Camp Hammock

Camp Hammock
Activity Sheet
A camp hammock is a fun activity you can make on camp
or in your back garden.
The knots used are simple, the larkshead knot, the
reef knot and the overhand knot. The construction of
the hammock will take time and care to produce a web
structure of similar size. Start by creating a ‘line’ similar to
a clothes line on which to create your web.
Line - length of body plus 50 cms
Always ensure your hammock
is safely secure before you
use it.
Clove hitch
A more durable hammock
can be made by constructing
it from head to bottom rather
than side to side as shown
Reef knot
Return to Rail Explorer interface
Make a raft
Activity Sheet
This raft is easy to make once you know the procedure.
First place a number of
stakes in the ground and then
pile light twigs and branches
between the stakes, to make
a doughnut shape. When the
shape is complete weave
sisal or rope around the pile
to keep it together.
Be aware that the base of the raft is
only a layer of plastic and will puncture
easily. Use only on calm water such as
lakes, slow moving rivers and canals.
Lift the ‘doughnut’ pile from its
frame and place in the middle
of a plastic sheet or tarp. Fold
over and tie the sheeting to the
pile core. Your raft is now ready
for use.
Return to Rail Explorer interface
Packing a rucksack
Activity Sheet
Sleeping Mat on top.
General Guide
to Packing a
If there is a top pocket keep
all your small stuff to hand
- spare map, emergency
items, cutlery, pocket knife,
small first aid items
Start packing by placing all the items
to be packed on your bed and check
off the list. When all items are present
then pack. Work on the principle
NOT GOING don’t carry anything
that you don’t need and keep items
on the outside of the pack tied down
and tidy. Make sure however that you
have all the essential items. Use your
own judgement as to whether you really
need that campfire blanket on an overnight
Another consideration when carrying your
pack is to distribute the weight in the bag
so that the heavier items tend to be near
your back in the middle to bottom of the
pack. This will help to stabilise your pack
particularly when travelling over rough
Rucksacks are never waterproof. It is best to
put a plastic liner inside your bag and pack
items in plastic bags for protection
Waterproofs & bivvy
bag just under the cover
Tent. Poles and pegs can
be slipped down the side or
shared with someone else.
Eating gear - plate etc.
Food in containers and plastic
Spare Clothes. All spare clothes
should be in plastic bags to
protect from wet and keep
Sleeping bag in compression
sack to keep it as small as
Dirty or wet clothes in plastic
Stoves and fuel bottle - keep
to bottom of pack in case of a
leak. If you have a small stove
it may go in a side pocket
Return to Rail Explorer interface
Activity Sheet
Tent Pitching
Return to Rail Explorer interface
Wild flowers
Wood sorrel
Bind weed
Activity Sheet
Wild Garlic
Yellow iris
Bird’s foot trefoil
Chick weed
Return to Rail Explorer interface
Sea and water birds
Activity Sheet
Gannet in flight
Moor Hen
Return to Rail Explorer interface
Oyster catcher
Gannet nesting
Mallard duck
Common birds
Activity Sheet
Great tit
How many can
you spot in the
Blue tit
Return to Rail Explorer interface
Pulleys and lifting
Activity Sheet
Most pioneering projects can be completed using 2 pulleys
- a single block and a double block. However, it is best to
aim for 2 single blocks and 2 double blocks and perhaps a
number of small blocks - the ones used for clothes lines
and sailing. This will allow you to complete most projects
you will venture to undertake.
Reeving a simple single and
double pulley system
Fix the line to the pulley using
a round turn and two half
hitches. It is also a good idea
to whip the free end of the line
to prevent slippage. You can
also use a stopper knot if you
wish to do the same job.
Pulleys allow you to
increase your load lifting
and pulling capacity. By
employing single and
double pulleys, different pull
ratios can be achieved
Return to Rail Explorer interface
Activity Sheet
Shelter Building
A tarpaulin sheet is a useful item of equipment for making
shelters. This ready made sheet can be brought in
hardware stores which is made of plastic and has a series
of eyelets around its edges. The tarp sheet illustrated is
made of light canvas or nylon tent material. It will be more
durable and lighter than the plastic version. The tarp sheet
design can vary depending on its use - small personal tarp
sheet for the creation of a one or two person shelter or a
larger version designed to sleep a Patrol.
Return to Rail Explorer interface
Plane Table mapping
Lumberman method
Activity Sheet
Hold a stick out in front of you and
place the tip in line with the top of the
tree. Move your thumb until it is in
line with the bottom. Turn the stick 90
degrees and have a friend walk
from the base to the tip of the stick
counting as they go. The distance
travelled is the approximate height
of the tree.
Plane table surveying is a method of making a simple map. You
will require graph paper, pencil, ruler and a drawing board or
Before you start you need to determine the basic size of the
area so that a scale can be struck for the survey. Walk the field
and work out the number of paces along each side and from this
select a scale.
Next decide on location for the two sighting positions. Select a
position that is roughly central and from which each corner can
be seen.
Place a pin in your drawing board and draw a line. Sight along this
in the direction of your second point and mark its location exactly
according to the scale decided. Place a second pin in this spot.
Now working from the two pin points sight features and key points
of your camping field on the map and measure distances. Use
your ruler to scale their positions on the drawing board. This will
Estimation techniques
Napoleonic method
Stand on one bank and hold your hand against your eyebrows, with
the palm facing downwards. Slant your hand until it appears to touch
the opposite bank. Turn 90 degrees and note the point where the
edge of your palm appears to touch the ground. The distance from
where you stand to this point is the width of the river.
create a series of interconnecting lines. The intersection of
the two lines is the location of the point with reference to
your baseline.
Later draw a clearer map using these base measurements
as your reference, adding colour and names of locations.
Return to Rail Explorer interface
Activity Sheet
Bodger’s Lathe
Bodgers Lathe
The Bodger lathe is a fun project to build. The
lathe is created by first placing a large stake in the
ground and attaching a springy sapling to it. This is
the driving force behind the lathe.
A string or light rope is attached to the top of the
sapling and in turn is wound around the wood to be
turned and on to a foot pedal device. The foot pedal
can either be a piece of flat timber or a forked stick
that is pivoted so it can move freely.
Two other stakes are required which should be
bored on each side to accept the wood to be
worked. The working piece should be able to move
freely and spin backwards and forwards when the
foot pedal is operated.
You will also require a set of sharp chisels to work
on the spindle.
Return to Rail Explorer interface
Navvy Stoves
Spirit Stove
Turn an old metal
bucket into a stove
Activity Sheet
Create the burner from the end of
a drink tin. Place some fibre glass
in the tin and cover with light
mesh to hold it in place.
Next create the pot stand by first
cutting off the top and bottom of a
small fruit tin. Then punch holes
around the edge of a small fruit
tin. Pour some Methylated spirit
onto the fibre glass and light.
Wire threaded
through holes
as a pot stand
Make camp bread - twists
- first make the dough with
flour, water and a bit of salt.
Then wrap around a stick
and cook over embers
Bread toaster
Sawdust stove
Insert firewood here
Return to Rail Explorer interface
Punch a few holes, near the centre, in
the bottom of a tin. Now place a broom
handle or thick stick in a tin and pack
sawdust around it. Now remove the stick
and you have a sawdust stove.
Activity Sheet
Obstacle Course
Return to Rail Explorer interface
Carving a spoon
As you can see it is rough but taking shape nicely.
Activity Sheet
The bowl of the spoon was the most interesting part as I had
a nice elegant shape in my mind, it was also gonna be the
most challenging as one cut too deep could either split the
wood or change the shape of the bowl.
The bushcraft knife is pretty much the most
important tool used in bushcraft today, it is one of
the lightest and portable of all the cutting tools used
in bushcraft today.
First you need a nice pieces of Birch I cut from
some “managed” silver birches in my local woods.
