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Thread: What are we doing for Halloween?

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    We put on a small indoor fireworks display for the Beavers this evening.

    Tbh though, the indoor fireworks that we bought turned out to be spectacularly underwhelming, although they did do a pretty good job of scorching the pyrex bowl they were lit in. That'll take some scrubbing to get clean (if it ever does come good xD)

    The Scouts were meant to have a bonfire outside and put on some small sketches that they prepared during the evening...but the bonfire couldn't get started 'cos all the wood was still damp from rain some days ago (the wood was covered...but the cover keeps getting blown off by the wind! xD)

    And the next question I guess will be - who'll be taking part in Remembrance Day services? Group, District, or public ones?

    (My Group will be at the local public service as per)
    1988 - 1990: 4th Streatham Sea Scouts (PMLO), Beaver
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    2004 - 2011: 1st Streatham Common, OH
    2011 - 2012: 1st Streatham Common, CSSA
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    Quite a lot of chat doing the rounds (here and elsewhere) about how these 'celebrations' have evolved over the years. I don't imagine any of them have much to do with what kicked them off. I was watching a Youtube channel (I know, down with the young team), in it was a family who were taking their kids trick or treating. It was exactly the same scenes as I saw in the village where I live. Clumps of parents standing at the bottom of driveways watching their kids perform for sweets...

    I think, on balance, the older tradition of guising has a little more depth to it.

    So far for Bonfire night, it'll be a bonfire. In the finest tradition of the day, we'll probably toast some ecumenical marshmallows for placement between strictly apolitical digestive biscuits.

    I've also sourced a number of glo-sticks, which we will compel scouts not to consume the contents there-of. You'd think they'd know drinking liquid that glows in the dark might not be good for them, but they seem not to.

  3. #33
    ESL and DESC ianw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    I've also sourced a number of glo-sticks, which we will compel scouts not to consume the contents there-of. You'd think they'd know drinking liquid that glows in the dark might not be good for them, but they seem not to.
    You've got to bite them open so you can flick the contents over everything and make sure it goes in someones eye.
    Not toxic, but stings like crazy. And they panic because they think it's toxic or poisonous or something. So that's a bonus.
    Ian Wilkins
    Farnham District Explorer Scout Commissioner

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  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by ianw View Post
    You've got to bite them open so you can flick the contents over everything and make sure it goes in someones eye.
    Not toxic, but stings like crazy. And they panic because they think it's toxic or poisonous or something. So that's a bonus.
    It's always a curiosity. When young people do a thing, and the outcome is blindingly (ha ha) obvious, yet they do it anyway - and - are surprised when the inevitable happens.

    Digressing ever so slightly... (By which I mean, a lot...)

    Some times ago, we we're tidying out some cupboards in our hall. Someone howked out an old tin of paint. Eventually, it got knocked over and a large blob of white emulsion ended up on the floor. A scout ran over and stamped on it. I'm not exaggerating when I say it went everywhere - it went absolutely everywhere.

    Obviously, a massive bollocking ensued. Fortunately it didn't go in any eyes, but I was right there - and it mostly went over me and the not quite brand new jacket I was wearing. Said scout then started walking around the hall leaving white foot prints. He just looked slightly panicked and surprised. Another bollocking ensues and we told him to take his shoe off/get out the hall.

    He walked home in a huff. It being a dark night, I went to his house after we finished to make sure he wasn't in a ditch somewhere. His dad answered the door. I explained what happened, his dad said he was upset. I was literally standing there, splattered in paint. I asked if the boy was alright, because he got a bollocking for doing what he did and was obviously upset about it. His dad said and I quote "he's sensitive to that sort of thing..."

    I was a wee bit lost for words to be honest. Nothing said about what might have occurred - no apology or acknowledgment or wrong-doing, just that the boy was sensitive to getting a row when he'd done something quite seriously wrong.

    We did ask the scout (in between bollockings) why he did it. He said he didn't know the blob of paint would do what it did. After a lot of old-fashioned looks, we asked him what he thought would happen. That got a blank face.

