October 2017 Group Newsletter
As I write, Redwood is preparing to “go across the pond” with work once again, so I have stepped into the breach. This term there has only been 1 meeting so far, the beavers had a “log chew” about their holidays and then did a code breaking activity/game. The colony has a busy few weeks ahead preparing 10 of them who are “moving on” to the cub pack for their transfer, finishing off a few badges that will enable 6 of them gain their Chief Scout Bronze Award, the highest badge a beaver can achieve. By the end of September we will have moved on the 10 beavers and welcomed 12 new recruits!
Last term the beavers finished of both the Navigator and Campcraft activity badges. For the navigator badge the beavers the beavers learnt some simple map craft skills and got familiar with the cardinal points of a compass. The campcraft badge involved learning to tie a reef knot, putting up a tent, finding out about camp blankets, collecting wood, lighting fires and cooking marshmallows, finally a day visit to Cub Camp was a highlight of the badge for those beavers who went.
Akela (Shirley) for Redwood (Pete)
As I write I have just returned from the second meeting of the term. This term we have 5 cubs moving on to our Scout Troops. 10 beavers are moving on to cubs and 2 young people from our waiting list have just started their Scouting career. This takes our numbers to 36, a full pack, luckily we are blessed with a good number of Leaders! The first week we had a “getting to know you” evening with games and activities designed to learn people’s names and find out a bit about each other. Six of the pack have now completed their Chief Scout Silver award so they have been planning the ceremony which will take place next week before 3 of them “move on” to the Scout troop. Tonight Ed, our Explorer Scout Young Leader gave a brilliant talk about his trip to South Africa during the school holidays. This was a Scouting expedition to do some work to improve the lives of people who live there. They built some traditional fire pits at Mafeking which are used to cook everyday food at the Scout HQ, Baden Powell is famous for the defence of Mafeking when he was in the army. There is a Scout Hut there called Baden Powell Scout Hut. They then moved on to a school where they built some “long drop” toilets- usually 6ft deep or in this case 4ft deep, (they ran out of time)! His talk was fascinating and kept 39 cubs as well as us leaders, totally engaged for over half an hour, a feat in itself as far as the Cubs are concerned. I am sure after what he told them about the kinds of lives the children he met out there lead, lots of them are scouts too, that the cubs feel so privileged for what they have, eg a toilet with a flush, electricity, a proper house and lots of toys.
Last term the pack got out and about as much as the weather allowed! The Athletes Badge evening and rafting evening both had to be cancelled due to inclement (to say the least!) weather. However the “new sports” evening, the weekend camp and the annual sausage sizzle on the last day of term, all went ahead so we didn’t do too bad. The camp at the end of June at Cranbury Park Campsite was a great success and blessedly dry! The cubs enjoyed a weekend of traditional scouting skills, putting up tents, pioneering, fire lighting, backwoods cooking, hiking, campfire and of course lots of games and most importantly FUN. Beavers from the colony joined came and spent the day with us on Saturday.
Group Contact Shirley Moores, Group Scout Leader Tel No 01980 611614,
Idmiston Scout Troop
As I write this, we are only just starting back at scouts after the summer break, but we have a packed programme planned that will include defence of 3 of the District titles we won last year, trips out, hikes, shooting, camping and scout skills.
However, the long summer break was not an idle time. At the end of July both Bourne Valley Scout Troops joined together and 29 scouts departed on a week-long camp in Dorset, not far from Corfe Castle. The site was ‘Greenfield’, that is to say that it had no amenities – the water even had to be boiled before drinking. It was hard work and many found the change from previous campsites (with showers and toilets) rather a struggle. Their plight was not helped by the weather, which was far from kind. A week can be a long time at camp though and by the end the scouts were getting into the swing of things – perhaps we need to camp for 2 weeks!
The programme for the week included shooting, archery, a high-ropes course, hiking, cooking on open fires and even a trip on the Swanage Railway, giving the scouts the opportunity to spend their money in and around Swanage. The high-ropes activity was particularly impressive, not least because the rain was coming down in buckets at the time and the scouts carried on oblivious. One group was a little more interested when we returned to the campsite and they discovered that poor drainage and heavy rain had created an indoor swimming pool in their tent, but we had a solution and they still managed to get a good night’s sleep.
Taking inspiration from tv’s ‘Pimp My Ride’, our activity entitled ‘Pimp-up Your Leader’ made a reappearance on the programme. This gives the scouts the opportunity to drag the leaders’ fashion sense into the 21st century – ‘drag’ being the operative word. If you want to know more, check-out the BV Scouts Facebook page.
Our final evening in camp was spent at Dorset Water Park, 2 outdoor lakes equipped with large, floating, inflatable assault courses. We had arranged a private visit, which was fantastic and the staff were great – big thumbs-up from us. After an hour in the lakes, our day finished with fish and chips from the best chip shop in Swanage (they had a certificate from the local scout group to prove it) delivered to us at the park and thoroughly enjoyed by moonlight. Scouting – it’s not all tying knots you know.