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Thread: What are we doing for Halloween?

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    What are we doing for Halloween?

    Probably a wee bit late with this, but what plans do people have? What do you find works best - a night in or a night out of the hall?

    We used to do a party, but gosh it was messy, so now we tend to go out.

    This year, (presumably partly because it's actually the 31st) we'll be having a quiet night. Most of our scouts are going to a party and some will no doubt be out guising.

    I think we'll treat those who do come down to a creepy walk then chips.

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    Our plans consistent of moving our meetings- Cubs had an extended session last week to make it up, Scouts met as a join effort with our other troop on Tuesday.

    Two years ago we ran on Halloween when it landed on a Tuesday. Between three sections we got 5 (3 of which were leaders kids). Not one person let us know. All the leaders turned up, some instead of other plans they'd like to have been at. The mood was NOT good. Neither was the email out to members afterwards.

    Anyway. Rant aside what we do for Halloween is ignore it completely. People do it elsewhere.
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    ESL and DESC ianw's Avatar
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    Nowt - half term.

    Years of random scouting events did mean that when one of my spawn said "Dad? Do you have anything for a vampirate outfit?" the answer was a wide selection of hats scarves flags* facepaints etc etc.

    * Having four pirate flags in the loft is normal right?
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    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
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    I used to do Halloween Parties but they got very messy and often out of hand. Now that we are using someone else's hall, I don't want the mess. So we decided not to run a Halloween party tonight.

    I have just cancelled as it appears that almost all the kids are going to Halloween parties anyway. I suspect that had we run one it would have been poorly attended, still messy and still out of hand!

    - - - Updated - - -

    I used to do Halloween Parties but they got very messy and often out of hand. Now that we are using someone else's hall, I don't want the mess. So we decided not to run a Halloween party tonight.

    I have just cancelled as it appears that almost all the kids are going to Halloween parties anyway. I suspect that had we run one it would have been poorly attended, still messy and still out of hand!



    Halloween parties are to me what pipe bands are to Pa_Broon.
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    When Halloween falls on a Monday or just a day or two after we give it a nod by doing a night walk round some of the haunted places in old Exeter. We add in some un-haunted but interesting places like the Catacombes and the site of the Old Town Jakes, possibly the first public toilets in England, dating from 1480. Otherwise we don't celebrate Halloween - they can do that by themselves.
    John Russell
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    We usually do a combined night of a few Halloween bits like apple bobbing and pumpkins plus bits for bonfire night next week like building stuff we can burn. We always run through half term and if a few less turn up than usual that's fine with me!

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    Scout Leader (Bosun) Nick's Avatar
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    If our troop night falls 1 or 2 days after Halloween we do pumpkin carving. On November 1st our local Sainsburys usually has pumpkins knocked down at 10p each. Nice cheap activity where we can afford to give them a pumpkin each or shared between 2. Wouldn't want to do this more than a couple of days after Halloween as the pumpkins that are sold cheap usually aren't the best ones so they start to go smelly and ooze everywhere if kept! Last time we did this we gave all the pumpkin innards to one of the Scouts that had a lizard that liked pumpkin - his mother wasn't overly happy when she collected him and the buckets of pumpkin bits!

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    Baloo KoopaCooper's Avatar
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    We've tried Hallowe'en parties for the Beavers and Cubs in previous years, but they were always really poorly attended due to kids wanting to be at larger Hallowe'en parties with their friends or at school or whatevs. For the exact same reason, our Christmas parties always end up being in the first week of December to avoid clashing with school end of term parties, otherwise they get terrible attendance too.

    As a result, we no longer attempt Hallowe'en festivities (and plan Xmas events 3 weeks early as mentioned), due to inevitably ending up as second-fiddle to whatever their schools are doing that week. :/

    On a different and more personal note, my own family's tradition for Hallowe'en is to turn off all the lights and pretend we've gone out for the whole night.

    ...what's the Hallowe'en equivalent of Ebenezer Scrooge? 'Cos I think I may be that.
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    Last month I set a personal challenge for a Scout to run last night. Even though I asked him about it all weekend (Scarefest) it wasnít until the night before that I get a message he is doing a football club try out.

    Cue 21:00 trying to put a programme together. Bearing in mind I have a full day at work and an hour commute each way.

