Out of Doors – Phase 2

Phase 2 of an octant should take at least 12 hours to complete, it can be a continuation of Phase 1 or something new. For my Phase 2 I went camping for the very first time!

Phase 2: Volunteer at Wellies and Wristbands

This was my first experience of camping with guiding and volunteering at a Guide and Senior Section event. I stayed at Foxlease from Thursday 27th August to Monday 31st August, camping for four nights.

Setting up camp on the first evening was easier than I expected, and carrying my equipment up to Katherine Wilson campsite wasn’t too difficult either. I was worried about the campsite shower! But this was fine too.


I had been assigned to the activities team and was allocated shifts at the Hot Tubs and the Cinema. I was shown how to operate, maintain and keep the girls safe around the hot tubs. This task became difficult as you needed to remember which groups had been in the longest! There were fourteen tubs to keep a watch over. The cinema wasn’t much of an outdoorsy activity, but it gave the guides a place to rest and be quiet following their more energetic activities. Whist manning this I was giving out popcorn and slushy drinks, took money and set up the film.


Because the volunteer team were short staffed I also took on other shifts. On Friday I joined the Meet and Greet team and welcomed guide groups as they arrived at the campsites and helped direct them to their assigned area. On Saturday morning I helped set up the ‘Daily Dash’ – a group of large outdoor games – and put up decorations. I stayed on to help run some races. On Saturday afternoon I did a shift in the Foxlease shop taking money. On Sunday I spent some time running the sports day races, including egg and spoon and sack races, and I also manned some of the inflatable activities.

With my free time I explored the site and saw the great range of activities the girls could take part in. I spent some time having afternoon tea and made a beaded keyring in the craft tent. In the evening I saw some of the bands at the stage.

Over the weekend the weather changed from hot and sunny on Friday to heavy rain on Monday morning so experienced camping in different weathers. I really enjoyed the weekend, and glad I chose the experience camping rather than staying in one of the buildings.



Out Of Doors – Phase 1

Phase 1 of an octant must be about trying new things and should last for a couple of hours. These are the adventures I had to achieve Phase 1 of the Out of Doors Octant …

Phase 1: Try a Segway forest trail

This was my first time riding a segway and it was much easier than I expected. Just gentle movements backwards and forwards to move, and leaning the handles from side to side to steer. This segway trail took us through the forest of Elvden, Centre Parcs in December 2013.

The activity made a usual trail through the forest a new experience. The basics of segways were easy to master, so most of this activity involved just enjoying being in the forest. The most difficult task was learning to move up and down mounds within the forest.

Phase 1: Take part in a Bush Craft session

In November 2014 I took part in a two and a half hour session of Bush Craft at Elvden, Center Parcs. The first activity was to study images of tracks left by a range of animals and to decide what they were. The expert talked us through the pictures and we became able to spot different deer by the size of their prints, the difference between rabbits and hares and also otters, dogs, cats and human.

We then headed into the forest to discover the different uses of plants. For example never burn the leaves of Elder trees as these become poisonous. We also looked at stinging nettles and was shown how to hold them without being stung. Nettles have a range of uses from tea to shampoo, plus crushing the leaves produces a liquid that will sooth the stings it causes.

I really enjoyed looking for tracks within the forest. This became easier by getting on the ground, shutting eyes and feeling the dips in the ground.

My favourite part was learning about navigation. We were shown how to use a watch as a compass, either analogue or digital, how to make a sundial, how to find the North Star and also how to navigate using any star if you cannot find the North Star.


We were shown how to start a fire using material from trees or tree stumps. We also had a brief session discussing the different type of trees and how to identify them.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the session and would like to take it further by learning more about constellations, and being able to identify all the common trees and leaves.

Phase 1: Build a bird table and take part in RSPB Big Bird Watch

After receiving an email from Girlguiding we considered including the RSPB Big Bird Watch into our Brownie programme. The Brownies then chose Wildlife Explorer as the interest badge they wished to work towards in Spring 2015 so this became a part of our termly activities.

To be able to run the badge efficiently I studied which are common birds for our area. I was given the parts to build a bird table for Christmas 2014, and after building this on 2nd January 2015 regularly fed birds in the garden.


The more regular visitors are woodpigeons, blackbirds, and sparrows. When I notice birds I do not recognise I use the rspb.org.uk website to identify what they are.

Using the Brownie Adventure book page 51 the Brownies made yoghurt pot bird feeders. Each girl was given a RSPB bird watch printout to know which birds to look out for. I collected all the data from the Brownies and input this to RSPB and as a unit we received a certificate for our work.

Since then we now have a bird bath beside the table and notice a lot more birds visiting the garden, including some nests in the trees.

April Highlights!

So I’m not updating the blog regularly, I wish I could but I also really wish I had time for a lot of things! I’m spending more time writing and drawing; even running Brownies has taken a hit the last 6 months. I will continue updating everything I did to complete Look Wider.

I opened up this new blog post though to discuss the month we’ve just finished. I’ve recently been following the work of Frannerd: http://frannerdsblog.blogspot.co.uk/ and I enjoy her monthly favourite things.

I like the idea of recapping the month, in the future I can look back on what I was up to at a certain time in my life. It is also a great opportunity to draw different things.

So no more introduction, here is my monthly highlights:


  1. Finally read The Walking Dead book twelve. James bought me this for Christmas (along with a volume every preceding Christmas for about 6 years). We didn’t realise 2 books came out last year so this was the wrong one! We waiting until we had the money then bought book eleven, and now I’ve read them both I’m so excited for the next one. The story is just so unexpected at times!
  2. I received my Commonwealth Award and Chief Guide Challenge badges! We had a district fun day this month and the county commissioner presented me with my sparkly badges. I’m so proud to wear them on my badge tab. (I know I should only wear one as an adult member, but I’ve never had the opportunity to wear both).
  3. I discovered a secret. One of the motivational speakers I listen to one YouTube suggested listening to motivational audio books in the car, I spend at least an hour and a half on the road on my commute so thought it was a good idea. This Secret though, it works wonders for me. Please check it out.
  4. I saw the Jungle Book this month, I really loved it. I love going to the cinema, it makes watching a film an event, and we spend a lot more time discussing it afterwards. I liked the hint of Bare Necessities but I didn’t think I Want To Be Like You fitted with the way King Louie was portrayed (and I LOVE that song!)
  5. I met a brand new human this month, baby Aaron! My friend Amy had a little boy and we went to meet him, he is such a cute little baby with so much awesome hair.
  6. I’m running again on a regular basis, it feels great. I hate myself when I stop, it is a struggle in the morning but 3 times a week is fair.

So that is my April in a nutshell (the good stuff at least!) I hope to create one of these posts once a month with the fun things going on with my life. The next one should include some Thorpe Park and Comic Con!