Updated 04/11/2003 23:02

Cheese, Glorious Cheese

Our British Scout cousins for many years had a "Scouting Interactive" website that was authored by Scouts for Scouts.  As you can image, they've got some pretty clever young folks on the other side of the pond, and I used to regularly roll on the deck with laughter while reading their latest creations.  Unfortunately, when I tried to put up links today to some of those gems I remembered from years past, I got the dreaded "URL Not Found" message.  Possibly the heavy hand of adult censorship finally caught up with with these fine young folks.  Or maybe it was just a case of another dreaded event: website reorganization.  Either way, I am diligently searching for where ever these gems of British youth Scout humor now reside.  When and as I find them, I'll let you know.  In the meantime, I was lucky enough to have saved one example of this temporarily unavailable product of the best minds of British youth - Programmes on a Pallet - ideas for those Scout leaders who lack the imagination to come up with programme ideas on their own.  

As best I can recollect, this exemplar of the breed was written by Phil Alderton, a Sea Scout from the 18th Truro (St George’s) Venture Scout Unit in Cornwall, England.

  From Phil's bio sketch, I copied the following:

Phil Alderton ( <> ) was an SPL for the 18th Truro (St George’s) Scout Troop, and now is starting a new life as a Venture Scout in the 18th Truro (St George’s) Venture Scout Unit. Contrary to popular belief, he is nothing like Dr. Niles Crane from the sitcom “Frasier”. ...yeah right!

Why me? Why do I always get the yucky rum flavoured Quality Street? Why does my Web Browser always cut out halfway trough downloading Quake? And why does fate, normally in the form of the Boy Scouts, always seem to have it in for me?

The problem was the choice of colours for the T-shirts. Or rather, lack of choice. Scouts? Dark Green. Guides? Royal Blue. One thing my group is not especially known for is following the herd. So, after hearing that our specially printed Kernow ‘97 T-shirts would only come in Land Scout Green (hint-never call them Land Scouts -- it really irritates them. I found out the hard way) or Guide Blue, we were naturally fuming. After all, we’re a Sea Scout Troop. So why must we be lumbered with the horrible green colour, or risk further embarrassment by wearing ones that were meant for Guides? Our youthful quibbling paid off, and the organisers rolled off a set of navy blue T-shirts for us. I didn’t really think that there was a hierarchy of status involved with them until I was asked by a Guide, “What are navy ones, then?”. She obviously thought that I was important as I wasn’t wearing green. Jamborees are like that though, I guess. She found out about a sub-section of the Scout Association, and I found something to whitter on about.

So now, ................(drum roll)......... PROGRAMMES ON A PALLET (thunderous and sustained applause)


A Scouting Interactive

resource for you to cut out and lose.

This month's Programme Theme is that time honoured Classic
Well you couldn't have an article about cheese without a picture of a bit of cheese could you!!


Beaver Scouts

Cheese collage - Have you noticed the wide variety of colours of cheese available at the cheese counter of your local store?
From the subtle yellow hue of the humble Irish Cheddar to the Vibrant russet tones of the Red Leicester. Exploit this by making pictures out of sliced cheese. Be sure to use safety scissors for cutting and stick them down with strong PVA glue. The finished product could be hung on the colony notice board, so long as your HQ is not too warm.
Spot the mould - After last week's activity you should have some quite interesting mould growths on your cheese collages. 
Take a moment at the start of the colony meeting to explore the shapes of the mould growths and ask the beavers to identify things in real life that are similar shapes.


Cub Scouts

Cheese messages - Use that ever popular cheese in tubes to write cheesy messages to each other.
Cheesy trail - Practice your tracking signs but make the arrows out of squeezy cheese for an exciting cheddary twist.
Cheesy Knots - Practice your knots using Cheese Strings instead of boring old String strings.
Cheese peeling relay - Cubs run up and peel a cheese Babybel or Dairylea triangles are ideal for this exciting game. Cubs that like cheese could eat it.