The next stage was to use the crook knife to hollow the
spoon bit out itself, this too a little doing to discover how
to use it smoothly without making an ugly mess. I found it
easier to use small controlled strokes. Once I was satisfied
with the shape I went on to sanding from big grit to fine grit
paper until I had a nice smooth finish.
The tool’s you need are a knife, an axe and a folding
saw. The axe and saw were both used to get me to
a point in which I had a basic spoon outline, which in
itself was developing skill in axe use.
This was basically, splitting a log in half and the
drawing a rough outline with a pencil on the now flat
surface. The saw was used to cut “stop” cuts at the
right points to stop the axe from splitting or taking off
too much.
Knife work then began on the now spoon outline
created. I had an idea of what I wanted, I just
needed to remove all the bits I didn’t want from the
Return to Rail Explorer interface
Shunting Puzzle 1
Activity Sheet
Two trains, one consisting of an engine and a car and the other an engine
and two cars meet on a section of railway track. There is a short side track
on the line, as shown. The side line is long enough to hold only one engine or
one car at a time.
The object is to exchange the position of the two trains so that they can
continue on their journey using the side track to achieve this.
A car can be pushed by the front of another engine but cannot be connected
(pulled) to the front of an engine.
Return to Rail Explorer interface
Shunting Puzzle 2
Two siding join the the main track of a railway line. They meet together to
form a dead end. The dead end siding is big enough to hold an engine or a
car at a time.
Activity Sheet
A blue car is positioned on the left siding, a green car on the right and the
engine in a midway point on the mainline between each siding.
The object is to exchange the positions of the cars and return the engine to
its initial position. This has to be achieved in the smallest number of couplings
and uncoupling.
Return to Rail Explorer interface
Shunting Puzzle 3
Activity Sheet
This is game to play by yourself. You will need a game board and 8 counters (or
buttons or coins) - 4 of one colour and 4 of another colour.
Place 4 counters in the top row and 4 in the bottom row.
The aim is for the top counters to swap places with the
bottom counters using the smallest possible number of
moves. You can slide a counter one square at a time,
with no jumping or sharing a square.
Record your moves so that you can count them and find
the best way to solve the puzzle.
It might help to number the squares.
Return to Rail Explorer interface
Activity Sheet
Problems on the Rail Route Puzzle
Five engineers are exploring a possible route for a
railway through the jungle regions of Brazil. They
find themselves on the bank of a river with five
natives on the other side.
They agree to help it other but both parties are
The only method of crossing is a canoe and only
one engineer and onenative can paddle.
The boat can hold three men.
The engineers do not trust the nativess, and are
unwilling to be outnumbered either in the boat or
on either shore for the time it takes the boat to
What is more, the natives feel exactly the same
way about the engineers!
Is it possible for both groups to cross safety.
Return to Rail Explorer interface
Master Chef
Activity Sheet
Right you can all boil an egg and make
spaghetti bolognese but can you be a
master chef?
Things you need to learn
• How to cook all sorts of stuff really
• How to put a menu together
• How to bake
• How to serve food
• Nutritional value of food
• How to shop for quality food
• How to operate a budget
• How to sharpen knives
• How to make a fire and stove
We are not talking about a bangers and
mash meal but some real classy stuff. You
might need some cooking classes for a start.
Then refine your skills using a camp location,
open fire and cardboard box ovens.
Then its down to business getting
the menu and ingredients together
and setting out to create your
It will call for refined dining, so
silver cutlery to go with the
enamel and plastic plates and
of course you have to dress up
for dinner.
Invite a special guest to enjoy
your company and judge the
Return to Rail Explorer interface
Activity Sheet
On the Beach
Things you need to learn
How to put on suntan lotion
How to get sand out of your
How to build sand castles
How to use the buddy system when
How to fish
How to set up a bar-b-que and plank
a fish
Sun’s up - let’s head to the beach!
A day on the beach, reliving your childhood. Get your bucket and spade
and your net for catching small fish and crabs, sun tan lotions, towels
and swimming gear and don’t forget the sambo’s and flasks.
Organise, swimming races, collecting shells and crabs, sand castle
building contest, beach volley ball contest or just sitting in the sun
How to use a snorkel
Return to Rail Explorer interface
Activity Sheet
Tarp Camping
With the advent, in recent years, of backwoods and survival trek programmes
hammock and tarp camping has become a popular as a light weight trekking
Things you need to learn
How to tie a few knots
How to set up a hammock and tarp
The Leave No trace principles and practice
How to travel light
How to cook on a stove
Map and compass skills
After a hard days walking or trekking the hammock is a comfortable
alternative to a hard ground bed in a tent. It is also like bivouacking as the tarp
is a cover rather than a closed in tent. You might say it is a closer to nature
You can buy or make your own hammocks but the real skill that needs to be
learnt is how to erect your hammock so you don’t have any nasty surprises in
the night as your knots become undone or snap.
Finding the right location is also important and you will need to plan your
adventure so you arrive at suitable hammocking locations each night.
Return to Rail Explorer interface
Activity Sheet
Long Distance Trek
A journey of discovery starts with the first step. There are loads of long distance trails
available to explore, some new and some ancient routes.
A long distance trek adventure is an adventure that spans a number of days. Your
mode of transport will usually be by foot but it equally could be by bike, boat, horse,
ski. It is a challenge.
You will need to carry all of your equipment with you as you go so lightweight
camping, one stove cooking and navigation skills need to be considered.
Start by exploring trails in Ireland and then trails abroad. Visit the BBC 2 website
they have featured many trail on their Coast programme and old walking routes
Return to Rail Explorer interface
Things you need to learn
How to hike and trek over difficult terrain
How to backpack
All about lightweight equipment
Map and compass skills
Specialist skills - sailing, horse riding,
Meitheal - Mountain
Trail, Environmental
Activity Sheet
Meitheal is an old Irish name for a group of people who come
together to help each other. In farming communities it was
very common at harvest time when neighbouring farmers
would come together and work for each other in turn. In
short..many hands make light work.
So, this adventure is all about lending a hand and service
to others.
Things you need to learn
How to use tools
How to work as a team
How to layout a trail
Woodworking skills
Map reading and navigation
Work plans and designs
Mountain Meitheal is an organisation that lay and
maintain trails across the mountains to prevent erosion of
the landscape. Larch Hill and many of our campsites also
have meitheal services where you can offer your help and
service to the association.
Your own Group may need some work done around your
own hall or perhaps there are opportunities in your local
In a lot of case it is pure manpower - lifting and carrying,
If however you have some building skills then these can be
employed in more meaningful projects.
Return to Rail Explorer interface
Activity Sheet
Make or construct a hut or shed
So where do you go to chill!!!
Things you need to learn
Some woodwork skills
Design a shed
How to build a shed
How to use tool safely
Some painting skills
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a Venture Scout hut or shed that was all
yours and you could use to meet, chill out and have a laugh in.
Well you can. What you need is a place to put it. A kind parent
might be able to give you a corner in a large garden. Maybe a
disused garage, or perhaps there is some space available around the
Scout Hall or local campsite.
You could also rent some space as an allotment plot....plant some
veg, and erect a small shed there for instance. So, firstly get a
Now its down to design, layout and your imagination to create
your own space.
Return to Rail Explorer interface
Activity Sheet
Movie making - Horror,
Things you need to learn
How to make up a story board
How to direct the ‘players’
How to use a camera
How to be creative
How to use computers
How to write a script
How to do makeup
How to do stunts and special
Right !!! How many movies have you seen in your lifetime? How many programmes
have you watched on the TV. How many snippets have you watched on YouTube.?
Thousands? So, already you know a bit about movie making.
You are going to need all the equipment - video camera, sound, a few reflectors and
a light perhaps. A computer for editing and uploading. Or you can do it on the cheap
with a mobile phone or small digital camera.
There are loads of jobs to do, so everyone has a role. Director, camera person, sound,
lights, makeup etc, and thats all those behind the camera. In front we need actors,
sets, stunts etc.
