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Scouts and Explorers Winter Weekend

Last weekend the Scouts and Explorers packed up and headed off in the minibus for their winter weekend away at Dunluce Guide House. Once there, after setting up the hostel and unloading all the goodies brought by the Tesco delivery van, everything was set for a great weekend ahead.
On Saturday the Scouts headed off for various hikes around the North Coast. This allowed all participants to use and improve their map reading skills, as they each took turns to lead the group on the hike. Meanwhile the explorers went biking in the dunes. On returning to hostel, we welcomed two new scouts, four explorers and a leader, with their investiture ceremony taking place while abseiling the cliffs of Dunluce Castle. On Saturday evening everyone enjoyed a delicious Christmas dinner cooked this year by the explorers. This was followed by party games, including the After Eight Challenge, and ‘IbbleDibble’. After a leisurely breakfast on Sunday morning the Scouts headed out to complete an incident hike, including stretcher rescue on the cliffs, blind travail and dismantling a bomb. The weekend came to a close on Sunday afternoon when it was time to pack up and return to the scout hall. We are all looking forward to our next adventure! We would like to thank Carolyn, Trevor and Sarah for the goodies, and Helen, Jeremy and Sarah who joined us for dinner on Saturday.
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Remembrance Day Parade

All sections of the group joined the local Remembrance Day Parade on Sunday, and attended the subsequent service at First Ballymoney Presbyterian Church.
This parade has grown in recent years and it was good to see all the other youth organisations out on the day. Scouting was represented by both Ballymoney Scout group and 4th Antrim Scouts.
Earlier that day the Scouts and Explorers took the honour of laying the wreath at the cenotaph.
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Arrangements for Remembrance Day Parade

The Remembrance Day Parade will take place on Sunday 09/11/2014. Following are the arrangements for the all sections:
13:45    Meeting at  Townhead Street Car Park  Dress – Full Uniform (Please bring a coat for wet weather)
13:45    Roll Call, head count and collect permission forms
The parade will go straight down the Main Street, turn left and go to First Ballymoney Presbyterian Church. The church service will last approximately 1 hour.  On leaving the church, the parade will turn right, go up to the roundabout, proceed along Queen Street and Church Street. The parade will then dismiss on High Street.
16:45    Collection from High Street
It is important that your child attend this as it will complete their Promise Challenge Badge requirements.  Please can you ensure that everyone attend.  We will need parent helpers to walk alongside the Parade, you do not have to attend the church service but will be needed for the return Parade, you will probably want to be there to watch your child Parade and take some photographs anyway.

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Friday Night Is Pancake Night

Friday night saw the Scouts and Explorers taking up the challenge of cooking pancakes. Each patrol cooked their own pancakes and then had the choice of their fillings – chocolate spread, marshmallows, jam as well as the traditional lemon and sugar.
Once cleared away the pancake races started, I’m not sure anyone actually knows who won!!
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Master at Arms Badge

The Scouts and Explorers visited Causeway Company of Archers to complete their Master at Arms badge.
master at arms
There are three main requirements to complete the badge.

  1. The Scouts attend regular training sessions and that they show improvement in their skills.
  2. The Scouts know the safety rules associated with the activity and demonstrate their use
  3. That they take part in a competition

After the safety talk and a few practice rounds, an Olympic Challenge got underway, which was hotly contested completion eventually won by Jack (congratulations Jack). During this completion Chris and Mark questioned the scouts on safety, and equipment.
The last session of the evening was the individual knock out competitions, where everyone had three lives and target to aim for, the problem was that every round the target reduced and so did the lives.
Everyone who attended completed the badge.
Out thanks go to Chris and Mark of the Causeway Company of Archers for providing an excellent evening for the scouts.
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First Hike of 2014

The first hike of 2014 took place last weekend with a visit to Slemish, it was a good excuse to stretch the legs on the walk / scramble with everyone reaching the summit, and most of the explorers and scouts choosing to go for a run. The weather stayed fine on the 150 meter climb.
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Swimming Badges

The scouts visited Ballymoney leisure centre on Friday to start their staged swimming awards, everyone who attended completed level 1 with most completing level 2 as well. Our thanks go out to all at Ballymoney leisure centre for accommodating us.
The explorers decided it was time that they got their feet wet with a visit to Lisburn Leisure Pool, not much swimming was done but they all had fun playing on the slides and chutes, they finished off their evening with the traditional post swim fare of KFC.