Cheesy Kim - Set out a selection of cheeses on a tray. Allow your Scouts to look at them for ten minutes then ask them to list the cheeses. A cheesy twist on the timeless memory game.
Game - Mouse & Cheese - Play 'Dog and bone' using a full Edam Cheese instead of a necker.
Cheese Straw Pioneering - Try out all of your favourite pioneering constructions using cheese straws as spars and cheese strings for lashings. Judge the best constructions and eat the winner.
Cheese Sculpture - Carve a statue of your patrol leader out of a piece of cheese. A great cheesy contribution to the artist badge.
Cheese on stage - Act out your own variation of the famous Monty Python Cheese shop sketch to illiustrate an aspect of the Scout Law. The text of the sketch is available below.


Venture Scouts

Cheesy Night Out - How about a visit to a cheese factory?  It's a delightful Unit evening out.
World Cheese Night - Enjoy that International flavour with a world cheese night. Taste cheeses from around the world. 
Put up a world map and see if you can do the 'Around the world in 80 cheeses Challenge'
Cheese tasting - Rank cheeses according to strength and texture.
Fabulous Fondue - This Swiss Cheese Favourite is sure to please. One of your parents is bound to have one of these essential 70's dinner party accessories.
The Great Cheese Debate - Members of the Unit adopt the roles of various types of cheese and argue why they are the tastiest.
Make Cheese - Why not make your own cheese.  For full details follow this link


Safety note for leaders

Mmm! lovely - Fancy a bit of cheese Grommit!!!

Some Scouts do not like cheese.  Have some alternatives available like toothpaste or lard for those members who don't like cheese or cheese products. Also be sensitive to the needs of non meat-eaters by having vegetarian cheese available. 

Further advice on 'Cheese Handling' is available in fact sheet FS/AOCH2 from HQ.


Top Ten Cheesy Facts

  1. Ten kilos of milk are required to make one kilo of cheese.
  2. Cheese is made by curdling the milk
  3. Edam cheese, which is made from skimmed milk, has a fat content of 40% in the dry matter.
  4. The process of cheesemaking is an ancient craft that dates back thousands of years
  5. Until the middle of the 19th century, cheesemakers on croft and farm simply held over a portion of soured milk or whey in a small jug or churn and used it the following day to make cheese.
  6. Eseehc is cheese spelled backwards
  7. Parmesan Cheese smells like babies sick
  8. Cheese is the only food you don't throw away when it's mouldy.
  9. There are many fascinating 'cheese-related' web sites.
  10. The milk from cows, goats, sheep and even buffaloes is used to make cheese.


The Monty Python's Cheese Shop Sketch To illustrate a section from the Scout Law

(a Scout walks in the door.) 