As you can see to make a really good movie worthy of the talents of your Venture
Unit it will take a few weeks to organise - well before we put a single frame on film.
So,,,,,quite on the set, sound, roll cameras, ACTION!!!
Return to Rail Explorer interface
Activity Sheet
One Sheet Boat Challenge
One sheet of plywood, some basic tools, fiber glass tape and resin and the challenge
is to make a boat.
This is a fun based project that also allows the Unit to learn a lot about boats and
basic boat handling.
The idea is to make a boat from one sheet of 8X4 plywood. The links below to
various websites will reveal the approach and building plans. The result of your
efforts will be a small one -man or two man boat (depending on design). The
designs are for essential fun boats on calm water. However, the project will enable
your Unit to gain a good insight into boat design and boatmanship and perhaps
lead on to more ambitious projects in the future.
Return to Rail Explorer interface
Things you need to learn
Some basic woodwork skills
How to use tools
How to row a boat
How to read plans
All about boatmanship
All about water safety
How to sail a boat
Activity Sheet
While carrying out individual activities based on the ASSES and the
SPICES is a great way to get started in Rovers, there is a lot more to be
gained by taking on a bigger project. Projects give some meaning to what
you are doing, because there is a clearly defined goal to be reached.
They involve combing a series of activities with a view to achieving that
goal, and as such require a organised approach.
The Scout Project
The Scout Project Method is a way of approaching such bigger projects.
It includes the standard ‘Plan, Do and Review’ stages associated with all
activities, but also involves a space for incorporating learning objectives.
This makes the method especially useful for those who are thinking of
carrying out the Rover Challenge Participation and Leadership stages.
So first off, let’s be clear about what exactly a project is. A project is
something that you intend to achieve by a given point of time in the
future. It involves setting a clearly defined goal to reach, working out what
needs to be done (when and how), and then doing it.
The Scout Project Method is an approach
Is a collective enterprise which a team decides to undertake together.
Has a clearly defined goal of what it is the project sets out to achieve.
Involves seven phases which provide a clear process from start to finish.
Uses the Scout Method.
Incorporates learning opportunities for all the participants.
Takes into account the various interests of the team members
Involves each member of the team making a personal commitment to the
The seven phases are as follows:
What project?
Integrating learning opportunities.
Getting prepared.
Carrying out the project.
Evaluation and recognition process.
Return to Rail Explorer interface
3. Planning
7. Celebration
Step 1: Work out the logistics. List everything that
needs to be done and by when.
Step 2: Estimate a budget. How much the project is
going to cost?
Step 3: Work out the structure of roles and task
Step 1: Reflect on spiritual values. Organise a time
for spiritual reflection based on the experiences
gained during the project.
Activity Sheet
4. Getting prepared
1. What project?
Step 1: What is it you want to do? Discuss as a
team what you would like to do.
Step 2: Decode the ideas. Reflect as a team on
what is really important to the individual Rover
Scouts in the ideas expressed.
Step 3: Build consensus. Create a project by
incorporating what was considered important in the
ideas and link them to an agreed project goal.
2. Integrating learning
Step 1: Assess the level of difficulty. Consider and
modify aspects that are too difficult, not feasible, or
too expensive.
Step 2: Build a project outline. Create an outline of
what will be involved in the project.
Step 3: Work out the learning opportunities.
Examine the project outline in terms of the learning
opportunities that can be included.
Step 4: Make full use of the Scout Method.
Step 5: Making full use of group dynamics.
Step 1: Share Phase 3 with the rest of the Crew so
that everyone knows what is going on.
Step 2: Match personal educational objectives to
the tasks. Each team member should examine how
the project will allow them to develop their personal
learning objectives.
Step 3: Learn to do the job. Individual team
members must gain the knowledge and skills
needed to successfully do their part.
5. Carrying out the project
Step 1: Do what it is you’ve planned to do!
6. Evaluating and recognising
Step 1: Evaluate the project and each individual
team member’s progress. Examine as a group what
went well and what didn’t go well: the highlights and
the low points; and examining what each individual
gained from the project.
Step 2: Recognise progress – formally recognising
the progress made by each Rover Scout.
Return to Rail Explorer interface
Step 2: Organise a celebration. This can be a party
with refreshments and a slide show to share what
has been achieved with the other Crew members.
Activity Sheet
The Challenge
Learn how to make a coracle from
hazel saplings and tar painted
canvas. Then its off to your local
pond, canal or lake for a water
based adventure.
Return to Rail Explorer interface
Coracle Making 2
Activity Sheet
Gear we need
What we need to learn
Hazel saplings
Tar paint
Buoyancy aids
How to make a coracle.
How to use tar paint.
How to paddle a coracle.
How to use a buoyancy aid.
Water safety
Learning to drive a coracle
Decide what we are going to do
Divide out the jobs
Learn all new skills required
Agree all the details
Jobs to be done
Find out where we can obtain hazel
saplings and trimmings
Find a location that can be used to boat it
Get all the equipment we need together
Find someone to help you Patrol with the
Invite other Patrols to take part
Work up an equipment list
Return to Rail Explorer interface
Learn any new skills at meetings.
Test out skills
Build a coracle
Take part in boating activity using a coracle.
What did we learn
How did we handle the activity
How did we go about using the equipment.
Did everyone play a part
What was good about this adventure
What did not work out as planned.
Activity Sheet
Ready, Steady, Cook
The Challenge
An inter Patrol challenge.
Patrols are then issued with a
selection of food. The patrol have
to then devise a menu and cook the
meal in a set time limit. Points are
awarded for presentation, taste, and
Return to Rail Explorer interface
Activity Sheet
Ready, Steady, Cook
Adventure 2
Gear we need
What we need to learn
How to cook.
How to put a menu together
How to light a fire and cook on it.
How to make a box oven.
Safety and hygiene
The food pyramid and food combinations.
Healthy eating.
Camping equipment
Cooking gear
Eating gear
Cook books
Cardboard boxes
Decide what we are going to do
Divide out the jobs
Learn all new skills required
Agree all the details
Jobs to be done
Find someone to teach us how to cook.
Do a skills audit - What do we need to
Find a location for the cooking challenge.
Get all the equipment we need together
Get a menu together and work out costs
Invite other Patrols to take part
Work up an equipment list
Return to Rail Explorer interface
Learn any new skills at meetings.
Test out skills in dens or at home
Take part in Ready Steady Cook activity
Cook a great meal
What did we learn
How did we handle the activity
How did we go about using the equipment.
Did everyone play a part
What was good about this adventure
What did not work out as planned.
The Compass
Ideas on what to do
Activity Sheet
Show each Lodge a compass and give them
the responsibility of looking after it for a while.
Explain the main parts of the compass and
how things can interfere with the needle.
Each Lodge should be told how to find North
on the compass and then find South, East
and West. When they have gotten used
to working with it then play a game like
Treasure Hunt where they go from clue to
clue and each clue tells them to go North,
South, East, West and how many paces to
the next location.
the big
This adventure is based on the compass as a
means of travelling across open countryside. In
real terms a hike of any kind. The compass and the
map will be more than likely new tools for Beaver
Scouts to learn about so the hike will form the
end objective. New skills will need to be learnt at
meetings and shorter trip to the local park. Scouts
can help to teach this skill and perhaps a cross
section activity might be an option.
Being able to travel from the Cannog to discover
new lands is a key warrior skill and being able to
use the ‘magical powers’ of the floating needle has
been a tradition that has been handed down from
elder to young warrior as a means of discovery and
Get each Beaver Scout to show what they
learnt from the things that they collected and
how to use the compass
Get the Lodges to set their own
Treasure trail like the one above
Return to Rail Explorer interface
Ideas on what to do
Chat to the Beaver Scouts about keeping the time.
Ask them about what time they do different things
and if any of them have a watch.
