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Cubs Scrapheap Challenge

Date: 2nd Dec 2023 Author: Claire Sutton

After the competition was over, the parents and leaders were allowed in to see the results for themselves – and to work out how to get the entries home without getting paint on anything!

On a Saturday afternoon in November, groups of Cub Scouts from across Romsey District met at the Dr Peter Centre for their annual Scrapheap Challenge.  Seven teams met to see who was the most creative and original in creating something impressive from the resources available.

This year saw two new judges invited to make the difficult decisions.  District Badge Secretary and long-time Scouting Supporter, Kay Sutton, was joined by her daughter, Claire, District Chair to evaluate the Cubs’ efforts.  Setting the scene, Claire read a short extract from ‘Robinson Crusoe’ to help the Cubs imagine they had been ship-wrecked on a desert island.  They were then tasked with designing and building a raft that would help them escape from that island.  The judges encouraged them to think about elements such as how to collect and store food and water, some shelter on their raft and a means of propulsion.  (Most of the Cubs asked whether their designs would need to float or not but the judges decided they were just looking design rather than actual buoyancy!)

After ten minutes to plan their design, the Cubs were let loose on the piles of scrap to get creating.  After a break for squash and biscuits half-way through the competition, unwanted materials were cleared away to make space for painting their rafts, before judging.

“We decided we needed to have several judging categories to help us separate the entries,” explained Kay Sutton.  “Firstly, we were looking at teamwork; which groups worked well together and kept everyone busy.  Then we looked at the practicalities, like their effective use of the materials provided and their creative ideas.  Finally, we gave them all a score for the overall result.  It was tight, but one raft stood out among the others.”

Last year’s winners, 6th Romsey (Lockerley) Cubs retained the title again this year. Although their raft presentation didn’t include a wardrobe or a sea monster (as some others did), the judges decided they worked really well as a team and that their raft was the most well-thought through.

Assistant District Commissioner for Cubs, Cam Beale, was on hand to help present the certificates and trophies.  He congratulated all the Cubs for taking part and working well together.  He also thanked the District Cub leader team of Jacky, Jean, Steve and Jean for running the event again so well this year.  And he even asked if the judges might be free to judge next year’s event too!

Left: judging gets serious!   Right: the winning raft and trophy.

Put your phone down and what are you left with? Just teamwork, courage and the skills to succeed.’
Bear Grylls, Chief Scout Bear Grylls