February 2021 Newsletter from The DC Team

Date: 17th Feb 2021 Author: Ben Pearson

Winter has certainly arrived over the last few weeks.  Snow, rain and sub-zero temperatures – so it almost feels like the perfect time to camp!  I’m sure your heating bills have gone up as have ours. Well done to those members that got outside for some family snow fun.  

The District successfully completed the census by the deadline of Friday 12th so avoided those cranky County emails.  It was a tighter timetable this year so thank you to all those that were involved.  More on the census later…

 

It’s really important that we have one eye on the return of some sort of normality to Scouting so we can give our adult members and the young people some exciting events to plan for and look forward to.  The District team have started to flesh out some ideas…more on this below.

Here’s a quick summary of this month’s Newsletter

  • Census 

  • St George’s Event: District-wide Camp-at-home, Sat 24th-Sun 25th April

  • Looking ahead to face-to-face: Future District Events 

  • First Response

  • Air Rifle and Archery Permits

  • District Appointments News

  • District Vacancies

  • Explorer Belt Expedition

  • Info from elsewhere – 

    • Ski Trip – open to any Member (Explorer age or older) 

    • National HQ: ThankTwo – 22nd February, plus link to recording of latest HQ briefing

    • GLMW initiatives – Go Getter, Coffee Morning, Bobble Hats & Elevate 

 

Census

The expectations across the County were that GLMW would end up around 30% below last year’s numbers.  With this in mind we were immensely proud of the efforts across the District as we closed the year 9.6% down with our young people and down 4.5% for our adults.  It’s due to the efforts of all the leaders that have adapted to the new normal and continued to offer high quality Scouting, whether by Zoom or over email or by delivering resources by post…or even in person when we could.  Thank You.  We look forward to seeing a significant increase next year when the value of what Scouting offers is even clearer.  Please keep doing what you are doing.

St George’s Event: District-wide Camp-at-home, Sat 24th-Sun 25th April

It’s now apparent that restrictions will not have lifted to allow us to do any kind of large-scale in-person St George’s Day event, if any event at all, so our planning has shifted.  It’s incredibly exciting but we are delighted to announce the inaugural Ealing & Hanwell Camp-At-Home on Saturday 24th April.   We want as many young people and their leaders to spend the Saturday night outside in their gardens or balconies celebrating Scouting.  On Sunday morning we will hold a brief renewal of promises before closing the event.  We would like to prepare a short (30-60 minutes ish) programme of activities on the Saturday.  We are seeking a few volunteers, especially across the older age groups, to organise and run those sessions so please get in touch with Heather if you would like to be part of the planning team.  Group Quartermasters; covid restrictions permitting, we hope you can come up with a system to allow your young people to access your tents, tarpaulins or bivi bags.

Looking ahead to face-to-face: Future District Events

At the time of writing, we still have no firm information on the likely date when face-to-face scouting sessions will be permitted in our area once again. However, we’ve started to put some provisional dates in the diary – so we all have something exciting to look forward to, and so that we can ‘hit the ground running’. All plans will – of course – remain provisional, and we will shape any events according to the Covid rules in place. 

You will find a number of new additions to the District calendar – included both at the end of this Newsletter, and on the District Website. We are aiming to schedule something for each Section, plus some all-section events. Do you have ideas for other events? At the recent GSLs meeting, we chatted about the possibility of an Athletics event. So far, we have pencilled in the following:

* Beaver Activity Days – 5/6th June

* Adult Leaders & Supporters Outdoor Adventure Weekend – 19-20th June

* Cubs’ Camporee (single activity days – or camping, if permitted) – 24-31st July

* Scout Totem Skills day – date in September

* All Section Monopoly Run – 9th October 

First Response

The delivery of First Response has been paused since March but HQ have now come up with a plan and GLMW’s Training Team is on board.  First Response is now split into two parts; a virtual course and then a practical in-person course once we are allowed to deliver that.  Both parts (ie the 1 day virtual course, plus the later short practical session) have to be completed to successfully gain/renew First Response.  Howard Branley, 1EN Scouter and Doctor, is E&H’s nominated trainer and we are now taking bookings for this District’s first two virtual courses.  The dates are Sunday 7th and Sunday 21st March (20 places max on each). This is relevant both to those still relying on the ‘renewal extension’ and newer Leaders who haven’t previously had an opportunity to complete First Response at all. Please contact Jenny, our incredible local training manager, if you’d like to book.  Her email is je.foxwell@ealingandhanwellscouts.org.uk. 

