Category Archives: Venturer News

Masterchef Venturers: The Challenge – Feed Hungry Rovers

MCMK Venturers and Rovers at the Cook-Off (Sorry Tania, I cut your head off!)

“Let the games…. begin!!”

Well, it was about time we brushed up our cooking skills! It’s that time of year when it’s cold outside and there’s too many cooking challenges on tv! Time to give ourselves our own cooking challenge. The Venturer Cooking Night had evolved into a “Feed the Hungry Rovers Challenge”.

Good thing that we meet on the same night! We originally had 5 courses planned, but in the end, only used 3, which was enough – we had enough curry to feed a small country!

Here’s what was on our exotic menu:

Binskin relative.

– Guacamole: This is a south American dish,  I think. Made with avocado and tomato and is delicious!!! We were lucky to have the Binskin secret recipe, which was handed down for thousands of years from ancient Binskin Aztec relatives.
– Jackfruit curry: Jackfruit is the largest fruit available. It can be cooked when unripe, and it’s like a vegetable. When it’s ripe – it’s a fruit!! When it’s cooked, it has the texture of chicken. Hey, this is meat for vegetarians!! (Sorry, I got a bit excited there!)

– Tzatziki: A greek dip made with cucumber, yoghurt and garlic!!! Mmmm… I got this recipe from an oldGreek lady in a bakery in Dee Why. Caution: makes your breath stink, but who cares?

Jackfruits - Why stop at eating one only?

All our venturers had a great time preparing the food, cutting up the veges, burning the curry powder (all curry powder has to be toasted!) and mixing all the ingredients. It was a lot of fun, noisy though, because the scouts were next door making a huge racquet (ie. noise – not the tennis stick thing)

Time to plate it up!! We served up our dishes to ourselves and the Rovers! Hey, they like this stuff! Many went back for seconds!

The night was a huge success!!!

I can’t wait for the next Venturer and Rover cooking night! It will be the Rovers turn to cook for us! Let’s see if they can cook something other than sanga sandwiches and sauce!!

“Rovers… the challenge is on!”

Cheers, Mazza

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The Shack


On 4th June, a small group of 3 Scouts, 1 Venturer, 2 Leaders and a dog meet at the new hall and drove to the oyster depot in Brooklyn. Gary Binskin’s brother picked us up in a punt and took us to his shack on the side of the Hawkesbury River which features in the movie the Oyster Farmer. It was a small shack with a generator and a room for sleeping in. Once all the supplies had been offloaded the Scouts and Venture went hunting for crabs to use as bait for fishing. After collecting about 20 crabs we sat down for some fishing, unfortunately the 4 of us were unsuccessful in catching anything, thankfully we had brought food for dinner. We sat around the growing fire and played cards for a bit.

It was getting dark by now and soon we started making our dinner. After our big camp roast we roasted some marshmallows and then it started to rain, so we abandoned the fire and went inside to watch a film, Star ship Troopers. As we were watching the tide came in and the water rose up to the bottom of the shack. After the movie we turned in.

The next morning the 4 of us went for a walk while breakfast was cooked. We walked along the shoreline for about 20 mins before turning round. After a hearty breakfast we packed up and boarded the punt back to the oyster depot where we thanked Gary’s brother and returned home. It was a great relaxing sleepover in a beautiful location.

Sam Gibbons
MCMK Venturer

Venturer’s Report, AGM, 24th May 2011

Greetings from the mighty MCMK Venturers!  There have been some major changes with Venturers this year, and our Unit has been evolving rapidly over the last few months!  Our numbers are in continual flux, but that’s part of the territory with the Venturer age group.  However, there has been a major change of events with Chris “Spesh” Whitfield and Gary “Gator” Binskin coming on board to steer the Venturer Unit into a new era.  Just like a punt up uncharted waters!

Belinda Binskin and Matthew Urmenyhazi have been at the helm for some time now, but Gary Binksin’s enthusiasm and skills is a tremendous benefit to all in our Unit.  Just a few days ago, we made delicious pizza out of an oven made from a beer keg – whilst Belinda kept a watchful and helpful eye over the chocolate fondue!

Of course the big news for us is that we have our own hall now! We’ve officially cut the umbilical cord from the Berowra Unit and we are on our own!  The Berowra Unit has been a great support over the years, and without them and the use of their hall, we wouldn’t have our Unit. However, we are on our own feet now, and are all enjoying a type of newfound freedom – and no more possum poo in the hall!

Another of the big changes has been changing our meeting nights, from Wednesday and Fridays, to now Monday nights.  This change has been FANTASTIC!! (Thanks Gator!) as all Venturers can now participate throughout the year!!

