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13th Wimbledon Scout Group and St Saviour’s Explorer Scout

Unit Newsletter

January 2018

Christmas celebration ‘Best yet’

An estimated 190 people attended St Saviour’s on December 5th for a our annual Group Celebration of Christmas and Scouting. Carols were sung, readings were read and the Beavers told us Christmas Jokes. The cubs sang about what the fairy sees from the top of the Christmas tree while scouts and explorers gave a dance performance only marginally less stunning than Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, but he never managed to get a real live fairy to balance on top of a Christmas tree. The scouts then sang the second song specially written for the occasion reminding us of the anxieties of family Christmases in Raynes Park with the whole congregation letting vent their frustration at Santa’s habit of appearing only after all the children have fallen asleep ‘AND WHY’S HE NOT HERE YET!’

Chloe did a brilliant job on the piano throughout, while Dexter on Flute and Aden on guitar skilfully accompanied singing cubs and dancing fairies.

The District Commissioner and Assistant District Commissioner presented awards, Nigel invested explorer scouts and Skip invested new leaders. We may have overrun somewhat but no one seemed to mind as we enjoyed mince pies, drinks and good festive cheer in the hall afterwards.

Our thanks to Reverend Peter Kelley and St Saviour’s for allowing us to use the church and to those parents, explorers and leaders who supported us in preparing for the event and working hard behind the scenes to make the evening such a success. Probably our best yet!

Video highlights can be viewed on the Group Facebook page. All parents and leaders should have had an invitation to join this. If you have not and would like to be included, please email Skip at Peter@brandenergyresearch.com .

Scouts prepare to remind us of all the Christmas Angst

Scouts prepare to remind us of all the Christmas Angst

Lead fairy takes her place on the Christmas tree

Cubs sing ‘The Fairy on Top of the Christmas Tree’

Fairies demonstrate perfectly synchronized dancing

Scouts provided musical accompaniment and seasonal readings

Plenty of (s)Miles

Malcolm and Fiona Miles were surprised to be called up by Wimbledon and Wandle District Commissioner, Deborah Carter, to each receive awards for 25 years’ service. Both joined the Group in 1992, Fiona to help the beavers and Malcolm to help the scouts, and have seen these sections through both great and more challenging times. In all that time they have hardly missed a meeting.

Thanks guys. You are the best!

Leader boost for beavers

We are delighted to welcome two new adult leaders to the Beaver section this last term.

Laura Paine used to be a guide at St Saviour’s and her mother was an assistant leader at the 13th, first with the cubs then with the beavers, from 1988 to 1995. Alice Shearring recently joined as a section assistant when her son joined the beavers.

In addition, Young Leader, Max, has been assisting with the beavers since last January and was invested at the Christmas celebration before receiving his first stage award as a Young Leader, along with Reggie, and Thomas and Joel who have been assisting regularly with the cubs and Jess who has been assisting the scouts.

Group’s Tree Supports The Samaritan’s

The Group again sponsored a Christmas tree to display in Trinity United Reform Church in Wimbledon. The public are invited along each year to view all the sponsored trees, with profits going to support the Samaritans.  he tree was decorated by the cub leaders supported from scouts who attend the neighboring Wimbledon High School.

This year’s decorations featured flags from every country that has scouting – 194 of them – all coloured in by the cubs and beavers, then laminated, before being hung on the tree. The scouts also created special decorations to Malcolm’s design made from golden chord.

Thanks to Guy and Pam Rostron for organising this again this

Another Successful Cub/Scout Cross-over Camp

For the second year we ran a camp for the older cubs and younger scouts in September, to prepare them for life in the scout troop. The cubs were able to complete their Adventure and Outdoor Challenge badges. Along with the younger scouts they were introduced to the basics of scout camping.

Eighteen cubs and scouts gathered together at Boidier Hurst scout campsite near Box Hill. The cub leaders, Akela, Baloo, Bagheera and Chil were joined by scout leaders Anthony and Tom to instruct the youngsters on the finer arts of tent pitching, knots and lashings and the safe use of knives and axes.

The Young Leaders showed the youngsters what could be achieved with knots and lashings by building a gate to the camp fire circle. They also lead the camp fire sing along.

Chicken Fajitas for lunch and deconstructed cottage pie for evening meal, meant cooking skills were honed and Sunday saw everyone out for a hike on Box Hill.

We look forward to another great crossover camp in 2018.

Cubs demonstrate their tripods; very useful for hanging water carriers and cooking pots, as bridge supports and for building shelters.

Young leaders show how to build a gate, clearly impenetrable to unwanted invaders

Cubs strive for badges

The cubs had a very active term working towards a number of the activity and challenge badges. The term started with building shelters out of tarpaulins and string, part of their Outdoor Challenge award. For their Road Safety activity badges they walked around Raynes Park identifying road signs and learning what they all mean as well as the different types of road crossing. They also made shadow puppets to demonstrate how to be safe when crossing the road.

