June 2020 Newsletter from the DC Team

Date: 22nd Jun 2020 Author: Ben Pearson

We held our first ever virtual Awards Presentation on Monday 8th, with Heather and Ben co-presenting; Richard Williams, our County Commissioner, also kindly joined us for this special event.  It was a really enjoyable evening and we are in awe that over 40 people spent the entire hour with us. We really appreciated the ‘live’ feedback via the chat function during the event itself, but also the emails we received in the following days.  It was fantastic for us to ‘present’ all the awards as there are often recipients that don’t attend St George’s Day or the AGM, which is where we typically try and present them, so they sit waiting for another opportunity. (More details in the Awards paragraph below).

Steve Douglas, our Appointments Secretary of over 13 years, and Deputy District Commissioner, is stepping down from his Secretary role.  We are hugely grateful to all that Steve has done for many years and presented him with a Thank You pin at the above ceremony.  Steve is continuing as our NAN Champion. 

In this month’s Newsletter


  • National Scout HQ Updates 


      • Zoom 
      • Next National members’ briefing
      • Black Lives Matter
      • Training
      • Care for Care Homes
      • OSM Partnership


  • Our District 


      • Awards
      • Stoke Poges Working Day
      • Nights Away Notification.  Now online.
      • Social Media – new District Website & Twitter account
      • Appointments
      • Kandersteg 2021 – Join the Explorer Leadership Team
      • Cancellation of Camporee
      • Zoom
      • Around the Groups: 1st Ealing North and 5th Hanwell.


  • GLMW News


  • District Diary Dates (including remote meetings, and links to remote training options)


National Scout HQ

HQ and Zoom have concluded their negotiations and configuration and each Group and District is now entitled to a free Zoom Pro account until November.  Each Group needs to nominate an individual to apply and manage the account.  All the information and sign up link is here https://www.scouts.org.uk/volunteers/scouts-at-home/staying-safe-online/digital-platforms-for-scouts/zoom-account-sign-up/?dm_i=31ME,11L4L,3D72H8,3ZE5M,1

Note: The District will continue to fund the two Zoom Pro accounts for general use so although you are entitled to sign up, if the District accounts are working for you, then there is no need to…completely up to you.  We will cancel the District accounts when they are no longer being used.

Next National members’ briefing

The next All Members’ virtual briefing will be on Wednesday 24th June.  We would encourage you all to attend, but especially those in a management position (GSL/Chair), as it’s a rare opportunity to hear directly from both the paid and volunteer leadership about where Scouting is and the plans that are being developed for when it reopens.  Link is https://www.scouts.org.uk/events/all-members-online-meeting

Black Lives Matter

You may have already read the statement on this from Scouts Chief Executive, Matt Hyde. If not, the link is here https://www.scouts.org.uk/news/2020/june/why-we-believe-black-lives-matter/


TSA wants to support all of us who – as leaders – may be having discussions about the Black Lives Matter campaign with our young people. They have therefore signposted some resources to help with this via the Scout facebook page.  

  1. They suggest that the resources from Newsround may be helpful. This bulletin discusses #BlackLivesMatter in a really clear and concise way – perfect for younger visual learners: https://twitter.com/BBCNewsround/status/1270323299898228742?s=20
  2. They also mentioned that Marvel have released a free selection of Black creator-led comics – a great way to start conversations with teens in a format they’re familiar with: https://www.marvel.com/articles/comics/sharing-stories-by-marvel-s-black-storytellers?linkId=90631356
  3. Finally, there’s this page on the Scout website. https://www.scouts.org.uk/news/2020/june/how-to-talk-with-your-children-about-racism/


Are you fed up with receiving emails from Tim Kidd either reminding you to do your mandatory training, or that of one of the adults you manage?  This is a really easy one to fix.  If it’s your training then please click on that link, complete the training and email a screenshot of the online certificate to Jenny, our training manager, on je.foxwell@ealingandhanwellscouts.org.uk.  If it’s the people you manage, pick up the phone and talk to them and find out when they can complete it!  We believe that it will not be long before HQ and County start cancelling the appointments of adults that are significantly overdue with their training.

It is the responsibility of all of us, not just Heather and I, or your Group Scout Leader, to complete the required training for our role.


Care for Care Homes

CfCH is a National initiative to ask Scouters to reach out to their local community, as we always do, but specifically to care homes.  We all know how badly hit care homes have been by Covid-19 and this is our chance to do something.  Visit https://www.scouts.org.uk/volunteers/scouts-at-home/scouts-helping-others/care-for-care-homes/ for more information.


OSM Partnership

Scouts have now formally entered a partnership with Online Scout Manager.  At this time the two systems are staying separate and HQ would like to use the data in OSM so they can better understand what is happening on the ground but each user of OSM has to opt in to this.  Please visit https://www.scouts.org.uk/digital-transformation/online-scout-manager/ to find out more.


