Blog | Sleeping amongst the stars


As part of British Science Week, we're celebrating amazing science-themed Scouts activities. This lucky Cub pack had an out-of-this-world sleepover.

As you enter the National Space Centre in Leicester, one of the first things you see is an enormous rocket. It stretches right up to the ceiling of the rocket tower, and you can almost imagine the jet engines roaring to life, flames erupting and the whole thing lifting off its brace to burst into the blue skies above.

On a spacecraft like that, it would only be a short flight to the West Midlands, where you'd find the 177th Erdington Methodist Cub pack, who visited the National Space Museum last year for a District sleepover.

'It was extremely fun,' says William, aged 9, enthusiastically. 'We did activities, fired rockets, and watched a video about Neil Armstrong. He was the first man on the moon.'

'We also saw water floating in space,' says his friend Sam, aged 10. 'It was really cool!'

With the museum closed for the evening, the Cubs were able to roam around the exhibits, playing games, doing space-themed activities and watching films in the planetarium.

'The planetarium was a humungous dome,' says William. 'The screen is all around you, above you and behind you. We learned about some of the constellations and how the Greeks named them.' Sam reels off the names of at least ten constellations: he had to learn them to gain his Astronomer Activity Badge.

After the excitement of the evening's activities - including building paper rockets, and seeing a real moon rock brought back by Apollo 17, it was time to bed down for the night.

'The Cubs were sleeping amongst the exhibits,' Matt, Assistant Cub Leader, explains. 'They set out their sleeping bags around a big model of planet Earth.' With their faces glowing green and blue with the light from the planet, eventually they all drifted off to dream of space.

'The Cubs had a brilliant time,' Elizabeth, Cub Leader, says emphatically. 'The beauty of being there late at night was that the staff really had time to spare. If you were there when it was busy, you wouldn’t get so much information.'

All of the Cubs left in the morning with a badge and a certificate. 'I've got my badge on my Cub blanket,' William says proudly.

'At the end of the day it's all about getting the Cubs out and about, forming memories and giving them opportunities they wouldn’t usually have,' says Elizabeth. 'And the leaders enjoy it too. When the adults get excited about doing activities like this, we pass that excitement on to the Cubs.'

And have the Cubs been inspired by their brief foray into space exploration?

'I think if I did lots of training I could be an astronaut,' says William. 'I'd like to set foot on the dusty moon.'

'I don't think I could be an astronaut,' says Sam. 'I'm scared of heights. I'd like to be an astrophysicist instead.'

Make sure you get involved in British Science Week, happening 11-20 March. Find out about all sorts of science badges, including Beavers' Experiment Activity Badge and Scouts' Astronautics Activity Badge on the members section of our website.

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