Swansea “Under the Sea” SSAGO Rally

I’ve been looking forward to this rally ever since I learnt that we would be going to the beach, there was the opportunity to go to during the first Welsh Rally back in 2005 but my club and I overslept missing the coach and being left stranded on camp site with few others around. It was fun though, and we made the best of it was we could. Anyway this rally Continue reading Swansea “Under the Sea” SSAGO Rally

Liverpool “Crystal Maze” SSAGO Rally

Last year I was a student living on “less than thirty Altairan Dollars a day” and up for an elected ‘job’, this year I’m going to see my replacement elected just as I’ve started a career. It’s kinda ironic I guess, I’ve been a little uneasy about the whole process as I’ve done a lot for the SSAGO Publicity role and I don’t want it ending up in ruin. I thought the only truly happy outcome would be someone to fill in the voids I purposely didn’t address as it wouldn’t so much be a replacement of my work but a continuing in the direction I left it heading in. Luckily a charming lady got elected, the wonderful Heather Coupe, the sister of a previous PO. I look forward to seeing her exploits over the coming year, hopefully the rest of the exec won’t be a roller-coaster ride.

As for the rest of the rally, if the Crystal Maze has been set in fields and woods with a low low budget I imagine it would be very similar to this, the activities were varied and numerous with a strong focus on teamwork. The costumes in the evening were spectacular, so many home brew Crystal Domes and a plethora of Golden and Silver Tickets everywhere! I think what certainly made the Rally a lot more enjoyable is having more in your pocket than lint, it was a real pleasure to buy a round for the friends I’ve made whilst in SSAGO at the Ceilidh bar.

Additionally this was originally going to have a new Rally Booking system, the intention being to add the booking system onto the blog I hacked onto the SSAGO message board but unfortunately due to a communication error my work was in vain. It was a pleasant learning experience nonetheless and I learnt a few things about the admin area functions of WordPress. Shame though, would be nice to have all the login details in the same place with the ability to create an archive of who did what and when over the years.

So here truly endith my life as a student, all loose threads coming to an end, only thing really left is to handover to my successor. I doubt this will be my last Rally though, I’ve known people to hang on for a few but I don’t think I’ll be doing this too many more times. Thanks.

‘Summer of Love’ Event

It’s two thousand and seven, the Scouting Organisation is 100 years old and celebrations are happening throughout the entire year to celebrate this amazing achievement. This year also signifies the 40th anniversary of the Student Scout And Guide Organisation. A national group setup alongside the Scout Association and GirlGuiding UK to encourage membership whilst attending Higher Education.

The independence of the organisation limits its capacity, we can not hold a 2 week long Jamboree nor concerts and camps throughout the year, we can put on a slightly more extravagant Rally than we usually do, powered by the 2007 Steering group we descend upon the Lincoln District Campsite

Some of the changes that made the event much more than a regular rally include the opening of attendance to past members of SSAGO, and members of SAGGA. Accompanied by a Firework display, retro activities and memorial video the event highlighted where we had been and where we are going as an organisation, hopefully one that will stand the test of time.

I quite enjoyed the event, I assisted in some of the preparations on and off site but the real thanks belongs to the 2007 Steering Group that having worked towards he events preparations without a solid support mechanism (such as a club) for so long.

Loughborough “Down-under” SSAGO Rally

This is of course the Rally of the SSAGO AGM, this was to be the big one, the rally where everything that had gone wrong (and the few things that went right) over the previous year I would have to face upto. I wasn’t reluctant to go, infact I was eager, I couldn’t wait to see the outcome because I knew at heart what I hadn’t done, I hadn’t done for a reason.

Either way this was certainly going to be a memorable Rally for me, my last as an Executive member or the beginning of another year on a vastly different governing committee. Standing uncontested I figured my chances were pretty good but knowing how controversial the entire election process was going to be with the new (broken) rules, the political mess that had been brewed and the importance of the 2007 year I expected a lot of action at the AGM.

