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Hillwalking Skills Night

As always, we started our meeting by reciting our Charter. Our first game of the night was Chairball. However, rather than the usual splitting the troop in two, we played a four way game with each patrol for themselves. The hall is a bit small and the ceiling a bit low for games like this, but we did our best and had a great game.

Tonight we started to look in more detail at maps and compasses. We hadn’t done any work on this for about a year so it was pretty much back to the start. We split into our Terra Nova and Discovery Groups, with the Discovery group looking to finalise their work before the Investiture next week. With the Terra Nova group, Ciaran explained about grid references and using maps. There was a bit of giddyness and it took a while for everyone to settle down.

We had looked at maps before and most of the scouts were familiar with them, but compasses were something new to the scouts. Brendan drew a big compass on the White Board and explained the features so that everyone could see. Each pair of scouts was then given a compass and had a go at taking a few bearings. Most of them seemed to get it straight away.

Then it was back to the maps to look at something in a bit more detail – countour lines. Again Brendan drew some examples up on the board and explained with a side view what each would actually look like. Contour lines can be confusing and taking a bearing can be very confusing when you don’t really know what you are supposed to be doing, but we spend a good bit of time working on them even when the Discovery crew came back in.

We had planned to run a game/challenge at the end of the meeting but we ran out of time. We’ll keep that one in our back pocket for when we need it. At the end of the meeting, we reminded everyone that our investiture will be on next week and that they were to have full uniform.

Also some of the older scouts were participating in a collection day for Cappagh Hospital on behalf of the Irish Youth Foundation on Saturday so we confirmed the details with them.

It was great to get back in map work and introduce the compass. We can now start building towards the next Hiking Skills Badge.

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