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

Unit Newsletter

September 2017

Biggest Group Camp Ever

The June Spring camp this year was probably the biggest camp the Group has ever run. 21 Scouts, 22 cubs and 12 beavers enjoyed a wide range of activities and adventures at Walton Firs scout camp site. Cubs undertook crate stacking, archery and backwoods cooking while the beavers explored the maze and went caving. The scouts engaged on Operation Kingfisher, a sophisticated wide game involving older scouts hunting down groups of younger scouts as they sought out secret bases across wild countryside. All three sections came together for a great camp fire built by the young leaders from the cub section that burned vigorously despite recent torrential rain.

Group BBQ and AGM

The Group camp was followed by a family BBQ and the Group AGM. After the youngsters completed
a treasure hunt, the explorers did a fine job of feeding us.
At the AGM the chairman reported on a record number of youth members in the Group, and a
healthy financial position. He thanked the leaders for their extraordinary commitment over the year
but also appealed for at least one other adult to support Shakeel and Fiona in running the weekly
meetings of the beaver colony.
The section leaders reported back on packed programmes of lively activities throughout the year
and thanked those parents who have provided support at their meetings and various trips.
The District Commissioner then presented the Chief Scouts Gold Award – the highest award scouts
can obtain, to Reggie Bodle, Thomas Braddick, Luke St Clair Murray and Sebastian (‘Bazzy’) Cheshire.
All three have been very keen and active scouts since they joined the troop 3 1/2 years ago. To gain
the Award they had to earn nine key challenge awards and six activity badges.

The scouts also came 2nd in the District incident hike. They have now come first or second in this event in each of the last four years.

Explorers run the BBQ

The 13th Wimbledon Scout Group June 2017

Cubs and Scouts Win Tugs o’ War

TThe cubs and scouts both won their respective tug o’ war competitions in the annual district sports
competition at the Sports Arena in Wimbledon Park in May. This was the first time our cubs have
ever won this event though the fifth consecutive win for the scouts.

In the main competition the scouts came 5th and the cubs 3rd, their best performance since 2012.

Cubs winning the tug o’ War

Scouts winning the tug o’ war

Nothing But Fun for Beavers!

Those beavers who attended the Fun Day at Gilwell in June were in for a real treat. From motor
racing to water slides, archery to inflatables, they had it all. Despite hundreds of beavers and cubs
attending from all over the country, there were plenty of activities to ensure the queues were not
too long. And the weather was spot on.

This is what some of the parents said afterwards:
Awesome, thanks so much. The boys had a brilliant time.
George had a fab time!
Wow, it certainly looks like they had an awesome time. Thank you so much.
Luke had a thoroughly fun time and he’s been telling me lots about the activities, especially the bumper cars.

Thanks to Piglet for organising this. Definitely one for next year!
Apart from that, the beavers made good use of the lighter evenings last term in undertaking nature
walks, map and compass reading, tent pitching and scavenger hunts. They also participated in the
district beaver sports day where they took part in a number of novelty events such as well wanging,
three legged racing and sack racing.

The term culminated in 12 beavers joining the rest of the scout group at camp. They have returned
with many tales of how much they enjoyed themselves sleeping in tents, getting muddy and
particularly how much they loved the caving.

Cubs Come Out On Tops

For a number of years Sue Fellowes, a member of St Saviour’s congregation, has been collecting plastic bottle tops for the charity Sightsavers. This works in over 30 countries tackling the problem of blindness. Returning from a recent visit to family in Australia, she was delighted to find a black sack full of bottle tops collected by our cub pack. Thanks to all those who donated and to
Graham for harnessing our cub power to support this great cause. Apart rom supporting the charity, it has also helped the cubs towards gaining their environmental conservation badge and tied into the disability awareness activity badge.

Cubs also had a rich term of trying new and intriguing activities and exploring the local culture and history. Thanks to New Malden Sports Club, the cubs were given expert tennis coaching while St Saviour’s was being used as a polling station. They visited Wimbledon Museum where they met Red Ted and heard his stories of surviving the blitz. Spy night saw Bogart (Bagheera) appear and codes were cracked. Joel ran a zombie survival night and the local police ran an evening with their dogs. Not only did the cubs learn a lot about the role of police dogs, but the younger dogs, still in training, benefitted from being exposed to excited cubs.

