Scouts Care for the Hospice
Our Scouts spent the weekend helping Ardgowan Hospice raise funds at the new B&Q store in Port Glasgow's opening weekend. They were delighted at the chance to help the Hospice in their efforts. They also earned community service hours which contribute towards their own Scottish Challenge badge as well as their Community Challenge. While they were there, they took the chance to help promote the Hospice's Sunset Walk fundraiser which takes place in Greenock on the evening of Saturday 24th. Thanks to all customers who contributed to a very successful weekend.
Searching the Airwaves
Our Scouts enjoyed a busy evening with the Scouts & Guides Amateur Radio Club last week when they worked towards their Communicator badge. A team of club members took them through their training including how to send and receive Morse code before they were let loose on the air. They made contact with a local Radio operator and used HF to listen to transmissions ranging from England to Canada and all over Europe and Russia. They also saw how a computer can be wired up to a radio set to give a whole other way of communicating with radio. Our Scouts would like to give a huge thanks to all the club members who turned out to make sure they had such a good time. Details of the club can be found at http://mm0tsg.wordpress.com/.
Taking The Biscuit!
The Scouts were treated to a tour of the Tunnock's Factory in Uddingston. The factory operates 24hrs a day, so it was in full production when we were taken around the shop floors. We were able to watch close-up as the ingredients were transformed into biscuits, marshmallows, chocolate and caramel and then into the teacakes and caramel wafers we know and love. The Scouts were delighted to sample some of the biscuits fresh from the factory. The night's baking included some biscuits that were destined abroad including Iceland and Saudi Arabia. Thanks to Isabel and Christine and all the staff at Tunnock's who made us feel so welcome and made sure we had a fantastic time.
Inverkip Green Gym
Down at the Green Gym
Our Scouts mucked in with the volunteers at the Green Gym in Inverkip's Daff Glen to help improve the pathway there. The group who are working towards their Community Challenge badge built some steps while others helped repair railings. They'll be helping out again at the next event when stretches of the path will be strengthened with gravel.
Christmas Bag Packing
It's taken a long time to count, and we've held off until it's been checked, re-checked and safely banked, but we can now announce that the Scouts, Explorers and Jamboree crew raised an incredible combined total of £5,857.60 at this year's Christmas bag packing in Tesco's Greenock store. Well done to everyone involved, and thanks to parents for arranging your plans to allow your children to be there! We received a great many compliments from shoppers from 'very hard working' to 'adorable'. They were very glad to see you help keep the queues down and help keep things moving. And thanks again to Tesco for choosing to give this fantastic fundraising opportunity to us. December 2013
Summer Camp Lochgoilhead 2013
What an active week for the Scouts! Summer Camp in August was a stay at the activity centre in Lochgoilhead. Everyone got to try out sailing, kayaking, canoeing, climbing, mountain biking, high ropes courses and a river run during the day. They also managed to fit in an overnight trip to Fort William and spend a few evenings fishing or playing croquet. They’re now looking forward to a big year in the new term with an exciting programme already writing itself. Photos and some video can be found in the Scout Gallery as usual. August 2013
Expedition Challenge 2013
A party of our Scouts took off to the West Highland Way in June to complete their Expedition Challenge. The four scouts walked the twenty miles from Inverarnan at the top of Loch Lomond to Inveroran Hotel near Bridge of Orchy carrying full packs. Two of the group have completed their Chief Scout Gold award with the expedition, and another has now collected the full set of eight challenge badges. A huge well done is deserved by them all for this great achievement! Photos are available in the Scout section gallery or directly here. June 2013
Following on from the previous week's venture into the snow covered Beinn An Dothaidh, a new contingent of Scouts walked up the neighbouring Beinn Dorain with the weather behaving itself once again. There was slightly less snow this time around, but due to a thaw and refreeze that had happened during the week, the snow was very hard, or had turned to thick ice. The Scouts soon found that walking without crampons was impossible and so the crampons were put to real use for the first time in a year or two. With the sun shining through every so often and teh clouds well above the summits, these new parties parties were treated to views rarely seen from Beinn Dorain. Pictures are in the Scout Gallery as usual. February 2013.
Greenock & District are running the Naturalist Badge at Finlaystone on Sunday 13th May. This is a great chance to find out about wildlife with the people who know it best.
Those wanting to come along should fill i the form in the Permission Forms section and bring it with you on the day. Please make sure you contact Andy Yarr to book your place. May 2012
Another three groups of Scouts ventured into the hills, this time to climb Ben Lomond. Although the weather nearer to home was dry and sunny later, Ben Lomond still had its blanket of Snow nearer the top, and the wind was very much a winter wind. Our first two groups made it fairly high up on the final ascent of the hill before being beaten back by the weather, along with most of the other hillwalkers who shared the hill with us that day. The wind was proving too much again.
