Our Journey to WSJ

This blog will document the journey of Unit 95 Y Dreigiau'r Mynydd from the south of Wales all the way up to the World Scout Jamboree in North America 2019 Hope you enjoy
Living in: Cardiff, United Kingdom
  • Day209

    Beach Day

    August 24 in the United Kingdom

    As we met at the car park for 10am on a very damp day excitement was brewing for the days activities, we first started by throwing a nerf dart around in a field before going to down to the beach where as a team we built a castle. We managed to build a mini river and accidentally gave ourselves a little geography lesson on rivers. After we had done this we decided to go into the sea for a little dip but to our surprise the sea was more Mediterranean than South Wales. We then went back to Joe's van where we all dried off and went for lunch and then Joe had to get us out of the warm van, which was a challenge in itself, to go and play beach Cricket which had many appeals for out majority made by Joe and Evan. During this game the rain started pouring down and the wind became really bad but we all decided to press on regardless (as all Scouts should) until we finished the game and retreated to the closed down Cafe which we stood in the nice dry doorway, and then at the end of a very damp day got to head home. We already can’t wait for next meet up especially as the jamboree is less than a year away!Read more

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  • Day129

    Cardiff Boulders

    June 5 in the United Kingdom

    Boulders Sleep Over
    by Tomos Watkins and Maya Williams
    This past weekend a few members of our unit completed training to be members of the Explorer Service Team, known as EST at the All Wales Scout Camp, this is a recount of our adventure.
    We arrived at the ungodly hour, for teenagers at least, of 9a.m. at Bayden Scout Hall, excited for the day ahead. Starting straight away with an icebreaker exercise to get to know the rest of our fellow members of EST, followed by a team building exercise consisting of constructing a bridge… taking longer for some than others but it was completed by all.
    After this we were given descriptions of each of the different roles we would have the option of doing. We were told about all the different bases and what we would be doing on all of them. From showing participants how to make paracord bracelets to belaying we had a lot options. Right from the start we were informed of how important our role as EST was for the smooth running of the camp. After this we were told about the at this point famous pink high vis vest we would be wearing. This was met with laughter and the feeling of belonging. Once we had put our names down for which activity we wanted to do we took a break for arguably the most important part… LUNCH!
    After a bare minimum of 4 chicken burgers each, we started the next activity. We split up into two teams to play a weird but enjoyable team building version of Jenga. Meanwhile teams went off to do a picture hunt around IKEA. This was all greatly enjoyed. I enjoyed this greatly as we all got to know the other members of the Explorer Service Team. Finally, once, all the members of the EST were back and we said our goodbyes… for now!
    Now, with the training finished, the real fun could begin.
    On Saturday evening Unit 95, Y Dreigiau’r Mynydd and Unit 96, The Welsh Baabarians congregated in Boulders for a night of climbing and various other activities. We were lucky to have climbers and instructors to give up their evening to look after us, we all enjoyed it very much. After our climbing activity, we had a quiz put together by Rhian and Tammy, one of The Baabarian’s Leaders with round consisting of general knowledge, pop culture, dingbats and celebrity faces. Followed by a fabulous fashion show created using black bags. All the participants, designers and creators did an amazing job, everyone looked fabulous! The models were confident and very good at strutting their stuff.
    With the help of the leaders some of the Unit prepared breakfast, cooking copious amounts of bacon while others helped pack up. At 9a.m. we said our goodbyes and left Boulders to find 49th Cardiff Scout Hall. We set off on a very wet and miserable morning to walk to our Scout Hall. Some of us decided it was a good idea to utilise their time by eating McDonald’s and others kept on walking, once the first batch arrived Joe set up a PowerPoint presentation on our goals for the Jamboree. These are targets we set our self to improve ourselves as people. We waited for the rest of the unit to arrive before we began. After our informative presentation on educational, physical, cultural, spiritual and social goals which we split up into groups to discuss the possible things we could do to improve ourselves. From “take up meditation” to “be sixteen” we had a wide variety.
    With this done we had an informal chat about how the Unit is doing. One thing that came up was unit merchandise and our badges they’re available for £2.50 (please email joe.holmes@scoutscymru.co.uk if you are interested in ordering some) and will go to helping fundraise our Unit going to the Jamboree. Between badges and the popular idea of unit bucket hats we should be the most fashionable unit at the jamboree. Now that this was done there was nothing left to be done but was tidy up and look forward to our next meet up as a Unit!
    Thanks for reading and stay tuned for the next one
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  • Day46

