Week 6: 12th May

Welcome! If you haven't already seen it, you may be interested in the introduction to how the badge activities work.

You can also view this week's video on YouTube or subscribe to our YouTube channel.

This week we're completing our Chef badge (started last week) by looking at the food groups. Then we are going to learn to tie two really useful knots, and use them in a fun mini zip line project, which counts towards the Pioneer badge.

Food groups - Chef badge

For the Chef badge, we need to know about the five major food groups which make up a balanced diet, which are:

  • Carbohydrates - starchy food such as bread, rice, pasta, cereals and potatoes
  • Protein - such as meat, fish, eggs and vegetable proteins like lentils, chickpeas and Quorn
  • Dairy - milk and items made from milk like cheese and yogurt
  • Fruit and vegetables - apples, bananas, carrots and so on...
  • Fats and sugars - butter, oil, sugar and sweets, chocolate, cakes and biscuits

A healthy balanced diet will include some items from all these food groups - but more carbohydrates and fruit and vegetables, some protein and dairy items, and only a small amount of fats and sugars. There is more detailed information available here.

For this activity we are going to make a poster showing all the food we eat on a particular day, broken down into the five major food groups.

Start with a big piece of paper and divide it into six boxes like so:

Now, choose a day you are going to do this exercise. On that day, every time you have something to eat, record it on the poster in the relevant boxes. You can either draw pictures or just write on the poster.

For example:

  • For a bowl of cornflakes with milk you would put the cornflakes in the Carbohydrates box and the milk in the Dairy box
  • For a ham sandwich you would put the bread in the Carbohydrates box and the ham in the Protein box, and possibly also butter in the Fat and sugar box

Once you have completed your poster, send me a picture to count towards your Chef badge.

Knots - Pioneer badge

Learning how to tie knots is a very traditional - and useful - Scouting skill. It may take a while to practice, but once you have mastered a few simple knots you will know them forever and you will be able to use them for all sorts of things, such as:

  • Tying up a temporary washing line or some guy ropes for a tent when you go camping
  • Creating a temporary shelter or tying up a hammock
  • Tying a boat to a mooring so it doesn't float off
  • Tying some objects down to stop them blowing away
  • Temporarily tethering an animal (such as a horse or dog) to keep them safe

We are going to learn two knots this week. In the video I show you how to tie these knots, and there is also an excellent website called Animated Knots that shows you how to tie all sorts of different knots (links to the individual knots below).

To practice these knots you just need a short length (1-2 metres) of rope, cord, an old bootlace or string (try and avoid string if you can - rope or thicker cord is a easier to practice with). Watch the video or follow the animation and try to tie the knot. Watch carefully and hit pause or rewind if you need to. It will take a bit of practice, but you'll get there!

Round turn and two half hitches

This is a hitch, which is a knot that is used to secure a rope to a fixed object - for example when mooring a boat or tying a washing line between two trees. For practice you could tie this around an object such as a chair or table leg. The round turn and two half hitches is easy to tie, even if the rope you are tying is under strain, because the round turn allows the strain to be taken by the post. It won't slip and it is also easy to untie when you want to go off in your boat or take your washing line down!

Link to the right point in the video

Link to Animated Knots

Bowline

This is a loop knot, which is a knot that is used to tie a loop in the end of a piece of rope. You can either use this to tie a loose but secure loop around an object, or to tie a loop in the end of a rope and then hook it on to something. The bowline is easy to tie, holds secure, and is easy to untie after it has come under load.

Link to the right point in the video

Link to Animated Knots

Mini zip line for your toys - Pioneer badge

This is a fun thing to do to practice these two knots, and it also counts towards the Pioneer badge (take part in a knot game), so send me a picture of you doing this if possible!

You will need:

  • A suitable space where you can tie a piece of rope or string from somewhere high to somewhere low. This could be for example from the bannisters at the top of the stairs to the bottom of the stairs, from a door handle down to the floor, or from a washing line pole outside down to a chair leg on the ground. Make sure wherever you choose is safe and you have checked with an adult.
  • A length of rope or string, long enough to go between the two points you chose above.
  • A small toy, for example a soft toy or an action figure, who is going to ride on your zip line
  • A short length of string or cord, to tie a small harness for your toy

This zip line is only suitable for toys - do not try to carry any people or animals on it!

Use a round turn and two half hitches at each end of the longer rope/string to make the zip line. The rope should be pulled fairly tight, but not really tight or you might damage something. Ask an adult for help if you need to.

With the shorter string or cord, tie a round turn and two half hitches to secure the cord around the toy. Leave a length of cord free, to tie a bowline that goes around the zip line, so that there is a loose loop of cord going around the zip line that can slide up and down.

Now, walk your toy up to the top of your zip line, let go, and watch it slide down to the bottom! Repeat as many times as you like - or try different toys to see which is fastest!

Have fun, and if the knots are a bit tricky, don't give up - you will get them with practice!

Also remember if you like you can go back and try any activities from previous weeks that you may have missed.

Stay safe - and Cubs, do your best!

Tom