Activity Sheet
Get each Lodge to make an hour glass out of
plastic bottles and sand. Use a straw surrounded
by Play-Doh to join the two bottles together, put the
sand in the bottom bottle and join the bottles. Set
up a stop watch and check how long it takes for the
sand to fall through the hole. Then hold time trails
for all sorts of things.
Do a time trial that each Beaver Scout tries to talk
for exactly a minute and stops talking when they
think a minute is up. They should talk about the
recent activity for example.
What’s the
big idea
This adventure is all about time - keeping time,
speed, organising time, getting things done.
Time is a force of Nature, the Sun rises and
falls each day. So, there are many possibilities
for adventure along these lines - time travel
might be one for example. It can be a key
theme to establish teamwork and getting
things done on time and in an organised way.
From a ‘Tribe’ Theme point of view it is all about
the ‘warrior’ who can move as fast as the wind
or is quick and efficient at getting things done.
The ‘Tribe’ also need to be able to tell the time
so sun dials are important as are the moon and
the planets.
Return to Rail Explorer interface
Try to make a list of different things that it is
possible to set a watch by like the postman or
church bells…
2 plastic bottles. A straw. Any color play-doh you
Scissors. Sand. Sturdy tape, and any decorations
you would want to use.
Ideas on what to do
In the Lodges, have a chat about what the Beaver
Scouts need to do to look after the environment.
Talk about the different things in the environment
that need to be looked after such as plants, animals,
birds or water sources like rivers.
Activity Sheet
Pick an area in the locality that needs improvement
and see can you improve it by doing a tidy up or
maybe making signs to let people know what is
happening when people don’t look after the area
eg. throwing things in the river will kill the fish. let
the relevant people know if you are putting up signs
(County Council etc.)
Review how you got on by going back to the area
regularly to see how things are and if things have
changed. Also look at what else could be done in
What’s the
big idea
The idea of this adventure is for Beaver
Scouts to develop an awareness of their
environment and how they interact within it.
The principles of ‘Leave No trace’ are also
explored and developed. In real terms this
adventure is practical and full of discovery
and wonder. The Beavers Scouts should be
directed to ‘things they can do’ rather than
the big picture situation with the environment
globally. The ‘circle of life’ and the interdependance of all things (biodiversity) can also
be explored.
The ‘Tribe’ Theme connects very closely
with this adventure. As a tribe living in close
connection and harmony with their surroundings
it is vital for the survival of the tribe that local
resources are managed and cared for.
Return to Rail Explorer interface
Other things that can be done include finding out
about how you can be more eco-friendly at home or
in the Scout Den.
Map of the area. Litter pickers, gloves and refuse
Some plants or seeds?
Ideas on what to do
Before beginning the activity have a chat to
the Lodge about fire safety and some do’s and
don’ts around fire. Let them know about the
steps that they need to take to do backwoods
Activity Sheet
The steps that they need to take should include
gathering wood for the fire, setting up a fire
fighting area, letting a Scouter light the fire,
preparing the food. There is loads you can make
but just keep it simple for the first time - like
stuffing chocolate buttons under a banana skin
and wrapping in tin foil to put on the fire. Finally
eating it and tidying it up afterwards.
Before the fire is quenched sit around the fire
and have a chat about how they got on and see
what’s in their Memory Bags. Try to focus in on
what each one did so that they all get a chance
to speak.
What’s the
big idea
This adventure is firmly based in the outdoors in
a camp or hike situation. It will involve assisting
with fire lighting, preparing food, cooking food
and have a campfire session. The Beaver
Scouts will provide loads of different ideas for
food and where they would like to go. Remind
beaver Scouts of ‘Leave No trace’ principles.
In the ‘Tribe’ Theme the tribe cook a lot of their
meals in backwood fashion. Particularly, if the
warriors are out of camp and need to cook their
meals on the trial.
Get an older section to show you how they can
cook a fish on a fire or do foil cooking
Fire and wood. Bananas. Chocolate buttons.
Tin Foil
Return to Rail Explorer interface
Map Making
Ideas on what to do
Show the Lodge a map and how to read it.
See can they find different things in it. Chat to
them about why they would use maps and the
different features like scale and legends
Activity Sheet
Do a simple mapping exercise of the area
around the Scout Den. Give the Beaver Scouts
different jobs to do like drawing in the map,
discoverers to find different things around the
Scout Den and others to work out distance.
Keep the scale simple so use paces as the
After the activity look at the map and try to show
the different things on the map that the Beaver
Scouts did, use your memory bag to help. Try to
show things like certain features that individual
Beaver Scouts found etc.
What’s the
big idea
The idea of the map making adventure is to introduce the concept of maps
to Beaver Scouts. Map Making allows the Beaver Scouts to explore their
local area or park and discover how a map is made and used to find new
and secret locations.
In the overall ‘Tribe’ theme of Beaver Scouts it connects to the notion of
‘warriors’ seeking out new lands and mapping the land of the ‘Tribe’
Return to Rail Explorer interface
Swap maps with other Lodges to see if they
can follow your map (maybe leave a treasure
Pencils and colouring pencils
Note pads for each Beaver Scout to make notes
A rope to help with measuring
Visiting the
Kings Land
Ideas on what to do
Talk to the Lodge about the cities that they
have visited and what they know about them,
Go on an outing to a city to discover what is in
the city and what activity is fun to do there.
Activity Sheet
Plan a trip to a city that most of the Lodge
hasn’t been to so that they get to see new
things. Set a tour for the Lodge to visit so
that they get to see the cool places to visit. If
possible try to give them maps so that they can
try to find landmarks in the city.
Have a chat on the train/bus home about what
they saw and collected in their memory bags in
the city and what were the fun parts of the city?
What’s the
big idea
This adventure is all about visiting a big town or
city. It will more than likely be a day out. Cities
have loads of interesting things to see so the
Beaver Scouts will have to do some research
before they travel. How do we get there, what
times are the buses, how much does it cost to get
in, what about lunch, treasure trails etc. Lots to be
done and organised.
Map reading, working together, observation,
awareness of your surroundings all valuable
life skills to be learnt.
In the ‘Tribe’ Theme - the tribe are part of
a clan and within the land there is a big
town and a castle or fort where the King
or Chieftain lives. Once a year the tribe
might visit this place to trade goods or buy
materials for the tribe.
Return to Rail Explorer interface
If possible, visit a castle or ancient site where a
ruler may have lived
Timetables for buses and trains. Tourist
information of the city. Maps of the city for all the
Beaver Scouts.
Day-out bags brought by each Beaver Scout
Bridge Building
Ideas on what to do
In the Lodges chat about what bridges are used
for and the important parts of a bridge like what
or where carries the weight.
Activity Sheet
Ask the Scouts to help. Build some simple
bridges to cross a ditch. The gap shouldn’t be
too big. The idea of this activity is for the Lodge
to work together. Encourage the Beaver Scouts
to tie the staves together so that they don’t slip.
The Scouts will show them what to do.
Do a review by asking the Beaver Scouts
a code word to cross the bridge. This code
should be what they thought of the activity or
what they learnt...
What’s the
big idea
This adventure is all about building, in this
particular case building bridges. The idea is
that Beaver Scouts will build real and functional
bridges. It is therefore a good cross sectional
activity with either the Cub Scout or Scout
section. The Beaver Scouts will have to learn
how to tie a few simple knots and be able to
help by lift and pulling logs into place. Teamwork
Also try human bridges and mental challenges
where they have to make a bridge
and coordination can also be explored with in
this adventure.
The ‘Tribe’ live in a Cannog that is accessed
by a bridge from the lake shore. Among the
ability of any ‘warrior’ is the knowledge and
wherewithal to build bridges. The ropes that
Beaver Scouts have made in the ropes and
fibres adventure can also be used to go effect.
Return to Rail Explorer interface
Staves. Rope. Gap...
Helping Others
Ideas on what to do
Ask the Beaver Scouts about what are the things
that they do to help others. Follow that with how
they could help people at home.