    Digressing even further. It reminded me of a thing that happened at school years ago - I got stabbed in the chest. The boy that did it was asked why, he said he didn't know. They asked him what he thought would happen - it was a very similar blank-faced look.

    I remember it well...

  5. #35
    ESL and DESC ianw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    Digressing even further. It reminded me of a thing that happened at school years ago - I got stabbed in the chest. The boy that did it was asked why, he said he didn't know. They asked him what he thought would happen - it was a very similar blank-faced look.

    I remember it well...
    I guess you probably would!

    But yeah, there are kids that think through stuff, and kids that don't, and Smiffy that really really doesn't.

    And it's exactly and literally that conversation...

    "What did you think would happen?"
    "Dunno."...blank look.

    I suppose, that's because they're not very experienced I suppose. But it wouldn't surprise me if in similar circumstances they'd do more or less exactly the same thing over again, and probably express surprise at the outcome.
    Ian Wilkins
    Farnham District Explorer Scout Commissioner

    Jambowlree - Worldwide Scout Ten Pin Bowling Competition
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    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ianw View Post
    I guess you probably would!

    But yeah, there are kids that think through stuff, and kids that don't, and Smiffy that really really doesn't.

    And it's exactly and literally that conversation...

    "What did you think would happen?"
    "Dunno."...blank look.

    I suppose, that's because they're not very experienced I suppose. But it wouldn't surprise me if in similar circumstances they'd do more or less exactly the same thing over again, and probably express surprise at the outcome.

    Aw, it isn't just kids. I've seen aduilts do it. I've done it. I bet many of us have.

    One afternoon, down at the hut doing some odd jobs and clearing up, I found a can of expanding foam that was part used and blocked solid. No way we could use it after it lying for so long.

    I took it outside and used it as target practice round the back of the hut to see what would happen...

    It took a couple of hours to clean the new cladding of the somewhat explosive expanding foam. Our Chairman was passing on his way home, saw my car, and dropped in as I was scraping the last of the foam off the wall. He instantly knew what had happened and looked at me and said...

    "What did you think would happen?"

    But he was used to my nonsense, like the time we blew a crater in the field with an inverted rocket... Or, the time we tested microwaves to destruction with gas and a teaspoon... Or the Halloween party with the Jelly Splat that took years to clear all evidence of.

    I'm past all that now because I have to use someone else's hall and if we blow a hole in their Mugga we are trying waaay too hard.
    Ewan Scott

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    Quote Originally Posted by shiftypete View Post
    Yes toffee apples are a traditional bonfire night food
    As are plot toffee and Yorkshire parkin and parkin pigs.

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    Just had our annual bonfire night, we do BBQ fireworks, marshmellows, sparklers etc and usually have lots of things to burn last year we burnt the houses of parliament this year we had the explosives, plus 4 guys and 3 Halloween skeltons

    not for fundraising or anything just for fun and it's extremely popular

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushfella View Post
    Aw, it isn't just kids. I've seen aduilts do it. I've done it. I bet many of us have.

    One afternoon, down at the hut doing some odd jobs and clearing up, I found a can of expanding foam that was part used and blocked solid. No way we could use it after it lying for so long.

    I took it outside and used it as target practice round the back of the hut to see what would happen...

    It took a couple of hours to clean the new cladding of the somewhat explosive expanding foam. Our Chairman was passing on his way home, saw my car, and dropped in as I was scraping the last of the foam off the wall. He instantly knew what had happened and looked at me and said...

    "What did you think would happen?"

    But he was used to my nonsense, like the time we blew a crater in the field with an inverted rocket... Or, the time we tested microwaves to destruction with gas and a teaspoon... Or the Halloween party with the Jelly Splat that took years to clear all evidence of.

    I'm past all that now because I have to use someone else's hall and if we blow a hole in their Mugga we are trying waaay too hard.

    We all have our moments. Mine are usually "I wonder what will happen if i chuck X on the fire". Like the year we found a box of old fireworks that someone had (unwisely) put in the stores a few years previously. Onto the fire they went, followed by a rather rapid sprint!

