Monday, July 25, 2011

New Arrival

I no longer live completely alone again! Introducing Harry hamster:

Harry was chosen and named by my nephew. I promised him he could pick my new hamster after I told him I wasnt having a dog!! I also let him name him. Harry is about 7 weeks old and so is still very much a baby. He isn't used to being handled yet as you can't touch them until they are 6 weeks old otherwise the mother attacks them. However he has let me handle him a few times with no problems. He is slightly skittish and tries to jump out your hands, so I need to stay at low level with him until he is more confident but does let me pick him up.

He seems to have settled well into his new cage and was quite active this afternoon playing in his wheel. He is now snoozing but not in his house. I'm not sure if he has found his house or just isn't sure of it as he didn't have one in the pet shop.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Another busy weekend

So I had another busy weekend again this weekend (but a fun one!).

On Saturday I spent the day at the local campsite helping out with a groups camp. The plan was for me to drop one of their leaders off there and some bags of wood for their campfire and then leave again. However I ended up staying for the whole day and helping them run their activities!! I should of realised by now that when you go down to a scout event you always stay longer than you initially planned, especially when they know you aren't going to be doing much else otherwise!! I was meant to be visiting the scout shop after being at the campsite (which is only open saturdays 9.30-12pm) to collect my new beaver leader hoody. They were like 'its ok we'll text D and get him to bring it out with him as hes coming out when the shop closes anyway). So I ended up staying. It was good as I got to see the beavers who I have been helping to run have some fun in the settings of the campsite.

My first job was in charge of a lawn beanbags game. They had all 3 sections out there for a large group camp and had split them into 4 mixed section teams. So the teams were rotating around four different activities in the morning and assessed on their scouting behaviours (so teamwork, kindness etc) for three of the activities. Mine was the easiest activity to score as I just added up their beanbag score and thats what got put down. However they still had to act as a team so I would take points of them if they started to gloat over getting a higher individual score than someone on their team instead of saying well done. One scout nearly lost all of his points as he kept being really patronising to the younger cubs and beavers instead of being encouraging and he knew he was doing it. So lawn beanbags was basically a target was laid on the ground and from a certain distance back they had to throw the beanbags and try and get the highest possible score (50 was the bullseye and they had 6beanbags so the highest they could get was 300). They were also playing parachute games, snakes and ladders and making tincan pancakes.

Tincan pancakes are basically what they sound like! You take an empty tincan clean it all out, at the end with the lid already removed cut a square out the side so you can slide a tealight candle in and out easily. At the other end of the can make some holes just under the lid all the way round the sides so the heat has somewhere to escape from. You then put the tiniest of drops of oil on the top of the can (where you still have a lid), light a tealight candle and put it under the tincan. Once the oil has heated up you put on a tiny amount of batter and wait for it to cook (takes about 10mins to cook each tincan pancake). The kids love doing it as its something different but it is quite a long process for a mouthful of pancake (as thats basically the amount of pancake you have once its cooked!).

It was then time for lunch which was sandwiches, veg (raw carrot, raw pepper and cucumber), fruit and a packet of crisps. At mealtimes as a leader you get to stand there and try and get them to queue orderly and patiently and generally contain the chaos and make sure all kids and any invited guests to your camp (so important people in the district or those who teaching the kids a skill you dont possess) have got food and then you can have some. As I wasnt expecting to stay and they hadn't catered for me I waited until right of the very end and had what was left over (still got a ham sandwich, pepper,a banana and a packet of salt and vinegar crisps). You always cater for 2 or 3 people over who you are expecting for any unexpected drop ins and they had some people not turn up so they had tons of food!

In the afternoon they did a scavenger hunt and I made sure none of the other teams were stealing others items. They also made camp donuts which I helped them run. Camp donuts are amazing and can be done at home on the stove as well! You need to make some pancake batter up. You then take a slice of bread, butter it, then put a filling of your choice on (jam, lemon curd, choc buttons and marshmallows all work well!), fold the bread in half like a sandwich and cut into two. You then dip the two bits of bread into the batter and place into a hot frying pan and fry them like a pancake until the batter is cooked (this only takes a couple of minutes). As soon as they are out of the pan you roll them in sugar and voila camp donuts made!! This is the way this group made them, but my scout group make them a slightly different way. Instead of using pancake batter we butter both sides of the bread and make up like previously stated. once they are cut into two you roll them in sugar first (the sugar sticks to the butter), wrap them in tinfoil and place them on the edges of the fire in the embers, then leave them for about 5minutes (depending on how hot the fire is) and then take them out and camp donuts are made. Both ways are good!

Thats pretty much all I did on saturday.

Yesterday I went to Fantasy Island at Skegness with my friends for the day. It was kind of a stag do for one of them as he gets married on saturday but didnt want a traditional stag do! It was a good day with lots of laughs and plenty of rides. A few photos were taken but not on my camera so I'm still waiting for those to be put on facebook.