The groups got to try out their Bothy Shelters (pictured) at lunchtime. These are a relatively recent invention that gives them shelter even on exposed areas without having to search around looking for shelter behind boulders like in the good old days. March 2011
The Cobbler 2011
A total of 16 Scouts and Leaders took to the hills in February to try out a wintry Cobbler. The hill had had a fresh fall of snow the day before, so the path was under deep snow, and the hill was in a white-out as well. That may have meant the summit wasn't going to be an option, but it also meant the Scouts got to see how challenging, and how much fun our mountains can be in winter. The groups stopped to try out their ice-axe braking - frankly there's more practice needed there ;0). The tried their hand at digging snow holes as well. Well done to all involved, especially our first-timers who surprised us all by breathing down the necks of the lead group for most of the day. It looks like we have some hardy mountaineers of the future. Photos are available in the Scout Section Gallery. February 2011
Paracord Survival Bracelets
Cord and buckles have been give out for Scouts to make their own Paracord Survival Bracelets. Check out the instructions in the Forms section and bring them back for inspection on the first night back after Gang Show. November 2010
Morrisons Bag Packing
Congratulations to everyone who worked one or both shifts at the Morrisons Bag Packing in Greenock. We managed to raise a grand total of £1502.36 towards Scout Funds. This allows us to buy and maintain the equipment we need for camps and activities, as well as subsidising our activities. We are now looking forward to our next bag packing event which we hope will take place later this year. March 2010
The snow line's a bit higher, and the snow's harder packed that it was a month ago, but it's every bit as cold and the paths are much icier now. Keeping in the spirit of the last couple of hillwalks, the latest walk up Ben Donich was chosen because the group could spend much less time wading through mud before they got high enough to be in the snow. That's because, although Ben Donich is high enough for snow (just short of a Munro), the bus is parked almost 1000ft up it's slopes at the Rest and Be Thankful.
The group set out without knowing if there would be any snow to speak of - all they could see was clouds above the lower slopes. But once they reached the clouds, they found the snow line and plenty hard ice to contend with too. That meant they put on their crampons for the first time this year.
On the way back down from the top, they found a good slope where they could practice their Ice Axe Braking. You can see pictures in the Scout Gallery and some videos including the Ice Axe Braking by to the left.
Hawk and Kestrel Patrol Camp
In December, most people are either getting in the last minute Christmas Shopping or they're snuggling up in front of the telly with a warm mug of cocoa. Not the the Hawk Patrol and the Kestrel Patrol who had their joint Patrol Camp at the bothy on the weekend before Christmas.
A total of 8 Scouts and 2 Explorers braved the cold to try out their Scouting skills including building a bivouac and fire lighting a month others. 3 of the group even braved temperatures of -2 degrees and slept out in their bivvy, waking up to a blanket of snow in the morning. Well done to everyone who took part, and thanks to Alison for providing yet another masterpiece for Lloyd's Corner.
Ben Lomond Trip
Hail Stones in June? Swimming in Loch Lomond? It must have been another 85th hillwalk on Loch Lomond. Last time we attempted this hill, the weather closed in on us, and we had to beat a hasty retreat after reaching as far as the half way point. This time round there were no such problems other than the freak hail shower which came with its cold wind. Our first timers not only managed to complete their first hill, but it was their first Munro as well. Our regulars even managed to find time for some swimming and diving in the loch before home time. Well done to everyone for a good day out. The picture gallery is available here.
Rucksack and Boots Buying Guides
Thinking about buying a rucksack, or a new pair of boots? Have a look at our buying guides first for some tips on what's needed, and what's not. These guides are aimed at the typical scout and also have some advice for older scouts or explorers who may be considering some more advanced equipment. You can find the guides in our Library section.
Beinn Dhubcraig Hillwalk
At the end of March 12 Scouts and one adventurous Cub took part in a hillwalk up Beinn Dhubcraig. The mountain is just over 3000 feet tall and was very windy at its peak!! They got to try out the ice axes while on the mountain, which is near Tyndrum.
Two groups set off up the mountain, one group pushing on towards the peak, while the other group managed to reach the snow line, where they decided to stop and practice using their ice axes. Although they didn't manage to reach the top the second group had great fun and managed to get in a good amount of ice axe practice. They all hope to reach the peak of the next mountain they set their eyes on.