    Sadly the "health and safety" culture these days means most people only get taught "don't do X, Y or Z" and don't learn the reason why. Its not until you stick a pile of teaspoons in a microwave that you really learn why its a bad idea. Its not until you pop a stack of old tyres on the fire that you realise why it upsets the neighbours.


    Back to the original topic... when I was a leader i tried to avoid doing anything for Halloween - i dont have anything against the concept of halloween parties, but its so ridiculously commercialised these days, and to many kids seems to be on a par with Christmas and Easter. I do have a lot against the idea of "Trick or Treat" - strangers are not welcome to knock my door at the best of times (door to door salesmen and "chuggers" tend to be told where to go), so the idea of a bunch of kids knocking on the door with a handful of eggs does not appeal.

    I am aware of a few scout groups that arrange for their members to go trick or treating. I assume (or hope!) that this is to pre arranged addresses - e.g. the homes of parents or exec members who have been prepped with sweets to hand out, and that they aren't going around the village harrassing the elderly. BP famously said that "Scouts don't beg". I can't imagine that he would be particularly impressed at groups of scouts going out "Begging with malice"

    As for bonfire night - we used to do a bonfire and some fireworks, usually combining two or three sections for the evening.

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    Quote Originally Posted by campwarden View Post
    We all have our moments. Mine are usually "I wonder what will happen if i chuck X on the fire". Like the year we found a box of old fireworks that someone had (unwisely) put in the stores a few years previously. Onto the fire they went, followed by a rather rapid sprint!
    Oh, I remember the first year we used these big display fireworks. as opposed to single-shot affairs. For years the spent single shot fireworks had been disposed of on the remains of the bonfire, with never a spark of activity. The year we changed to display fireworks, one of the team, not me this time, chucked a spent mortar pack onto the fire. It fell with the top slightly elevated and facing the hall, where people were busy packing away at the doors.

    There was a whoosh, and a green flare exploded feet away from them, then a red, and a green - about five shots in all.

    The incredible thing was that no one moved. Everyone froze.

    Then there was that typical response where the male leaders fell about laughing and the female leaders tore strips off the idiot who put the firework on the fire - even although they had done the same themselves for years.

    The following year, spent fireworks were dumped in a bin full of water before anyone got any smart ideas.
    Ewan Scott

    It seems that there are a lot of Nawyecka Comanch around....





    Nawyecka Comanch'": "Means roundabout--man says he's going one way, means to go t'other" Ethan Edwards - The Searchers



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    Had a fire tonight. Bought a ton of those fluorescent tube thingies. I'm fairly sure I don't need to tell you what they made out of them.*

    S'mores and sparklers were also broken out. Kids were a wee bit hyper though - not massively bad, but it was definitely one of those nights.

    We used a stripped down washing machine drum we had stowed away. They work really well as a fire pit, ummm, drum, ummm, fire barrel?

    Wotevs. Lots of air flow, and it was glowing red round the bottom towards the end, which fascinated the scouts that weren't making, ummm, 'models' out of the fluorescent tube things.


    * It was supposed to be glasses, Mickey Mouse ears and some sort of wand/flower thing.

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    If you are talking stupidity; we had a Scout a good few years ago who was nearly 14 but it was before the days of Explorers.
    He seemed quite a bright kid and the son of a professional footballer.

    On camp whilst cooking on an open fire in a small half barrel he grabbed it with both hands and obviously got burned. (We thought that he would make a good burgler as he had no fingerprints :-) )

    We asked him why he did it and what he thought would happen. He quite simply said that he didn't think the barrel would be hot on the outside.

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    Quote Originally Posted by daveb123 View Post
    If you are talking stupidity; we had a Scout a good few years ago who was nearly 14 but it was before the days of Explorers.
    He seemed quite a bright kid and the son of a professional footballer.

    On camp whilst cooking on an open fire in a small half barrel he grabbed it with both hands and obviously got burned. (We thought that he would make a good burgler as he had no fingerprints :-) )

    We asked him why he did it and what he thought would happen. He quite simply said that he didn't think the barrel would be hot on the outside.
    If we're talking stupidity now...

    When I was a Scout, we were on a camp and one of the other boys decided to dispose of his waste on the campfire. 30 seconds later...