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Chocolate Challenge

Once again the chocolate challenge has raised its head. In patrols the scouts and explorers designed a chocolate bar which included coming up with ingredients, naming it, designing its wrapper and this year creating an advertising slogan.
Entrants were varied with the Maple Bar which main ingredient was Maple syrup, Cookie crumble which included chocolate chip cookies and popping candy and this year’s winner was designed by the explorers and promptly called HLD (Hard Lad Dave) this is the explorers we are talking about!! Ingredients included every kind of chocolate you could possibly imagine as well as the engine from a 1986 Vauxhall Cavalier!!!!
Then came the fun part where everyone got to make and taste their own creations with the majority of the ingredients having to be substituted for an edible version.
Next year we might even try marketing these chocolate delights to the unsuspecting  public.
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Scouts and Explorers Christmas Break

The last night for Scouts and Explorers before the Christmas break is Friday the 20th December.
This is a non uniform night, but people should come wearing something festive!
We will return on Friday 10th January for the chocolate challenge.
Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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Explorer Christmas Trip

On Sunday the Explorers went karting for their Christmas trip at Raceview in Ballymena.
Harry won, with David showing he had hidden talents to take second place.

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ASDA Bag Pack

The Scouts, Explorers and parents spent the day bag packing at ASDA in Coleraine where a fantastic figure of £935.03 was raised. The money goes towards the Croatia trip and the planned group camp.
Our thanks go out to all customers, staff of ASDA for their generosity and making a hard day’s work enjoyable.

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Archery for Scouts and Explorers

The Scouts and Explorers visited Causeway Company of Archers for an Archery tasting session.
After the safety talk and a few practice rounds, an Olympic Challenge got underway.
The last session of the evening was the team competitions, where everyone in the team shot three arrows and all the scores were all added together to find the winning team.
This evening was the first of two which will enable the scouts to gain their Master at Arms badge. The second evening is planned for the end of January 2014.
Out thanks go to Chris and Stuart-Lee of the Causeway Company of Archers for providing an excellent evening for the scouts.
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Ballymoney Scout Group at Ballymoney's Remembrance Sunday Parade

Ballymoney Scout Group had an impressive turnout this year and took part in Sunday’s Remembrance Day activities.  This parade has grown in recent years and it was good to see all the other youth organisations out on the day. Scouting was represented by both Ballymoney Scout group and 4th Antrim Scouts from Scouting Ireland in the town.
David ‘Sheer Khan’ and his Cubs laid a wreath in the morning following on from the Beavers last year, and we were well represented all day.
Jonny, Group Scout Leader, wants to pass on his thanks to all the Leaders, Parents and exec members who helped make it such a good day as well as congratulating all sections on their impeccable representation of the Group. Many local people commented on how well everyone looked and behaved, including the Beavers, who were amongst the youngest members of the parade and did the whole long walk without complaint.
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Scout BBQ

We are planning to hold our annual BBQ on Friday 6th September at the Drumaheglis Marina. All scouts, explorers and their families are invited to join us from 7pm to 9:30pm. The cost will be £3 per person and this will cover all your food and drink.
Please confirm attendance with Kevin (07775632415) or Helen (07739287856) by Tuesday 3rd September so that we can have sufficient supplies!
Looking forward to seeing you all!

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Opportunity for Volunteers

Ballymoney Scout Group has grown very successfully over the past few years to nearly 90 young people  being members across our 4 sections.  (Beavers aged 6-8, Cubs aged 8-10, Scouts aged 10-14 and Explorers aged 14-18).
As with all growth comes change.  We now have vacancies for Volunteers at all sections within the group. Not all volunteers have to work with children directly – we have need of fundraisers, committee members, supporters and community liaisons.  Everyone in the group is a volunteer working towards shared goals.
This is an exciting opportunity for you to bring your skills, knowledge and sense of fun to a dynamic group working within your local community. We recognise everyone has different levels of spare time they can commit, and as such have opportunities ranging from 2-3 hours a week to an hour once in a blue moon.
If you would like to know more, please contact us.
Did you know?

  • There are nearly 500000 scouts in the UK (all sections and volunteers)
  • There are nearly 30 million scouts worldwide

Some common myths?

