make it!) There were logic puzzles on the walls of the Scout Hut and working together we had to try and solve them when we had spare time over the weekend. The answers were revealed the next day.

The first “proper” activity was to ask our partner three things about themselves that nobody else knew. We also had to say who we thought a good example of a leader was (mine was Gandhi) and had to report back to the rest of the group on what our partner had said. It was a really good way of getting to feel comfortable around each other, listening to each other and defining the qualities needed in a leader. Afterwards, we played a game of “Human Basket”ball, which is flibble 3pts blibble and  just Basketball with people standing on chairs instead of nets. Then we had lunch.

After lunch we were cruelly and unfairly forced to leave the Scout Hut for the bitter cold winds of the outside world. Well, I say that… We were shown some axe skills and fire lighting, for an hour or so, in groups of four. Afterwards, we went on a treasure hunt around Cuffley. We had one hour to complete a course which, at best would’ve taken us and hour and a quarter, 10-15 minutes to plan and an hour to find all the letters scattered around various places. We were given ten clues on a piece of paper and we had to find pairs of letters, which, in the right order spelt out “Now return to the Scout Hut”. Our biggest “Positive Learning points” were to elect a leader and take time to plan next time.
The next activity was run by me. I set up three activities for two teams to compete against each other in under the theme of avalanche. The first activity was Kim’s Game; twenty things were laid out on the table, all of which would be needed by someone hiking out into a blizzard, and working together the teams had to remember as many as possible in three minutes. For the second activity both teams were given “rescue teams” and enough supplies and fuel to visit three places out of four in a particular area of the town. They were asked to give the names of the three places and the order in which they should be visited. The third activity was a practical exercises; the teams had to find three hidden items, and take them, through the obstacles set up, to a stranded casualty. Unfortunately, one person was blindfold and the other two couldn’t leave the back wall of the Hut. this third game was such a success that we chose to play it an extra three times!
Then we prepared dinner; which was an ordeal in itself. In pairs, no pair were from the same patrol, the teams were given a stove, a gas bottle, ingredients and some matches (one box between everyone), if they wanted anything else (such as billie pans and plates) they had to ask the “storemaster“. After some initial confusion over left and right-handed spatulas the teams eventually produced “spaghetti bolognaise“, except one team who didn’t like bolognaise, they made meatballs. After washing up and making pancakes, we then spent an hour or so creating a game, using a large rope, skittles and footballs.


After much stalling and chatting, it was finally time for bed with Gerald watching over us. The next day we would need all the strength we could get…


APL and PL Training Day Two


After a “good night’s sleep” we were up and raring to go! We cooked our own breakfast, a fry up with eggy bread, which was good, even if it took FOREVER to wash up!

We only just finished the tidying up when everybody else arrived. After falling in we played “human basketball” only we weren’t allowed to use a ball; we used a lance instead! To score you had to stab the member of your team who was acting as a hoop with the end of it. When we finished three challenges and an axemanship session had been set up for us to work on. Each team started at a different post so everyone got the same amount of time on each activity. Therefore the order the challenges are posted in below isn’t necessarily the “right” order.
One challenge involved crossing over the car park without touching anything except some boxes and planks of wood. However, they had a limited amount of time and the crates couldn’t touch the floor either. If anyone or any crate touched the ground, the whole team had to restart. Another activity involved one member of patrol being injured and the others having to make a stretcher to transport them, to the Hospital on. They were given four poles and a large box of ropes and told that they had everything they needed, which they did. However, not everything they were given was needed to make the stretcher. The best way was to put two poles inside the sleeve holes in two zipped up coats. The final challenge was to fry an egg on a piece of tin foil, first making the fire. Unfortunately, while several teams managed to get the right idea with their eggs and “pans” it was very windy and the fires failed to stay alight. The only group which seemed to be “failing” actually dropped their egg on their floor and it was almost totally lost.
The axemanship was run with expert leader supervision with the PLs and APLs showing the others the basics.
When everybody else had gone home, the Leaders finished off with an evaluation and a final game of “Extreme Rupture Cone”!!
Cuffley Scouts rupture cone