The October meeting at the British Cemetery was a great chance for the Beavers and wider group to maintain our links with different areas of the British community in Madrid.
We started by meeting Julio the gardener who was able to show us an area by the entrance and how to safely use hand tools for part of the gardening badge. Once the Beavers area was spick and span Alex got a spontaneous nomination from the group for Beaver of the Month (well done!!) as he was such a hard worker.
As usual we met with our young leaders Sarah and Rebecca for the Lodge’s favourite game of Squirrel and Fox which the guys chose at the end of last time’s meeting. This also gave us a chance to cross the road ready for practicing the Green Cross Code at the next meeting.
After snack time we went on to explore further with Felix’s treasure hunt that allowed us to work on navigation and decoding hidden messages. Everybody enjoyed drawing maps and learning how a compass works for the first time. We have a few pictures below. Fortunately the rain held off to the very end, which gave us five minutes to have a chat about the day and make sure we could remember our knots from last time. Finally, there was just time to collect our raffle tickets and our plant growing kits kindly donated by Ursa. Once fully grown these will be the last step in the gardening badge and, as they’re herbs, possibly the first step in the cooking one.
All this was focused on the World and Outdoors challenge badges which we’re hoping to award in the very near future, thanks to all for coming. To end we’d like to extend a warm welcome to Gary who has volunteered as assistant leader after coming from Scouting in the US and say how much we’re looking forward to our next meeting at winter camp.
After the opening ceremony we did community work by cleaning the site. We took weeds out and did an overall clean up. We helped the Cubs to build teams (some did raking, others were bag holders, some had the task of pulling weeds, etc.) and we taught them the differences between weeds, dry plants, and decorative plants.
Afterwards we played a game based on the cemetery map. We divided into groups and gave them pictures of different tombs. They had to search in the cemetery for the tombs of the pictures and mark them on the map.
We did a tour around the cemetery, learning about different cultures, nationalities religions and burial rituals.
There were several wild cats on site and we discussed safety rules regarding non-domesticated animals (safe distance, feeding, etc.).
We welcomed two new Cubs from Texas, USA. They came wearing their Texan Cubs shirts and we looked at the similitudes/differences of the badges and spoke about how the Scouts bring us together.
We did a “break the code” problem solving activity based on autumn symbols.
Finally, we gave them the raffle tickets to sell and participated in the closing ceremony.
After our work, the cemetery looked much better!