January 2020 Newsletter from the DC Team

Date: 23rd Jan 2020 Author: Ben Pearson

Hello – and Happy New Year from Heather and Ben. As we enter a new Scouting decade I (Heather) can’t help feeling excited about what these ‘Roaring Twenties’ could be like in our District. From where we are now, surely we can build and grow even further? Let’s aim for the sky – the ideal combination of superb quality scouting being offered by an expanding team of adult volunteers, and enjoyed by a growing number of young people, so that young and old alike gain all those fantastic key Skills for Life! With our eyes on such a prize, every single one of us can have a crucial part to play, and every small step along the way will make a difference. 

Phew! Got a bit carried away there admittedly – although I’d rather ‘Do my best’ than be put off by ‘yes but’…. Anyway, here’s this month’s Newsletter – first, a quick summary of what’s included below:

  • Census
  • Campsite Manager vacancy
  • Development Champions wanted
  • St George’s Day 2020 
  • Explorer Belt Expeditions: Network (item from DYC) & Explorer (GLMW Invitation to register)
  • District events coming up this term (and beyond)
  • Training (inc GLMW adventurous activity permit courses)
  • Quick Final Reminder & Request (20 in 2020 GLMW Badge numbers)
  • District Diary Dates

Census 

The next census is nearly upon us. Official instructions, with access passwords, have now been sent to GSLs from HQ. (Please shout if you should have received this and haven’t)  We need all Groups to have completed their figures in the census system by 10th February please. The District then has until 17th February to check these, add District-level info and submit our full Ealing and Hanwell return to County in time for their deadline, and onward County return to HQ.

As mentioned before, we particularly ask that you match things up -ie  your adult members on the ground should be reflected not only on Census but also on Compass (including Executive Committee Officers and other Executive Members). Please ensure that every adult member you return on the census has a matching role on Compass (if you notice any gaps, or inaccuracies, please do update Compass as soon as you can, including opening ‘new’ roles where necessary – to reflect who is actually doing what in your Group.) 

Campsite Manager vacancy

We sent out a separate email about this, and discussions on the way ahead will continue at the next Campsite Sub-committee meeting on 5th February. Please do consider contacting us if you might be interested in helping – and bear in mind that the role could be adapted – including, if preferred, being done by 2 (or 3) people as a Job Share. 

Development Champions wanted! (Development Workshop Sat 25th April, 10am-2pm)

Our District is working closely with the County Development Team to find ways of offering scouting to more young people within Ealing and Hanwell. There is a Workshop coming up, and we are keen to send several District Representatives to this – people willing to act as Development Champions in our District going forward. We need to let the organiser know who will be representing E&H by 7th February, so please do contact us if interested in helping.   Details: GLMW Development Workshop: Saturday, 25th April 2020  10.00am – 2.00pm (lunch will be provided) Venue: Perseverance Scout Hut, Sweetcroft Lane, Hillingdon, UB10 9LQ. (5 min walk from tube station and has plenty of parking).

St George’s Day 2020 

After an initial steering group meeting a few days ago (with those who responded to last month’s request for help), we are delighted to confirm that a District St George’s Day Parade is going ahead this year, taking place (as usual) on the afternoon of Sunday 26th April. It will be held outdoors in one of the main parks in our District  (specific location to be confirmed once we’ve clinched things with the Council). The band has now been booked, and some of the first invitations have already been sent out. You will hear more about the plans in due course via our GSLs. Thank you very much to the new steering team: Mandy Coombes, Nisha Patel and Dave Hurley. We are also grateful for the offer of other help from Stuart Flaye, Anthony Philips and Genevieve Elliot (and we’ll be looking to increase this team of helpers further – for specific tasks –  nearer the time)

Explorer Belt – 

 

  • Network Expedition

 

Our District Youth Commissioner, Rob Scoynes, is keen to hear from Network-age members (ie 18-25) who are interested in this. Rob says “The Explorer Belt is often described as the best Scouting award that exists. It is a 10 day international expedition, using all your Scouting skills and knowledge to learn and experience the culture of the country, completing challenges along the way. Contrary to its name, the award is also aimed at Network aged members of Scouts, but despite the challenge and wonder that the award provides, it is often not completed due to the lack of Network in many Districts. 

We are looking at running a Network Explorer Belt Expedition this summer to a country of your choice. Planning will begin properly next month, however we’d like to have more come with us on what will be a thrilling experience. If you would like to join the team or join me as an in-country leader, please email me at r.scoynes@ealingandhanwellscouts.org.uk to keep informed.” 

  1. Explorer Leaders – In case you missed the earlier email from GLMW – PLEASE ASK ALL YOUR EXPLORERS ABOUT THE EXPLORER BELT & Please confirm if attending the Meeting on 29th February. GLMW will be operating some Explorer Belt Expeditions for any Explorers in GLMW who would like to take part. There will be a Kick-off meeting – for Explorer & Network Leaders & Co-ordinators – on the evening on Saturday 29th of February 2020 at Greenford DHQ. (PLEASE LET RICHARD PURCHON KNOW IF YOU YOU BE ATTENDING – email richard.purchon@glmwscouts.org.uk
  2. Explorers or Network members who are interested in an Explorer Belt Expedition  should register their interest by completing the application form

District events coming up this term (and beyond)

The first thing to highlight is our all-section District Cross Country competition (with separate races for the various age-groups) coming up on Sunday 1st March. Many thanks to ADC Scouts Stuart Flaye, and other District Scout Leaders, for organising this again for us. Further details will follow in due course. 