Our District

Awards, Wood Badges and Thank yous

Congratulations to all whose awards and achievements were announced during our Virtual Celebration of Achievements on Monday 8th June. Following the announcements, the physical certificates, badges, beads and medals were delivered by post a few days later  (or in some cases dropped off by hand – in a suitably contactless manner)

A recording and list of all the announced Awards and Wood Badges has also been posted on the District Website https://www.ealingandhanwellscouts.org.uk/news/article/district-awards-presentation-2020-roll-of-honour.


We do hope that you can use the recording to share relevant short extracts of the live event  with your younger sections.


Stoke Poges Working Day – Saturday 4th July

With lockdown rules easing slightly and the need for maintenance to take place we are holding a small working day at the District campsite on Saturday 4th July.  Because of the need to socially distance we are asking all participants to sign up first (thanks to those that already have).  Please visit the sign up form here https://forms.gle/VQV8i9S5d4m3x9jq5


Nights Away Notification is now online

Yes, it does seem a little strange to be writing this when it could be months before we can camp again…but new technology gives us something to look forward to.

We have turned the mandatory Nights Away Notification process into an online form and this is now live.  Effective immediately, you no longer need to to email Steve with a form but can complete it all online and Steve will be notified.  We have also updated the form to implement the most recent changes from HQ.

The link is https://www.ealingandhanwellscouts.org.uk/members/nights-away-notification

Please email us as DC@ealingandhanwellscouts.org.uk if you have any feedback or questions about this new form or the changes.


Ealing & Hanwell’s new Facebook page and Twitter Account

Social media is an important way for us to all spread Scouting’s message and it is being used across the UK as a positive way of growing Scouting and making connections within the community. We therefore have a new Facebook page (Ealing & Hanwell Scouts) and a Twitter page (EandHScouts). The aim for these is to target those who aren’t in Scouting so whilst it’s important for you to follow the pages yourself, what is even more important is to share them with the parents within your groups and encourage them to forward them to others.  This means we now have three social media accounts/pages for you to follow or promote:


Kandersteg 2021 – Join the Explorer Leadership Team?

The next GLMW trip to Kandersteg International Scout Centre is on and planning is underway.  The Explorers are looking to go but we may be short of adults, depending on how many young people are interested, so Ben is looking to see if there are any other adults in the District that may like to join the Explorer Leadership Team.  Interested?  Please visit https://forms.gle/kDh5F4PLZwT9AJhd9 and complete the form.  This is just to gauge interest at the point so you won’t be committing.  The dates are 10th-20th August 2021.


Appointments – Welcome to Kathy

We have been fortunate to find an immediate replacement for Steve Douglas as District Appointments Secretary.  Kathy Paddison, our Jack Petchey coordinator, has agreed to step up.  Thank you so much Kathy.  We will update you more as and when Kathy has taken over.



The DC Team and Nisha, ADC (Cubs), made the decision to cancel Camporee two weeks ago.  We had been hanging on but it became obvious that it wasn’t going to happen.  Thank you to Nisha and her team for all the preparation work that had taken place.


Using the District Zoom Accounts

If you are using the District accounts can you make sure your meeting is not overlapping with another booked one as it is likely that the second meeting will be stopped.  Hopefully there is enough capacity across the two accounts to avoid this happening.


News from around the Groups – highlighting the terrific virtual scouting that’s going on…


A Zoom meeting with a twist – 1st Ealing North Scouts 13 th June 2020


In the current lockdown circumstances, like in every Scout group across the UK, we have had to find novel ways to engage with our Scouts at 1 st Ealing North. The meeting we had on Saturday 13 th June was something new to all involved and something we will remember for a long time, for all the right reasons.

This creation of this meeting goes back many months and even years. Our current Group Scout leader Malcolm Turner used to run the Scout troop a long time ago and over his time in that role he had lots of Scouts come through the troop. One of those Scouts was Paul Clifford. Paul moved to Australia in 1995 where he settled into Scouting life over there. A few years ago, Paul got back in contact with Malcolm as he was visiting the UK with his family as they wanted to come see his old group, at 1st Ealing North. When they came over, they spoke to the Scouts in the troop at the time and gave us some lovely badges and their scarf. A few years went by and we did not have much regular contact.

However, at the end of last year, Francis Curran (ASL at 1 st Ealing North) was exploring completing his Queen Scout Award. Malcolm and Francis thought a great way to do it would be through running a paring with the Australian Scout group, which Paul is involved with. Francis got in contact with the group in Australia and they thought it was a great idea. Our first step was for all the Scouts in 1st Ealing North to write letters to the Australian Scouts in the 7th Cheltenham Scout Group. We put all these letters together in a parcel along with one of our Group scarves, some badges and of course some classic British midnight feast sweets and sent it off to some very excited Scouts in Victoria.

The package arrived safe and sound at the beginning of this year and the 7 th Cheltenham Scout Group were extremely pleased with it. Unfortunately, the advancement of wildfires and COVID-19 meant that the reciprocal package was delayed in making the long journey. But as the saying goes, every cloud has a silver lining. When the lockdowns started across the world Paul got in contact with Francis and suggested we could have a zoom call between our troops.