Activity Sheet
They should try to help each person in their
household once in a day for a few days. Before
they try to help they should first ask the person
how they can help them and then keep a log of
all the people they helped and what they did
At the next Log Chew have a look at the logs in
their memory bags that the Beavers Scouts kept
and compare what they did with others to see
what they did in common.
Why not try letting other people help you with
something to show you can let people help you.
What’s the
big idea
The big idea with this adventure is service to others
in all sorts of ways. The Beaver Scouts might suggest
projects at home and abroad. Ideally, the home projects
will be best as they can involve the Beaver Scouts
in real action projects. The abroad projects, perhaps
collecting for a charity are equally important. The
Beaver Scouts should explore a number of areas and
in its basic form it should be centred around
‘Doing a Good Deed’ every day. Lodges can
also work together on bigger jobs.
Tribal life is all about sharing - ‘one for all and
all for one’ - helping others is something that
should be natural in your lifestyle. The concept
of the ‘Meitheal’ at harvest and sowing time
when everybody came together to help each
other in turn - many hands make light work’
Return to Rail Explorer interface
A note book to use as a helping others log book.
Activity Sheet
For pairs of people.
1 blindfold
1 arm sling
1 wheelchair
2 name tags and pens
1 length of rope
2 small combs
1 tennis ball
2 paper cups
1 jug of water
Disability Simulation
Intro ...
Do you take for granted the simple things you do in
life? Do you ever stop to consider that some everyday
tasks are made very difficult due to having a physical
disability? Take some time to consider how making
changes to the physical environment could make life
easier for people with disabilities.
Activity type ...
This activity is an evening activity.
What’s involved ...
Divide the Unit into pairs.
Undertake a set of activities in the pairs.
Once completed the roles in the pairs are reversed
and repeated.
The Unit should discuss afterwards the impact the
‘disabilities’ had on completing everyday tasks.
Have each participant select a partner. Give each
team a kit of materials.
Decide who will simulate and who will assist
(reverse roles after completing tasks).
Have each team simulate one of the following
disabilities using a simulation apparatus where
Hearing … use no speech, only other methods to
communicate (sign language, etc.)
Visual … use a blindfold
Arm … place dominant arm in a sling
Legs … sit in a wheelchair
Have each team attempt to perform the daily living
activities list.
Do not let teams spend too much time on one
task. Keep in mind, however, that some of the
tasks will be difficult and may take longer than
usual to perform. Team members should provide
the minimum amount of help required for their
disabled partner to complete the task. When
finished, have partners reverse roles.
Return to Rail Explorer interface
Daily Activity List
Shake hands with your partner and introduce
Ask your partner when and how (means of
transportation) he or she arrived at this meeting.
Environmental/Manual Dexterity
Write your name on the name tag and put it on.
Tie the rope around your waist. Untie and remove
Personal Fitness/Hygiene
Comb your hair.
Pour water from the pitcher into a cup. Take a
Recreation/Physical Fitness
Pick up the tennis ball. Toss it to your partner.
Catch the ball your partner tosses.
Open door, go through doorway, close door.
Travel a short distance. Re-enter room.
Activity Sheet
ou with
Ca nicat
u ers?
m oth
Social – Can you
communicate with
Your Challenge ...
Try the Communication Game ... and discuss the lessons you learn while playing it!
Return to Rail Explorer interface
Communication Game
For Crews of four to seven people.
Activity Sheet
2 matching sets of children’s building blocks (with 10
blocks and 1 base board in each set).
2 tables
2 screens (behind which the objects sit so only the
director and builder can see them).
Intro ...
Think of a time when you made an arrangement with a
friend, but one of you turned up at the wrong time, or
in the wrong place! If that has happened it’s because
you or your friend (or both of you) didn’t communicate
Communication is a two way process … it involves the
giving of a message and the receiving of a message.
And if both parts are not done properly then more often
than not the result will be confusion!
Activity type ...
This activity is an evening activity.
What’s involved ...
Create a number of Crews.
Each Crew undertakes the Communication game.
At the end of the game discuss what you might have
done differently to communicate more effectively.
In preparation for the game, place a table at either
end of a room, with a screen in front of the table.
Build a random object using the 10 blocks and base
board from one set, and place on one of the tables.
This will be the directors table. The other table will
be the builders table.
There are 4 roles in the game:
Person A … director
Person B … runner
Person C … builder
Person(s) D … observer(s)
Person A stands behind the table with the builtup set of blocks, and is the only person who can
see the object. It is the director’s job to give clear
instructions to person B, the runner, so that person C
can build an exact replica of the model.
Person B listens to the director’s instructions and
runs to the other end of the room to where person C
is waiting behind the second table. The runner then
passes on the building instructions, without seeing
the building blocks, to Person C, the builder. The
runner can make as many trips as required within
the time allowed for the exercise.
Person C listens to the runner’s instructions and
builds the object from the set of building blocks. The
Return to Rail Explorer interface
builder is the only person who can see the object
under construction, and building materials.
Person(s) D observe the communication game,
and make notes about what works, what doesn’t
work, and how people behaved under pressure
etc., to pass onto the group later.
Set a time limit for the exercise of 10 minutes.
When the time is up, allow the group to compare
the model and the replica, and see how closely
it matches. Generally, the replica will bear little
resemblance to the original, which usually
causes heated discussion!
Allow the group to reflect on how the exercise
went, and agree 1 thing they did well, 1 thing that
didn’t work, and 1 thing they would do better next
The game can be run again, either switching or
keeping original roles. See if any improvements
have been made. Make sure you de-construct
the “original” model and create a new design!
Activity Sheet
Intro ...
There is no ‘I’ in Team … but there are a collection of ‘Me’s’!
A team is made up of individuals, and each one brings
something different. The question is, what team member
types do you have in your Unit?
Intellectual – Do you
know what
qualities you
bring to a team?
There are different ways of describing the types of members
in a team. One such way comes from the business world.
This lists nine team member types. Try out the suggested
team challenges and then have a look at the ‘Team Member
Types’ chart ... it will be interesting to see which members of
the Unit will match which type.
Activity type ...
This activity could be an evening or day activity. Obviously
if it is to be a day activity there needs to be more or longer
challenges, probably based in a mixed indoor/outdoor
Your Challenge ...
Try some team challenges and using the ‘Team Members Chart’ find out the
type of team members your Unit has.
Return to Rail Explorer interface
Activity Sheet
What’s involved ...
Create a number of Crews.
Each Crew undertakes between 4 and 8
team challenges.
The Crews should then review the ‘Team
Member Types Chart’, and match the
members of the Crew to the Team Member
Types based on how they behaved during
the challenges.
Bring the Crews together and group the
members of the Unit together by their Team
Member Type.
Discuss the results as a group.
Team Member Types Chart
Implementer - Well-organized and predictable. Takes basic
ideas and makes them work in practice. Can be slow.
Shaper - Lots of energy and action, challenging others to
move forwards. Can be insensitive.
Finisher - Reliably sees things through to the end, ironing
out the wrinkles and ensuring everything works well. Can
worry too much and not trust others.
Plant- Solves difficult problems with original and creative
ideas. Can be poor communicator and may ignore the
details. Bears a strong resemblance to the popular
caricature of the absent-minded professor.
Evaluator- Sees the big picture. Thinks carefully and
accurately about things. May lack energy or ability to
inspire others.
Return to Rail Explorer interface
Specialist- Has expert knowledge/skills in key areas and
will solve many problems here. Can be disinterested in all
other areas.
Coordinator- Respected leader who helps everyone focus
on their task. Can be seen as excessively controlling.
Coordinators will tend to delegate all work, leaving nothing
but the delegating for them to do.
Team worker- Cares for individuals and the team. Good
listener and works to resolve social problems. Can have
problems making difficult decisions.
Investigator- Explores new ideas and possibilities with
energy and with others.
Good networker.- Can be too optimistic and lose energy
after the initial flush.