 

Air Rifle and Archery Permits

To run an air rifle or archery session at our District campsite or any other Scout Activity Centre you need the applicable permit or qualification.  We are very short on District leaders with the necessary permits so we are in conversation with the County Activities Team about arranging a training course at our own campsite.  They are quite expensive to run so we need to have a list of people prior to arranging a course – so please complete the form below if you are interested; it does not commit you.  Each course will run over a weekend.  We hope to cover most of the cost from District funds but we may ask your Group/you to make a contribution.  Once successfully completed you will be able to use your perrmit at any Scout site, their own restrictions notwithstanding and the permit will last for 5 years.  Please contact the DC Team if you have any questions.  https://forms.gle/7JhX1GhCx8kLbNjh8

 

District Appointment News

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Steve Douglas as a District Vice-President.  Steve will be continuing to support the District in his role as Nights Away Advisor and administration guru.  Thank you Steve for all your support.

 

District Vacancies

We still have several vacancies across the District Team.  Please contact Heather or Ben if you would like to know more, are interested or would like to recommend someone.  They are:

  • District Commissioner – Team Role.

  • Deputy District Commissioner (14-25) 

  • District Explorer Scout Commissioner

  • DofE Programme Manager 

  • District Network Scout Commissioner

  • Campsite Manager

  • IT/Website Person

 

Explorer Belt Expedition – a further update

We are still planning for Explorer Belt expeditions and around 11 have expressed interest.  We are looking at a European based expedition in 2022 and then further afield, with Argentina at the top of the list, in 2023.  All participants must be aged between 18-25 at the time of the trip so get in touch with Rob, our District Youth Commissioner, at r.scoynes@ealingandhanwellscouts.org.uk if this is you.

 

Information from elsewhere

 

Ski Trip – open to all Explorers, Network & Adult Leaders in GLMW

Pinner and Headstone District are putting our forward planning to shame and are planning to go skiing in December 2021. They are opening the trip out across the County.

Tyler, the Event Leader, writes “We have taken the exciting decision to plan a Ski Trip for December this year. We have been working with tour companies to provide the safest and most financially secure option for a weeks’ trip to the Milky Way, Italy. The link with all the information is https://harrowscouts.us7.list-manage.com/track/click?u=64b381ae9aeba174cde641428&id=8a1513d021&e=eb82704ece

We have secured a great package with the relevant insurances to offer something to look forward to – an alpine adventure! Feel free to send us any questions you may have! Tyler Skerton & Ian Parkinson (Event Leaders) E: Tyler@pandhscouts.org.uk  : 07930 338 449

 

National HQ initiative: #ThankTwo – 22nd February

22nd February is a significant date for celebrating the history of scouting every year. This year the message from Scouts UK is “Join us and celebrate #ThankTwo locally. Scout volunteers across the UK have gone above and beyond over the past year to make sure we’re supporting our young people and communities at the time we’re needed most.On Monday 22 February, we want to thank you. On the day we’ll be launching our #ThankTwo campaign which encourages Scouts to show gratitude by thanking two people and/or groups of people for all they do for Scouts.” Resources – including window posters – are available here.  

 

Taking up this idea, GLMW have planned the creation of an online space “where everyone from around GLMW can join in our standing ovation and say a great big THANK YOU to all the amazing people that make GLMW great!” – Look out for more on this on Monday 22nd.

Catch-up on latest HQ briefing

 Watch the recording of last week’s all members’ online meeting here 

 

GLMW –

If you don’t get the GLMW Newsletter directly,  you may not have picked up on some great initiatives GLMW has on offer over the next few months. Here are a few quick mentions, taken from the February News – or read the full version here https://www.glmwscouts.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/GLMW-NewsFebruary-2021.pdf

 

Drop in to our Virtual Coffee Morning – 20th Feb

It is good to talk and to keep in touch! We have a Virtual Coffee Morning planned for Saturday, 20th February between 10:00 and 12:00. Drop in for just ten minutes when you’re free or stay for the whole two hours. No agenda, no pressure, just a calm space where we can catch up and chat about our Scouting. To register for “Coffee with the CC” send an email to  richardwilliams@glmwscouts.org.uk and he’ll send you a link.

Go Getter Challenge for Spring 

There are 7 mini challenges on offer to all sections. Check out the details https://www.glmwscouts.org.uk/gogetter

 

Badger’s Bobble Hat Challenge 22nd-28th February 

Information on this has recently been circulated by Mandy to all our E&H Beaver Leaders. For more information have a look on  the GLMW website page (there’s also lots of info about it on the GLMW facebook page)  https://www.glmwscouts.org.uk/badgers-bobble-hat-challenge

 

Elevate – GLMW Virtual Camp (27th March)

“Chocks away and prepare for take-off! On Saturday 27th March join us for a virtual day of air themed activities as we explore aviation, space, technology and science, all with the help of some special guests! Marking the 80th anniversary of Air Scouts and 110 years of the air activities badge, we’ll have tour and visits, experiments, crafts and much more. We’ll be sharing more details and a timetable of events closer to the date, but put the date on the calendar and keep an eye on our Facebook page.”

 

Yours in Scouting

Heather and Ben

DC Team, Ealing & Hanwell  

dc@ealingandhanwellscouts.org.uk

Put your phone down and what are you left with? Just teamwork, courage and the skills to succeed.’
Bear Grylls, Chief Scout Bear Grylls