13th Wimbledon Scout Group and St Saviour’s Explorer Scout
Newsletter January 2014
Big changes in leadership at the 13th
Most of you will know by now that there have been same major changes in leadership roles at the 13th. Shauna stepped down as Akela in the cub pack in December having served as an outstanding leader for the last two and a half years.
We were fortunate that Steve Lyon was keen to swap his Assistant Beaver Scout Leader role to become our new Cub Scout Leader. So hearty thanks to Shauna for everything she has done for the pack and to Steve for everything he will be doing; indeed has already started doing.
Dan will continue as Beaver Scout Leader and now has more time on his hands than he had before Christmas, because of the nature of his job. We are, however, looking for someone else to support Dan and Fiona. If you think this could be you, please contact me (Skip) or Dan. Ideally we would like someone willing to take out a warrant and wear a uniform and undergo the relevant training, but I can assure you this is not too arduous – then to commit to an hour and a half each Tuesday and the odd planning meeting. It’s great fun and very rewarding! Please talk to me or Dan if you think you are the person we need!
Chris Warren has done a fantastic job over the past 8 or so years assisting Skip and Malcolm in running the scout troop and for the past three years setting up and running the explorer unit with Nigel Swain. With the increasing challenges of the explorers he feels is it is time to step back from the role with the scout troop to focus on the explorer section. We are therefore also looking for someone who would like to assist with the scout section on a regular basis. Past scouting experience would definitely be an advantage though a real enthusiasm for working with this age group and having adventure are the most important things. Please chat to Skip about this opportunity.
We are also looking for someone to take over the accounts. Laura Dandy has been doing the job over the past two years supported by our previous treasurer, John Costain. Laura no longer has a son in the Group and has growing work commitments so we are looking for someone to take over. This could be a good opportunity for someone who perhaps has book keeping or accountancy skills and wants to exercise them. Perhaps a mum thinking of going back to work who would like to keep her hand in or someone retired who would like to support the scout Group without being on the front line!
Also Jackie Pope has been maintaining our website, which is a great ‘shop window’ for our Group. She would now like to hand this on to someone else. So if there is anyone with basic IT skills and knowledge of WordPress who could give a few hours over the course of months, in their own time, please let me know.
The beavers had a very busy time last term working on some of the new collection of beaver activity badges including the Collector, Space and Cycle Activities. This involved learning about safe cycling, bike maintenance and a talk from the police which included the chance to have their bikes marked and put on the bike register. They also brought in and talked about their various collections from insects to Beano annuals. The challenge badge for the term was the Promise badge which took them on a very interesting trip to the mosque in Morden.
Many of the beavers also did the colony proud at their attendance at the Remembrance service in November.
Next term brings the Fitness challenge and a new host of activity badges to work for including the Communicator, Healthy Eating, Health and Fitness and Sports badges. They hope to take advantage of the lighter evenings to work on these outside later in the term.
Last term the Cubs tackled, among others, the Global Challenge badge, the Fire Safety and Chefs Activity Badges and four Cubs completed the Chief Scout’s Silver Award, which was excellent.
They also went on a trip to a fire station, had a great fireworks display and put on a fantastic effort in the District Swimming Gala, for which they should all be proud.
Next term is looking busy, with the Pack attacking the Promise Challenge badge and the Astronomer, Disability Awareness and Global Conservation Activity badges.
They also have a trip planned to the Buddhapadipa Temple on Wimbledon Common and will participate in the District Badge day on Sunday 1st February.
13th Support Wimbledon Food Bank
Eight explorers and scouts turned up at the Elim church in South Wimbledon recently to assist with sorting food for the Wimbledon Food Bank. The food bank serves the whole of Merton providing much needed assistance to people who have been provided with vouchers for food from Social Services, charities or other authorised bodies. Our members spent two hours sorting cereals and biscuits into ‘best by date’ categories so that as little as possible goes to waste when it is distributed. The scouts’ efforts counted towards their Community Award.
Scouts and explorers assist the Wimbledon Food Bank
13th jingle all the way
The 13th had its first Group carol service on record in December. 160 people packed St Saviour’s church to sing carols, be entertained and partake of Christmas refreshments. OK, so we may have messed up on using the microphone and maybe some of the entertainments over ran and didn't Skip go on a bit! But Ben Olowu’s rendition of Benjamin Zephaniah’s poem, ‘Talking Turkeys’, the beavers’ jokes and their performance of Frosty the Snowman accompanied on piano by scouts Thomas Braddick and Reggie Bodle were particularly memorable highlights. The District Commissioner, Joe Rogerson attended and presented five Gold Chief Scouts Awards to Megan Hill, Jess Marais, Josh Simpson, Jess Nguyen and Orla McCann and the hot sausage rolls, mince pies and mulled wine went down a treat afterwards.
