1st Drayton Cubs were extremely lucky to have been selected to represent the eastern region in the launch of the cub 100 year celebrations at London Zoo. This selection amazed all of those chosen, as Cub Packs from all over the UK were invited to apply. Neither the Cubs nor leaders could really believe it!
Two leaders and four Cubs made the trip.
Below is their diary…
Friday 15th November
We were asked to do a telephone interview for BBC Radio Norfolk; we were expecting to speak to Kirsten so imagine our surprise when David Whiteley telephoned us. He asked Hannah and Matthew lots of questions and he could tell they were really excited about the trip tomorrow.
Saturday 16th January
We met at the station carrying all our kit. Yes – we really were going to the zoo and sleeping with the bugs! Let’s go and find our seats.
The radio recording was broadcast on Saturday morning at 7:50. We were on the train so missed it but Suzanne’s phone went mad with messages.
The train left on time so we started our diaries and our I-Spy books. Roger was playing with his camera again see the others in the reflection of the window how cool was that?
We saw the most beautiful sun rise as the sky turned orange.
Out of Suzanne’s bag came snacks to keep us going till we get to London. Good job as we were getting hungry.
Hee-hee, Roger had to go to the toilet, and the train was wobbling so he really did look funny walking down the aisle.
Word Challenge for our cub challenge. Kieran has got 100 words already and he’s only just started on the letter C. “We are not doing so well” said Hannah and Matthew. Suzanne said “you are all doing your best”.
Roger can’t believe it we have arrived at Liverpool Street London 15 minutes early! Well done
We are all in London and going to the Zoo!
First of all breakfast – McDonalds here we come!
We get a taxi to the zoo. We saw the Gherkin, the Shard and loads of enormous cranes. It’s a busy city and why has it got so many hotels?
Arrived at London Zoo and were taken to a big room where we were given special hoodies – cubs had yellow ones and leaders green. Then we had our pictures taken with our names on a board, feels like we are prisoners!
There are children from all over the UK; including Scotland (surprisingly they didn’t have to get up any earlier than us). There were only 44 cubs from all the different areas of the UK which made us all feel absolutely amazing – how very lucky and privileged we all feel. Had our packed lunch and then we played some games whilst being recorded for TV.
Off to our first activity. Kieran and Matthew went to the squirrel monkeys with Roger whilst Fay and Hannah were in the bearded pig group.
The boys had to put the food out for the squirrel monkeys, one of the leaders put his coat on the floor and the monkey was pinching things from his pocket. The squirrel was so quick it was really funny. The bearded pig group were not so lucky – they had to feed the pigs the most disgusting smelly fish heads!
Had to meet up at the rainforest but managed a quick visit to see the giraffes being fed.
Hannah was then interviewed. It’s quite scary being interviewed but the people are really nice and put you at your ease. Roger and Suzanne where then interviewed but they made them take their glasses off so they couldn’t see and Suzanne felt very wobbly.
It’s time to go and see more animals. We have more interviews as we were going around the zoo. It’s amazing seeing all of the wild animals so close and hearing about how breeding pro-grams are enabling animals to be put back in the wild. Can’t wait to see the penguins which are Matthews favourite animal.
Fun around the zoo with our new friends – the boys group came from Greater London and the girls group came from the Bognor Regis area.
We had to go back to the big room for more interviews and then we went down to the cafe for our dinner. The staff had to stay late to feed us all as the zoo is now closed and we are all locked in.
Pizza and chips with salad, a drink and jelly for tea. Suzanne couldn’t eat it so the chef made a Thai chicken curry for her.
After we had all been fed we had to go and collect our bags to carry them to the bug house (yes we did say THE BUG HOUSE) which is where we were sleeping for the night. We had to be very quiet as we were walking through the zoo so we didn’t disturb the animals
We were introduced to some of the residents of the bug house like the red knee tarantula. We were then given activity books to explore the animals in the bug house.
OOH it’s really exciting we are now going on a walk around the zoo in the dark! We have been told we can’t take pictures as this will upset the animals and torches must only be shone on our feet. We have also been told we must be very, very quiet near the gorillas as any noise will make
Kumbuka very angry if we disturb his baby,
We saw the aardvark, awake and looking for his food and also the owls were awake and hoot-ing – it’s lovely seeing these fabulous animals awake.
The llamas were also wide awake and were very interested in all of the Cubs. We all looked for the Komodo dragon who enjoys hiding from everyone. Unfortunately we didn’t find him – he hid very well.
We went back to the bug house where we were given a bag and a t-shirt, which we decorated with fabric crayons. We also had another chance to explore the bug house.
It was explained where we would sleep and that there would be security on the door. The girls were in one area the boys in another and adults in another. The toilets were just outside. We had a drink and then it was time to sort our beds out.
The girls slept under the brown rats and Suzanne slept under the tarantula (good job it wasn’t Roger or Fay).
Lights out – we are so tired that we are ready to go to sleep.
Sunday 17th January
Time to get up, washed, dressed and pack our belongings. It’s been snowing overnight and there is a light dusting on the floor. How on earth are we meant to get this roll mat back into this tiny bag?
Now we have to carry our bags to security, and then go for breakfast. The Zoo is very quiet and the animals are just beginning to wake up. Matthew is really excited as we are going to see the penguins after breakfast.
More media coverage my face is aching with all the smiling. But it’s not too hard as we are so lucky having such an amazing experience.
It’s such a shame that our time at the zoo is nearly over. There was just time to say “HAPPY BIRTHDAY” to Cubs everywhere and “good-bye” to our new friends.
We had to wait in the penguin area until all the service vehicles had gone, which gave us a great opportunity to watch the penguins – lucky Matthew!
Just time to visit the shop and buy our gifts and our mascot for 1st Drayton Cub Pack centenary celebrations.
Roger and I would like to thank everyone concerned in the organizing of this event, for selecting us and Drayton to represent Norfolk and the Eastern Region.
We would also like to thank Kieran, Hannah, Matthew and Fay. They were a credit to us, 1st Drayton Scout Group and Northern Norwich District.