Our numbers have declined a bit in recent months due to age, friendships with other Units etc.  However, we have had a very full program since the last AGM.  You can see most of our activities on the mcmkscoutgroup.org.au website, which we keep updated regularly, or on our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/mcmkvents.  Here, though, are just a few of the activities that we’ve participated in since our last AGM.  We have been VERY busy over the last 5 months or so…

•    Ventout (3 days of camping with Scouts)
•    Snorkelling
•    Deep Pass Christmas Camp
•    Tie Dye Night
•    Roventure (3 days of camping with Rovers)
•    Visit to a Thai Buddhist Monastery
•    Debating night
•    Outdoor cooking
•    Bush tucker weekend

We also recently had a very successful soap swap night.  Check out the website and read about how we turned a bar of soap into a giant flat screen TV – in fifteen minutes!

Other news… on a personal note, I’ve decided to hand over the steering of the Unit to Gary.  Time for me to focus on other projects!  Although I won’t be gone completely, I’ll be hanging around on most nights like a bad smell!  Once a scout leader, always a scout leader!

MCMK Venturers is back on course!  Belinda, Gary, Spesh and to a lesser part myself are now full-swing into a new term and term plan!  Our Venturers are very motivated and enthusiastic, and it looks like we’ll have some Scouts coming up soon!  It also looks like we may have some Queen Scout candidates too!

Cheers,
Mazi (Matthew Urmenyhazi)

How to Turn a Bar of Soap Into A Giant TV in 15 Minutes!

Holy Guacamole!! Now that's a tv set!!!

Want to know how to get anything you want within minutes? Read on to see how our Venturers scored a giant tv for their new hall!

There’s a tradition that the MCMK Venturers have had over the years, that has always been a lot of fun and brings in some great rewards! However, we weren’t expecting our night to be successful as this!

A soap-swap is a night that we usually run once or twice a year. Venturers are split into groups of 4, however, on this night, we only had one group. Bummer! Not to worry though, as they were all very enthusiastic as none of them had participated in a soap swap before!

Here’s a story of a recent really successful soap swap. It’s about a guy who turned one red paperclip into a house!! Check out this link: One Red Paper Clip

The venturers were given one bar of soap only! The objective of the night, was to see what they could turn this into! By door knocking, and saying who they were (wearing their scout scarf is important!) they offer to swap the bar of soap for something else of greater value.

Although door knocking or “cold calling” as sales people call it is an uncomfortable process initially, it is a skill that can be of tremendous value. We all have to “sell” or convince someone else of our values, be it our friends, family or an employer at some stages in our lives. Soap swapping is easy and fun. You meet all types of people – fun, welcoming, weird, but usually generous!

Usually the venturers end up with a few tins of food at first. They accept the swap, thank the householders and move to the next door. This process continues, swapping items of greater and greater value. Usually the venturers return with arms full of  shampoo, packets of biscuits, golf clubs, anything really.

On this cold night however, they returned with a giant flat screen tv within 15 minutes of door knocking! Time to call the night quits! It started raining as well, so it was good timing!

We realised afterwards that this is an event that’s more suited to the warmer daylight savings nights. After 8:00pm people really don’t want to be interrupted on a cold winters night! In summer however, we start at 7:30pm and finish at 8:30pm – and end up with carloads full of stuff!

Who knows what our Venturers will be bringing back with them this Summer!

Write below and let us know about what you think of our night!! 🙂

Venturers soon to have a night visit to hieroglyphs at Bambara!

Is this an Egyptian tomb located at the site?

Last weekend I had the honor of spending the
afternoon with Jake Cassar and his friends and supporters of Camp Bambara. The camp is a protest over the illegal destruction of a national park reserve near Kariong, near the Brisbane Waters National Park. You can find this camp just as you leave Kariong and head towards Woy Woy.

Jake, who also does bush tucker tours (see our videos!) gave a guided tour of the very mysterious hieroglyphics that can be found within this reserve. A short walk of 30 minutes from the camp will take you to a rocky outcrop. Amongst these giant slabs of sandstones are countless hieroglyphics!

Who knows where these carvings come from? Were they from two Egyptian brothers who were stranded here thousands of years ago – just like the carvings depict? There is also a mysterious looking tomb there!!!

The Mount Colah Mount Kuring Gai Venturers will definitely be going on a Wednesday night tour of this place, this term! It should be awesome!

We may do a trip with there with our scouts or with other venturers from our region! The venturers from Berowra would love this stuff!

There’s lot’s more info on this place on the web. Type in “Brisbane Waters heiroglyphs” or “Kariong hieroglyphs” in Google and see the theories behind the carvings, and tombstone. We’ll leave it to you to decide what to make of them. It goes without saying though, that this area should be protected as it has a lot of cultural and sacred significance for Aboriginals, the original inhabitants of the area.

If you would like to make a trip to this place, drop in at the camp at Bambara and ask for Jake and his friends to guide you to the carvings. Please support the Bambara protest by offering a small donation to their cause! These guys are really doing courageous work by protesting over having more bushland trashed and turned into unnecessary residential area.

Once this beautiful bushland region is gone, it’s gone for good. As ancestors of our future generations, it’s up to us to preserve this region.