I didn’t get off to a good start, after a slightly bodged travel arrangements I arrived at a respectful time of 8pm, not my earliest, not my latest (1am!) I missed the Rally last summer through automobile mechanical failure; attendances are never as big as the Spring ones, especially with the locations being the center and extreme of the United Kingdom, respectively so I missed out on seeing quite a few people for 6 months or so since they weren’t at the autumn Rally.

I sat in the mess hall for quite a bit, Muriel’s Wedding (1994) was on. I knew this was the “Down Under” rally but couldn’t they at least put on Mick “Chocodile” Dundee?

With Rallies being only 3 times a year and few members managing to make it to the external national events it can be quite a while between being each other. Talking on MSNM is fine but you learn alot about another person through their mannerisms and inflictions that you could learn through typing on messaging facility. So whilst chatting with Mary and Colin about how their journey had gone (without me!) Faz and Emily walked in, luckily M+C knew how much I was going to have to mosey around the crowds tonight to scope the scene for the AGM on Sunday. Not so much for my own survival but that of another unfortunately re-election that had the possibility of stagnating SSAGO.

In the 2005-6 year Exec snowballs had been set into motion for monumental changes that would raise the status of SSAGO beyond any status it had had in the last 20 years. (Edit: What happened to these snowballs? They melted, as of May 2007 it turns out the people that could’ve kept the momentum going dropped them either through passing on the project to someone else or because they weren’t re-prompted by the new SSAGO Exec, so really there is no-one to blame but ourselves.) I had hoped to be a catalyst in the change but unfortunately my hands were tied because without action I can not react!

There were 3 levels of interest I found in people not running, either people were apathetic, unbeknownst or carefree. Which meant that more time was spent on the more interesting subjects such as jobs, club activities and member suggestions.

As you can see in the photo (right) the reps meeting on the Saturday was a hoot (end sarcasm) but there was a rather humorous Policy Document put forward about Pigeons. And a rather serious event which has produced ripples that are still felt today, in a way there good but it would’ve been better if an unfortunately incident hadn’t have to happen for it to be realised.

In an act of rebellion I choose to do the pyjama party with 28 other girls. I had planned to do this ever since it was going to be an Anne Summers party as boys aren’t supposed to go to them but SSAGO is all inclusive. Anyway, due to criticism it was made into a harmless PJ party which I fully intended to go dressed a la Arthor Dent. Seeing as I don’t usually have any PJs I went and brought some rather fetching blue striped ones for £10 at Matalan.

Having woken up thinking it would be silly to get dressed then get undressed for the PJ party I spent the entire morning and lunch in my PJs and dressing gown. So by this point I had managed to rally (:lol:) many others into getting their PJs on and doing the party thing properly.

I expect there would be a sofa somewhere and the projector setup for us all to watch, what we actually got exceeded these expectations. Chocolate fondue for Bananas, Marshmallows and strawberries, all the cheesy board games you can imagine and a movie!

The evening was possibly one of the best Ceilidhs I’ve been to in a long long time. We were right next to one of the Loughborough Student Union Bars which meant much cheaper liquid refreshment than the usual bulk brought bottles and a great sound system.

I felt especially good about myself for being able to buy a round of drinks for my fellow Exec members, something I haven’t been able to do because of the financial restrictions of studentdom. Being able to properly relax with good chums (photo above) that you just ‘click’ with is a rarity so I just took a load off, talked, played and danced until it was time to go back to the campsite on a good old double decker bus.

When we got back on site I collected my raffle winnings (funnily enough I suggested the raffle idea to the people running it!) which was a choice of 3 crates of lager, not being a lager drinker I decided to offer them to anyone that wanted one, which funnily enough few people were, apparently the majority of SSAGO men are bitter or cider drinks.

At last the AGM, suffice to say it was rather whimsical, the minutes can (or will) be found here, obviously they don’t convey the full atmosphere of the moment but they useful. Highlights include; a pigeon flying here or there, a few groups getting permission to do stuff, a (well deserved)vote of no confidence and the return of the Golden age of SSAGO through a phenomenally cosmically powered Exec consisting of myself, Daz, Ilona, Paul and the suitably re-elected Matt.

And so it begins again.

