1st Wandsworth Scouts
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Summer 2016

Welcome to the Summer 2016 edition of the First Wandsworth Scout Group newsletter. It’s been a very eventful year and enormous fun was had across the group; and this term was no exception. You’ll hear specifics from each of the sections further on in this publication. 

Thank you  

I just wanted to say a heartfelt thank you from all the parents of Beavers, Cubs and Scouts to our amazing team of volunteers (leaders and behind the scenes people) who work tirelessly all term to provide us with a vibrant scout group. Without them our boys wouldn’t have the opportunity to build fires, burn marshmallows, play with penknives, poke sticks at each other, tie knots, camp, build dens, race go-karts etc etc etc and all in the soggiest conditions we call summer! Thank you team. 

Calling all volunteers 
It is with sadness that we have to say goodbye to Danielle Page, our party bookings co-ordinator. Danielle has decided to take a well-earned break by going back to work fulltime! Thank you Danielle for your hard work and the smooth running of bookings at the Romany.  

So, this means that we are looking for a replacement volunteer who would be willing to take on this role and join our wonderful team. If you are interested, or know someone who is keen to join the group, in any of the sections (volunteers do get priority from the waiting lists), and could turn their hand to this largely administrative role then please email 1stwandsworth@cableductuk.com

Summer holidays 
Finally all that remains is to wish you all a great break and a sunny summer and we look forward to seeing you all in September. 

Another year is nearly gone and the long break of summer is almost upon us. Apart from the normal Friday meetings there have been three memorable overnight trips this year which are always greatly supported by the Scouts.  

The first, a trip to the PGL centre in the Devils Punch Bowl, we had a great turnout this year with Cubs and Beavers for the first time sleeping over. To the adults it seemed like a non-stop hell of climbing up wooden poles, jumping off wooden poles, swinging on wooden poles, sliding through mud under wooden poles followed by eating vast quantities of burgers and beans and general mayhem.  We, much more mature adults, were trying to stay dry, not an easy with four seasons of weather in 30 minutes. 

Our annual night hike on Wimbledon Common passed off without incident, oh, apart from the ‘attack’ of one section on the other. Never have we seen such a quiet lot of Scouts as they waited in ambush for the others to come past, we thought they were all asleep until all hell was let loose on the unsuspecting bunch quietly walking by reading their maps. Camping out at the Romany is a great experience; we are truly privileged to have such an amazing home. 

The third ‘nights away’ was obviously summer camp, a long march through the hills of the North Downs was the main activity on Saturday, we have to try to tire them out somehow!, pizza making, whittling, shelter building, go karts and a good football kick around were all great fun. The weather stayed fair for us all weekend, a few showers but not like the torrential rain of previous years. The boys and girls really love sleeping under canvas, although to be honest, I don’t think there is a lot of sleeping going on. 

As always none of these events can happen without a great band of volunteers so a huge thank you to all the helpers that come along and make meetings and events so enjoyable, and an extra special thank you to Elaine (Luke’s Mum) who fed us like kings at Scout Camp, definitely up for a gallantry award by now, Rosie, David’s mother who came to her first camp and said she really enjoyed it, not so sure about that! and to Marcel who has now braved two camps in succession. 

Rob, Derek, Glyn & Peter 

Homemade Go Karts: Breakfast at camp: Robbie with Akela’s camp prize: Tug of War: Crate Challenge  

First of all, I would like to make a mention of everyone who keeps the wheels turning at Cubs.  I have been doing Cubs for 17 years, Johnny Perkins is one year behind me in the longevity stakes. He is the administrative machinery that keeps First Wandsworth on the tracks. He has also become a good and close friend.  

I am not sure how long David Mason has been a scouter. He just sort of morphed from cub, to scout, to helper to scouter. He certainly helps to entertain the cubs and acts—when required—as my arms and legs.

Dulce and Dan are relatively new recruits but no less valuable or appreciated. Dan somehow or another finds the time to commit to scouting despite a full schedule of exams and work as a trainee accountant at Grant Thornton. I don’t know how he does it. Similarly, Dulce, with two small children to look after.

Then there is the executive committee which are too numerous to mention by name other than the chairman Adam Law. We run the pack meetings. They make certain that there are facilities to enable us to run the pack meetings.  

We are a great team and I am very proud to be part of it. We are always looking for new leaders. From my personal experience, if you join us then you will take from it in friendship and self-worth much more than you put into it in time and effort.  

For one thing, there is a great camp every year and this year—as in the past few years—it was at Bentley Copse. Friday night to bed late. Saturday morning up early (five). Saturday night and Sunday morning the timing was slightly closer to normal.  

In between there was a hike, shelter building go kart racing and an obstacle course.  The camp always requires additional helpers and this year the hard working fixtures of Glynn and Elaine Knight were joined by our own in-house doctor Rosie Mason and Rachel Long, a previous scout leader at First Wandsworth who had to leave when she moved. It was great to see her again.  

One activity which struck a chord with Cubs and Scouts was whittling. The emphasis was on knife safety but the experience also released some interesting creative juices.  The Cubs took to the craft and so we decided to make it our open day display. 

Thank you all those who turned up for the postponed event. For those who didn’t, thank you for leaving more food and drink for the rest of us.  

Summer term is when we move outside and this year we have a bake sale on Wandsworth Common which raised over £200; went for a walk on the Wandle and worked on code breaking and campfire skills. With the Olympics around the corner, Dulce gave a talk on her homeland Brazil and wowed the boys with one of Pele’s signed football boots. 

Our thanks also to PC April Bennett who gave a talk on police work and delighted the Cubs by letting them set off the siren and flashing lights in her car. The neighbours, unfortunately, were not so delighted.  

As I write this report, we have one more event of the term—sailing in Wimbledon Park. That is always great fun. After that it is the summer break. When I presented the Alan Littlechild Award Cub of the Year Award to Max Pittam last night I told the Cubs that it was a very difficult choice this year. It was a tremendous group of children this year and thus hard to make a judgment. The scout leaders thoroughly enjoyed themselves. I hope the children did too.  

Tom (Akela) Arms  

This term Beavers have had lots of outside play: the weather will not beat us! 

To keep our Beavers and friends safe over the summer hols, we've been working on first aid, so they all have knowledge of what to do when someone is injured and who to phone in emergencies. This was followed by a great evening meeting our local community police officer, who brought cuffs for any naughty Beavers and a squad car for them all to look round. 

We've built many dens, enjoyed scavenger hunts, treasure hunts and looked at plants and animals – including snail racing. 

We've had a fun water evening, with water sponge races and other great team building exercises. 

We've worked on our knots, most accomplishing tying their own shoelaces and some even attaining a rather natty reef knot too. 

Campfire evening was lots of fun -toasted marshmallows and hotdogs were a great hit. We also have a great new Beaver Volunteer called Birgit who has brought amazing new team building games for our Beavers to enjoy. 


I hope everyone has had a lovely term and look forward to seeing all our Beavers back in September, to welcome the new Beavers into the group.  

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