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

Newsletter September 2015

Dan gets award

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Dan Sanders, our Beaver Scout Leader, was presented with the Chief Scout’s Commendation for Good Service  by our District Commissioner, Joe Rogerson, at our Annual General Meeting and Family BBQ in June.  

Dan was a cub, scout and venture scout with the 13th in the 1980s and re-joined the Group as an Assistant Beaver Scout Leader in 2005 when his son joined the colony.  He took over the role of Beaver Scout Leader in 2012.   Dan has a natural affinity with this age group and his enthusiasm for everything he does never fails to inspire and motivate the young beavers. His programmes can be some of the wackiest in the district particularly if it involves ropes, pulleys or bicycles!  

Dan has also supported the scouts and explorers at their summer camps and mountain expeditions over many years and is possibly the only Beaver Scout  Leader in the county with the mountain leader permit.  

Thanks for  your outstanding  work Dan.  Greatly appreciated and long may it continue.

Shakeel joins the leadership team

Following our beaver and cub camp, Shakeel Khan, Adam’s dad, volunteered to become an Assistant Beaver Scout Leader.  He has already made a great difference to the running of the colony and we are delighted to have him on board.

Because of Dan’s work commitments, particularly during the weeks running up to Christmas, we could really do with another warranted leader. So if anyone out there is toying with the idea….!

They are also looking for someone who can assist with the administration of the colony – responding to emails and supervising the waiting list.  Could this be you? If so please talk to Fiona or Dan.  

Beavers and cubs go to camp

The beaver and cub camp at the end of June was a tremendous success. 17 cubs and 12 beavers had a fantastic time playing wide games, building fires, firing bows and arrows, getting lost in the maze and much more besides.   Indeed it was one of the best cub camps I can remember, not least because of the tremendous support we had from the dedicated group of mums and dads who came to help along with some of the older scouts.  So thanks everyone for your input.

A lot of credit must also go to Steve Lyon, our Cub Scout Leader, who did most of the planning and organisation for the camp.  He was rewarded by being awarded his Nights Away permit which means he is now authorised to run many more camps without anyone looking over his shoulder!  Well done Steve; very well deserved.

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Beavers tuck in to dinner Cubs try out the assault course
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Skip runs a traditional camp fire Cubs and beavers roast marshmallows  on the camp fire

The Group remains sound and active

The cub and beaver camp was followed by the Group AGM and family BBQ.  Thanks to the explorers for providing the latter.  The following were duly elected or appointed to the Group Executive Committe

Group chairman Patrick Hill
Group treasurer Patrick Daly
Group secretary Maggie Tunna
Parent representative Anita Saville
Parent representative Wendy Shepherd

In addition, the Group Scout Leader and the leaders of each section are members of the Group Executive.  The chairman reported a strong Group with sound finances and very active programmes and thanked the leaders for their outstanding efforts.

Explorers return from the World Scout Jamboree

Six of our explorers have now returned from the World Scout Jamboree held in Japan at the beginning of August.  They had tremendous times and will be giving feedback to the different sections and the District in due course. Here is a report back from Orla.

Picture7I came home from the World Scout Jamboree with many memories and experiences I will never forget. I loved meeting new people every day and learning about their culture and what they love most about the jamboree.  Our troop consisted of 36 scouts and four leaders.  We travelled from London Heathrow to Doha, Qatar, then to Narita, Japan. As you can imagine we were all weary and exhausted after over 22 hours of travelling but we were also very excited to explore Tokyo.  That evening we went out for a mouth-watering meal. Our biggest shock was definitely the heat and humidity. We were so surprised and would do anything to get close to air-conditioning whenever possible.  We did lots of sightseeing in Tokyo such as visiting an earthquake centre and the Skytree, the third tallest building in the world, but my favourite part was sitting on the balcony watching a beautiful sunset at Joypolis, an arcade amusement centre. 

After Tokyo we took the bullet train to the Yamaguchi prefecture. It was very chaotic getting off as we were told we had to get off in 90 seconds which to us was very daunting because we would have to get our very heavy main holdall bag and rucksack off. Everyone was very apprehensive that they wouldn’t get off but thankfully everyone did.

We had fun setting up our camp at the Jamboree, where we stayed for next 10 days and met our new neighbours including scouts from Australia, Switzerland, Sweden, China-Korea and USA.  At the opening ceremony, which marked the official start of the jamboree, everyone was buzzing and there was lots of chanting, and it was very easy to distinguish scouts from all over the world as they were waving their flag.

We went to Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and museum to learn about the tragic events of 1945. The day was very interesting and moving. Another one of my favourite days was Community, where we were able to visit a town in Yamaguchi and we interacted with local people. My patrol went to Tsunoshima where we visited a local school and swam in the sea. The best part of the day was playing a watermelon game where we were blindfolded and other members of our team would shout directions at us to guide us where the watermelon was, and we would have to hit it with a bamboo stick attempting to slice it in half. Afterwards we were able to eat some of the delicious watermelon. Culture exchange day gave us a chance to walk around and try a variety of food from around the world. Our unit made our ever famous “camp doughnuts” which were basically jam sandwiched bread fried in banana batter. I tried many scrumptious foods such as spicy rice from India, smores from USA, acai fruit from Brazil, and chocolate covered fruit from Mexico. 

