Sunday, June 24, 2007

Underwater Activity Weekend

Possibly the wettest weekend of the year so far, but most activities went ahead as usual as the many youngsters didn't seem to notice the rain at all. Saturday morning saw torrential rain which caused the cancellation of a few activities (abseiling and bungee trampoline), but the rest all ran successfully albeit in a slightly modified form (the go-kart track now contained a significant water-feature to negotiate).

After a brief respite in the afternoon (which caused many to discard their waterproofs), the rain appeared again and proceeded to soak everything in sight.

After a very busy and wet day, the staff retired to the staffhut for a rather belated Burns Supper (after spotting some rather keenly-priced haggis in Tescos the previous evening).

Although an outdoor campfire had been planned for the saturday evening, it was obviously going to be far too wet so an indoor variation was quickly arranged for everyone (Brownies, cubs, explorers) which seemed to be very popular.

Sunday started off exactly as Saturday had - torrential rain. Although one group of day visitors turned up and immediately decided to leave, another two braved the weather and seemed to have a great time (the Girls' Brigade even having an end-of-day barbeque!)

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Jamboree Contingent

In preparation for the upcoming World Jamboree in July, several hundred members of the Scottish contingent descended on Fordell for a weekend of training and activities. Almost all of the available activity sessions were taken up on the Saturday, and a total of 18 Fordell staff helped out (a mixture of Fellowship, full-time and Project Scotland volunteers). Activity sessions were held on Saturday morning and afternoon, with both the Explorer Scouts and contingent leaders taking part.

As well as the usual centre activities, the Jamboree staff laid on a number of additional ones including hovercraft racing, which was carried out at a location nearby - the site not having a suitable flat area once all the contigent had pitched their tents.

After a hard day's work for both the Jamboree participants and the Fordell staff, the contingent leaders laid on a fantastic barbeque for everyone which was much appreciated (although there was so much food that the main problem was in trying to balance it all on a paper plate).

The weekend also saw the much-needed unveiling of 2 new flags for the site - a Union Jack and a Scouts Scotland flag (the latter being the only one of its type currently in existance!). The provision of these new flags was made possible by a very generous donation from the son of a local man who had been involved in Scouting and had sadly died recently, and wished to give something back to the movement.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Grand Designs

A major shock was in store for many staff members as they arrived in the staff-hut on the Friday evening. Gone was the ancient and much-loved warped ceiling in the staff lounge (with headache-inducing fluorescent striplights), and in its place was a beautiful pine ceiling, complete with new spotlights.

Work on this had been planned for some time, and had been carried out during the week by external contractors who have also recently re-clad the exterior of the hut and also renovated the bedrooms in the Richmond Chalet. Although the centre staff generally like to carry out this type of work themselves in order to keep costs down, a combination of busy activity sessions and memories of Dave's recent attempt to demolish the dividing wall whilst putting up a picture hook led them to seek outside help.
All agreed that it was a major improvement, and plans are underway to decorate the rest of the lounge in due course.

After a reasonably busy weekend, Sunday night saw a staff 'open meeting' which allows everyone who is a member of the Fellowship to give their views on all the issues that affect them and the site. These are intended to be held every quarter, and provide an opportunity for members or helpers who are not committee members to have their say on issues.

After the meeting, a barbeque was held outside the staffhut, aided by some rather nice weather. Fine food was enjoyed by all, except for Brian who turned up very late and found that all that remained were a few lumps of hot coal on a plate (see photo). Despite this the evening was a relaxing way to end the weekend and looks likely to feature regularly during the summer.