September 2012 Newsletter

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September 2012 Newsletter

Editorial

Summer has gone, mind you I am not sure that we could it that this year. Many have enjoyed the various camps over the holidays, whilst others have thought about camping but stayed in front of the television watching a lot of Olympics. ‘Inspire a generation’ has been the phrase seen by millions around the world, however Scouting has done that for the last 100 years. It is up to all of us to continue to provide the means to inspire our members. We must be getting it right when the government feels that we have much to offer inner city youngsters. We must make our groups inclusive if we are to match follow the phrase, ‘inspire a generation.’

See you as the AGM

Anthony Phillips

John’s Jottings

Nothing much for you, from me, this month.

I didn’t have an exciting summer camp like some of you did, although rumour does have it that there were our normal quantities of liquid sunshine around.

I am also pleased to report that I didn’t get any emergency phone calls so I have to assume that you all got back safely – well done.

However I am looking forward to a little trip to Kandersteg next year to which, of course, you know that you’d all be welcome to join our district contingent. See the county attachment. 

I did get a peek at Camporee, which was reported on in the last newsdesk.

Wow, what can I say except that we as a district should be really proud that we give such an experience to the cubs in our district and be so very thankful to the team of leaders and young leaders that make it possible. Thanks guys.

Anyway I know that you’ll all be gearing up for the new term and giving our young people a great programme of fun filled activities. Hope to catch up with you all soon.

John

Dates for your diary, District AGM, Wednesday 19th September, Leighton Hall

Advance notice – Kandersteg 2013, 20th – 30th August, District is going are you?

Brigantia Summer Camp Report 2012

A Test of the Hydrostatic Head

Author’s Note. You may be wondering what the hydrostatic head is about but more about this later…

August 2012 saw 17 young people (including three recently promoted Network members) and 4 leaders head off to South Wales for our annual summer camp.  Last year’s camp had been a fantastic week in the Lake District and with memories of this and the recent London 2012 euphoria fresh in our minds we had some way to go to scale those heights.  Expectations were also high as the programme included canoeing, climbing, gorge walking, quad biking and hill walking (including a special overnight wild camping option with Robin Shackell, our resident ML qualified explorer leader). 

The adventurous activities were enjoyed by all, although the canoeing river trip was a little straightforward with perhaps not enough sinking and capsizing to keep everyone happy.  The quad biking was one of the highlights and that is as much down to it being a new activity for us as Explorers as the amount of fun that came from being let loose on a farm with a large quad bike, sheep and excessive recent rainfall.  ‘Congratulations’ to David Bowman for being issued with a yellow card by the farmer.

Most enjoyed non-adventurous activity was Challenge Day – this has traditionally been prepared and run by Kevin Baker but he couldn’t make the day in question so Simon K put himself forward for the challenge and man, did he pick up that ball and run with it – the day consisted of various games, challenges, and a topical quiz, with the finale being an assault course with a large plastic sheet, water and washing up liquid amongst others.  The explorers went mental with the plastic sheet and actually spent about an hour on it after the Challenge had officially finished.

And Now To The Hydrostatic Head

Hydrostatic Head is the term used to denote the amount of pressure of water that is required to penetrate a fabric and it is how tent manufacturers rate their products.

Unfortunately the Met Office had not read my email about our impending arrival so had only arranged typical Welsh weather rather than the Mediterranean weather I had ordered.  This meant that we learnt a few, but not necessarily new, lessons regarding equipment and Scouters:

  1. Coleman Event Shelters are really useful shelters except for when it is very windy.  This was an expensive lesson to learn.
  2. Party tents also struggle in extreme conditions (although we already knew this one).
  3. Explorers never put up their tents to the same high standards that their leaders do. I think they believe that guylines are merely for cosmetic purposes (also knew this).
  4. Scout ‘people’ are helpful and generous by nature – thanks to the staff at Islwyn Scout Parc for allowing us to use their indoor activity centre at the last minute.

