13th Wimbledon Scout Group and St Saviour’s Explorer Scout
Newsletter April 2015
Welcome to Patrick – Our New Group Treasurer
We are delighted to announce the appointment of Patrick Daly as our new Group Treasurer. Patrick replied to a request for support through Merton Volunteers. Although confined to a wheelchair since he had a stroke in 1992, Patrick has done a tremendous amount for local charities and other organisations supporting people with various physical impairments. He already acts as treasurer for a number of groups, including his local church, and we are very fortunate that he has agreed to take on this crucial role for the Group. Thanks and welcome aboard Patrick!
I would like to thank our outgoing treasurer, Laura Dandy, for the excellent work she has done over the past two years and for handing over the accounts to Patrick in such good order.
The beavers have had a very physically active and healthy term. They undertook the Fitness Challenge alongside activity badges for Healthy Eating, Sport and Health and Fitness. They had a great evening of aerobics led by Louise Field and her daughter. They also played hockey and Dan set up an assault course and orienteering course. They also all gave a talk on the sports they participated in outside beavers from karate to netball.
This term looks like being equally inspiring. They will be doing the Outdoor Challenge badge, Adventure and Gardener Activity badges and generally getting out and about. There will be bike riding, nature walks, garden and allotment visits and many more. Most of the beavers will also take part in our annual camp where they can also achieve their first of many, hopefully, nights away badges.
The last term saw cubs finding out about disabilities and understanding through experiments with foot painting and blindfolded cake decorating how difficult life is for others.
Astronomy had cubs looking at the stars with the help of Jackson’s Dad, (who makes brilliant telescopes for a living!) and finding out about black holes space travel and the moon.
They also learnt new knots and lashings for tying together spars and made a big shelter they could all get in.
Global conservation saw them convey in skits what the impact can be of tsunami, the country code and what scouting has done to help worldwide. Recycling was high on the agenda and they upcycled bicycle tyres into belts thanks to the support of Bright Cycles in Raynes Park. If we make more they will sell them for us! They also made tealight holders from old tins, decorative candles using old magazine pictures and bird feeders from milk bottles.
Several cubs also attended the Communication Badge course run by the District.
Scout and Explorer Review
The explorers are booming. Following an influx from the scouts they now have around 17 members.
The scouts have been active in a range of District and County events.
None of the team that entered the County Cooking Competition had ever taken part in this event before but put their hearts and souls into preparing for it, which really paid off. Out of 23 teams they came 5th which was a tremendous result.
Well done Joe, Josie, Maria and Victoria.
Our performance in the County Night Exercise was no less impressive. Our A team came second out of 41 teams, just 4 points behind the overall winners. Our B team came 22nd though this could have been 8th place if serious navigational errors had not delayed them by an hour and a quarter in getting to first base!
Our 5-a-side football team were not so fortunate. However, three of them had only just been invested into the troop but nonetheless put up a sterling defence against teams that were far bigger and more experienced than they were Still, next year, it can only get better!
The scouts and explorers also tried their hand at paintballing. Some 300 scouts and explorers from across the District turned up at the muddy woodlands in Surrey for several hours of fun getting blasted by paint pellets in various military style scenarios. Thanks to Jack Petchey whose Award helped to subsidise this event.
The scouts also joined the explorers for our annual trip to Snowdonia, staying in the GLSW Hostel in Bethesda. The trip was extended to four days this year which enabled us to visit Aber Falls and a climbing wall in Llanfairpwllgwyngyll, (or Llanfairpwllgwyngyll-gogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch if you want to be pedantic!) Everyone had a fantastic time and did not let one of the minibuses being out of action due to clutch failure spoil the fun. The weather on the first two days was generally warm and sunny although a surprise overnight sprinkling of snow above 900 metres brought icy breezes on the peaks.
The unit hiked up 1,000 feet at night past Devil’s Kitchen to invest 5 explorers by torchlight!
The scouts and explorers are now planning their summer trip to Austria.
The explorers continued their tradition of excelling on the County Red Flare competition. The A team finished 2nd out of 42 teams to complete the gruelling course in a very fast time. The B team, which included a number of first timers, finished 26th, a good result given the task involved and the level of competition.
Explorers Complete Half Marathon
Three explorers and three of our leaders completed the Hampton Court Half Marathon in February. Greg led the pack with a fine performance of just under 1 hour 50 minutes for the 13.1 mile course that started and finished at Esher College and took in Kingston Market and Hampton Court along the way. Chris, Nigel and Skip were not far behind and all reached their personal ‘stretch’ target of less than 2 hours with some minutes to spare. Jenny and Amy finished in 2 hours 16, a good result considering how little training they had done (!), and you can see from the pictures who had most fun!
Chris was the one who put us all up for this challenge but Nigel was the real inspiration. Until recently he was a heavy smoker with a 6+ cans of coca-cola a day habit. His disciplined performance proved that scouting is good for your mind, body and spirit.
(This recruitment ad was brought to you by the 13th Wimbledon Scout Group and the SS Explorer Scout Unit – You know it makes sense!)
Most of you will know that, since Steve moved from the beaver section to take over the cubs, we have been a leader short at beavers. This does cause a problem especially when Dan is late or cannot make it to the meeting due to work commitments. We are grateful to those parents who take part in the parent rota and to those parents who take it upon themselves to check if Fiona has enough support before leaving when they come to drop off their children, and to those leaders of other sections who are ready to step in, if they are available, at short notice. But this is not satisfactory. A well run beaver colony must have a core team of leaders to ensure that a quality programme is delivered which is enjoyable, stimulating and rewarding for the youngsters well as the leaders.
If this issue is not addressed soon we will have to seriously look at significantly reducing the size of the colony. I am sure you would agree that it would be a real tragedy if that happened and youngsters who desperately want to join beavers have to be turned away. I would hope that out of 40 odd parents we might have one or two who could assist with the colony on a regular basis. Or maybe a beaver grandparent or aunt or uncle might have time on their hands and enjoy the opportunity to work with the youngsters.
So please give it some hard thought and let Dan or Fiona know if you or someone you know can help.
The usual reminder!
A reminder that subs are now due – £35 for the term or £95 for the year.
Our bank details for paying online are:
Account Name: 13th Wimbledon Scout Group
Sort Code: 30-91-35
Account Number: 03230034
Bank Lloyds TSB Bank
Reference – Bv/Cb/Sc Your child's name
Please remember to inform your section leader by email or text when you pay anything online.
(NB: Details for explorers are different)
Please remember to identify payments in the reference box starting with Sc for scouts, Cb for cubs and Bv for beavers. Thus subs for a beaver called Joe Smith might be recorded as BvSmithSub. This makes it much easier for the treasurer to allocate income to the right category.