It was great to be able to bring the whole of the St Saviour’s scouting family together for this most convivial celebration of Christmas. Our thanks to Fr Michael and St Saviour’s for allowing us to use the church, to David Adkins for donating his time to play the organ, the mums who organised the festive refreshments and to the explorer scouts for assisting with the behind the scenes organisation.
Group attends Wimbledon Remembrance Day
The Group attended the annual Remembrance Day service in Wimbledon Village in November. Although the explorers have attended for the last three years, this is the first time the other sections of the Group have attended and it really was a magnificent turnout. In addition to the half dozen or so explorers there were 11 scouts, 6 cubs and 5 beavers, all of whom were smartly dressed and well behaved; a credit to the Group. Well done everyone.
Remembrance Day in Wimbledon Village
Group swimming success
The scouts achieved 3rd place in the district swimming gala in October missing out on second place by just one point!
Well done to the cubs for entering every event and gaining 6th place. Their 18 points also meant that, as a Group, we came joint second overall, a fine achievement. We also came a worthy 3rd in the Group team relay involving two cubs and two scouts.
So well done to everyone who took part; we are proud of you all!
Scout success in District Incident Hike
The scouts also performed well in this years’ District Incident Hike. Walking over 7 miles on a circuit between bases, the team of Jess Nguyen, Ben Costain, Joel and Nico Delaney, Olivia Horsford, Thomas Braddick and Alex Middleton, achieved second place in a very competitive event. Out of nine teams that started, they were one of only four that successfully completed the course. Well done scouts!
Explorers lead the way in mountaineering
St Saviour’s explorer scouts have built a strong reputation for their hiking and mountaineering skills. During the October half term, they joined 30 or so other explorer scouts and leaders for a training and experience weekend staying at the county base in Bethesda not far from Bangor in Snowdonia. To make the most of it, they departed from Raynes Park at 7.30 am on the Friday morning arriving below Cader Idris around 12.30 and walking briskly to the summit with its magnificent views of the Welsh mountains north to Snowdon and beyond, before driving to the base and arriving before everyone else who had got massively delayed on the M6. Dashed bad luck!
The next day most opted for the most challenging of the walks on offer up Gribin then onto the peaks of Glyder Fach, Glyder Fawr and Y Garn, the experience greatly enhanced by low cloud, strong winds, driving rain and low temperatures. Bootiful!
A hot meal and Halloween party in the evening kept spirits high and a session on an indoor climbing wall in Bangor on Sunday morning meant we got the most we could possibly hope for from the weekend.
In September the scouts and explorers had joined together for a trip to the Brecon Beacons camping overnight. The weather was very kind and afforded magnificent views from the top of Pen Y Fan and Fan Y Big.
Scouts and explorers planning trip to Austria
Building on their experiences on mountains in this country, the scouts and explorers are looking at having their annual summer camp in Austria this year. Details are yet to be finalised but it is hoped that we can set up a base in a scout campsite near Innsbruck and then walk up the mountains to stay in, and walk between, mountain huts. There are also a host of other adventurous activities and fantastic sites to see in the area. They are hoping some parents might be able to join them, especially those with mountain experience. Costs will be kept to a minimum to enable as many as possible to come, although grants are available from scout HQ for international trips for those who would not normally be able to afford such an adventure.
Explorers to run half marathon
The explorers have been pounding the pavements of Merton in preparation for the Hampton Court Half Marathon on February 22nd. Chris has cajoled Jenny, Amy, Greg and Dan into signing up along with himself and Nigel, who gave up both his smoking and his 10-can-a-day coca-cola habit to train for the event. Even yours truly has been sucked into this nightmarish venture. But don’t panic – entries are now closed so you don’t need to feel compelled to join in.
More girl scouts needed
Now our older scouts have moved up to explorers, we are looking for more girls to join the four current members. Do you know any girls aged 10 ½ to 13 who would like to do adventurous things like camping, mountaineering, hiking, cycling and maybe even football, paragliding, sailing and paintballing? Then maybe they should be scouts! If so, please contact Skip.
District treasurer stands down
The 13th like to get fully involved with the district. What most of you probably don’t know is that for the past year or so, Steve’s wife and beaver/cub mum, Jackie Lyon has been the Treasurer of the Wimbledon and Wandle Scout District. Family and other demands mean that she now needs to stand down, so they are looking for someone with accountancy skills who would like a big challenge! If you think this may be for you, or know someone who might be interested, please talk to me or Jackie.
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.