Balloons Lift The May Fair

Scouts were very evident at the Annual St Saviour’s May Fair. Patrol Leader, Josie Hill, was crowned May Queen and the scouts ran various side show favourites including splat the rat, open the box and spin the wheel .
The Group also organised the balloon race. Thanks to everyone who sold tickets for this event, especially scout, Matthew Coverdale, who sold 18 tickets. Including on the day, 373 tickets were purchased, and 19 labels from the balloons were returned. Of these, the one that had travelled furthest landed in West Kington, near Chippenham, having travelled a total of 88.5 miles. The winning ticket was sold by St Saviour’s scout, Emily Coups, and bought by Cathryn Turner.
The balloon race alone made a profit of £420. The other scout side shows raised just over £100 towards and total profit for the fair was £2,140. With church finances none too strong, this will help it to maintain the grounds and the hall that we all use. Indeed, you may look out for the brand new flooring in the hall and new chairs that have recently been purchased.
The St Saviour’s May Fair is always a most convivial event bringing people of all ages together from across the Raynes Park community. Where would we be without mums vs. dads tug o’ war, splat the rat, cream teas and dancing round the maypole? If only we could have warm beer and cricket thrown in.

Skip gets a soaking in the stocks

Josie is crowned St Saviour’s May Queen

Mums show dads how to win the tug o’ war

Splatting the rat

You Never Know Where Scouting Will Take You

A recent article in the Sunday Express revealed that TV naturalist, Steve Backshall, and his wife, Olympic rowing gold medalist, Helen Glover, believe that “Scouting has been a spring board for everything we have done.” They were both involved in scouting in their youth and are now Ambassadors for scouting which often includes, literally, getting their hands dirty. Who knows what scouting might inspire our youngsters to do in the future?



Summer Camp Achieves New Firsts

Arguably the highlight of each year for the scouts is the annual summer camp. This year they went to a campsite called Great Tower in the Lake District. The site is probably the largest scout campsite in the country. The terrain is somewhat rugged and the challenge is to find flat areas of grass between the rocky crags, trees and bogs to pitch your tent. Once that was achieved we settled in for a challenging, if at times wet, week of adventures.
Thirty-one scouts is probably more than we have had on any previous camp. One of the highlights was for the older scouts and explorers to attempt to climb all three of the so called North Yorkshire 3 Peaks – Pen Y Ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough. All the younger scouts either completed their Expedition Challenge – a two day hike that involved camping overnight, being chased by cows and being turned back by swollen rivers – or climbed Pen Y Ghent. Ten scouts, two explorers and two leaders also climbed all three peaks and walked in excess of 20 miles all in under 12 hours, a fine achievement!
Another first was the inclusion of caving in our programme and also the first explorer scout subterranean investiture. It is a tradition in explorer scouts to try to be invested in the most unusual of places. Joel had to wait 18 months for the right place – a cave deep under the hills around Ribbleshead, not far from the famous Ribbleshead railway viaduct.
The week also included an introduction to sailing on Lake Windermere, arguably one of the finest non-coastal places to learn how to sail in the country, and the scouts have a superb sailing centre right on its shores.

Scouts setting out on the Expedition Challenge hike

Ascending Pen Y Ghent

Some of the scouts who climbed all three Yorkshire 3 Peaks

Scouts build a camp oven

Sailing on Lake Windermere

Joel invested as an explorer under ground

Parents entertained by the Eagle patrol

Older scouts and explorers chill out

Assembling round the flag

The Group also sponsored and decorated a Christmas tree as part of the Trinity Church, Wimbledon, Christmas Tree Festival. Cubs, beavers and scouts produced their own special decorations for the tree and several cubs and scouts went along to help decorate it just before our Group Carol service. Over a 3-day period over 1000 people came to view the trees and £3000 was raised for the Samaritans. Well done to Guy and Pam for making this happen and those who turned up to decorate our tree.

Other scout happenings

Representatives from all sections attended the annual St George’s Day Parade in Wimbledon Village in April. The older scouts attended a patrol leaders training camp in Brentwood Essex in June while a number of scouts participated in the annual scout raft building event on the River Wandle in July. A record number of troops entered this year but few were as successful as the 13th in building a raft that stayed the course for five races along the River Wandle and proved capable of transporting 8 scouts at a time. A masterpiece in nautical engineering!

Scouts on PL training weekend

St George’s Day

Joke of the term

Have you heard the joke about the bin? It’s rubbish!

And finally

Don’t forget that subs are due the first week of September 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