We loved this idea and set up the call for Saturday 13th June at 10:00 am UK time, 19:00 pm Australian time. In preparation for the event three of our Scouts: Mia, Jack and Rosie put together a script to share with the Australians explaining what we do in the Scouts in the UK and some of 1st Ealing North’s traditions. When it came to the Saturday morning twenty-five of our Scouts logged on with five leaders to meet some of the members of the 7th Cheltenham Scout Group and some special guests.

At the start of the meeting all the leaders introduced themselves from both countries and then Paul said he had three guests he had invited along. The first two were Russell and his wife Joan Bradd. Russell is the State Commissioner at Gilwell Park, which is like Gilwell Park here in the UK but in Southern Australia. Russell has also previously been involved as a Chief Director for Cuboree (Our largest Cub Camp) and Jamborees in the past. They have both been heavily involved with scouting for over 35 years. The final guest was a huge surprise to us all. We were honoured to be joined by Lord Michael Baden-Powell, 4th Baron of Gilwell, the grandson of the founder of the movement.

Lord Michael told us about what his role entails within Scouting and about all the international experiences he has been able to embark on to meet Scouts across the world. It was amazing to be in the presence of Michael and hear his amazing stories.

After our brief introductions we played a quick scavenger hunt where all the Scouts (25 from Ealing and 4 from Australia) quickly brought their favourite table sauce and cereal and held it up to the camera. We had an array of produce and had some great conversations about British and Australian foods and then Bek, one of the seven Australian leaders on the call, had her son Peter show us how to make the perfect vegemite sandwich.

After the introductions and game our three presenters told everyone on the call about what we do in our normal meetings, what we do now we are online and then what fun we get up to outside of Scout meetings. Some of the Australian leaders and Scouts then told us about Scouting in Australia and some of the things they need to consider when they are camping like Kookaburra’s who steal your bacon and sausages right from your hand!

After hearing what each group got up to, we opened the floor to general questions where we got to learn a lot about both Scouting and the culture in each of our countries. Some of the highlights were that they eat sharks with chips instead of cod in Australia and that the most exciting/dangerous animal our Scouts could think of in the UK was a squirrel.

After talking and exchanging stories we did our virtual flag down and said thank you and our

goodbyes. The whole experience was amazing, the fact we were able to make contacts with a group on the other side of the world and learn so much from each other purely because of our common love of Scouting. Our Scouts thoroughly enjoyed hearing from the 7 th Cheltenham group and the amazing special guests that joined the call. We were honoured to meet Lord Michael and to be able to share our stories with him. We are already planning our next call and care package to Australia.


Mandy, Beaver Leader and Group Scout Leader at the 5th Hanwell shared with us what her group’s been up to:



Our Beavers took part in a virtual sleepover in April, and created some very impressive dens (as part of their Camp Craft badge). They also joined in with St George’s day challenges and the Walk to the Moon. They finished off their Space badge and are now working on four new badges this term:

– Book Reader

– Collector

– Cook

– Creative


Some of the Cubs did a virtual camp in April, earning a special badge. They also took up the Walk to the Moon challenge and joined in with the St George’s activities. In the first half term they collaborated to make an impressive film, and they are about to start work on some key badges:

– Personal challenge

– Skills challenge   



The Scouts were set a history challenge for VE day, and have also been working on map and knot challenges. They have started doing fortnightly zoom sessions, and they are working on lots of badges:

– Cyclist

– Meteorologist

– Personal challenge

– Creative challenge

(along with a choice of other badges)


Scouting from home isn’t the same and in many respects it isn’t Scouting, but it’s incredibly important for the future of Scouting that we keep in touch with our young people and keep running meetings…even if not every week.  Well done and thank you to all the leaders that are running meetings.



The day-long Virtual Animal Adventure run by PACCAR on 21st June was great fun as a live-streaming event (not only animals, crafts and microwave cake making, but also the crew performing several dance routines!) If you missed it, do dip in: all the videos are still available on the PACCAR facebook page. And of course we were particularly delighted to have a District winner in one of the competitions – congratulations to Alfie from 9th Ealing for the best ‘Mole in a Mug’ cake! 

Other GLMW news with a specific Ealing and Hanwell dimension…. Many congratulations to Howard Branley, taking on the role of ACC Scouts for GLMW, in addition to his continuing Scout Leader role with 1st Ealing North. 

One exciting new project which Howard is now working on – to run during July and August – is a Virtual Race across Europe, which will be open to all Scout Sections across GLMW. “With online map tracking of each Troop’s progress and a series of potential challenges to complete along the way. Will your Troop be up for the challenge?” More details will be on the GLMW Facebook Page and Website soon. You can Pre-register your Troop by emailing Howard.

Yours in Scouting

Ben and Heather

DC Team, Ealing & Hanwell  


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