SCOUT: Good Morning. 
OWNER: Good morning, Sir. Welcome to the National Cheese Emporium! 
SCOUT: Ah, thank you, my good man. 
OWNER: What can I do for you, Sir? 
SCOUT: Well, I was, uh, sitting in the public library on Thurmon Street just now, skimming through "Scouting For Boys" by Robert Stephenson Smythe Baden-Powell, and I suddenly came over all peckish. 
OWNER: Peckish, sir? 
SCOUT: Esuriant. 
SCOUT: 'Ee, Ah wor 'ungry-loike! 
OWNER: Ah, hungry! 
SCOUT: In a nutshell. And I thought to myself, "a little fermented curd will do the trick," so, I curtailed my Scouting activites, sallied forth, and infiltrated your place of purveyance to negotiate the vending of some cheesy comestibles! 
OWNER: Come again? 
SCOUT: I want to buy some cheese. 
OWNER: Oh, I thought you were complaining about the bazouki player! 
SCOUT: Oh, heaven forbid: I am one who delights in all manifestations of the Terpsichorean muse! 
OWNER: Sorry? 
SCOUT: 'Ooo, Ah lahk a nice tuune, 'yer forced too! 
OWNER: So he can go on playing, can he? 
SCOUT: Most certainly! Now then, some cheese please, my good man. 
OWNER: (lustily) Certainly, sir. What would you like? 
SCOUT: Well, eh, how about a little red Leicester. 
OWNER: I'm, a-fraid we're fresh out of red Leicester, sir. 
SCOUT: Oh, never mind, how are you on Tilsit? 
OWNER: I'm afraid we never have that at the end of the week, sir, we get it fresh on Monday. 
SCOUT: Tish tish. No matter. Well, stout yeoman, four ounces of Caerphilly, if you please. 
OWNER: Ah! It's beeeen on order, sir, for two weeks. Was expecting it this morning. 
SCOUT: 'T's Not my lucky day, is it? Aah, Bel Paese? 
OWNER: Sorry, sir. 
SCOUT: Red Windsor? 
OWNER: Normally, sir, yes. Today the van broke down. 
SCOUT: Ah. Stilton? 
OWNER: Sorry. 
SCOUT: Ementhal? Gruyere? 
SCOUT: Any Norweigan Jarlsburg, per chance. 
SCOUT: Lipta? 
SCOUT: Lancashire? 
SCOUT: White Stilton? 
SCOUT: Danish Brew? 
SCOUT: Double Goucester? 
SCOUT: Cheshire? 
SCOUT: Dorset Bluveny? 
SCOUT: Brie, Roquefort, Pol le Veq, Port Salut, Savoy Aire, Saint Paulin, Carrier de lest, Bres Bleu, Bruson? 
SCOUT: Camembert, perhaps? 
OWNER: Ah! We have Camembert, yessir. 
SCOUT: (suprised) You do! Excellent. 
OWNER: Yessir. It's..ah,'s a bit runny... 
SCOUT: Oh, I like it runny. 
OWNER: Well,.. It's very runny, actually, sir. 
SCOUT: No matter. Fetch hither the fromage de la Belle France! Mmmwah! 
OWNER: I...think it's a bit runnier than you'll like it, sir. 
SCOUT: I don't care how blinking runny it is. Hand it over with all speed. 
OWNER: Oooooooooohhh........! 
SCOUT: What now? 
OWNER: The cat's eaten it. 
SCOUT: Has he. 
OWNER: She, sir. 
SCOUT: Gouda? 
SCOUT: Edam? 
SCOUT: Case Ness? 
SCOUT: Smoked Austrian? 
SCOUT: Japanese Sage Darby? 
OWNER: No, sir. 
SCOUT: *have* some cheese, don't you? 
OWNER: (brightly) Of course, sir. It's a cheese shop, sir. We've got-- 
SCOUT: No no... don't tell me. I'm keen to guess. 
OWNER: Fair enough. 
SCOUT: Uuuuuh, Wensleydale. 
OWNER: Yes? 
SCOUT: Ah, well, I'll have some of that! 
OWNER: Oh! I thought you were talking to me, sir. Mister Wensleydale, that's my name. 


SCOUT: Greek Feta? 
OWNER: Uh, not as such. 
SCOUT: Uuh, Gorgonzola? 
OWNER: no 
SCOUT: Parmesan, 
OWNER: no 
SCOUT: Mozarella, 
OWNER: no 
SCOUT: Paper Cramer, 
OWNER: no 
SCOUT: Danish Bimbo, 
OWNER: no 
SCOUT: Czech sheep's milk, 
OWNER: no 
SCOUT: Venezuelan Beaver Cheese? 
OWNER: Not *today*, sir, no. 
SCOUT: Aah, how about Cheddar? 
OWNER: Well, we don't get much call for it around here, sir. 
SCOUT: Not much ca--It's the single most popular cheese in the world! 
OWNER: Not 'round here, sir. 
SCOUT: and what IS the most popular cheese 'round hyah? 
OWNER: 'Illchester, sir. 
SCOUT: IS it. 
OWNER: Oh, yes, it's staggeringly popular in this manusquire. 
SCOUT: Is it. 
OWNER: It's our number one best seller, sir! 
SCOUT: I see. Uuh...'Illchester, eh? 
OWNER: Right, sir. 
SCOUT: All right. Okay. 
'Have you got any?' he asked, expecting the answer 'no'. 
OWNER: I'll have a look, sir... nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnno. 
SCOUT: It's not much of a cheese shop, is it? 
OWNER: Finest in the district! 
SCOUT: (annoyed) Explain the logic underlying that conclusion, please. 
OWNER: Well, it's so clean, sir! 
SCOUT: It's certainly uncontaminated by cheese.... 
OWNER: (brightly) You haven't asked me about Limburger, sir. 
SCOUT: Would it be worth it? 
OWNER: Could be.... 
OWNER: Told you sir.... 
SCOUT: (slowly) Have you got any Limburger? 
SCOUT: Figures. Predictable, really I suppose. It was an act of purest optimism to have posed the question in the first place. Tell me: 
OWNER: Yessir? 
SCOUT: (deliberately) Have you in fact got any cheese here at all. 
OWNER: Yes,sir. 
SCOUT: Really? 
OWNER: No. Not really, sir. 
SCOUT: You haven't. 
OWNER: Nosir. Not a scrap. I was deliberately wasting your time,sir. 
SCOUT: Well I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to shoot you. 
OWNER: Right-0, sir. 
The Scout takes out a gun and shoots the owner. 
SCOUT: What a *senseless* waste of human life. If only he'd made good use of his time and had been careful with his possessions and property he'd have had some cheese to sell me.