Down at the Green Gym.... Again!
Inverkip and Wemyss Bay Scouts mucked in with the volunteers at the Green Gym in Inverkip's Daff Glen to help improve the pathway there. The group who are working towards their Community Challenge badge built some steps while others helped repair railings. They'll be helping out again at the next event when stretches of the path will be strengthened with gravel. Anyone can volunteer to help out at the next Green Gym by emailing Eileen at firstname.lastname@example.org
Scouts from across the District spent last weekend working hard to earn their Expedition Challenge in the remote and scenic hills around Glen Kinglass. Four walking parties set out to camp at different locations on Friday Night, some camping at Kilchurn Castle on Loch Awe, and others camping in Glen Etive. The parties carried full packs for lightweight camping, and walked through the Saturday to meet up in a wild site near a burn in Glen Kinglass, where they sat out heavy rain in their tents. The weather improved on Sunday morning and the parties separated again. Some followed the coastal paths along the side of Glen Etive, including a route North between Glen Kinglass and Glen Etive, and a South route to Taynuilt. Over the weekend each party covered a distance of around 17miles, and climbed 2200ft through hills - no small feat with a heavyweight rucksack. The weekend finished with everyone being presented with their Expedition Challenge, and with that, several have completed their Chief Scout Gold Award as well - a great way to complete the most prestigious award in the Scout section, and an achievement for all to be very proud of.
Bield Climbing Centre
Our Scouts spent the first of a series of evenings climbing at the Bield Climbing Centre in Paisley. They tried swinging in an enclosed wall in the converted church tower before moving to the main walls further up. Thanks to everyone at the Bield for laying on a great evening. March 2014
Inverkip Scouts had a guest visitor last week in the shape of Lieutenant Paul Malone, who came to tell them about life on the submarines based at Faslane. The scouts found out about different types of submarines and what they are used for as well as learning about the type of jobs people do to keep them running when they're at sea. They tried out some emergency equipment including a survival suit and boat. Thanks to Paul for taking the time to spend with the Troop. December 2013
Wemyss Bay Scouts enjoyed a trip to Ardgowan Access Centre to learn about the facilities at the centre and in the Hospice itself. They found out about the services the centre provides and how they help in our local community. The Scouts would like to thank Alison and the staff at the centre for making them feel so welcome. February 2013
Outdoor and Scottish Challenge Camp
A huge well done to everyone who took part in the Outdoor Challenge and Scottish Challenge camp at Everton this year. The rain came down us us, but it's hard to stop a good Scout having fun and that's exactly what you all did! We managed to cover all the items needed for the Outdoor Challenge and have well and truly kicked off our Scottish Challenge badge with our Highland Games, poetry, St Andrew's Celebration meal and tradition food. We still have a lot to do for our Scottish Challenge, watch out for further camps around Scotland over the coming months. Check out the photo's here. November 2012
Expedition Challenge 2012
Five of our Scouts took part in this years District Expedition Challenge in the Glen Etive / Loch Awe area. This event is probably the toughest they'll encounter in the Scout section and we're delighted to say that our Scouts all passed with flying colours. The highlands threw their worst rain and worst midgies at the groups on the Friday night and Saturday, making for some fun river crossings as the water drained off the hillsides on the Saturday. And some wet sleeping bags too! Happily the weather cleared up on the Sunday and we were treated to some fine views over Loch Awe and Glen Nevis. As always, photos and a short video are available in the Scout section gallery. June 2012
We've been waiting for months now and it's nearly on us. The Jubilee Camp on Fri 4th to Sun 6th May is the not-to-be-missed event of the next few years. If you haven't already signed up, click here to register and bring your payment to the next Scout night. Important. The only way to register is using this online form, so do it now!!!
Well done to the 6 scouts who earned their Foresters Badge at Finlaystone in March. The rangers took Scouts from around the District around the estate and showed them how to fell a tree, from the smallest to the very biggest. The Scouts learned how to identify different types of tree and spent the afternoon planting somewhere up to 800 new Norwegian Spruces on the grounds of the estate, Thanks to Finlaystone's Ranges and Mr McMillan for making the event possible. And well done to all Scouts involved!
Newcastleton Mountain Biking
At the end of October the 85th scouts went mountain biking down by the borders outside Newcastleton. This picture shows the scouts as they were about to leave for their first day Mountain Biking. They were there for two days and they slept in chalets at whithaugh park owned by Rock UK. On their second day they went to the borders and saw the border stane. When they were there they cycled for the huge time of eight hours during those two days. All of the scouts looked as if they had enjoyed it but they all looked very tired as on the minibus most of them fell asleep. More video and pictures available in the Scout gallery
Submitted by Matthew November 2011
A coach load of Scouts and Explorers had a rare chance to tour the Coca-Cola factory in East Kilbride in March. They were met by Angela, who also happens to be a local Guide leader, who took us around the plant.