    "Nick, what did you just throw on the fire?"

    "Oh, a can of body-spray...but don't worry, it was empty!"

    ....

    "Oh SHI-----!!!!!"

    Everyone suddenly and simultaneously dove for cover, which was just as well as literally a second later the can of body-spray exploded in all directions. We found chunks of it embedded inches deep into several of the trees nearby, as well as some branches sliced clean off by passing debris, which was spread for about 30ft all around. Thank heavens nobody got hit.
    1988 - 1990: 4th Streatham Sea Scouts (PMLO), Beaver
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    2004 - 2011: 1st Streatham Common, OH
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    Quote Originally Posted by campwarden View Post
    We all have our moments. Mine are usually "I wonder what will happen if i chuck X on the fire". Like the year we found a box of old fireworks that someone had (unwisely) put in the stores a few years previously. Onto the fire they went, followed by a rather rapid sprint!

    Sadly the "health and safety" culture these days means most people only get taught "don't do X, Y or Z" and don't learn the reason why. Its not until you stick a pile of teaspoons in a microwave that you really learn why its a bad idea. Its not until you pop a stack of old tyres on the fire that you realise why it upsets the neighbours.
    .....
    Really, some things are so dangerous that "realising" the effect isn't worth the risk. Our example was a patrol who stuck a squirty cream can on their fire, nothing happened so they joined another patrol under that patrol's dining shelter. About 10 minutes later it exploded sending a shard of something (not really sure what it was as we never found it) straight through their dining shelter. Had the two patrols gathered there I shudder to think of the consequences. I do think if we know how dangerous taking risks might be we either clamp down, or demonstrate in a safe environment, but not sure what is the safe environment for an exploding can !

    Although we may recall such stories with amusement and lots of exclamation marks, some serious consideration of what might have happened douses such thoughts rapidly.

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    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RisingStar View Post
    Really, some things are so dangerous that "realising" the effect isn't worth the risk. Our example was a patrol who stuck a squirty cream can on their fire, nothing happened so they joined another patrol under that patrol's dining shelter. About 10 minutes later it exploded sending a shard of something (not really sure what it was as we never found it) straight through their dining shelter. Had the two patrols gathered there I shudder to think of the consequences. I do think if we know how dangerous taking risks might be we either clamp down, or demonstrate in a safe environment, but not sure what is the safe environment for an exploding can !

    Although we may recall such stories with amusement and lots of exclamation marks, some serious consideration of what might have happened douses such thoughts rapidly.

    There is always the, usually male, reaction that having escaped without injury, almost anything has a comedy value - perhaps because we watched too many slapstick films in our youth. ( I note less such reaction in today's teenagers).

    It is possible for some things to be carried out under controlled conditions. It is when Smithy puts the can of deodorant on the fire without telling anyone that things go wrong. I can think of some close shaves that happened during tightly controlled bonfire parties, that always led to even tighter controls. I will just never run another bonfire party now that I have broken from the tradition.

    The closest shave we ever had was perhaps when we built an aerial runway - to the AR Code - but for some reason the site warden insisted that we use the site bungee cord for the brake. The run was the best part of 110metres following the slope of the hillside. On testing it showed that it stopped where we wanted it to stop and the passenger could easily be taken out of the harness at ground level.

    First live passenger was my eldest son - who thankfully is not and never was physically lacking - As he sped down the line, the bungee took effect, then, suddenly, he sped up, flew past the get off point, through the safety brake, with such force that it ripped out of the ground, and was only stopped when the trolley hit the A-Frame, his momentum was such that it pulled the guys out of the A-frame and the legs collapsed behind him, narrowly missing his head.

    Had the Scouts built the A-frame with the crossbar in the traditional position, he would have hit it at speed. As it happens, they had the crossbar at ground level - something that I have done ever since.

    The cause of the accident - a perished bungee cord, only visible once it had snapped.

    So, we used our own, and since then always insisted that we used our own kit for anything that had safety implications.

    But... you can never account for stupidity.
    Ewan Scott

    It seems that there are a lot of Nawyecka Comanch around....





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