    Mother's Day Cafe

    March 14 in the United Kingdom

    By Tomos Watkins and Maya Williams

    Our evening started congregated at Cardiff Met, Cyncoed.  All excited for the events coming up in the next 24 hours and to see each other once again.  Of course, the standing around didn’t last long as the leaders sent us out into the rain for a Photo Hunt Challenge.  The challenge would test our skills that would be essential for a Jamboree, initiative, sense of direction and teamwork.

    Once out of Cardiff Met, most groups made their way to Roath Park which was unfortunately closed as it was late.  Instead, they made their way down to the shopping district to discover Joe’s Ice Cream Parlour was shut, to their disappointment.  

    Some people made a quick stop at the local Tesco’s to stock up on essentials for the evening, even stopping and giving some of our food to a homeless man.  Exhausted, finally at the Scout Hall for the evening, we chilled out ahead of our busy day, a championship of Mario Kart ensued, with each race getting closer and closer before Harrison won.

    At 8 am we awoke to pancakes cooked by the Leaders with the help of Tom & Amy.  A debate was started when Tom and Jimmy couldn’t decide whether a smooth batter or a lumpy batter was best.  After a well-cooked breakfast, we split up into teams to help work out what was needed to be done for the day.  

    The kitchen team were responsible for making sandwiches and cutting cake.   The table and chairs team were responsible for navigating the lock up and setting up the tables.  And finally, the plates team setting the tables with table cloths, flowers and cutlery, we all did our bit to pack away as quickly as possible.

    The Afternoon Tea started slowly, with only a couple tables filled, but after a slow start, customers started to come flooding in, with us even having to assemble several other tables.  Our customers really did enjoy themselves, when speaking to Zoe who had come along with her Nan, she said “My nans having a lovely time, and so am I”.

    Everyone really did seem to enjoy themselves and that was a great feeling for us.  We want people to enjoy our events as much as we do!

    With business booming, we started to become comfortable with our roles as waiting staff.  The day went off without a hitch, with one parent passing comment on leaving “A very well done, we have been looked after well & everything’s been delicious”.

    After our amazing afternoon we cleaned up the hall and thanked the leaders for an eventful and fun filled camp which we hope there will be more to come!
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  • Day15

    Barry

    February 11 in the United Kingdom

    Hike 1
    By Tomos Watkins and Maya Williams

    While spending your Saturday morning hiking through the wet and windy wilderness may not be everyone’s idea of fun but it is for scouts. We arrived at the (not so) reasonable time of 9a.m. in the carpark of Asda. This benefitted most as it gave them the chance to go and buy as much chocolate and sweets as they could carry. Once this was done we set off. Quickly getting off the beaten track we met the first obstacle. A steep grassy hill. This of course would normally be no problem but due to the non-stop rain for the last day had turned the normal walk into a slippery slide which made things difficult. Though enjoyable for onlookers it was easier for some than others. Hiking Boots and waterproofs were ideal however some went for the fashionable and modern look coming equipped with trainers and leggings. Obstacle two was easier however Dafydd, always up for a challenge decided to make things harder by carrying 4 cinder blocks he found while walking over the beach. After walking through the caravan park and Dafydd’s make shift bag finally gave in as a block landed millimeters from his toes. He decided to ditch them. Jack later found a Frisbee which was greatly enjoyed. Amy and Jack enjoyed passing the Frisbee back and forth. I did not enjoy however as Joe’s dog Cooper was under my control. He was normally well behaved however he could not contain himself any longer and tried to get to the Frisbee almost pulling me into the mud. This then set off a chain of events that meant Amy’s high fashion jeans had an unfortunate rip. On the way back we took a detour through Porthkerry Park. Not wanting the adventure to be too easy Dafydd showed off his adventurous side again by shimmying across a pipe over the river instead of the simple and boring bridge. Still smiling the unit made it to the end of Joe’s hike which they managed to complete twice with still an hour to spare.