Bangor “Blackadder” SSAGO Rally

AKA The Great Welsh Rally 2

So this is my inaugural rally as SSAGO Publicity Officer, this is what I thought it would entail: More people knowing my name than knowing theirs, more free drinks, the ability to get anything done without actually doing it myself, a lot of talking and playing of silly games.

Okay more people did know my name, there were the usual offers of free drinks, I did my fair share of the work ( in all honesty I know that I command jack so its not a surprise ) there was a medium about of talking but most of it was in meetings, I missed out on so much of the fun of Rally the Sunday Morning silly games and the Saturday Morning activities and the Gadaffy Plate Challenge that I’ve still only seen at my first Rally in Loughborough.

Barely arrived on the Friday, much disarray was caused by the Football and Rugby matches on the Friday evening just as I was arriving in Cardiff to hitch a lift. I owe a big thanks to Mark for the ride and would thoroughly recommend him as a driver, fast, reliable, cautious.

Stayed up late catching up with the magnitude of happenings to my fellow ssagoers and setting my unfortunately neutral stance on all the politics orbiting the Club Representatives meeting some 5 hours later and the Exec meeting on Sunday.

Despite all the cloak and dagger discussion I wouldn’t say that the Reps’ meeting was outrageously unique, structure complaints, next rally messages, next ball messages. The atmosphere did tense when we came onto AOB as Jon was under scrutiny for impolite behaviour via email. Chris made some valid points, I interjected with some comment and a what if which seemed to me vital; you’re doing silly games without a health form, its the most likely time for an accident to happen! But it picked up little reverence.

The Pub Crawl was fun, Paddies, Rascals, Weather Spoons, Varsity, Yellow, Academy and Skerries. I missed out ‘Le Glob’ because it was a predominantly Welsh Pub that deters non-welsh patrons, I might have some balls but not enough to go into a pub with a stigma of distaste for non-Welshmen. I don’t know how I did it but despite drinking in every pub I didn’t get drunk, tipsy perhaps but not slack jawed or slurry, I’d love to know how I did this as it will come in handy at similar festivities.

That night I sat out most of the Ceilidh opting to chat with those that I hadn’t been able to the night before and about the days occurrences. Then some interrelation work in the form of a game of spin the bottle which I instigated but didn’t partake, Emily complained later that I hadn’t 😉 but I thought it would be wrong to benefit from my own cheekiness. Oh and as this is a quasi public record I calm Best Man Benefits at all weddings proceeding from that event.

Sunday morning I was up and ready for breakfast at 7:30, I suppose this is partly to make up for when Dave, Matt and I went to the first Great Welsh Rally in Summer 2004 and slept in till Noon missing the trip to the Beach for which I am eternally regretful having glimpsed numerous pictures as I’ve crawled the club websites over the past year. Still waited for Breakfast and then the impending Exec Meeting of Doom, but due to certain leading members of the Exec sleeping in it didn’t start till 10am giving me a chance to take down my tent and strike my camp. It was lucky, the heavens opened some 30 minutes later!

The Exec meeting was long and arduous, I hated having to tip toe through it when a majority of misgivings rooted down to differing opinions or were exaggerated worries. I bet all the same concerns have been raised for past rallies and in recent memory none have failed to entertain but there have been problems, some preventable, some not.

Spent a few hours clearing up the buildings at the end of the day which helped to remind me of the connection between some names and faces.

I was shattered when I got home and was hoping Sarah didn’t have guests as they would see me in a state which can only be described as incongruous. Unfortunately she did and they bore witness my incongruity, took me about 24 hrs to get myself together.

All in all another title deserving Great Welsh Rally.

Nottingham “Pirates Vs Robin Hood” Rally [not quite]

Not in Nottingham.

I should be just north of Nottingham right now on the Walesby Forest campsite, most likely prancing around with a bunch of Men in Tights for the Pirates of The Caribbean vs. Robin Hood Men in Tights SSAGO Rally.
But due to a automobile mechanical problem I have been unable to make it there. Don’t know exactly what it is yet but my best guess is that I’ve blown a gasket in the engine of my car.

Continue reading Nottingham “Pirates Vs Robin Hood” Rally [not quite]