The National Challenge for Cubs in 2022 was “Going Solar“. 1st Claremont and 4th Claremont jointly planned several activities throughout the year to complete this challenge.
Which sections of the challenge did you enjoy the most?
The cubs seemed to enjoy the practical aspects of the challenge the most. The experiment on tracking how sunlight affects the growth of plants was very well received – there were many pictures from cubs of the different results, and quite a lot of enthusiasm around why the seeds grew even in the darkness, and the effect on the shoots once placed in the sunlight.
The cubs also enjoyed their green houses, which we made on camp using glass jars (and used to make s’mores) as well as the solar cookers to cook their viennas for their hotdogs (made out of pringle cans).
Which sections of the challenge were the most fun?
Making and cooking with solar power were thoroughly enjoyed by the Cubs. In addition, we did the challenge in conjunction with 4th Claremont Fernwood Cubs, and participating in these activities across packs was also very enjoyable.
The cubs definitely enjoyed eating the food that they cooked! But there was quite some enthusiasm around the different kinds of heat you can generate – the differences between a glass jar as a green house, for example, vs the reflective heat from the pringles can.
What did you learn and what was the outcome?
Cubs learned about keeping themselves safe in the sun, different ways that we can use solar energy (to heat things, to cook, to help plants grow, to purify water using a solar still), and how tasty s’mores are, even when cooked in a green house.
The cubs definitely know more about sun protection, its importance, and how to harness the sun for positive effects.
What were you able to teach others about?
Each of the scouters across the two packs (1st and 4th) undertook different aspects of the Going Solar challenge. We all earned from 1st’s Bagheera, for example, about how to build a solar still.
I enjoyed learning from all the scouters – especially the experiement on sunlight for plant growth.
Where do you think you had the biggest impact?
While the practical experiments had a very large impact factor in terms of cub enjoyment and enthusiasm, I think that the biggest impact will be through the lessons on how to keep yourself safe in the sun. Cubs learned about “slip, slap, slop”, remaining hydrated, wearing protective clothing (including making sunglasses) and how the factor system of sunscreen rating works. This will stand them in good stead for a very long time.
Was the resource material relevant and useful?
Yes, the material was both useful and relevant. We did find that the programme on a plate was too long for one cub meeting. As a result, we split its sections over several meetings throughout the year. The repetition of returning to several of these items each term, we think, also helps cubs to retain the knowledge
What is the one thing you would improve about the challenge?
There aren’t really any aspects that I would change. I think this was a great challenge and pitched perfectly for cubs across the age range.