Projects and Activities

As we’ve already suggested, the possibilities are endless in terms of the activities you can do. You should take some time to try out different things, maybe trying activities that are suggested by all of the ASSES. After a while you might want to challenge yourself a bit more, so we suggest that you consider taking on a project.

Projects take a little more effort, but you get a lot more out of them. It’ll involve combining a number of related activities to work towards a goal over a period of time. Again, there are no limits on what your projects will be, but every project should involve the following:

  • All members of the Crew or a number of teams within the Crew
  • A clearly defined goal ... why are we doing the project? What is the end result?
  • The Scout Method ... we mentioned this earlier
  • A variety of learning opportunities. there will be something for everyone to gain by taking part in the project.

Projects by their nature require a slightly more organised approach than activities. Have a search for the project method, to learn about how projects succeed or fall.

Basic Car Maintenance

None of us ever what to be stranded on the side of a deserted road, in the middle of a stormy night, with a broken down car – it’s a low budget horror movie waiting to happen. That’s a pretty good reason to give this a go.

To start, an evening class in your local area might be an idea, or some great step-by-step guides on the internet. Better still, maybe you have an experienced member of your group who can help out?

A quick checklist of stuff you might need or look at: A car jack, oil, extra light bulbs, break fluid, water, battery charger, dipstick, spare tyres, windshield cleaner, torch, first aid kit, empty fuel container… and a car would also help.

Get good enough at it, and you might save yourself a fortune on repairs and services, just remember that you can do as much damage as you can good if you’re not paying attention.

Refurbish your Hall or Room

There’s always something to fix up in the room that we use for meetings. Maybe we should clean it more often, maybe that mural of our mates head doesn’t really look as good as we thought it did, maybe that game of ultimate fireball was a little more damaging than we thought it was.

Luckily, this activity makes amends for whatever we might have done. A bit of paint will cover up the nice messages that were left by the previous crew, maybe throwing up a notice board would make us look more organised.

Better still, this is a really cheap thing to do, asking around will usually yield tins of paint, old brushes and rollers, carpets, rugs, even furniture.

In fact, without even really trying, we’ve managed to try our hand at freecycling as well, reducing our environmental impact by reusing old furniture and materials, and recycling the paint that might have otherwise been sent to landfill or just poured down somebody’s drain. Not bad for a day’s work.

The Explorer Belt

As the most demanding national event run for Rovers, the Explorer Belt presents an opportunity to experience a physical, mental and personal challenge, as well as experiencing and getting to know different cultures. Here are a few details of the report from the 2009 expedition to Sweden and Denmark…

… The adventure began.

Each team had to walk a minimum of 200km to arrive back to base camp in Denmark on Tuesday 21st July.  They could travel an extra 100km using certified public transport and this was broken into 10km per day. 

Along the way, teams had to keep a log book of each of the day’s events including people they interacted with, budgets, menu, route taken etc.  They also had to complete a number of challenges along the way and keep a record of these in their project books. 

This year there was a new element to the belt introduced – The Personal Challenges.  These were devised before the expedition by each participant and agreed with the Expedition Leader.  The idea of these challenges was to encourage each participant to focus on an area of themselves that they would like to improve. 

Following the 11 days that the teams were on the road, they arrived back to base camp on the 11th.  They were greeted by the staff of the belt, base camp & assessment teams.  Teams arrived back tired but full of stories…

On Wednesday the contingent was taken into Copenhagen for the day.  While here they got to meet the Irish Ambassador to Sweden, explore the shops of Copenhagen, and were taken to a fun park ‘Tivoli Gardens’

The assessment teams went through all the materials very carefully.  Each teams had to then take part in two reviews with the assessment teams to discuss their experiences, clarify any outstanding issues and review their personal challenges. … Some teams think this is the worst part, waiting around to be called for the chat.  The assessment teams enjoyed hearing the stories of the belt and being able to share in some way the experiences each of the teams had. 

Tensions and emotions were running high when the results were read out and when it was announced that all teams had been successful in keeping their Belt; there was a huge sigh of relief.  This was the first year every team had been successful. … This will be indeed something that this group will remember for the rest of their lives.

Flotilla Sailing

Another option in Rover scouts is the nautical programme, which caters for a more water-based approach to your activities. Below is an account of an expedition undertaken by a group in Dublin.

… A flotilla is a number of 8 – 12 yachts which sail as a group under the watchful eye of a flotilla skipper, and an engineer. We chose the Greek Islands and the Ionian Sea as our navigational area, the south of which is reputed to be the safest sailing areas in the world (best for us on our first time out) and commenced planning the year before the departure date.

In order to prepare we realised that we would have to take on a number of training courses which included life saving, coastal navigation, day skipper and coastal skipper, VHF radio and also get some practice in sailing something bigger than a rubber dingy.

To start we researched our destination and the logistics around getting there and the hiring of the vessels. Our best plan was to fly to the UK (Manchester and Gatwick) and catch a flight out of there to Athens.

We had to look into the numbers going to ascertain how many berths we needed and also the types of boats that would work for our crew. The smaller, older boats worked out cheaper per person. A Jaguar 27 worked out the most economical so we went for those.

Before we went, we worked towards the ECC (European Certificate of Competence), doing an ISA boat safety course, some of us getting a VHF license, and all of us getting some sailing experience with local sailing clubs and sea scout troops in the area.

The weather was truly amazing the sailing fantastic. Working in our small groups on different watches was an experience. Rising at 4am to the smell of the sea, to take the helm, manning the ships wheel over crystal clear waters, watching the wind catch the sail and we glide along…

An amazing Adventure.