The weather was also an opportunity to demonstrate how much technology has changed how we operate.  We had borrowed the damaged Event Shelter from the 25th Ealing (Thank you Dave F and the Group for all the equipment and support) and needed to provide a replacement and I stood in the middle of our campsite using the Android Amazon app on my phone to order a replacement all within about 15 minutes of the old one being damaged. The replacement was actually shipped before we arrived home – not in keeping with Scouting traditions (perhaps not in BP’s Scouting for Boys) but awesome and very useful.

We had a great week and it was enjoyed by all but it wouldn’t have been possible without a fantastic team of adult helpers.  Thank you SJ, Robert and Sam for doing a great job as Network – SJ and Rob’s circus skills session to erect the lights in the party tent was something impressive to watch.

Huge thanks to Simon Ketteringham, Gareth George and Robin Shackell for giving up a week of their time and extra thanks to Simon for managing all the food and catering again – the bread ‘situation’ of 2011 was not repeated – well done Simon.

Finally, congratulations to Jamie Ashcroft, our ‘Explorer of the Camp’ 2012. Chris Shaw was going for a hat-trick this year but Jamie just edged the contest this year.  As the picture highlights, Jamie is a member under our Care in the Community scheme but he works really hard to put his differences to one side.  He did a fantastic job of marshalling his team when they were on duty as well as making a general great contribution.

Please visit our Facebook page at www.Facebook.com\BrigantiaESU for more pictures

Roll on Kandersteg 2013.

Ben Pearson

Explorer Scout Leader

Ealing & Hanwell Summer Expedition to Kandersteg, Switzerland

20th to 30th August 2013

A party of approximately 60 Scouts, Explorers and Leaders have the opportunity to take part in the Kandersteg 2013 Expedition with  600+ other Scouts, Guides and Leaders from the Greater London Middlesex West Scout County. Kandersteg is located high in the Bernese Oberland of Switzerland and is the worlds only International Scout Centre. Check out the facilities on http://www.kisc.ch/

A number of Ealing and Hanwell Groups attended the 2001, 06 & 10 Kandersteg expeditions and we all had a brilliant time with mountain walking, climbing, white water rafting, mountain biking, snow and Ice climbing, high ropes  and lots of other exciting activities.

In order to answer a lot of your questions about what the “Kandersteg experience” is all about and to hopefully persuade you and any potential Scouts, Explorers and Leaders that its an event that should not be missed, the County team have prepared the attached  “Bulletin No. 1”  for your information.  The application form is also attached that you need to complete ASAP & pass it on to the District K2013 Camp Leaders by 14th Oct. with a deposit cheque for £80 to secure a place.

The County Team are organising all of the flights, accommodation and food for the 10 night expedition to Switzerland which will cost between £520 to £530 (exact travel dates & times to be confirmed subject to availabilities of flights). In addition there are charges for activities in the order of £70-£185 which will vary depending on the age of the individual and the nature of the activities undertaken. To ease the burden on your wallets, the payments will be made in stages in Oct, Jan, March and July. It’s a lot on money so the District hardship funds can be made available to help any Scout/Explorer/Network/Leader with limited means.

The District Team would very much like all of the Scouts and Explorers in Ealing and Hanwell to be able to attend but unfortunately we have only been able to reserve 60 spaces, so it’s going to be a race to the finish with the completed application forms and payments being considered for acceptance on a first come first served basis.

We have arranged 2 parents evenings where everyone is welcome to meet with the District team and run through the arrangements for the Expedition. The first meeting is for Explorers at Leighton Hall on 18th Sept 20:00 and the second meeting is at 25th Ealing HQ, 2A The Grove W5 on Friday 12th October at 20:00.  Time is very tight as we have to get our bookings back to the County team during October so we need all completed application forms and cheques returned before 14th October.

Thanks

Dave Folkerd (07875 116192) & Ben Pearson (07967 059703), District K2013 Camp Leaders

Scout Socials

Next socials:

Sunday 30th September – The Duke of Kent, Scotch Common, Ealing, W13 8DL.

See you all there.

Ben Pearson, Explorer Scout Leader