    I got resources for 20 and got 9 Scouts . But I did get three parents helping. One of which will now officially be a Sectional Assistant.

    We started the night with some patrol challenges. 20 minutes to come up with :
    The best face painting - I have a load of face paints
    The best mummy - two rolls of toilet paper each
    The best short ghost story

    Then we moved onto mucky relay race:
    Apple bobbing
    Sweets in flour
    Sweets in jelly
    Ring doughnuts on string

    All with their hands behind their backs.

    Lastly we did a game of OSM which was a type of beetle drive but with a skeleton. I am not sure that was fun furled, but it killed 20 minutes. It also meant we cleaned up pretty quickly.

    It does seem a bit pointless if so many are absent due to Halloween parties or trick or treating.


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    Senior Member Shaun's Avatar
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    As Halloween falls in the half term, we arenít meeting, but many years ago we did a District Cub Sleepover, with a wide game in the grave yard and a ghost film afterwards.



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    No creepy walk, but there were chips.

    Out of 29 Scouts on the books, 5 turned up. But that's totally fine. We told them we appreciated their loyalty. I checked out the creepy walk in advance, and it turned out to be not that creepy, so we went directly to the chip shop. Since numbers were so low, they had a supper instead of just chips.

    Nights like that are a wee bit like school, when most of the kids are away on a trip but you chose not to go? I always liked having the place (almost) to myself.

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    Senior Member lakes_stu's Avatar
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    We don't usually do Halloween. It generally falls in the half term holidays for one thing. Also, we meet in a church hall and the church has been very clear that we are not to do anything related.
    All posts represent my own opinions only. In no way do they speak for anyone else, including (but not limited to) my group, district, county or HQ.

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    Baloo KoopaCooper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lakes_stu View Post
    We don't usually do Halloween. It generally falls in the half term holidays for one thing. Also, we meet in a church hall and the church has been very clear that we are not to do anything related.
    Way back when I was in Beavers, it was at a church-based Group... we never did anything Hallowe'eny there either (also it was the 80s and the popularity of Hallowe'en hadn't really come over from the States yet afaik), but we did always play an active role in the church's Harvest Festival celebrations. Do you?
    1988 - 1990: 4th Streatham Sea Scouts (PMLO), Beaver
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    We've never been attached to any church, so harvest celebrations never figured in our program.

    Way back in the day, when I was a scout (in the 1880's, eh, I mean the 1980's), we were having Halloween parties even then. There used to be fancy dress, turnip carving (no pumpkins back then), there would be trays of flour with sweets buried in there, but only after you'd 'dooked' for apples. You either did that with your teeth out of a basin of water, or you dropped forks while standing on a chair.

    We also used to do treacle buns - not even sure this was a halloween thing. Not sure what the buns were, (they might have been rowies, I'm still not sure). I never did it because treacle is mingin'.

    So you'd have this rowie (possibly) or plain bun hanging on a piece of string dipped in treacle. With your hands behind your back, you just had to try and take a bite out of it. One year a scout decide to run up and take a bite out of the bun. Unfortunately the string caught one of his teeth and howked it out.

    I think we stopped doing treacle buns on Halloween after that.

    The village here was mobbed with guisers - although I dare say they weren't calling it that. It was curious to watch gangs of mums peering up paths as their kids stood on doorsteps in shop-bought costumes with the grubby palms out for sweeties.

    There there's the slightly older, more ominous crowds of kids - with a faint air of malice about them... Shops here won't sell eggs to kids in the run up to Halloween.

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    GSL & AESL shiftypete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lakes_stu View Post
    Also, we meet in a church hall and the church has been very clear that we are not to do anything related.
    I have never understood this attitude from Churches, do they not realise that Halowe'en is short for All Hallows Eve i.e. the evening before All Saints Day and such is a Christian festival? Now obviously actually the early church did its usual thing of adopting an existing local festival (Samhain) and Christianising it but they can't have it both ways and adopt a festival and then object to people celebrating the Christian version of it.

    Peter Andrews ESL of Headingley Pirates ESU, Group Scout Leader & Webmaster of Falkoner Scout Group
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    Please note all views expressed are my own and not those of any organisation I'm associated with

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