    With this spare time, we decided to go for a day at the beach. After a short walk, we split up for some free time. Tom had been dared to go for a swim. Not being one to disappoint he went onto the beach and went swimming much to the laughter of the unit members, leaders and general public. After that it was time to meet back up and head back to Asda for our parents to try to find which wet and tired young person was theirs. When it was all said and done we all thoroughly enjoyed the hike.

    Thanks for reading our write up of our first hike. Stay Tuned for more write ups of our adventures leading up to and including the 24th World Scout Jamboree. You can follow our progress on Twitter and Instagram

    Twitter @DreigiaurMynydd
    Instagram @themountaindragonswsj
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  • Day1

    CRAI activity centre

    January 28 in the United Kingdom

    Dreigiau’r Mynydd

    Prep Camp 1- January 5th-7th 2018

    By Tomos Watkins

    After arriving in a cold wet field on a Friday night the one thing on everyone’s mind was getting their tents and sleeping kit up and ready. Once this was done (taking longer for some than others) we all went into the main activity hall to do a few different icebreaking activities to get to know everyone as this was only the second time we were all together. After we all met each other we split up into our patrols and started what we all needed to do. My patrol was in charge of setting up our projector and making sure we could watch the film. While we were doing this another patrol was slaving away in the kitchen preparing a nutritious meal of wieners and buns. This quickly became the but of all jokes and Joe’s love of fried wieners. Having filled ourselves up with oven rolls and hotdogs we settled down to watch Guardians of the Galaxy 2. Once we had finished it was an ‘early’ night (filled with lots of chatt(er)ing and laughter) to prepare for the next day’s activities.

    The next day we were woken to an alarm of classic Disney from Joe’s subwoofer. After a slow process of steadily getting more and more layers on, it was freezing cold, the entire unit were out of their tents and lining up for breakfast (with yet more wieners) which was eaten in the even colder activity hall. After everyone had eaten it was time for the day’s activities. We started off with climbing up the small wall and abseiling down while controlling ourselves with a belay device. Once we had proven our skills on the small wall it was time for the big wall. It was a challenge for everyone but we did it. After we had summited we were feeling on top of the world we came back to earth and had a quick kick around with the rugby ball.

    It was then time for activity number two which was writing up our code of conduct. While it seems boring it is a vital part of an effective jamboree unit and will ensure us the best Jamboree experience in North America 2019. We reviewed the basics that we all already knew, like always give a hand, and make sure everything is done before sitting down. We all decided on a set of reasonable rules and agreed that these rules only act to improve not take away.

    Then it was my personal favourite, backwards cooking (or backwoods cooking depending on who you ask). We all started lighting our fires before knocking up a batch of damper bread mix and started cooking. Some went for frozen Nutella that was slightly burnt from being defrosted in the middle of a roaring campfire while I went for the unit 95 classic at this point with damper bread wieners.

    After we had eaten our starter of our Michelin stared camp meal we had our free time while another patrol cooked the mains. Spicy chili con carne with nachos and all other kinds of condiments. We dug in. Once everyone was stuffed to bits with delicious spicy (some would say painful) chili my patrol and the envious job of washing up. Thanks to a thirty second lapse of concentration we had the mighty task of scraping burnt kidney beans off the bottom of a Dixie.

    We were up to the challenge though and the washing up of the messiest meal was behind us we had mine and most people’s favourite part of the weekend (and most good scout camps) was the campfire. We had a plethora of songs ranging from ‘oh you’ll never get to heaven’ to ‘fluffy sheep’ and ‘baby shark’. Having developed sore throats from all the singing, the eventual camp romance needed to be publically mocked by an entire huge group cwtch forming around the two of them. After this we all, for small moment of scouting insanity, thought it was TOOOO COLD!!!! We apologize for this as we momentarily lost all scouting respect as it is well known that all beavers, cubs, scouts and explorers (and especially our leaders) do not feel the cold, rain, mud or occasional tent flood-age. As soon as we realized this we swiftly embarked back the campfire to carry on scouting. After this went on even beyond the flawed logic and reasoning of explorers we retired to the tents. With even more chatting and giggling than the night before (my patrol would learn to regret) we eventually fell asleep.

