Author Archives: Bobbie Wilson

Lantern Christmas Tree Decoration

Lantern Tree Decoration

Deck the halls in Swallows and Amazons style with these mini lantern tree decorations.

You will need:

  • black or grey card
  • template
  • scissors
  • needle
  • black thread
  • battery operated tea light
  • tape
  • glue stick

What to do:

  1. Print the template, if the card you are using is light in colour you may be able to print directly onto the card.  If not print onto plain paper, cut out and draw around the template.
  2. Carefully cut out the shape.
  3. On the large rectangle there are two very small spots, ask a friendly native to help you pass the thread through these two spots using a needle.  Tie the ends of the thread together using an overhand knot.  This is the hanging loop for your decoration.
  4. Fold along all the dotted lines.
  5. Line the bottom of your card shape up with the bottom of the tea light.  Stick the end not marked with shading to the tea light using tape.  If you printed directly onto the card make sure the printed side faces inwards.
  6. Wrap the card around the tea light making sure the bottom of the shape stays lined up with the bottom of the tea light.  Glue where the shaded area is an stick the end down.
  7. Fold the square down and stick the two small tabs on the posts either side onto the square.
  8. Fold the rectangle over so it forms a tent shape over the top, glue onto the narrow tab along the edge and stick this onto the square as well.
  9. When the glue is dry.  Switch the tea light on and use the thread loop to hang it from your Christmas tree.

If not duffers…

Remember to take care when using, passing and walking with scissors and needles.

Code Wheel Trail

Lawn Mower Messages

The Swallows and the Amazons often send each other coded messages.  Use these code wheels to send your allies on a trail without letting the natives in on your secret.

You will need:

  • Template printed onto light card
  • Split pins
  • Scissors
  • Coloured pencils or pens (if you want to decorate them)
  • Pencil/pen
  • Paper

What to do:

  1. Make up one code wheel:
    1. Cut out one large wheel and one small wheel.
    2. Place the small wheel on top of the large one.
    3. Push a split pin through the centre.
  2. Write a trail around your garden with short clues (eg bench, tree).  Write it out in code:
    1. Turn the wheel so that the two wheels line up with random letters.
    2. Make a not of one pair of letters, using bold to represent the large wheel (eg jd).
    3. Find the letters to spell out the word on the smaller when but write the corresponding letter on the outer wheel (eg tree becomes nlkk).
  3. Hide the clues.
  4. Explain to your allies that each clue has a different code and that you need to align the two letters on the wheel.  They must then find the letters of the word on the larger wheel but write down the letter shown on the smaller wheel to decode the word which will send them to the next clue.

If not duffers…

Don’t go anywhere without an adult’s knowledge and permission.

Chocolate Coots Nests

Lawn Mower Messages

Make this sweet treat that the Coot Club would appreciate (no coots are harmed in the making of these edible nests).

You will need:

  • 200g plain chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • 50g butter
  • 75g shredded wheat
  • Heat-proof bowl
  • Saucepan of simmering water
  • Metal spoon
  • Mini chocolate eggs
  • Silicon baking sheet or baking parchment
  • Plastic tray which will to fit in your fridge (a baking tray or chopping board would work too)

What to do:

  1. Remove all the cream or brown eggs from the packet (these are the colour of coots eggs), you’ll need 36 eggs.  Save the other colours for making Easter nests.
  2. Weigh the chocolate, butter and syrup into the heat-proof bowl.  When the water has come to a simmer, remove from the heat and place the heat-proof bowl on top.  Meanwhile, carefully break up the shredded wheat into long ‘twigs’.  When the chocolate and butter have melted carefully stir in the shredded wheat with the metal spoon.
  3. Place the silicon baking sheet or baking parchment on the tray.  Place dollops of the chocolate and shredded wheat mixture onto the baking parchment, push three of the eggs into each pile.  Place in the fridge until completely set.
  4. As coots build their nests in water, the little piles of ‘twigs’ you’ve made are just the part of the nest which show above the water so you may want to make a a ‘watery’ base for you nests.  You could try making water from paper or napkins or use the nests to decorate a cake, you could even try making a coot from icing or marzipan.

If not duffers…

Always ask for an adult’s permission and help when cooking.

Hollywoods

Sketch

When Arthur Ransome was illustrating his books he sometimes got children to pose for photographs (which he called Hollywoods).  Next time you are out on an adventure whether its with TARS or friends and family why not create your own Hollywoods.

Part 1

You will need:

  • Camera

What to do:

  1. While out on an adventure photograph your family and friends in a Swallows and Amazons style pose.  Arthur Ransome tried to avoid drawing faces so you might like to ask people to turn their faces away from the camera. 

If not duffers…

When out on adventures always be on the look out for potential danger and don’t go off anywhere with out an adult’s knowledge and permission.

Part 2

You will need:

  • Paper (cartridge paper is nice to draw on if you have it)
  • Pencil
  • Black pen (optional)
  • Rubber (optional)

What to do:

  1. Draw an illustration based on your photograph.  Arthur Ransome used mainly lines with a little shading for things like water and trees but you can do yours  however you like.
  2. When you are happy with your drawing, if you like ( and you are feeling brave), you could go over it using black pen.
  3. If you do go over your picture in pen, wait until the next day before using a rubber to remove the pencil lines.  Pictures can be ruined by impatient rubbing out.
  4. Step back and admire your artwork.  You could even send a copy of it to The Outlaw.