With plenty automation which produces 12.5million bottles a year, the group saw the bottles being formed from plastic pellets, and then being filled with drink. Among the different drinks it makes, the East Kilbride factory makes Coca-Cola for the UK, as well as Appletiser in glass bottles on another area of the plant. March 2011
Beinn Dorain 2011
They say that the Scottish hills never let you down. No matter how miserable the weather looks when you leave home, you'll always come home with something to remember. With pouring rain forecast for the whole day the 85th walkers last week were hoping that the snow would survive at least at higher levels. Either that or the wind could blow hard on them, that's always good fun. In the event, the snow was pretty much washed away at the heights they managed on Ben Dorain, but that's really because the wind came out in style and they couldn't get to the higher slopes.They got a clue about how windy it was going to get as they climbed close to the saddle. Looking at the cliffs above the saddle they could see a waterfall being blown upwards. When they reached the exposed saddle the wind came like a switch had been thrown. Even the strongest had difficulty staying on their feet, so they made the decision to play in the wind for a few minutes before going back downhill. Drew tried jumping in the air, but when his feet left the ground the wind kicked them from under him (see picture) and he landed on his face.The smaller scouts had to be pulled back downhill against the wind (some crawled instead). Great fun! Check out the photos and video in the Scout Gallery. Looking forward to the next walk in February!!!! January 2011
A group of our Scouts hit the jackpot at the start of June when they turned up to do some community service at the Greenock Cut Centre near Inverkip (Cornalees in old money). The 18 Scouts hardly noticed the hard work they were doing as they spent the day clearing and burning the debris from a clump of trees that had been felled recently. They had a great time feeding a bigger fire than they have ever been able to build before. The troop would like to thank Paul, Judy and the staff from the centre for arranging and running this great activity. Check out the photos in the Scout Gallery. Note that Clyde Muirshiel may use a couple of these photos in their own site. If you prefer not to appear just mail us via the Contact Us page to opt out. June 2010
The orienteering competition at Everton was a great experience for all who came. There were two different teams, a senior team and a junior team. None of the 85th entrants were old enough to get into the senior team but they all had fun and most would like to try it again. They had to try and find as many orange clippers as possible by using a map. They clipped the clipper into their sheet of paper and left to find more, all the clippers had a different spike arrangement on them so that the examiners knew if they found them all or not. They all had lunch at the lodge to warm them up for the long 2hr competition, the 85th didn't win anything but it was the fun that mattered. One pair thought that they might have had came fourth.
Below it to the West lies Sron Garbh. On its East side it looks down on Stob Mhic Mhartuin and the Devil's Staircase. Its North and South slopes dip into Kinlochleven and Glencoe. Even the shoulder route on the way up has it's own name - Sron a' Choire Odhair-Bhig. But for some reason, no map or guidebook sees fit to give the hill we climbed in January a name. One of it's craggy slopes even gets it's own name - A' Chailleach. Maybe that's been punishment to the hill because - at 903m (2962ft) it falls just 38ft short of being a Munro. Instead it seems to be just known as "903m, Glencoe". Whatever, it was a great hill to climb in the snow and the weather held dry, even with the odd spell of sunshine. And on the way down it had wide smooth slopes that made for some good sledging as well. Well done to the 14 Scouts and Explorers who waded their way up through the snow to get to the summit. You can find the photos here and a video clip above.
Kayaking at the Daff Dam
As the summer weather starts to take a hold, 18 Scouts had a great time trying out their kayaking skills for the first time. Thanks to the ex-school and Ardentinny boats kindly made available to us by Inverclyde Council, we are now able to run kayaking as an activity for Scouts and Explorers. The aim is to take Scouts through their kayaking badge, which means taking them through emergency techniques such as capsize drill, through to safety strokes and boat rescues. Eventually we hope to build up enough experience in our Scouts to have some of them earn their Expedition Challenge by going on a kayaking expedition as an alternative to the more common hillwalking or cycle trip.
This time around all Scouts managed to try out their first capsize demonstrated by one of the first timers in the picture on the left. As usual we have posted this and more photos of the kayaking trip here.
We are now looking forward to some time kayaking on Loch Lomond during this year's Minibus Expedition.
85th History - Old and New