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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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Mang & Baggys Halloween party and BBQ!

Mang & Baggys Halloween party and BBQ!
Tonight was Halloween with Mang and Baggy. Games and bobbing and dangling doughnuts and skeletons and quizzes and pinyata were all happening in a very spooky hall.  Where else but cubs would have a BBQ at the end of October. Very impressive costumes were on display.
A great night had by all.
Many thanks to Tesco for donating pumpkins for everyone and to McAtamneys for helping with the BBQ goodies.
No cubs next week, see you all on Remembrance Sunday.
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Camp Skills Day

Saturday brought the scouts 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. Homemade cookies (thanks to Jake’s mum) were on hand for afternoon tea, as the Scouts and enjoyed the sunshine in between the showers. The scouts went out to Garvagh woods to look for silver birch and potential bivi sights (a bit more map work is needed I think).
Once back, supper was had (chocolate cake), flasks were sorted and gear packed for a short hike to the bivi site where a wide game was played and everyone 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 a film.
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Cubs at Shere Khan's Christmas Indoor Camp!!

17 Cubs went to the guide house this weekend for the last outing of the year.  Shere Khan (ably assisted by Mrs Shere Khans artistic endeavours!) had a full itinerary. Hathi rejoined us for the experience and Baggy made her signature waffle dish – you’ll notice the cubs with their self-designed international sign language ‘WE WANT WAFFLE’ sign in one of the pics.
Cubs cleaned up the beach,’flaffed & wafted’ fish in a Polar Frenzy, had magic carpet rides, passed the pudding, made finger puppets, did a night trek, built towers from spaghetti and marshmallows, designed a cubs christmas bayeux tapestry, watched movies and even squeezed in some sleep!
All in all a great time was had.
Many thanks to the parents who helped out with the programme.
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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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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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Patrol Leaders Training Weekend

A group of prospective Patrol Leaders and Existing Patrol Leaders met up at Crawfordsburn this weekend for a packed weekend of classes and activities to develop their leadership and teambuilding skills. The weekend addressed a range of topics such as styles of leadership, dealing with challenging behaviour, communication, promoting scouting, risk assessments and program panning, by allowing the young people to try different activities and games such as the trading post, building a shelter, and the blind trail. It also provided an opportunity to get to know Scouts from across Northern Ireland such as Carryduff, Ballyclare, Ballymoney and Belfast .
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St George's Day Arrangements

Sunday 21st April is our annual St Georges Day Parade (Patron Saint of Scouting). This year Ballymoney is organising the District event.
We will be meeting at Townhead Street car park at 2:30pm, in full uniform (with all badges sewn on) and dark shoes (eg school shoes).
The parade will proceed through the town to a service in First Ballymoney Presbyterian Church. After the service we will parade back to the car park.
We also require parental support to marshal the parade – if you might be able to help please contact Kevin or your section leader.

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Patrol Leaders Training Weekend

A group of perspective Patrol Leaders and Existing Patrol Leaders met up at Crawfordsburn this weekend for a packed weekend of classes and activities to develop their leadership and teambuilding skills. The weekend addressed a range of topics such as styles of leadership, dealing with challenging behaviour, communication, promoting scouting, risk assessments and program planning, by allowing the young people to try different activities and games such as the trading post, building a shelter, and the blind trail. It also provided an opportunity to get to know Scouts from across Northern Ireland such as Carryduff, Ballyclare, Roe valley, Ballymoney and Castlerock .

Mastered The Nails
Mastered The Nails

 
Shelter Building
Shelter Building

Relaxing Between Activities
Relaxing Between Activities

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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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Cubs Dunluce Weekend

Cubs had a night away in the Dunluce Guide House this weekend. For many it was their first experience of being away with cubs and they all did brilliantly!  There were treks round Dunluce Castle, exploring Portbradden, Invisible Assault Courses, Nightlines, Tower Building.
Our honorary Baloo (Kevin – GSL) explained Trails and Signcraft – which naturally led to a beach expedition to follow a trail.  Silly games abounded and of course we were never far from (as Enid Blyton may have said…) lashings and lashings of hot chocolate.  Baloo prepared his signature Eggy Bread, Bagheera prepared her (now legendary) waffles and we all ate like troopers. Hathi ran about and kept everyone fit and glowing and entertained and Akela tried very hard to sleep….
A great weekend. Many thanks to all the Cubs for making it a success and to the Leaders for all their hard work and input.  Akela (Jonny), Bagheera (Anne), Hathi (Ian), Hon. Baloo (Kevin) also thanks to Jasmine the Explorer for all her assistance and to Helen for helping out.
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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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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.