Sign language

Sign language for Scout and Guide friends

Let’s start with the hard one, signing Scout and Guide. The group that taught me sign language used the same sign for Scout/Guide/volunteer. Given that Scouts and Guides do a lot that isn’t volunteering, I felt this sign wasn’t quite right.

(Sign for Volunteer: hand up like you for the salute but all fingers up. Probably adapted from people putting their hands up to volunteer, but lower down)

This sign can be easily adapted into using the salute (right hand in front of you with thumb and little finger folded across your palm).

To specify which subset of Scouts and Guides you mean, stick another sign on the beginning or end. e.g. ‘s’ + salute for Scouts, salute + ‘rainbow’ for Rainbows, etc. For SSAGO I have been using ‘university’ + salute.


Then there’s other signs, like:

Camping –

Pub – I can’t find a video of the sign we’ve been using, it’s like the sign for ‘help’, but with your fingers less curled, so it looks like you’re holding a drink.

Singing –

Badges –


Sign language

Sign language for board games

Given I have not been able to find many topic divided lexica for my hobbies, I’m making my own.

Some of these signs are essentially homebrew, the result of housemate and myself needing a sign and making do with the best translation we could find, correct or not.


This is the best sign we’ve found for “turn” or “go”, as in “it’s your turn”  (the version with two fists knocking together)


Sign for “round”, as in, “is that the end of the round?”


Sign for game



Sign language

BSL and going non-verbal

Sometimes I stop speaking.

This is not the same as “completely disengage from the conversation”; I can track a conversation without participating.

Mostly when I can’t use my voice, I can still use sign language (sometimes I can’t do that, but it’s rare)

This is a reference post for any friends wanting to learn some of the signs I use.

All of these videos are from SignBSL, a lexicon for BSL.

I can’t find a video for “correct” (as in, “yes you’ve interpreted correctly”, when someone says back what they think I’m trying to say), but it’s a thumbs up, on its side, and pushed away from you.

Things like numbers and the alphabet are hugely useful. I got so frustrated at NSRGC when I was signing the number of my dice rolls and someone had to lean over and look at my sheet to tell the GM what I was saying. (Ok, I could have used non-bsl numbers to convey the point but my brain was not with that.)

I will add hobby specific vocabulary in separate posts.

Ranger badges

Digital Design: specification

I want to make a game to serve the same purpose as the intro game for the Escape Room Skills Builder, but without having a physical escape room. At the same time I want to make a game to serve as my work towards that Skills Builder. Thus the plan, to make a text game which mimics the intro game for the Skills Builder, and to subsequently make a new text game using the lessons learned.

This is a fairly self indulgent project. The aim is to improve my ability at writing storylines, to improve my familiarity with the software I intend to use, and to in the process make something that might be useful to other Lone Rangers as they can experience a non-physical escape room.

Software wise, I could use C or Python. Both would serve. However, I run the risk of being bogged down in the code, rather than focussing on the story. Therefore I will use Quest, an online and desktop software designed for this purpose.

Plan: Write the base game using Quest.

Play test to check it works.

Add extra elements to make the puzzle less obvious and otherwise improve the game according to the play testing.

Iterate play testing and improvement.

Once game is complete, share to public pages for general use.

Make a new game, using lessons learned, to satisfy the requirements of Escape Room Skills Builder.

Ranger badges

Flameless food

A 2 course meal with no oven, and as per the requirements in the clause.

Within 5 minutes I’ve decided I can probably meet all those requirements with stir fry and drop scones.

Stir fry: fry up some chopped onion or spring onion, peppers, bean sprouts, and mushrooms. Add noodles (having followed instructions on packet). Add sauce (can be packet sauce, can be just sweet chilli, could be a fancier concoction). Serve.

Adaptable for a variety of dietary stuff; exactly what goes in would depend on who I’m feeding.

Drop scones: make batter. Fry. Serve with jam.

Should any other bits of equipment be broken, this can be approximated with only a bowl, a spoon, and a frying pan/skillet, flour, water, and oil.

I’ll try this sometime soon so I can post photos.

Ranger badges, Uncategorized

Camp Skills Builder

For this part of the Skills Builder I need to do 15 nights with Guiding and meet at least 4 conditions.


Number of nights

As a Guide Leader 8 (?)

Which makes 24 nights under canvas while a Ranger, well over the 15 required. I even remembered not to count the night the First Aider asked me to sleep indoors because of the cold.

