Newsletter – January 2013

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Newsletter – January 2013

4 January 2013

Here we are in 2013 and 2012 was a year to remember.  The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, the Olympic Games, the fantastic Paralympics and of course our 60th Anniversary celebrations.

On Saturday 10th November some 90 former Leaders, Committee Members and Fund Raisers, along with present members met up at the Community Hall in Little Stoke.  Some had travelled from as far away as South Wales and Coventry.  A great time was had swapping memories and looking at old photographs.  Some had been Cubs and Scouts back in the 1950s and 60s.  As one Former Lady Cub Leader remarked, “You were a little boy the last time I saw you!”  County Commissioner Dan Wood, a former Beaver, Cub and Scout in the Group popped in to wish us well.  The 60th Anniversary badges were available for purchase along with copies of a History of the Scout Group containing memories from 17 former and present members.  After a very good buffet prepared by Sally Alford and supported by Coralie Thompson and Pat Hutton, Laura Toller, Sheila Pope, Molly Scull and Barbara Bartlett cut the Anniversary cake prepared by Rosemary Davis.

Laura Toller, Sheila Pope, Molly Scull and Barbara Bartlett cut the 1st Little Stoke Scout Group Anniversary cake prepared by Rosemary Davis.

Laura Toller, Sheila Pope, Molly Scull and Barbara Bartlett cut the 1st Little Stoke Scout Group Anniversary cake prepared by Rosemary Davis.

We rounded off the year with our Carol Service at Christ the King Church on 20th December.  Under the direction of John Shaddick, the Beavers, Cubs and Scouts took us through the Christmas story along with singing carols and an amusing look at Christmas 1952!  John Ford gave the address and Roger Morley operated the sound system, both past parents.  A retiring collection in aid of the Wallace and Gromit Grand Appeal raised £98 and 25 US cents!  The evening rounded off with drinks and mince pies prepared by Sally Alford and Pat Hutton.  Particular thanks are due to John Shaddick who rehearsed with all the Sections over many evenings to make the evening such a success.

Our celebration 60th Anniversary badge can be continued to be worn until Easter and then it should be removed from uniforms and kept as a souvenir.  A few badges are still available and can be purchased for £1.  Copies of our Group History, “Black with a Red Border” are still available at £2 and the proceeds will be given to charity.

During the autumn we were fortunate to get a grant towards insulating the roof space of the Headquarters of £400 from Western Power Distribution.  Brian Bird organised the purchase of the insulation material and a group of Leaders, parents and youngsters helped unload the B&Q van and move the bales into the HQ for installation.

The opportunity was also taken to have a “Big Clean” and touch up the paintwork.  Many thanks to all those who helped on the day.

As well as rehearsing for the Carol Service, the Beavers, Cubs and Scouts have had an active autumn.

The Beavers visited “Explore Learning” where they tried the computers and completed a quiz and all achieved their IT badge.  They also made chocolate sparklers for Bonfire Night and hot drinks.  They worked on various Christmas activities and practiced singing Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer for our annual Carol Service.

This term we welcomed two Explorer Scouts, Lydia Booth and Jamie Franks who are will be training for their DofE award.  Sadly we would like to say goodbye and thank you to Anna Gudmundsdottr who has been helping us as Assistant Beaver Scout Leader during 2012.   Anna and her family come from Iceland and are staying in the UK for a short time.  Anna was involved in Scouting in Iceland and volunteered to help out with the Beavers.  Her son Henrik has joined the Scout Troop.

Akela said that it had been a cracking year with the Cubs and he can‘t believe where the time has gone.  Feels like the Pack has been cooking twists whilst following a tracking trail between Geocashe sites and assembling a bird box as they go!

Outdoors the cubs learned how to light fires and cook twists over an open fire.  A successful camp at Woodhouse Park in September saw the cubs gain their hikers badge with a Geocashe hike and following sisal and tracking trails around Woodhouse.  The Activity Course saw all the Cubs up to their waists in mud and water as they climbed and crawled over obstacles. December found them playing wide games in the fields and rifle shooting at Woodhouse Park.

The activities for 2013 are in the planning stage – ideas rattling around include a day trip to London and the local history badge round the docks so watch this space?

We are pleased to welcome Jack Saunders as a helper with the Pack.  Jack is in Scouting in Bournemouth and has recently started as a student at the University of the West of England.

In the run up to Christmas the Scouts had a mixed programme where they attempted to race self-propelling coke cans similar to cotton reel racers.  They then tried emulating NASA by creating miniature rockets using small sealed pots, water and effervescing tablets.  Other events included a scouting quiz, a visit by local Paralympian, Karen Butler who gave a presentation to the Scouts on her experiences at the 2012 Paralympic Games.  Karen was selected to take part in the “Women’s R8 – 50m rifle 3 positions” event and got a very commendable 6th place.  With the aid of a photographic screen presentation, Karen told the Scouts how she had taken up the sport and what life was like in the Olympic Village.  Karen is also an active member of the Guide Movement.

Karen Butler who gave a presentation to the Scouts on her experiences at the 2012 Paralympic Games.  Karen was selected to take part in the “Women’s R8 – 50m rifle 3 positions” event and got a very commendable 6th place.

Karen Butler who gave a presentation to the Scouts on her experiences at the 2012 Paralympic Games. Karen was selected to take part in the “Women’s R8 – 50m rifle 3 positions” event and got a very commendable 6th place.

The year ended with the now annual visit to Botany Bay in the Wye Valley – not Australia!  This year there was the added bonus of a coach trip rather than the walk from Aust services.  Whilst at Botany Bay the Scouts spent the afternoon orienteering around the woods and then, in the evening, after sausage and mash for tea, they played games on the Wii and sang karaoke songs.

Yes, it’s time again to pay your child’s subscription of £35 for the winter term.  Please make your cheque payable to 1st Little Stoke Scout Group and return it to the Treasurer using the stamped addressed envelope by 28th February at the latest.  As the Group’s financial year ends on 31st March, it is important that we receive all the subscriptions in on time, particularly as Easter Day is on 31st March this year and banks will be closed.

If you can deliver by hand to the Treasurer’s house at 80 Farley Close, please DO NOT seal the envelope so that it can be re-used.  Some parents are still sealing the envelopes and this wastes 50p that’s 10/- in old money!  Thanks to everyone for completing a Gift Aid form.  This increases the value of the subs by 25%.

This is the time of year when we get those “brown “envelopes” dropping through the letter box and the Group is no different.  We get a lot of large bills at this time of year and have recently paid the insurance of £1,375 and the lease for the land upon which the HQ sits of £600.  The Membership fee that funds Scouting at National, County and District levels will have to be paid in February for each Beaver, Cub, Scout and Leader.  This will come to about £3,000 and so you can see that it is important that we get the money in on time.

 

We wish you all a Happy New Year and look forward to your support in 2013.