Challenge 2: Multiple Tasks
Activity Sheet
For Crews of six to ten people.
Four balls of various sizes, compositions, weights, shapes, etc.
Five balls if the team has eight or more people
Use very different balls to make the exercise work better (for example a tennis
ball, a beach ball, a rugby ball, a ping-pong ball, etc.)
Challenge 1: Moving the Tubes
For Crews of four people or more.
A ball of string or very thin rope.
Two empty cardboard tubes of Pringles, or similar cardboard tubes (for example
postal tubes for rolled papers).
Some marbles or golf-balls or other small balls which fit into the tubes.
Place one tube in the centre of the room or table, open-end upwards. This is the
‘receptor’ tube.
Optionally (facilitator decision) secure the receptor tube to the table or floor using
Blu-Tack - don’t put Blu-Tack on carpet!
Using the string and the other cardboard tube (one end open, other end closed).
This is the ‘transporter’ tube. Transport a specified number of balls - one at a time into the receptor tube standing at the centre of room/table.
Each Crew member must hold at least one length of string connected to the
transporter tube.
No Crew member may handle a ball within two metres of the receptor tube.
No Crew member may move from their position once a ball has been placed into
the transporter tube and the transporting commenced.
Strings need to be tied to the transporter tube not only to move the tube, but also to
tip it, in order to deposit the ball into the receptor. The facilitator does not need to tell
the team(s) this unless failing to realise this becomes counter-productive.
Form the Crew into a circle.
The aim is to throw and catch a ball between Crew members in any order or
direction (the ball represents a task).
The ball must be kept moving.
A dropped ball equates to a failed task. A held ball equates to a delayed task.
When the Crew can satisfactorily manage the first ball, the facilitator should
then introduce a second ball to be thrown and caught while the first ball
remains in circulation.
The second ball relates to an additional task.
Continue to introduce more balls one by one - not too fast each time equating
them to additional tasks to be done.
Obviously before not too long the Crew is unable to manage all the balls, and
chaos ensues!
Avoid creating chaos too early by introducing too many balls too soon.
Allow the sense of increasing stress and confusion to build, according to the
ball-handling capability of the Crew.
Relate the experiences of the game to the Unit situation, especially effective
team working and communications.
• What does too much pressure and failure feel like?
• Are these feelings the same for everyone?
• Do we know how others are feeling and can best deal with stress and confusion, unless we ask?
• What helps us handle pressure and what makes things worse?
Return to Rail Explorer interface
Activity Sheet
Challenge 3: Newspaper Bridge
For Crews of four to six people.
Using only the newspaper and Sellotape issued, each Crew must construct a
bridge, including floor-standing supports at each end and a horizontal span.
The winning construction will be the one with the longest span between two floorstanding supports.
There must be at least 20cms clearance between the span and the floor. Any of the
span lower than 20cms clearance will not count towards the measurement.
The span must support certain objects issued (eg apple, chocolate bar, can of drink
- consumable items are more fun) which must be placed on the span. The objects
can be positioned anywhere on the span, but must not touch the floor-standing
The floor-standing supports must be free-standing, ie not attached to the floor or
any other object or surface.
The use of Sellotape as ‘guys’ from the bridge to the floor or another object or
surface is not allowed.
Time allowed for planning and building and placing objects on the span is say 20
You can allocate as many sheets as you wish, although it really depends chiefly
on the main purpose of the exercise, and then to an extent the duration and how
many Crew members per Crew. As a general rule - the fewer the sheets the
smaller the Crews and the shorter the exercise.
The activity can be changed to suit different purposes. For team building and
time-management, 20 sheets and Crews of 4-6 works best.
Building tips:
• It doesn’t matter how big the sheets are, but big double pages offer the
greatest scope for the towers.
• The main trick is to make long thin round-section struts, by rolling the sheets
and fixing with Sellotape. The struts can then be connected using various
techniques, rather like girders.
• Round struts (tubes) lose virtually all their strength if flattened or bent.
• The strongest design for weight-bearing is ‘building blocks’ of hexagonal
tubes (six sides). This is the shape that naturally results if lots of circular
tubes are compressed sideways together, and it’s also the shape found in
nature’s beehive construction. Hexagonal tubes are difficult to make though
and it’s unlikely that people will think to do it. It’s useful to make up a few
samples to demonstrate in the review how strong the hexagonal construction
Return to Rail Explorer interface
Challenge 4: Helium Stick Games
For Crews of between six and twelve, subject to the length of the stick used for the activity (see notes).
Activity Sheet
A long stick or tube (see notes).
• The Crew must support a long stick or tube, with each Crew member using one finger.
• The stick should be supported in this way at chest height.
• The stick must then be lowered to the ground.
• No fingers must lose contact with the stick.
• The team must return the stick to the starting position if any finger loses contact with the stick.
• The stick must rest on fingers - the stick cannot be grasped or pinched or held in any way.
• The tendency is for the stick to rise, hence the name of the exercise. For this reason use a stick
for the exercise that is light enough for this effect to occur, given the number of people in the team.
For example a broomstick is too heavy for a team of three people, but would be fine for a team of
• The stick (or any alternative item being lifted) must be rigid and not too heavy to outweigh the
initial ‘lift’ tendency of the team size. If it’s not rigid it makes it easy for team members to maintain
• Optionally you can instruct that a finger from each hand is used, which increases the lifting effect
and the difficulty of the task. The length of the stick and the number of Crew members are also
factors in this, i.e., two fingers per person requires a longer stick.
• Clarify the point at which the stick is considered ‘lowered to the ground’ - underside of fingers or
hands touching the ground is easier to monitor than actually depositing the stick onto the ground,
which depending on the ground surface can be very tricky.
• Ideas for sticks and team sizes (rough guides):
• Joined-together drinking straws (3-6 people)
• Houseplant sticks (3-6)
• Rolled sheet(s) of newspaper (3-10)
• Straightened-out wire coat-hangers (6-10)
• Bamboo poles (5-20 people)
• Inter-connecting tent poles (6-20 people or more)
• Drain clearer/chimney-sweeping rods (10-30 people)
Return to Rail Explorer interface
Activity Sheet
Body boarding and
The Challenge
Organise a body boarding
adventure for your Patrol. If you
do not have equipment you may
need to do this adventure via an
adventure centre.
Return to Rail Explorer interface
Body boarding and surfing
Adventure 2
Gear we need
Activity Sheet
Surf boards
Wet suits
Camping gear
What we need to learn
How to body board
How to swim
Water safety and buddy system
How to get in and out of a wet suit
Wind and tides
About the sea
Jobs to be done
Find someone to teach us how to Body
Check out adventure centres
Find the cost of taking part
Work up an equipment list
Work up a transport plan
Return to Rail Explorer interface
Decide what we are going to do
Divide out the jobs
Learn all new skills required
Agree all the details
Learn any new skills at meetings.
Test out skills at adventure centre
Take part in activity
What did we learn
How did we handle the activity
How did we go about organising the activity
Did everyone play a part
What was good about this adventure
What did not work out as planned.
Climbing /Abseiling
Activity Sheet
The Challenge
Learn how to use climbing ropes
and equipment and arrange some
expert assistance and training.
This adventure could be
completed using an adventure
centre, campsite or via a
mountaineering club.
Return to Rail Explorer interface
Activity Sheet
Climbing /Abseiling
Adventure 2
Gear we need
• Climbing equipment
• Climbing helmets
• Boots/Trainers
What we need to learn
How to use climbing ropes.
How to use climbing equipment.
How to climb on a rock face
Safety and how to behave.
Climbing techniques
How to do an abseil
Decide what we are going to do
Divide out the jobs
Learn all new skills required
Agree all the details
Jobs to be done
Find a person who will teach us to rock
Suitable location you can use
Get all the equipment we need together
Work up an equipment list.