Next is to fulfill 4 of these criteria


Completed at

Camp with new people My first Freshers Camp
Sleep under the stars I’m not brave enough for this
Sleep in a shelter I’ve made Also sounds scary
Sleep off the ground I need to find a hammock…
Sleep in a new style of tent
Camp in every season Freshers Camp (autumn), SSAGO November Rally (winter), Walking Weekend (spring), SSAGO Summer Rally (bet you can’t guess)
Wild camp
Camp in a different country Cardiff Rally
Camp at a large event SSAGO Reunion was huge

So, done!

Now to work on the other parts of the Skills Builder…

Ranger badges, Uncategorized

Festival Goer

For my Festival Goer badge, I’m using Bosworth reenactment event from this summer.

Clause 1 – Food

For food at Bosworth I adapted what I’ve used for previous camps.

For Middleton I had pain au chocolat for breakfast, forgot breakfast and had to use lunch stuff at Tatton, and at Bosworth I thought something of the same ilk as Middleton would be good.

The reasoning is that I want something easy to eat in the tent, should I oversleep and need to eat breakfast after it’s already time to be dressed in authentic gear. So nothing hot, nothing with prep.

I looked for pain au chocolat in the shop but couldn’t find any so went for cinnamon and raisin bread.

This was not as successful as pain au chocolat. The pain au chocolat fit nicely in my blue Tupperware box and stay intact even if the box managed to get lost in the tent. The bread did not survive this well and the packet fell open in the night on Saturday so I chose not to eat it on Sunday.

Sunday being a bad day, I didn’t really have breakfast. For next camp I need to work out how to solve this, probably by getting something that fits in the box.


As per advice given at Middleton, we had bread, Cheshire cheese, Boursin, salami, spring onions and grapes.

This was adapted from the food at Tatton in the following ways. Apples were omitted as a member of the group is allergic to apples. I felt the easiest way to keep me from accidentally doing something wrong and setting her allergy off, was to simply not bring apples. This was not a huge loss and I would make the same choice again, any time that person is present.

Fennel and the leafy thing we had at Tatton were both abandoned. Most of it at Tatton was eaten by feeding it to Callum.

For Bosworth I remembered the freezer packs and this was fine. Long term goals: I want a better cool bag but the lunch boxes will do for now.


On the Friday, as I have done previously, I just had a meal deal pasta. This is not good for the environment, although very convenient for me. I would like to do as I have done a few times before and make a box of pasta before leaving but this often is too taxing for my brain when I’m packing. This aspect of my food can still be improved but will do until I stumble upon an equally convenient option.

On Saturday I had dampers (ish). I brought flour and jam in the pink box and was intending to do proper dampers.

Dampers are awfully difficult to get the proportions right for. I did not manage this, but myself and Kessel found the alternative situation of just frying it on the society skillet. This worked well; it was hot, filling, had sugar, and could be supplemented with eating up some more of the cheese (or by bringing extra cheese)

This experiment is something I would repeat. Notes for next time: bring oil.


Not a proper meal but worth noting. Hot chocolate is still troublesome as it requires milk and powder. It’s ok for evenings as I can get out the powder and whisk. For daytimes I just borrow Tim’s altar (stove inside tent). I’d eventually like a better solution. Maybe if I could manage without the milk and just use powder, use the soc kettle if we have one and find a spoon that doesn’t mind the heat.

I also had Coca-Cola for drinking in the evenings. I drank a bit much at Bosworth because it tastes nicer than the squash so I had it during the day as well as the evenings. The system of having the bottle by my chair in the evening worked reasonably well.

Magic stars: went through two packets. This is much easier to ration, one packet per night. This needs no adapting from previous events or to future events.

Clause 2

Although I haven’t done anything from the badge syllabus, I present the following things that I did.

  • Dug out the spare shoe hanger (thing with pockets) to hang from the centre pole to keep things like spoons, washkits, glasses in to avoid losing them in the beds. (This worked really well)
  • Tbh, most of my camp prep has been things done over the past three years. It’s a continuous process, evolving my kit so I have the best experience I can. Things like upgrading my roll mat, bringing blankets, sewing, borrowing and buying my Medieval clothes.

Things I didn’t do for Bosworth but have done in prep for Hull/Lancaster SSAGO camps later this year

  • Put card sleeves on some of my games to make them survive better in a camp environment.

Clause 3

I did indeed make it Bosworth!