The Producers of SI accept no responsiblity for any damage to monitors resulting in your stupid attempt to cut out this article.
Any similarity to any other publication currently in print is purely 'accidental'

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So what did I tell you - do British Sea Scouts have a sense of humor or what?  I must admit that our British Sea Scout cousins really do have us beat when it comes to humour.  Just look at how they spell it, for starters.  

Here are some of the other side-splitter links I saved over the years.  Unfortunately, the links are currently dead.  If I can find a way to resurrect them, or update them, you'll know I've succeeded because of the loud guffaws you'll hear coming through your computer speakers.  In the meantime, "A Toast to Absent Friends!"

11 April 2003 2024 - STOP PRESS!  THIS JUST IN!  The Sea  Scout Roving Reporter just happed by my desk on the way to do another piece of investigative journalism.  He said that if you really want to split a gut, you should go to the just-located long-lost issues of Scouting Interactive, a webzine by British Scouts for Scouts everywhere.  These fabulous back issues were thought to be lost forever to the world, ranking right up there with the destruction of the Colossus of Rhodes as a tragedy of epic proportions, but miracle of miracles, the Russians of all people had the good sense (read that as sense of humor / humour) to save back up copies at

Negotiations are currently underway to recover these lost treasures under the National Treasures Recovery Act, but since our British cousins couldn’t get Winnie-ther-Pooh back from a greedy New York publisher, prospects are iffy at best.  If all else fails, a Cyber-Swat Team made up of overly-bright and under-challenged Oxford students plan to infiltrate the murky world of Russian cyberspace and sneak the issues back disguised as Rover Scouts on holiday.  Should be interesting.

Right, guys?


Is anybody there?

Oh, sorry.  I forgot you were practicing your Scout-stealth maneuvers.  In any event, the once-dead links below have miraculously come to life again, thanks to our "brave Russian allies."

British Scout Humor

Courtesy of Scouting Interactive, the Internet Magazine by Scouts for Scouts.

Programmes on a Pallet - ideas for your next Scout night

Christmas presents for your Scout Leader - hint! hint!

Useful Camp Gadgets - real and imaginary 

Gruesome Fake Wounds - how to get your Scout Leader really going!

How to Cook Popcorn the Hard (and Slightly Dangerous Way) - need we say more?

Troop Night rockets - barely legal

Hot Air Balloons - up, up, and away!

Voice Recognition Software - dead cool or just a bit of rubbish?

Don't Read this Page - seriously :-) 

How Not to Produce Awful Scout Web Pages - Skipper Kain: read and heed!

Sea Scout Phil's Week at a Jamboree

Sea Scout Phil takes up the Chief Scout's Challenge

Sea Scouts from the 1st and 3rd Washington have a go at Seeing London

Cycling Coast to Coast

Sea Scout Phil hitches a ride with Pfadis - Pop quiz on BritSpeak:  Pfadis are a) truck drivers, b) locomotive engineers, c) German Scouts, or d) I haven't a clue!  Check your answer by reading the article, you silly goose.  Why do you think I put the link here in the first place?

Take the quiz:  What Kind of Leader do You Have? (still a lost item)

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