Ask other to help
Return to Rail Explorer interface
Learn any new skills at meetings and training
Test out skills on real rock face
Take part in climbing activity
What did we learn
How did we handle the activity
How did we go about using the equipment.
What was good about this adventure
What did not work out as planned.
How did we deal with safety.
Activity Sheet
First aid /Rescue
The Challenge
Organise and set up a mock
first aid based rescue incident.
It should include a search and
discover element, rope based
rescue, first aid treatment and
stretcher carry out to safety.
Return to Rail Explorer interface
First aid /Rescue
Adventure 2
Activity Sheet
What we need to learn
First aid
How to rescue people from different situations
How to make stretchers
How to use climbing ropes
How to work as a team
How to find casualties in wild places
Climbing ropes
Climbing pulleys
First aid kits
Practice dummies
Decide what we are going to do
Divide out the jobs
Learn all new skills required
Agree all the details
Find suitable training course
Jobs to be done
Gear we need
Find a suitable training courses
Do a skills audit - What do we need to
Get all the equipment we need together
Invite other Patrols to take part
Work up an equipment list
Learn any new skills at meetings.
Test out skills at local campsite
Take part in a first aid/rescue based adventure.
Return to Rail Explorer interface
What did we learn
How did we handle the casualty
How did we get on with making and carrying
Did everyone play a part
What was good about this adventure
What did not work out as planned.
Town Planning
You are a group of Town planners employed by a local county council to design a new
town. In designing the town you are limited to the restrictions imposed by the County
Activity Sheet
You must design the Ideal “Newtown” which will agree with our philosophy of equality of
opportunity and freedom to all regardless of wealth, religion, class or politics.
Housing Types:
2 x Blocks of Luxury apartments (20 units)
1 x Council Housing Estate (200 families)
1 x Private owed Housing Estate (500 families)
1 x itinerant site (10 families)
2 x Blocks of council flats (50 families)
1 x Luxury Bungalow Estate (50 units)
1 x Block of old folks flats (30 units)
Other Services (Choose only 3):
Financial Services (Choose only 2):
G.A.A Club (with bar)
Rugby Club
Youth Club
Scout Hall
Community Centre (also a drop in centre)
Golf Club
Credit Union
Building Society
Commercial Bank
Pawn Broker
Train station
Bus station
Chemical Factory
Community Resources (Choose only 9):
Roman Catholic Church
Church of Ireland Church
Post Office
Shopping Centre
Fish and Chip Shop
Health Clinic
Doctors Surgery
Return to Rail Explorer interface
Activity Sheet
When we speak about environmental issues it
is very easy to think of the big ones … global
warming, saving the whales, destruction of the
rain forests. But each and every one of us has
an impact on the environment. And more often
than not this tends to be a negative impact. We
all create waste, we all use forms of transport
that pollute the atmosphere and we all use the
planet’s limited resources.
- What kinds of skills do your Patrol members
have? It only makes sense to take on a project that
you have the skills to compete. It might seem like a
good idea to paint a mural on a wall, but if no-one
in the Patrol can paint very well it’s not going to
look very good!
The following are some suggestions to help get you
started when you are thinking about carrying out
an environmental project. They are broken into a
number of groupings.
By taking on an environmental project you and
your Patrol can have a positive impact on the
environment and make the place in which you live
a better place. Environmental projects come in
all shapes and sizes. When thinking about what
project to carry out you and your Patrol should
consider some of the following:
Visual Environment
- What types of things are likely to make the
biggest impact in your area? Make a list and try to
choose something from this list rather than going
for the obvious.
- What are the interests of the Patrol members?
A project is only likely to be successfully
completed if your Patrol is interested from the
Plant trees and bulb flowers such as daffodils.
Paint a mural.
Clean up a local park.
Paint local buildings.
Animals & Wildlife
Create a wildlife area on an existing piece of wasteland.
Volunteer at an animal shelter.
Set up bird feeding points in your Scout den for the
Natural Resources
Start an energy conservation campaign in your Scout
Den in relation to the unnecessary use of electricity
(switching off lights, etc.).
Carry out a water conservation campaign in the homes
of your Patrol members.
Carry out a survey on the availability of recycled
products and encourage your Patrol members families to
buy more of these.
A word about fundraising and environmental projects.
Set up a recycling collection point in your
Scout Den for use by your Patrol members.
Hold a ‘recycled art’ competition.
Set up a composite pile and encourage
members of the Troop to use it.
Organise a car pooling plan for the members of
the Troop who travel by car to and from Troop
Clear an area of litter.
Adopt a forest and watch out for illegal
Return to Rail Explorer interface
Raising money for an environmental project is certainly
worth-while, but a more ‘hands on’ approach to
environmental projects is to be encouraged. You will
personally get a lot more from a project if you interact with
other people or if you complete a physical job yourself. Only
consider fund-raising if you need some money to complete
your project. For example if you decide to plant trees in an
area you may need to raise money to buy the trees.
Hear What People Are Really
Activity Sheet
important part of the process. You may have heard the
phrase ‘you have two ears and one mouth, so you should
spend twice as much time listening than talking and
Getting the right messages across in
the right way
Have you ever received a message and felt the sender really
wasn’t thinking about what you needed to know or hear?
Maybe you said things without thinking and have not got your
message across clearly. This is at best frustrating. At worst it
is such a huge “turn off” that it can have a negative effect, or
even produce an effect that is the exact opposite of the one
you had intended.
Whether you need to communicate general day-to-day
information or “big news” the best communications start with
some good planning.
The first step is to put yourself in the shoes of your audience.
What do they need to know, and want to hear? What’s their
preferred way of receiving information? What will stop them
listening to what you have to say? And how will you know
that they have got the message?
Talking is of course our primary means of communication
and we are good at that. When we talk we use all sorts
of non verbal communication signals to help the listener
understand what is being said. For example, we use our
hands and make facial expressions to reinforce a point
or make it sound hard or angry or soft and considerate.
Whereas in the written word these signals are missing and
the listener has to interpret the context of a message or
These points need to be considered as you communicate
with others via text message
for example, which by its nature
is short and to the point.
Similarly, social media or
other means of
communication can suffer
as a result so greater
care is required to convey
your message.
So there’s quite a bit more to good communications than
preparing a good text message or presentation!
Communication consists of two part – the communicator
and the listener (receiver). Listening is perhaps the most
Return to Rail Explorer interface
Listening is one of the most important skills
you can have. How well you listen has a
major impact on your communication skills
and on the quality of your relationships with
We listen to obtain information.
We listen to understand.
We listen for enjoyment.
We listen to learn.
Developing Teamwork in your Patrol
Activity Sheet
All activity within the Scout Troop are carried out
through the Patrol, so the Patrol is, in effect, a team
of young people working together to overcome the
challenges, experience the adventure and enjoy the
friendship of Scouting.
The job of the Patrol Leader is to work with the members of the Patrol so that they can become an effective working group and can undertake the challenges,
Scouting offers, with ease.
To win the cup, a football team needs to work together
as a group, putting their collective talents together so
that they are unbeatable. The strength of the team
lies in the fact that it consists of good players but also
in the fact that those players work for each other. The
whole team works towards a ‘goal’ and at the same
time defends their own goal from attack. No one
player can do all the work, nor play on every part of
the pitch.
Similarly, a Patrol is a collection of individuals, each
with their own talents and experience. The job of the
Patrol Leader is to discover these talents and blend
them together so that the Patrol becomes an effective
working unit.
The job of the Patrol Leader and every member of a
Is to bond together the Patrol as a group of friends?
Discover the talents and experience of your Patrol
and be able to use these talents to create an effective
Return to Rail Explorer interface
Develop within the Patrol, a spirit of Scouting and
the ideal of ‘all for one and one for all.’
Be enthusiastic and encouraging so as to move
your Patrol forward at all times. Seek the best and
work for the best from each member of the Patrol.
Welcome new recruits and help and encourage
them in their Scouting advancement. Introduce
them to the members of the Patrol and the Troop
and ensure that they become full members of the
Patrol as quickly as possible.