How to Light a Fire with a Condom

You never know. One day in an emergency situation, you may need to use this little trick! You know the old saying “A scout is resourceful!” 🙂

Dragon Skin these holidays! Good luck to our Venturers!

Watch the above video from Dragon Skin
2008 to see what our unit will get up to.

Well, it’s that time of year when our Venturers brave the wilderness for three days of hiking, camping, partying and insanity! Best of luck to all our teams who are venturing into Belangelo (I just got a chill down my spine!) At last count, we had combined teams with MCMK Venturers, Normanhurst and Berowra Venturers.

If you’re keen on getting into Dragon Skin and want to know more about it, check out the Dragon Skin website

Go for it guys, have fun!
Mazi

More Bush Tucker – Lilli Pilli Jam


At this time of year, if you keep your eye open, you can find tall trees in the Sydney North Region with clusters of vibrantly coloured berries. These are native plants called lilli pillis. What many people don’t know is that these fruit are very edible and make an excellent jam. When you pick them off the tree and eat them straight away that have a slight tart taste, a bit like a sour apple, but when you boil them and make them into a jam or jelly, they have a unique and delicious taste.

Ari and I had a quick drive around our streets looking for lilli pillis. Within 10 minutes I found a house in Berowra with massive trees with large clusters of lilli pillis. I knocked on the door, and asked the owner if I could take them. She had no use for them, and within 10 minutes we had 2 buckets full of delicious berries!

After picking, I washed them and picked out the leaves and small sticks. I was about to “deseed” them but realised that this would take me days. So, I boiled them instead and strained the syrup through a muslin cloth. The recipe that I found on the net didn’t use the berries after this process, and discarded them but it seemed to be a shame to throw them out after taking the juice out. So, I took the seeds out from each one.  This didn’t take long as the lilli pillis were cooked – about half an hour.

The recipe for lilli pilli jam is very simple: Mix 250gms of lilli pillis and their juice, to 250gms of sugar, and the juice of one lemon. Mix the lot and boil. I bought a sachet of pectin to throw in, to aid setting.

I had my first batch of lilli pilli jam made not long after. After boiling it for about 10 minutes it turns into a vibrant purple. The jars are now in the fridge cooling down. I’m really looking forward to having some for breakfast tomorrow!

How to Build an Emergency Home in a Day

 

Sandbags, dirt and barbed wire are all that's needed to start building an earthquake proof shelter like this!

I stumbled upon this info years ago, when I was looking for designs on adobe buildings. Recently I was chatting to Jake Cassar – The Bush Tucker Man, and I thought it would be great to share this info with him and those that are interested in the type of work that he does. This one’s for you Jake…

Build an earthquake proof home within a day!

Extract the from Cal-Earth website…

After a fire, hurricane, flood, or earthquake we immediately declare that this was a natural disaster, an act of God. The right question is why did our house burn, fall apart, or get swept away? And when we have the chance to re-build it, why should we build it the same way and in the same place? Ultimately “natural disasters” are human created disasters blamed on nature.

“To build simple emergency and safe structures in our backyards, to give us maximum safety with minimum environmental impact, we must choose natural materials and, like nature itself, build with minimum materials to create maximum space, like a beehive or a sea shell. The strongest structures in nature which work in tune with gravity, friction, minimum exposure and maximum compression, are arches, domes and vault forms. And they can be easily learned and utilize the most available material on earth: Earth.”
– Nader Khalili

Architect and author Nader Khalili developed this simple breakthrough building technology known as Superadobe (sandbags and barbed wire) and Ceramic Houses, with the freely available material of earth, for almost thirty years.

Khalili believes that the whole family should be able to build together, men and women, from grandma to the youngest child. As such, we have spent many years researching hands-on how to make the process simpler and easier. There should be no heavy lifting or backaches, no expensive equipment, and a flexible and fast construction. The bags are filled in place on the wall using small pots like coffee cans, or even kitchen utensils. You can build alone or as a group.

The structural principles of the timeless forms of arches, domes, vaults, and apses are built with the materials of earth, sandbags and barbed wire using the engineering of single and double curvature compression shell structures, to reach the ultimate in strength, self-help, and aesthetics. In Superadobe, the ancient earth architecture of the Middle East using sun-dried mud bricks is fused with its portable nomadic culture of fabrics and tensile elements, not just through design and pattern, but through the structure itself. Structural design uses modern engineering concepts like base-isolation and post-tensioning. The innovation of barbed wire adds the tensile element to the traditional earthen structures, creating earthquake resistance despite the earth’s low shear strength. The aerodynamic forms resist hurricanes. The innovation of sandbags adds flood resistance, and easy construction, while the earth itself provides insulation and fire-proofing.

Khalili and Cal-Earth has donated instructions on
how to build these structures to benefit mankind.
Download the instructions here.

It’s a proven technology, it’s cost effective, you need very little building material, just what nature gives you. So simple it can be learned by everybody.

Cal-Earth Website

MCMK Venturers | Aboriginal Cave Paintings