  • Scouting is not just for boys;
  • Girls have been a part of the adventure since 1976.
  • Scouting is not a Christian Organisation;
  • We are a multi-faith movement.
  • Scouting is not for everyone;
  • Yet 30,000 Young people are desperate to join.
  • Scouting is not linked to the army;
  • We’re the largest membership organisation in the world working for peace.
  • Scout Leaders are not just male;
  • 44% of our leaders are female.
  • Scouts do not say dyb dyb dyb
  • They haven’t done so since the 1960’s…but they still do their best!
  • Scouting is not about Bob-a-Job week;
  • But it is good for getting you a job!
  • Scouts do not just wear green;
  • They think green too.
  • Scouts do not sing Ging Ganh Goolie;
  • The tunes of Paul McCartney and Jarvis Cocker belted out were far more popular.
  • Scouting does not just happen in a Scout Hut;
  • After all, you can’t do over 200 adventurous activities inside!
  • Scouting is not just about tying knots;
  • It’s pretty hard to tie one while sailing, climbing or parascending.
  • Not all Scouts can be cool;
  • But these manage somehow…

David Beckham
Richard Branson

Richard Hammond
Jamie Oliver
Norman Cook ‘Fat Boy Slim’
Bear Grylls

Whats in it for you?
With a waiting list of over 30,000 children and young people, the data from the impact study can help you to encourage more adults to join Scouting as volunteers. You can use this information in school gate conversations or your publicity material to show why being a volunteer in Scouting is a great opportunity for adults in your area.
A full package of benefits
Scouting can offer a unique and interrelated package of benefits, these include:

  • having fun
  • having good friendships
  • taking part in activities
  • contributing to the community
  • improving life chances in terms of education and employment
  • building confidence and commitment to others.

Over a third of adult volunteers said that it was unlikely or impossible that they would have had the opportunity to gain these benefits without Scouting.
Developing skills
Scouting helps adults to develop a range of skills. In particular:

  • 91 % of volunteers said that Scouting had helped them to develop key skills, such as leadership, teamwork, character development and social skills.
  • 97 % said that being involved helped them with relationship building.
  • 97 %  said that Scouting helped them develop their volunteering activity including contributing to the community, improved understanding of the community and improved skills for volunteering.
  • 95 % said that Scouting helped them improve their physical skills, including the improved ability to cope with outdoor condition
  • Some 41 %of organisations reported that a job applicant’s involvement in Scouting would be a positive influence on their appointment. Organisations felt that staff who had been involved in Scouting were above average across a range of key attributes related to key Scouting qualities, including understanding of values, respect for others, teamwork ability, confidence, social skills, leadership ability, contribution to the community.

We welcome interest from all members of the community, if you would like further information or to chat about different roles please contact us.

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BBQ on the Beach

The Scouts and Explorers joined 4th Antrim for their end of year BBQ on Friday evening
After the silly beach games, everyone retired to get their fill of burgers and hotdogs.
Unfortunately the weather was a little wet, not that it stopped us having fun, making new friends or having a good feed!!
Our thanks go to 4th Antrim for the invite, and we’ll see you soon.
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Camp Skills Day

IMG_1402The day started by helping local residents with a clean-up in Macosquin village; this goes towards the Global Challenge.
Then over to Kevin’s house for a day of camp skills including putting up tents, setting the site, collecting fire wood, using axes and bow saws, lighting fires with some backwoods cooking. Chocolate cake was on hand for afternoon tea, as the Scouts and Explorers enjoyed the sunshine. Then a few more practical skills of using Tilly lamps and stoves, before heading off to Downhill Beach for a mad and sandy game of rugby.
Once back, supper was had, flasks were sorted and gear packed for a short hike to the bivi site where the scouts and explorers would bed down for the night under the stars.
After a windy but dry night back down the hill for bacon butties, hot chocolate and the cartoon network.
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Explorers Ski Trip

Ballymoney Explorers recently met up with Mytholmroyd Explorers for a Ski trip to Kranska Gora in Slovenia. Good weather and fantastic snow conditions meant that even the novices were guaranteed a great weeks skiing.  All the Explorers had a lesson every day from our ski instructor ‘Tomislav Vrhovec’, and he kept them on their toes improving their skiing every day. By the end of the week everyone had successfully skied a long red run with most tacking a black run.  After a hard days skiing we headed back to the hostel for tea before heading aback out again for the nights activities such as night skiing, tobogganing  and swimming, then back to the hostel for supper and free time before bed. On the last night all the explorers headed out into town to for a meal, and with all the local cuisine to choose from they settled for pizza!!

Skiing 2013
Skiing 2013

Who can ski?
Who can ski?

Food!
Food!

Going Up!
Going Up!