Arnav’s Dad visited the pack to assist with the International activity badge. He told them about Diwali and its importance to the Hindu community. The rest of the evening was devoted to food from different countries with other parents chipping in. There were Anzac biscuits, Indian dishes, including sweets as we were so near to Diwali, Colcannon from Ireland and the mighty eccles cake representing England. Thanks to all the parents who helped, in particular Jack and Ewan’s mums making every child’s favourite Italian dish, pizza! We also had gluten free cakes and found that the majority of the Indian dishes were also gluten free so no one lost out.

The international badge was finished off on fireworks evening with facts and figures on scouting around the world and ASL Tom, came down to teach the cubs the scout motto in Portuguese.

Cubs contemplate the nutritional value of eccles cakes

Pizza looks like abetter option

Cubs watch their subs dissappaer in a shower of sparks and smoke

Paintballing was a very popular activity where the cubs joined those from other packs throughout the district for a physically demanding day crawling around on the ground and dodging behind walls while popping paint pellets at the opposing team.

The cubs engaged in a number of team building activities. These included participating in the annual ‘scooterthon’ – a series of relay races organised by the district.

The Young Leaders also challenged them to build the highest structures they could using just newspapers and Sellotape.

Cubs paintballing team

Scooterthon champs

Cubs and Young leaders display their answer to Kim Jong Un

The cubs continue to save the bottles tops from milk containers, fizzy drink bottles and juice cartoons for SightSavers. They filled another black bag with tops this term. If you are not already contributing towards this initiative and would like to do so, please start separating your bottle tops from their containers and once you have a small bag full bring them along to cubs and give them to Chil.

For their entertainers badge, the cubs ran a magic evening. The Young Leaders showed them magic tricks they could do using items from around the home. They were then entertained by Trevor Thairs, a scout leader from Croydon who is also a magician.

Following Halloween the cubs attempted to create suitably ghoulish creatures.

Skip gets draw into a magic trick

No danger of cubs missing their mummies this evening

As part of the artist activity badge, the cubs made paper poppies and painted poppy designs on white stones to create a very impressive display around the font at the back of the church for Remembrance Sunday. This received glowing feedback from the congregation of St Saviour’s.


Scouts out and about in many environments

The scouts supported Wandle Fortnight in September with a cycle ride from Raynes Park to Morden Park then along the banks of the River Wandle to Waddon Ponds, then back again. Along the way they were told about the history and geography of the River Wandle and also spent an hour assisting volunteers in clearing up litter near the banks of the river in Ravensbury Park.

The scouts entered two district competitions this term. The team performed well to come 3rd in the district quiz competition.

Performance was chequered in the district incident hike, this year held on Wimbledon Common. Our A team came a good 3rd out of 19 teams that entered. The B Team finished in a credible time though the C Team clearly need to hone their navigation skills if they wish to walk a lot less and complete the route next time!

The scouts and explorers normally have an Autumn mountain trip. They experienced particularly wet and misty conditions on Pen Y Fan this year on their trip to the Brecon Beacons.


The Group Joins Services of Remembrance

The Group joined others to commemorate Remembrance Day. Scouts and explorers joined members of the armed forces and a host of local dignitaries with a parade through Wimbledon village and a service at the war memorial at the edge of Wimbledon Common. The cubs and beavers joined members of the congregation for a short service at the St Saviour’s war memorial where a wreath was laid on behalf of the Group.

The Scouts, and one beaver,assemble in Wimbledon Village

Cubs at St Saviour’s

Beavers Busy

The beavers had a busy term working on their Teamwork Challenge which involved many team games and tasks whilst also focusing on being good team leaders. Working together on the beaver banter for the carol service and making flags for the charity Christmas tree all went towards the award.

For their Digital Citizen activity badge, Tigger took them on a fascinating journey through the insides of a computer and introduced them to safety online.

During the dark winter evenings the beavers were able to complete the requirements for the Space activity badge learning about space missions, constellations. Young Leader Max gave a great demonstration of the planets of the solar system, which was a very popular topic.

Five great beavers swam up to cubs at the end of term to start a whole new adventure whilst the colony will be welcoming 6 new beavers in January.

Beavers receive Bronze Chief Scout’s Awards at the Christmas celebration

Ruby off to America

One of our scouts, Ruby Flew has been selected to attend the World Scout Jamboree in America in 2019. Over 40,000 scouts and leaders will attend the Jamboree from countries all over the world. Although the cost is subsidised by the county, she still need to raise £2800 for the trip. Half of this goes to support scouts from some of the poorest countries in the world.

Thanks to those of you who generously supported her by buying cakes and sweets from her stall at our Christmas celebration. This raised just over £120.

And finally

Don’t forget that subs are due the first week of January if you have not already paid in advance. These are £35 for the term or £95 for a year in advance. Please pay online if you can and inform your section leader when you do so:

Account Name: 13th Wimbledon Scout Group

Sort Code: 30-91-35

Account Number: 03230034

Bank: Lloyds

Reference –

Please provide as a reference

‘Subs’ then ‘B/C/S’ depending on section, then surname

e.g. SubsBSmith would be subs paid for a beaver surname ‘Smith’.

NB bank details for explorer subs are different