Newsletter – January 2014

21 January 2014

A wet and windy start to 2014 and we wish you all a Happy New Year and good Scouting in 2014.

Climbing event @ The Willow Brook CentreIt has been a busy autumn for members of the Group. On 28th September the Group introduced itself to the Community by means of a Climbing Wall event in the Town Square at the Willow Brook Centre in Bradley Stoke for members of the Group and the public to experience. An information stall enabled folk to find out more about Scouting and there was a cake and tombola stall to raise funds. Councillor Ian Boulton, Chairman of South Gloucestershire Council came along to support the event and have a go at climbing the wall decked in his Chain of Office. Ian said, “I really enjoyed meeting the Scouts and their leaders and to have a chance for my first scramble up a climbing wall. It was obvious that these sorts of experiences provide scouts with a sense of achievement and feeling self confidence that their contemporaries often do not have the opportunity to develop and enjoy.”

Several members of the public expressed an interest in getting involved as adults. If that’s you, and you want to be part of the big adventure at Little Stoke Scouts, then please contact us for an informal no obligation chat. The more adults we have the more opportunities there will be for young people to take part in scouting, so don’t miss out.

As reported in our last Newsletter, our new Group Secretary didn’t materialise and so we desperately need someone to take on this job. It is not an onerous task and is basically taking the minutes of the Executive Committee Meetings, about 6 or 7 a year, and a small amount of correspondence. Please give Coralie a call or talk to your child’s Leader if you think that this is some way in which you can support the Scout Group.

It is very important that subscriptions are paid promptly so that our cash flows can be managed. Our budgeted expenditure for 2013/14 is just over £9,000 and this has to be funded from Subs and Gift Aid and like most folk, our big bills come in the New Year. The dates by which Subs should be paid were given in the demand notice sent out to you in early January. Please make every effort to meet these dates. If you have a problem, please talk in confidence to your child’s Leader or a member of the Executive Committee.

joti_photo28Back in October, Cubs and Scouts took part in JOTI, the Jamboree on the Internet held at Ashton Gate. The event brought together Scouts from around the world to both talk to each other and also chat on internet chat rooms. The zones included Technology, Wii, Internet, Craft and Radio. The Cubs and Scouts communicated with Scouts from America, Canada and Cyprus. Also at the event was the main broadcasting studio for JOTA (Jamboree on the Air) where Cubs and Scouts were able to talk on the internet based radio to Scouts listening around the world.

Beaver LogoThe Beavers had another fun filled term to end a very busy year. They focused on the Promise Challenge Badge and Faith Activity Badge. The Beavers did their homework and thought very hard about what they wanted to write in their prayers which they later read out at a visit to Christ the King Church.

They played a fun and loud prayer balloon game, learnt about Fair Trade products, baked delicious flapjacks and made Christmas tree decorations. Their vocal chords were tested practising the Rocking Carol for our Group Carol Service. Well done Beavers on a very confident performance.

A new member was welcomed to the Colony. Becky Cox (Badger) will become an Assistant Beaver Scout Leader.

Becky and Jo Beaumont (Otter) who joined us last term will both go into uniform shortly and start their training.

We are also proud to announce that Beaver Scouts Bobby Derrick, Ciaran Merritt, Finlay Williams, Joel North and Ben Herring were all awarded their Chief Scouts Bronze Award and joined Charlie Powell by moving on to Cubs. Well done to you all a great achievement.

Beaver of The Month Medal was awarded to Max Bailey. Beaver of The Week Trophies were awarded to Bobby Derrick, Joel North, Stephen Garland, Callum Smith, Dylan Maby, Samuel Lee and Matthew Williams.

Thank you to all the parents who have supported the Colony with the parent rota system. This has temporarily been stopped and will be reviewed each term.
On a recent visit to Christ the King Church, Paul Hinckley the new Vicar and Dave Barter the Church Administrator praised the Beavers for their enthusiasm and good behaviour. Let’s keep this up in 2014.

Cubs LogoThe Cubs have had a busy few months. At the beginning of the school year the Cub Leadership team was very proud to award the Chief Scout Silver Award to Jack Coffin and Thomas Thompson. This is the highest award given to Cub Scouts and was very well deserved. Congratulations to them both.

Special thanks are due to all the parents for their help and support last year. Whether you have assisted on Pack nights or sown on one of the many badges that come home, your support is very much appreciated!

On the 27th of November and 4th of December the Cubs met at the Bradley Stoke ”Pet At Home” store as part of their Animal Carer Activity Badge. During the visit they had the opportunity to handle rabbits, Guinea Pigs and a Small Bearded Dragon. They also were given an introduction on how best to care for pets and the best food to feed them. Did you know that a young rabbit is called a ‘Kit’? A special thank you goes to Amanda and all the staff at the Bradley Stoke Pets “At Home Store” for such a warm welcome and for all the help and advice given. Photos from these evenings can be found on the Group’s Website.

During last term a ‘bring a badge night’ was held. This is an opportunity for the Cubs to be recognised for hobbies and activities outside of Cubs. During this evening every Cub gained at least one activity badge including: hobbies, Physical Recreation, My Faith and Collectors activity badges. To put this in perspective, the cubs have earned and been awarded collectively 198 badges so far this school year!

This coming year is shaping up to be a very active one for the Cubs. By the time you read this they will have attended the Astronomy Cub Scout Day at the @Bristol museum which is always an exciting event. The Cubs will attend a science show and experience the Planetarium. The leaders are currently in the early stages of planning for Cub Camp this year. Dates will be advised so watch this space.

We have had a great 2013 and look forward to 2014, which is shaping up to be another great and exciting year of Cub Scouting here at 1st Little Stoke.

Scout LogoFollowing the JOTI event the Scouts had an international cooking themed night where each patrol created a menu to represent a country from around the world and then cooked it at the Headquarters. This proved to be great practice for 4 of our scouts when they entered the “Avon County Cook Off” competition where they came second with 199 points (1st position had 200 points); both first and second position are now eligible to go on to the regional competition. Well done! During the autumn term the Scouts had a pub games evening, where soft drinks and snacks were available.
We had several practice sessions for the group Christmas carol service and the Leaders were very pleased to find the scouts were the best supported section on the night. The end of the term finished with a night at the Campbell Rooms near Nether Stowey where they had a problem solving treasure hunt, bingo and games on the Wii.
The year ended with our Carol Concert held in the HQ on 20th December, once again master-minded by John Shaddick. The Beavers, Cubs and Scouts all had parts to play and parents and friends joined in with the carols.

It was a special evening for several of our Adult Members. Neil Bath was presented with a gift of thanks after standing down as an Assistant Leader with the Beaver Colony.

1stLittleStokeCarolService2013_14District Commissioner Amir Cheema then presented Assistant Scout Leader Rob Obee with his Wood Badge on completion of his Leader Training and Cub Leader Tristan Bird with the Chief Scout’s Commendation for Good Service. He then presented Group Scout Leader Michael Edwards-Jones and Deputy Chairman Brian Bird with the Merit Award for services to the Group and Scouting in general.

The evening finished with drinks and mince pies and a retiring collection of £90 was taken in aid of “The Dream Scheme Charity” for young people aged 8-16 years to do voluntary work in the community and make a positive difference.

The sale of the Group’s history (Black with a Red Border) during 2012/13 raised £180 and this was presented to “The Friends of Bristol Haematology and Oncology Centre”.