Both Beaver and Cub sections had their District Leaders meetings on Monday last week. (The Scout section meeting is scheduled a bit later this term, on 11th March). Thank you to all the Leaders who attend these meetings  – it’s great to see how well supported and valuable they are – not only for planning extra District events, but also for the sharing of ideas and mutual support. 

This year our Beavers are looking forward to several fantastic events  – the District Beaver Circus Skills Party is coming up on Saturday 25th January, and then there are two back-to-back Beaver Sleepovers on 13th and 14th of March (4 or 5 Groups per night; hopefully allowing 90+ Beavers to get 1 Night Away). Then, looking further ahead, there’s going to be a District Beaver Outing to Woburn Safari Park on 17th May and a District Beaver Hike some time in October. Thank you to Laura, Mandy and all the Beaver Leaders who work hard to make these opportunities possible.

The Cub Leaders group also have some fun planned for the District’s Cubs!  The Leaders team are planning: an Ealing Monopoly Run on 29th March (Organiser: Martin Truss); a Chessington Sleepover from 9th to 10th May (Organiser: Kerry Davis); and  a 5-Aside Football competition on 28th June (Organiser: Nisha Patel) . Finally, there’s Camporee, taking place at the District Campsite from 26th to 31st July (Organisers: Nisha Patel &  John Stanton). Many thanks to Nisha, Martin, Kerry, John and all the other Cub Leaders for this excellent programme of events.

As some Leaders will already have seen on the Ealing and Hanwell Scouters Facebook page, a new Scout-section (and Explorers) Hiking event  has been proposed for 28th March. Sergio got a great reaction to his suggestion of a Hiking challenge to visit all 10 of our Scout locations, so plans are now afoot (although inevitably several Groups are unable to participate because they are away camping that week-end in preparation for Totem). 

 

Speaking of Totem, please note that the dates for this year’s Totem Camp (2nd-3rd May) do not match up with the May Bank Holiday weekend, because the Bank Holiday will fall instead on Friday 8th May in 2020 (to mark the 75th anniversary of VE day); the Camp dates have NOT been shifted to that later week-end. 

Training 

It was great to have a First Response course in our own District HQ last Saturday. Very handy! Of the 20 who attended, 17 were from our own District – great to see so many of our Leaders getting another vital bit of mandatory training under their belt (for most, this was renewal – a refresher /update of previous training). 

 

Please keep up the good work – in brief, the training (and validation) process encompasses Getting Started (Modules 1, 2, GDPR and 3 or 4) within 3 months, the various Wood Badge modules within 3 years (for WB roles) – not forgetting extra training or validation when someone changes roles, and the Mandatory renewable Modules – First Response (every 3yrs), plus Safeguarding and Safety (every 5 yrs). As a District, we have all been set the challenge of ensuring that everyone completes their required modules within these time-frames (and that any overdue bits of training/validation are addressed without further delay).

 

Besides all this, there are a couple of Permit-related courses on offer from GLMW in the next few months. Group or District funding may well be available for those willing to gain a Permit in order to offer these various adventurous activities to young people in our District. If interested in seeking District funding (and assuming there is a place available on the course in question), please contact Ben or Heather asap.

 

Paddle Sports – Training & Assessment weekend April 18th-19th, Bury Lake Rickmansworth, cost £105 (12 places max). For more information, please click on the GLMW website link  https://www.glmwscouts.org.uk/events/glmw-paddlesport-course

 

Narrow Boating A Steerers Course (2 week-ends) 28th Feb-1st March  and 13th-15th March at Hillingdon Narrowboats in Harefield. Course fee £200. See GMW website link for more information https://www.glmwscouts.org.uk/events/steerers-course-2020

 

Air Rifles Training, or Archery Permit training

If we have enough people interested in gaining one of these within our District, we can commission the GLMW tutors to lay on an extra Permit course for us – using the range facilities at Stoke Poges for example. Please contact the DC team to register your interest. We would need a minimum of 12 people to go ahead (but even if we only had – say – 6 people, we could perhaps explore running a joint course with a neighbouring District).

QUICK FINAL REMINDER & REQUEST 

20 in 2020 Challenge (Remember It’s easy to add this badge to OSM – see previous DC Newsletter)

GLMW need to know how many badges will be wanted by each District (including how many of each Section-specific version), so they can be sure to order enough. Please could all Groups who have decided to participate in the Challenge this year work out how many they’re likely to want to buy later in the year. We need these estimates (via our GSLs) over the next month please (deadline 20th February). Once the County’s bulk-order has gone in, the badges will be stocked by the Greenford District Scout Shop, so they will be easy for us to get hold of.

NEWS AROUND THE GROUPS

Brigantia Go To Wintercamp

35 Explorers and 5 Leaders went off to Scout HQ at Gilwell Park for the National Explorer event that is Wintercamp.  Wintercamp is an activity filled weekend that is designed to keep the young people so busy that they don’t notice the weather…fortunately this year it was pretty dry and not too cold although it was incredibly muddy.  The adult team kept themselves busy and warm by looking after the catering whilst the YP had fun. All enjoyed themselves and now it’s just the tent cleaning…..  

 

Yours in Scouting

Ben and Heather

DC Team, Ealing & Hanwell  

dc@ealingandhanwellscouts.org.uk

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