Show example and responsibility - the Scout Law
and Promise are your guides. At all times use
your common sense - there is a time for messing
and there is also a time for seriousness. Know
when the time is right for each.
Talk and listen to the members of your Patrol,
what are they saying to you? what do they want to
do? what are your plans as a Patrol?
The work load is divided up fairly - each member
of the Patrol has a job to do. An effective Patrol
is a busy Patrol. Many jobs need to be done,
someone to look after the gear, someone to write
up the log, another to look after the money. The
job of a Patrol Leader is to co-ordinate and lead,
not do everything yourself.
your Patrol
Activity Sheet
The Patrol is a collection of individuals each with their own strengths and
As the Patrol Leader your job is to create a Patrol.
• that has identity
• that has tradition
• that has honour
• that has loyalty
• that has plans
• and will work together to carry out those plans.
Give each member of your Patrol a job. Some of the jobs that need doing:•
Patrol Leader
Assistant Patrol Leader
Patrol Treasurer
Patrol Quartermaster
Patrol Scribe/Secretary
Patrol First Aider
Patrol Corner upkeep
Patrol Librarian/researcher
As each of the jobs in the Patrol has a certain level of responsibility they
are suited to particular levels of experience. It would be unfair to land a
new recruit with the job of quartermaster whereas the Patrol corner upkeep
would be a better starting point. The jobs of the Patrol should change,
perhaps yearly, so that the Patrol have an opportunity to learn from each
Return to Rail Explorer interface
Activity Sheet
Leadership skills
As you travel along the Scouting trail
your Patrol will be presented with many
opportunities and challenges. As Patrol
Leader or a member of your Patrol you
will be called upon to lead your Patrol
with enthusiasm towards the successful
completion of the challenge. Sometimes
it will be taking part in an incident trail or
game, at other times it will be a Patrol hike
or camp. Each requires different levels of
leadership but at all times the same basic
tools are used. These same tools are used
by all people in leadership positions and are
explained below.
Effective leadership is achieved when
each of the elements - the individual, the
Patrol and the task are mixed in the correct
The task
The task is simply what you and your Patrol
are expected to do. In determining what
you have to do it is most important that
you listen and ask questions so that you
understand clearly what is expected. In the
case of a game - how the game is to be played,
what are the rules, how you win the game. In the
case of an emergency happening, what treatment is
needed, what needs to be done, sending for help.
Each question will help to clarify the true picture
of the task to be completed. Sometimes, over enthusiasm to undertake the challenge, may lead to
it being attempted in a ‘half cocked’ manner, which
will affect how it is approached and probably have
a big bearing on the result. So be cool, be calm,
be collected, in your approach to all challenges,
particularly in emergency challenges.
Effective team
The individual
Each individual within the Patrol has a certain level
of expertise, knowledge and talents and each has
a role to play in solving or overcoming a problem
or task. As the leader of your Patrol you need to
be aware of these qualities and be able to mix and
match the skills and experience of your Patrol to
achieve the best result. Sometimes that might even
mean handing over the leadership of the Patrol to
another member who is better qualified to lead that
part of the task.
The Patrol
The Patrol is a team and the collective effort of
the team is required to complete the task. It is the
role of the Patrol Leader to direct and maintain
the qualities of the Patrol with the individual skills
of each member, and the task in mind. Each part of the machine must
work at the right time. Remember, the phrase, ‘all for one and one for
all’. Everyone in the Patrol should stay focused on the task so that when
they have completed their part they can assist others to complete theirs.
Each element is important in its own right and it is impossible to
complete the task by using one element alone. The job of the ‘Leader’ is
to find the correct mix for each challenge that is presented, so that the
task is completed successfully. This can only be learned by experience.
Each time the Patrol springs into action you will need to apply leadership
skills to the situation. Be prepared to learn from your mistakes. This is
the art of true leadership.
The Patrol Leader or ‘Leader’ who wants to ensure the Task, the Patrol
and the Individual are taken into account can make use of several
leadership skills. These skills are summarised in the following checklist.
They can be applied to any activity, programme or meeting.
Return to Rail Explorer interface
Activity Sheet
Leadership skills 2
The good Patrol Leader and ‘leader’ should constantly be asking:In achieving the task....
• Did I plan for it carefully with the Patrol?
• Did I continuously evaluate how it was going?
In working with the patrol...
• Did I share the leadership of the Patrol; were they fully
involved in making and carrying out the plans?
• Did I use all the resources available to me, and within the
• Did I co-ordinate the Patrol, so that it worked effectively as a
• Did I ensure that the Patrol’s interests were properly
represented when discussing them with other people?
Effective team
In encouraging and helping each individual....
• Did I communicate with every member of the Patrol?
• Did I help others to learn new skills ?
• Did I set an example to the Patrol?
Return to Rail Explorer interface
Activity Sheet
Look at the objects for 40 seconds.
Then take a pen and paper and list down as
many as you can in 90 seconds.
Return to Rail Explorer interface
Activity Sheet
Electric cars
You need a base board, some wheels,
batteries, a small motor, a propellor and a few
strong rubber bands. Connect it all together and
you have a ‘racer’. Set out a ‘drag track’ in your
meeting hall and have some fun.
Quiz boards
Using a battery and a simple circuit to light a bulb
you can crete training aids. Simple connect type
quizes whereby you have a series of symbols or
questions and a list of answers. By connect the
question to the answer the bulb will light up.
Use cardboard to create your test board and push
paper tags or thumbtacks through as connection
points. Join together the thumbtacks or paper tags
with bell wire.
Return to Rail Explorer interface
Activity Sheet
Rail tour puzzle
The sketch map shows a rail network around
a country. Starting from A one morning, a
man did a round tour of the country, spending
a night in each town and returning to A on
the twentieth day, having visited each town
once and once only.
The day he set out from A, a friend left from
B, on the same tour. He of course finished up
back at B. The fifth night of their tours they
spent together at L, and the following night
they found themselves together in another
At what other towns (if any) did they
spend the night together.
Return to Rail Explorer interface
Activity Sheet
Giving Directions Puzzle
You are at A and you wish to direct someone
to B.
What is the simplest set of instruction you
could give?
Return to Rail Explorer interface
Activity Sheet
Construct a ‘Level Crossing’ type
gateway for your campsite
Using your pioneering skills construct a lifting
gate similar to the lifting gates used ast level
crossings. You will notice from the drawing that
it will involve the use of pullies. When the bgate
is lifted the bottom poles of the gate will lift into
position,like a window blind before the main
pole lifts to allow entry to your campsite.
Return to Rail Explorer interface
Puzzle Solutions
Rail network Tour
The travellers spend the night also at G and P ( and incidentally the sixth night
must have been D.
Activity Sheet
The full routes would have been: A B C J K D E N M S R Q I H G P T O F A and B
Giving Directions
Turn left at each junction
Engineers and Natives
Return to Rail Explorer interface
Make your own train set
Print out this page on light card and cut out, fold and stick together to
create your own train set for display.
Activity Sheet
This is a carriage cut out, print out 4 sheets to create 4 carriages.
Return to Rail Explorer interface
Make your own train set
Print out this page on light card and cut out, fold and stick together to
create your own train set for display.
Activity Sheet
This is a carriage cut out, print out 4 sheets to create 4 carriages.
Return to Rail Explorer interface
Activity Sheet
Building Frame
Cut Slot
Create a model
bridge with
Score and fold along this line
Score and fold along this line
Cut along the line to create a tab.
Fold back and insert in slot
Print off on card the bridge
stone cutout and keystone
cutout on the following pages.
Return to Rail Explorer interface
Activity Sheet
KeyStone - cutout
Return to Rail Explorer interface
Activity Sheet
Bridge Stones
Return to Rail Explorer interface
Activity Sheet
Morse Buzzer and
nerve tester
Return to Rail Explorer interface