 

Lawn Mower Messages

Lawn Mower Messages

In The Picts and the Martyrs Nancy sends the Ds a message by mowing the words “No go” into the Beckfoot lawn. Here is how you can send your own message like Nancy does, only in miniature.

You will need:

  • A plastic tray (one that doesn’t matter too much)
  • Paper kitchen towel
  • Small jug or plant sprayer
  • Cress seeds
  • Scissors

What to do:

  1. Lay paper towel over the base of the tray, build up at least six layers.
  2. Damp the paper towel until it is wet but not so wet that puddles form.
  3. Sprinkle cress seeds all over the paper towel, you need to use quite a lot.
  4. Place somewhere warm such as the kitchen window sill.
  5. When the cress has grown into a thick, green lawn use scissors to cut your message into it.  Don’t make it too obvious unless you want any old native to be able to read it!

If not duffers…

Remember to take care when using, passing and walking with scissors.

Camp fire games

Campfire

These games are good fun to play sitting around a camp fire, they are also a great way to pass the time on a long journey or any time you want to play a game with family and friends.

The Great Aunt likes…

Confound your friends and family with this game.  As we all know the Great Aunt is a very fussy lady and this game challenges everyone to work out what she does and doesn’t like.  Tell the group to guess one thing that the Great Aunt likes and one she doesn’t, start by giving them an example such as “The Great Aunt likes grass but she doesn’t like daisies” then let the group take it in turns to guess what she does and doesn’t like.  Tell each person if they are right or wrong but don’t give the secret away, let people work it out.  People keep playing once they have work the secret out as it gives everyone else more chance to get it.
The Secret
The Great Aunt only like things with double letters in. She likes coffee, coots, lollies and cheese but she doesn’t like tea, ducks, ice cream or bread.

Pemmican

One player thinks of a verb (try sailing, exploring, cooking or swimming) but doesn’t tell anyone else.  The rest of the players then start asking questions but as they don’t know the word they say “Pemmican” instead.  For example they might ask “Do you like to pemmican?”, “Have we been pemmicaning today?” or “Have I ever pemmicaned?”.  Keep asking questions until you have guessed what the verb is, the first person to guess the word thinks of the next one.

The Swallows went camping and Mate Susan packed…

Going through the alphabet, take it in turns to think of something that Susan packed whilst remembering what has been said before.  For example the first person might say “Mate Susan packed apples”, the second person would say “Mate Susan packed apples and a bottle of milk” until you get to the end of the alphabet.

Whispering Parrots

Play this game in a circle, the player chosen to start thinks of a short message (maybe a line from one of the books, a piratical phrase or something you’ve done during the day).  They then whisper it into the ear of the person to their right, the message continues around the circle in the same way until it reaches the last person who shouts out what they think the message is.  Is it the same message you started out with?

Spinning a Yarn

The aim of the game is to tell a story but each player is only allowed to say two words at a time.  Take it in turns, going around the group to say you two words but listen carefully to what everyone else is saying as it does need to make a story!

Swallows and Amazons Scavenger Hunt

Scavenger Hunt

If you’re going on a walk, visiting your local park or just enjoying the sunshine in the garden why not organise a scavenger hunt and see how many Swallows and Amazonsish items you can find?

You will need:

  • Scavenger Hunt Card, printed onto A4 paper, cut into two and, if desired, laminated
  • Pencil or white board pen (if laminated)

What to do:

  1. Split into teams if you like and search for the following items:
    • Something Mate Susan could use to start her fire
    • A stone shaped like a skull or bone
    • A feather for Ginty
    • Something the colour of Swallow’s sail
    • A stick the right shape for dowsing
    • The wrapper from Roger’s favourite food
    • Something to make a patteran
    •  Something to prevent scurvy
    •  A substitute for tent pegs
    •  A daisy “from the Beckfoot Lawn”
    •  A clean handkerchief (“or clean yesterday at least”)
    •  A flower the colour of the Amazons’ hats
  2. At the end compare what you have found.  Who has got the most?  Who has found the most unusual item?

If not duffers…

Don’t go anywhere without an adult’s knowledge and permission.

Log Book Help

Log Book Guide

Download Logos for use in Signals (follow the links, right click on the image and select “Save image as…”)
Discovery Logo
Nautical Logo
Adventure Logo
Titty’s Challenge Logo
Susan’s Challenge Logo

How to Insert logos onto webpages:

  1. Click on “Add Media” and select “Media Library”.
  2. Search for file name appropriate to the event: Titty, for Titty’s challenges; Adventure, for Adventure events; Nautical, for nautical events; Discovery, for discovery events.  For the webpage please use the colour logos.  NB there is no logo for free choice events as any event can be a free choice event.
  3. Select the logo.  In “Attachment Details”, to the right, scroll to the bottom and from “Size” select “Thumbnail” to insert the logo at an appropriate size.