Newsletter – January 2015

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Newsletter – January 2015

1 February 2015

Here we are at the start of 2015 and it hardly seems 15 years ago that we were celebrating the Millennium and wondering if the “millennium bug” would knock out our computers and washing machines! In the event, nothing went wrong and we are well into the 21st century.

This is the time of year when the bills start coming in and it is no different for us. We will be expecting to pay £600 for the HQ lease, £130 for rates, £1,400 for insurance and about £2,800 membership fees to the Scout Association over the next few weeks. It is therefore very important that your child’s subs are paid promptly by 21st January as requested. Please put your cash/cheque in an envelope with the reply slip and put it in the post box in the Committee Room.
Have you signed up yet? This is a great way of generating more funds for the Group, if the “oldest” member can do it, how about you?

Members of the Group have had a busy autumn. The Beavers visited Explore Learning where they were shown how to use a computer and log in. They then all completed a Maths Level 1 course and at the end of the evening were all awarded the IT Stage 1 activity badge. For Bonfire Night they made chocolate sparklers using chocolate fingers and sprinkles. For the Prayer Balloon Game they wrote prayers and put them inside balloons to burst. They have also made weather charts and have monitored the rain fall with water gauges in Scout HQ garden – there was no shortage of water!

The Cubs had a successful camp at Tintern in the Wye Valley in September where they enjoyed pioneering, fire lighting and the water slide. Since then they have made excellent progress on badges and have completed the DIY badge with the help of B&Q and the pioneering and entertainer’s badge. They have also played night time games at Woodhouse including Frisbee in the dark with glow sticks!

Both Cubs and Scouts attended the Jamboree on the Internet – JOTI. They were able to communicate with scouts from around the world as well as getting on the Avon Scouts Radio Station and using iPads.

During the summer camp on the Gower the Scouts met up with a group of Scouts from Germany and this has inspired them to camp in Germany in 2015. A trip has been planned to go to Eichstatt and the Scouts have been fundraising with activities having a German theme. The annual patrol cooking competition will be based on German food in readiness for the trip. The Scouts are also supporting the two Scouts (Kieron Obee & Thomas Steadman) who have been selected to attend the World Jamboree in Japan in 2015.

Botany Bay
The Scouts ended the year with an overnight stay at the Botany Bay camp site in the Wye Valley on 20th December. To sum it up, “It was amazing” said Scout Robyn Obee! With a huge green field and a muddy brown forest, Botany Bay is a great place to have an adventure, and we did just that! After setting up in the cabins, everyone headed out onto the field to burn some energy. A little while later- after lunch, we all got into groups and entered the forest to start orienteering. Once we had found all the numbers we could, we walked back to the lodge to warm up and play a bit of pass the parcel and bingo. Then, after a delicious, warm meal, we all went to our cabins to sleep…….yeah right! Even though we stayed up all night, we still managed to pack up and haul our entire luggage to the bus. With a quick game of catchbee (the new game we made up) we were on our way back home.

Remembrance Sunday
On Remembrance Sunday the Group attended the Parade from the Jubilee Centre to Bradley Stoke Town Square along with Scouts, Cubs, Beavers, Guides, Brownies, Rainbows and Cadets from other Units in the area. It was a very moving event and involved all the young people in remembering the sacrifice that others have made. Well done to the organisers.

Carol Service
The year ended with a Carol Service at Christ the King Church. As well as looking forward to Christmas 2014, we also looked back to the events of Christmas 1914 when British and German forces left their trenches and met up in “no-man’s land” on Christmas Day and exchanged greetings of peace and presents. The service started with the youngsters acting out the parts and singing “Silent Night” in German and English and then exchanging bars of chocolate rather than cigarettes! The service then followed the traditional Nativity format and included a “guest appearance” of the “Four Tenors” who sang a scout version of “Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow”! The Rev Paul Hinkley (Vicar of Bradley Stoke & Little Stoke) gave a short address and the service ended with the Beavers, Cubs and Scouts marching round the Church singing “Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag”. Thanks were recorded to John Shaddick who produced the service and rehearsed the young people and to Roger Morley who operated the sound system. The evening finished with drinks and mince pies served by the ladies of the Executive Committee. A retiring collection raised £122 for St Peter’s Hospice in memory of Claire Edmonds, the daughter of Scout Leader Tony Edmonds, who sadly died of cancer.

A presentation was made to Steve Talbot at the Carol Service in recognition of 35 years’ service to the Group as a Scout Leader and latterly as our Quarter Master. Steve is standing down as our QM for a well-earned rest. Steve was a fantastic Scout Leader and organised summer camps in the Brecon Beacons where the activities included canoeing, abseiling, hill walking, backwoods cooking and making and sleeping out in bivouacs made from natural materials. Camp fires were always fun with Steve at the helm and he has performed on the stage of the Bristol Hippodrome in the Avon County Gang Shows. They were great camps, rain or shine. Steve also excels at the BBQ and cooks our sausages and burgers at Group events and plans to continue doing this. Well done and thanks Steve.

Back in December, Assistant Scout Leader Rob Obee and Scout Helper John Shaddick were presented with certificates to record their 5 years of service to the Troop. Rob had been a scout with us as a boy and John started helping when his grandson was a scout.

Some jobs go on un-noticed and one of these is cutting the grass at the back of the HQ. Adrian Huntbatch has been quietly doing this job since 2007 when his son was a scout. Adrian was presented with a small gift to record our thanks and he is happy to continue doing this important job. Well done Adrian and many thanks.

2015 is going to be a busy year for the Beavers, Cubs and Scouts. In addition to the Scouts trip to Germany, members of the Group will be attending the Brunel District Jamboree (BJAM15) at Woodhouse Park over the Spring Bank Holiday weekend. This should be a fun weekend with lots of great activities to try.

Bradley Stoke Swimathon Saturday 14th March
The Scout Group is planning again this year to enter the 10th Annual Bradley Stoke Rotary Swimathon. This will be held at the Bradley Stoke Leisure Centre on Saturday 14th March 6-8pm. We plan to enter a young swimmers team & an adult team. Each team will consist of 5 members who will swim lengths in a relay for 55 minutes. Each member will need sponsorship & the money raised will go towards funds for our Scout Group & 40% towards the Rotary Clubs chosen causes.

To book a place & sponsorship form please contact Coralie Thompson on 01454 615604 or email at

For more information about the Group or would like to volunteer as an Adult Helper or Leader, please contact Coralie Thompson on 01454 615604 or look at our web site – If you would like your son or daughter to join one of the sections, please contact Andrea Coffin on 07731 778691. You can also follow us on twitter @1stlittlestoke