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Founders Day

Ballymoney Cubs and Scouts joined other members of the association as well as members from Scouting Ireland to celebrate Founders Day last Sunday 24th February.
Founders Day celebrates the birth of Baden Powell (22nd February 1857) the founder of Scouting.
This year a special Parade and Scouts Own took place in Londonderry as the city is celebrating its year as the City of Culture. Over 1400 Scouts from County Londonderry and County Donegal paraded through the city and were warmly welcomed by the residents; the parade crossed the peace bridge and finished with a Scouts Own in the newly erected events tent. All participants received a commemorative scarf and woggle which can be worn for the next month.
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Chocolate Challenge

Once again the chocolate challenge has raised its head. In patrols the scouts and explorers designed a chocolate bar which included coming up with ingredients, naming it, designing its wrapper and, in the case of the explorers, even creating an advertising jingle.
Entrants were varied with the Ulster Fry Bar which included bacon and eggs, The Sugar Rush which was true to its name and would have you bouncing off the ceiling, and this year’s winner was the Qwa-Bang which was designed by the explorers and contained a lock of Bob Marley’s dreads, tears of a gypsy, iron, titanium and chicken nuggets!!!!
Then came the fun part where everyone got to make and taste the Qwa-Bang with the majority of the ingredients having to be substituted for an edible version.
Not sure that this would make them their fortune on Apprentice or Dragons Den though…Choc 01 Choc 02 Choc 03

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District Explorer Chill Out Night

On Friday 18th January Explorers from the district came together to chill out during their exams by watching movies, eating pizza and generally relaxing.  The opportunity to use Dunluce Guide House for the evening was too good to miss in providing a chance to provide a district wide Explorer event. This is just the first too, with a number of activities planned for later in the year such as Karting in April.

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Scouts & Explorers December update

The Scouts and Explorers had a busy start to the month of December with a bag pack at Asda raising a fantastic £469. Thanks go to all those who helped as well as the staff and customers of Asda Coleraine.
The Explorers joined in with the Scouts’ activities on silly team building events that included making human pyramids, scrums, carrying relays and a mass game of Twister.
The Explorers visited the University of Ulster Fencing Club and spent an enjoyable evening learning how to fence; a return visit is planned in February.
The Scouts went ten pin bowling for their Christmas trip and called into McDonalds for their supper.
Scouts and Explorers finished for Christmas on the 21st December and start back again on the 11th January.

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Bag Packing at Asda

On Saturday 1st December, we were delighted to have many volunteers from Scouts, Explorers and their parents to assist in our fundraising Bag Packing at Asda, Coleraine.
We raised a fantastic amount of £469, and would like to thank Asda, its staff & customers for their continued and generous support.

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Scouts and Explorers Winter Weekend

On Friday 23rd November the Scouts and Explorers packed up and headed off in the minibus for their winter weekend away at Dunluce Guide House. Once there, after setting up the hostel and unloading all the goodies brought by the Tesco delivery van, everything was set for a great weekend ahead.
On Saturday the Scouts and Explorers headed off for various hikes around the North Coast. This allowed all participants to use and improve their map reading skills, as they each took turns to lead the group on the hike. On returning to the hostel the Scouts and Explorers were joined by four Cubs who are about to come up from Cubs to Scouts. After hot chocolate and cake the young people undertook a number of challenges including building a free standing tower out of newspaper and following a blind trail.
The group then welcomed two new scouts with their investiture ceremony taking place in the grounds of Dunluce Castle. On Saturday evening everyone enjoyed a delicious Christmas dinner cooked by the patrol leaders and assistant patrol leaders. This was followed by party games, including the After Eight Challenge, and ‘IbbleDibble’.

After a leisurely breakfast on Sunday morning the Scouts headed out to complete an incident hike, including first aid, building a fire off the ground and completing the invisible assault course. Some of the explorers went off biking down to the dunes.

 
 
The weekend came to a close on Sunday afternoon when it was time to pack up and return to the scout hall. We are all looking forward to our next adventure!

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Police visit the Scouts and Explorers

Last Friday the Community Police called into the hall to speak with the Scouts and Explorers about the dangers and implications of drugs and alcohol misuse.
They brought with them the display boxes and pictures of the different type of drugs commonly used in Ballymoney, and discussed the dangers of drug use as well as the implications of a criminal record.
Everyone then got the opportunity of wearing beer goggles, which are goggles that make your sight slightly skewed so it is difficult to walk in a straight line, this was great fun.