    With only one patrol that had not yet cooked my patrol slowly rose from their slumber to cook a full English (welsh) breakfast. During this experience which we learned that I cannot cook bacon but raw eggy bread is my specialty. We served our full Welsh breakfast to hordes of hungry and tired scouts with a side of yet more wieners and oven rolls. After this another patrol had to endure the same pain we went through of scraping burnt bits of baked beans from a saucepan (moral of the story is don’t make the shortest member have to reach over the tallest to stir the beans.).

    We had four more things to do that weekend and the worst by far was having to put all the tents away and the ominous feeling of the oncoming English Lit GCSE was setting in but we would grab onto as much of the precious camp as we possibly could. We hastily packed all the tents away just so we would have more time to enjoy the great company of each other. The patrols then completed their last activity. Ours was to come up with unit names; from the silly to incredible we had a wide variety of options. Only one idea vetoed as a definite no we were off to a good start. Once we had exhausted all possible ideas we convened in the activity hall. Through a complex system of standing next to chairs we eventually decided on Y Dreigiau’r Mynydd or The Mountain Dragons. We loved it so much we couldn’t help but break out into dance as we synchronised into an incredible rendition of the “Chaa-Chaa-Slide” which can be viewed of the Welsh Scout Jamboree Contingent YouTube page.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WRj4Z3dFmk4

    Then began an intense brainstorming session for the badge design and any possible item of clothing, stationery or souvenir we could smack our branding onto. We went from normal run-of-the-mill t-shirts, hoodies, neckers and softshell jackets to the more adventurous psychedelic-paisley bucket hats with our unit name stitched in hot pink on them. We still haven’t decided on the exact shade of pink.

    The final part of the weekend was electing our two Media Champions and our one Youth Chair. All those who wanted to run went off into a separate room to prepare our statements for our electoral speech. It was an incredible electoral campaign with just as much sabotage and backroom deals as the election for the country were going to next year. The Media Champions are in charge of our social media like our Instagram page @themountaindragonswsj. At the end of it all we were sat down in the tense small room we were all huddled into like penguins with the suspense so tight you could cut the room with a knife. After a seemingly never-ending knee-drumroll Joe eventually said “Maya Williams and Tomos Watkins!!! We of course had to give our victory speeches and thanked everyone involved. After that stress-fest we had the one more election for the Youth Chair, with even more mystery and disbelief than the one before. The Youth Chair’s job is to make sure that the leaders take our views into account. After an even longer knee-drumroll Joe shouted “Kyle Hewett!!!!”

    After we had done this we all savored the last fifteen minutes of an unbelievable weekend by having one last rugby passing practice session and an overall chat before our parents arrived to pick up familiar looking tired sweaty creatures that they love so much called scouts.

    We would like to thank our incredible leaders, each deserving an insane amount of thanks for each individual role they are providing in taking us on the amazing journey to North America and the 24th World Scout Jamboree. From Rhian patching us all back up and making sure were all well fed and watered to Jimmy in providing us with more jamboree experience from 4 (yes 4!!!!) World Scout Jamborees than anyone else we know. Matt with providing us with a great management base to help us with all social media and being a cool guy, to Jasper with providing us with a great knowledge of the international scouting system. And Finally, Joe Holmes with being our unit leader, keeping all jokes leader approved and most importantly making sure we will always have an endless supply of hot dog wieners.

    Thanks for reading our first write up of the prep camp. Stay Tuned for more write ups of our adventures leading up to and including the 24th World Scout Jamboree. You can follow our progress on Twitter and Instagram

    Twitter @DreigiaurMynydd
    Instagram @themountaindragonswsj
    Read more

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