1997's epic AGM marked the end of Phil's Stakeholder Society, and loadsa thanks to him and the others on the exec last year. Since then, the society has been accused of becoming ”random•, but don't worry - it's a temporary blip that's only going to last a year! After all the competitions, events and socials this term, it's hard to pinpoint what we do, but above all, DUSAGG is about getting involved and having a good laugh, and if you haven't already done that this year, then feel free to join us anytime!
The success of the Indoor Scout was only marred by the lack of teams entering. Hopefully this is merely a blip in the statisics and we will be back to our usual level of support by next year.
The highlight was certainly the Scouts trying to bandage the blood-soaked arm of a maurauding Viking only to be frightened away every time they got near him. The tents that were produced were very good - well, some may have lasted an hour or two. The Scouts certainly enjoyed the fizzy pop on Phil's base, but someone ought to point out that they are supposed to bribe us, preferably in large currency or chocolate, not the other way around. Most importantly, everyone enjoyed themselves, Scouts and DUSAGGers alike. I don't think some of them want to hear the words "first aid" ever again but then they will know just what to do next tme they are faced with runes instead of the normal French homework or if they have to negotiate a dragon that encircles the world.
After a 9am start, we walked up the river from Middleton stopping for lunch (and a quick bounce on the bridge there!) at Low Force waterfall. Having reached High Force itself, and seen the same bloke in a yellow jumper four times since Darlington, we headed back on the opposite river bank, witnessing the only high-jumping sheep in Weardale. We think it was running away from Mark's plastic green trousers, although we can't be sure! After 10 miles of cloudy weather and water (not surprising if you walk alongside a river in February!) we arrived back in Middleton, in time to meet another DUSAGGer who had been running up and down hills all day, as a form of amusement, I'm led to believe! A brief stop in Darlington's Burger King was followed by a panic looking for the bus stop home, much to the amusement of the locals!
Ten (or was it eleven?) intrepid DUSAGGers set off to brave the elements and display the strength of their combined knowledge at the Market Tavern pub quiz (8pm on a Sunday, free to enter, good fun for all the family and/or University Scout and Guide Group). One quiz sheet, a few drinks and half an hour later our nominal head (Mad) arrived and informed us of the impending quiz at the Shakespeare (9pm) so we decided to make the evening a 'roving bar quiz' and drank up
The Shakespeare offered three rounds of fun, frolics and cheese-and-ham toasties, plus a free draw for a T-shirt! DUSAGG 1, DUSAGG 2 and DUSAGG 3 (original team names were two-a-penny) pooled their resources and DUSAGG 3 emerged triumphant in the third round - and fortunately shared the four pints they won! Scouts (literally), in the shape of Andrew and Paul, were sent to the Market Tavern to investigate the situation, and returned clutching ten free pint vouchers - so we had to repeat the event the next Sunday to collect our winnings! (The other customers, contestants and staff of the Shakespeare could only look on in bemused silence as DUSAGG laughter rent the air.)
Since then both venues have been graced by the presence of assorted DUSAGGers on many a Sunday evening, but the only additional bounty has been a T-shirt won by Mike (as modelled at club coffee, 18th March 1997). However all occasions have been enjoyable and I can particularly recommend the aforementioned toasties - and they do cheese-and-onion too!
For some of us, this was our second trip to the dry ski slope at Willigton. We had an hour-long lesson in which we were made to do various tricks seemingly aimed at giving the insturtor a good laugh at us falling over. Mad won that competition, with close competition from me, unable to do the `snow plough' stop had to fall back (literally) on the emergency break that is my bottom.
The so called ski lift (really a rope going round and round) also provided much amusement. Activities included being dragged up on your back, being pulled in the wrong direction, stopping and causing a big pile up with the local snowboarders and leaving go then finding yourself going back down again backwards.
We left vowing to brave the journey to Willigton again in the near future.
This year's Outdoor Scout (or Outdoor Sprout as it came affectionately to be known) was held in the area of Broom Park (although some of the Scouts may well have disagreed with this information). In a stunning location, the wind was such that several members found themselves adapting their bases due to the lack of ability to stand up (Mad and Martin) and Andrew, who coped admirably on his `cooking' base without any cooking facilities and without Helen.
Special mention must go to Mad and Susan who managed to attend despite the fact they both had inbibed the night before, and to a happy couple who were united (if only briefly) on the Saturday night in Kingsgate. Need I say more, Andrew and Mike?
All in all, a successful Scout event, if a little saddening in the sense that numbers were down.
Six members of DUSAGG attended a "Lifesaver Plus" course run for us by the St. John's Ambulance. The course was very comprehensive, covering all forms of shock, both circulatory-heart attack, angina, blood loss, and mental, and also covering wound dressings, supports, breaks and fractures. There was a practical assessment at the end which evrybody passed.
We would recommend the course to anyone else: it was 16 hours long (although it was a rather long walk to the St. Johns HQ, but never mind). Like the best things in life, the course was free, and all the St. John's staff were very friendly and helpful, and we will eventually get round to sending them a donation! Those who completed the course were:
Susan Sweet, Mike Rossell, John O'Keeffe, Rob Minchin, Phil Maudsley and Mark Baycroft. Our trainer was Rowly Wheldon.
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Written by Andrew Stribblehill