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Ballymoney Explorers Join Belfast County Young Leader Training

Two Explorers from Ballymoney recently joined the Belfast County Young Leader training weekend at Crawfordsburn. Conor and Daniel, who are both doing service with the Ballymoney Cubs for their Duke of Edinburgh and Chief Scout awards, travelled to Crawfordsburn on the 16th November for a packed weekend of classes and activities to develop their leadership skills. The weekend addressed a range of topics such as styles of leadership, dealing with challenging behaviour, scouting for young people with special needs and communication. It also provided an opportunity to get to know Explorer Young Leaders from a variety of groups in the Belfast and  Down Counties and take part in a number of games and activities such as blind trails, climbing and duck-duck-goose.
All the Explorers have recently completed training on safeguarding  as part of their programme in preparation for Young Leader roles within the Group and other youth organisations. Conor and Daniel are now starting their first of 4 missions to achieve the Young Leader Belt.

Blind trail to develop leadership and team working

Explorers playing duck-duck-goose

Classes at YL Training

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Remembrance Day

All sections of the group joined the local Remembrance Day Parade last Sunday, and attended the subsequent service at 1st Ballymoney Presbyterian Church.

 
 
 
 
 
 
Earlier that day a small delegation from the group were present at the wreath laying ceremony, with the Beavers taking the honour of laying the wreath at the cenotaph.
 
 

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NI Explorer Belt & Expedition Canada 2014

Northern Ireland Explorer Belt Expedition & Northern Ireland Explorer Expedition Canada 2014

There is planned a NI Explorer Belt Expedition in Europe in the summer of 2013. This will be open to Explorer Scouts and Network Scouts who are over the age of 16.
Full information on the requirements for the Explorer Belt can be viewed on the international page of www.scoutsni.com.
There is also planned an Explorer Scout Expedition to Canada departing on the 28th June 2014 for 14/16 days. The camp will be based at the National Park camp site, in the Greater Toronto area.
A meeting for all those wishing to attend as participants will be held on Thursday 18th October 2012 at Ardnavally at 7.00 pm (participants).
It is expected to have firm details of trip and likely costs for this meeting although our original cost of no more than £1,300 still applies. Until we know the numbers it will impossible to tie down costs.

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Ballymoney Explorer Scouts SKI TRIP 2013

Ballymoney Explorer Scouts SKI TRIP 2013
As a lot of the explorers have requested that we have a skiing trip, we have decided to run this in February 2013. The dates are provisionally booked the week of Saturday 16th to Saturday 23rd
We will be stopping at the Radmans Hostel in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia. The Hostel is within walking distance of the slopes, the meals are based on full board and they are very good.
We will meet up with the other explorers from Mytholmroyd.
We plan to run a number of activities on an evening including night skiing, swimming, skating, bum boarding and road tobogganing. These will all be included within the price.
The cost for the trip will be £750 per person this will be subsidised by fund raising, so individually the cost should reduce.
As we need to get the flights booked ASAP we request a non-returnable deposit of £100 with the attached acceptance form.
The payments then will need to be made in stages:
£150 October
£150 November
£100 December
£100 January
£150 February
Reductions will be made for any fund-raising from February’s payments.
If you wish to discuses this or require any further info please speak with myself or any other of the explorer leaders.
Kevin & Helen

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Ballymoney Scout Group Join Coleraine District at the Jubilee Camp

Bad weather and flooding didn’t stop Ballymoney Scout Group from having an amazing time at the Coleraine District Jubilee Camp on the 22nd – 24th June. A last minute change of venue to Castlerock, where Hezlett Primary School and The Peter Thompson Hall came to the rescue, allowed almost 300 young people and adults to celebrate in style. Saturday saw a slightly brighter day which allowed all the activities to go ahead.

Explorers were tasked with making their way to Coleraine (having been dropped off at random points in the area). Along the way they had a list of tasks to complete, including cooking food with a stranger and finding a rubber duck.
The Scouts enjoyed a number of activities including archery, climbing, demolition assault course, laser tag as well as a short hike. The Cubs enjoyed miniature raft building, climbing, a nature ramble, and an obstacle course. Shani Steenson a mother of one of the cubs and a helper over the weekend said “it is great to see everyone mixing together and enjoying themselves even the adults had a go at the activities”.

 
 
 
 
 
 
The Beavers arrived Saturday lunch time and spent the afternoon enjoying beach games, before joining the Scouts and Cubs for a fair and then a campfire sing song. After a night to recover more games and crafts were enjoyed by all on Sunday morning before a Scouts Own led by the young people and attended by the Lord Lieutenant of County Londonderry.
The whole weekend was a great success and enjoyed by all. The young people are already looking forward to the next Coleraine District events for their sections when they will meet up with all their new friends again.