As well as the actual Jamboree, I had an incredible time in Nagano where we had HoHo (home hospitality). This gave us the opportunity to stay with a Japanese family for 2 nights. After a 13 hour coach journey from Yamaguchi to Nagano we met our host families. We were in pairs but Talia and I were very lucky because our host`s brother was also hosting two other girls from our unit so we were all able to stay together.

Picture8The family took us out and we had lots of fun e.g. we went to a zoo with their three adorable dogs; we went tobogganing and up a viewing tower so we could see the city.  We also visited an art museum where we saw exquisite pieces of art, and finally to finish off our exciting day we had a lovely meal with our host families and made our own sushi. Afterwards we exchanged gifts and our host family surprised us with kimonos as they owned a kimono shop.

I`m so glad I had this opportunity to go to Japan on the World Scout Jamboree, and would recommend it to the scouts who are thinking of going on the next Jamboree in 2019 and any future ones.

Josh had a different experience travelling around Japan and visiting the Jamboree for a few days

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Austria

Certainly the most ambitious scout and explorer summer camp we have organised – a trip to Austria with the objective of enjoying the full Alpine experience, which we certainly did.   Twenty-nine people aged from 10 to 62, eleven days that included riding the Alpine Coaster, – a toboggan on tracks that runs 3.5 km down the side of the mountain – white water rafting, staying in Alpine huts, a visit to a water park and theme park, hiking across the fantastic mountains of the Tirol and, of course, via ferrata – see Victoria’s report below. 

Thanks to all those who contributed to making this trip possible, not least the three parents who came along to support.

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The Alpine coaster Dinner in the Starkenberger Hutte
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The midpoint of the walk between huttes Bathing hot feet
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Water Park at Imst Leaders relaxing
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White water rafting Top of the Stuibenfalls Innsbruck

Victoria’s via ferrata report
Austria, in my opinion, would probably be the longest, hardest and most fantastic camping trip I have ever been on, with the best (by a long shot) scenery in the world.

Picture20I thought about what I was going to write in this article that was involved in this camp for a long time. But for sure it has got to have been the incredible via ferrata.

The thrill of this exciting activity was by sure one of the things I will remember for the rest of my life. Climbing up that tall steep cliff face is something that everyone should have the experience of doing.

 

 

Picture21The bit I found the hardest about this sport is the clipping. Clipping your harness to the thick wire, the only thing between you and certain death, which is a long, long terrifying fall, that would stop your life from existing and – back to the point, clipping your harness onto the long thick wire took me an eternity to master, until I finally got the hang of it, and then in finally started one of the most glee filled moments of my life.

 

 

 

 

Cubs have a (paint) ball!

The cubs continue to engage in a wide range of cultural and less cultural activities!  As a reward for getting their Silver Chief Scout’s Award, some of them went paint balling. The pack also spent an evening at the Wimbledon Museum learning about the history of the local area, enjoyed an international food evening and had a nature talk from Mrs Owl. The football team had somewhat limited success but nonetheless enjoyed doing so!

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Silver Award winners go paintballing Mrs Owl gives a nature talk
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Visit to the Wimbeldon Museum The cub football team

Hoodies and t-shirts

13th Wimbledon t-shirts are available for all Picture26members of the Group – black and white for cubs, scouts and adults, turquoise and white for beavers.  Hoodies are available for scouts and adults and are now available for cubs as well.  They are well made and look very smart. They are not a replacement for uniforms but are ideal for camps, trips, various district events scruff kit and going to and from scouts.   

These cost £15 for the hoodies and £5 for the t-shirts. Please let your leaders know if you would like one.

 

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Group hoodies available for cubs, scouts leaders and parents

Good tidings we bring…

Picture30Or at least we will when we have our Group carol service on December 17.  Following the very positive feedback we received after last year’s service, we plan to repeat the experience.  So please put this in your diaries for carols, entertainments, awards, mulled wine and mince pies to get us all into the Christmas spirit.  

Situations vacant

Each time we submit our census figures eyebrows are raised that we run such a large Group with so few warranted leaders!  Clearly our section assistants do a great job and parental support helps a lot but we should aim to have four regular leaders supporting each group with two of these warranted.  At present only one of our sections meets this target. So a recap on where we are is: 

  Current leaders Situations vacant
Beavers Dan Sanders – Beaver Scout Leader
Shakeel Khan – applying for an Assistant Beaver Scout Leader warrant
Fiona Miles – Section Assistant

Another warranted leader to assist each week and to support Shakeel and Fiona when Dan is unable to be there.

An administrator to manage emails, some records and the waiting list. Mainly work from home

Cubs Steve Lyon – Cub Scout leader
Graham Coverdale – Assistant Cub Scout Leader
Guy Rostron – Section Assistant 
Eleni Delacour – Section Assistant
Assistant Cub Scout Leader to assist at the weekly meetings and on events when available
Scouts Peter Hutton – Group Scout Leader and acting Scout Leader
Malcolm Miles – Section Assistant

Assistant Scout Leader(s) to assist at the weekly meetings and on events – camps expeditions, district events etc – when available

Section assistant to do likewise, though would not undergo the training or be warranted

Explorers Nigel Swain – Explorer Scout Leader
Chris Warren-  Explorer Scout Leader
Assistant Explorer Scout Leader to assist at weekly meetings and on events when available

If you would like to help in any of these roles, please talk to your section leader or Skip

Joke of the term

Two peanuts went into a pub. One was a-salted.

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Thanks for everyone’s continued support.

Peter Hutton (Skip)
Group Scout Leader