On Saturday 13th July over 150 cubs from around the Island met at the Sea Terminal at 6:15 am for a day trip to Knowsley Safari Park in Prescot. 2nd Onchan had 35 cubs attending made up from both our cub packs, and 6 leaders.
After a flat sailing we arrived in Liverpool and began the difficult task of navigating around the Triathlon event that was happening so we could get to our coaches. We some how managed to get all 176 cubs and leaders over the crossing points fairly swiftly and were soon split into three coaches and off to the Park.
At Knowsley the staff had organised three main bases that the groups rotated around during the day. There was an educational badge work base where the Educational Support Staff at the Safari park ran a session on conservation with us. Cubs were taken to the woodland area of the park and had to collect dead leaves, branches and other material to stuff into stacked pallets. These “bug hotels” would be great places for the insect population to grow, which would also then increase the bird population. After this the cubs planted a variety of different seeds in the meadow area and learnt how they were working to preserve the local native wildlife. Back in the classroom we had a discussion about conservation and how we can all help to reduce green house emissions and protect endangered species. As a result of their hard work all cubs on the trip completed the requirements for the Global Conservation badge and will receive shortly.
After lunch and ice-lollies the groups swapped around and it was our turn to enjoy the walk around area of the Safari Park. We were able to see giraffes, elephants, meerkats and other animals and go on the amusement rides including the bumper cars, pirate ship and the miniature railway. We then met up with everyone else for the Sea Lion show at 3pm and were all given chilled drinks at the end to keep hydrated.
Our last base of the day was the drive through Safari. We boarded our coach and were each given a Safari guide and brochure before heading off into the enclosures. During this ride we saw many exotic and endangered species including white rhinos, tigers, lions, buffalo, camels, zebra, bongo and many more. We then reached the monkey enclosure. Fortunately for the cubs our coach driver was happy to take the coach through the enclosure and so we headed in. The baboons climbed all over the coach and onto the roof and we were able to see all the cars having various items ripped off them from windscreen vipers to even a wing mirror! Our coach came out intact the other side, though we did have to wait a while as the park staff attempted to move a stubborn baboon sat right in the middle of the roof that they couldn’t reach with a stick.
On finishing our safari we arrived back at the main entrance and the cubs had some free time to visit the gift shop before returning to Liverpool. The boat journey back was calm and although there was a small issue with the food everyone got fed and was quite content. A big well done and thank you to all 2nd Onchan Cubs, who were well behaved and represented the group well. A big thank you to Knowsley Safari park for organising the bases and helping to cubs achieve their Global Conservation badge, and to Christine Perkins for organising the trip. Finally a massive thank you to all 2nd Onchan leaders who gave up their free time to go on the trip.
Assistant Cub Scout Leader