September 2019 Newsletter from the DC Team 

Date: 21st Sep 2019 Author: Ben Pearson

Hello to everyone from Ben and Heather,

Hi to all – Autumn is upon us (how did that happen so fast?).  We’ve been busy this month at the Freshers Fair (see below), planning for our AGM, and in Heather’s case, running her Group’s Family Camp….and it’s only 21st September.  Ben has attended the County DC Meeting and has been planning the GLMW Expedition Programme that he looks after.

District AGM, 25th September 2019, 7.30 for 8pm at Leighton Hall

It’s the District AGM on Wednesday and we’d like you all to come.  It’s an opportunity to look back on the year, and to plan for the year ahead. Come and help to influence where we go next, together as a District.  We will have a presentation from our World Scout Jamboree participants. If this isn’t enough to persuade you there will be some drinks and light bites.

Swimming Gala

The 2019 Swimming Gala is fast approaching.  The information has already been distributed via the Group Scout Leaders so this is just a reminder.  Saturday 12th October 2-5pm@ Gurnell.  This year’s gala is only for Cubs and Scouts although I’m sure the normal leaders’ race will take place.  See attached.

Freshers’ Fair

The University of West London Freshers’ Fair was on Wednesday and Ealing & Hanwell had a stall for the first time.  One of our development objectives is to recruit more adults by using resources that are right on our doorstep, like UWL and the larger businesses .

Thank you to Ben Farmer, Georgie Horwich, both pictured, and Holly Smallman for manning the stall with Heather.  Heather and the others all had sore feet by the end. We picked up over 20 names of which only 2-3 had young people and we will be busy contacting them to firm up their commitment.  Coming next:

The UWL Volunteering Fair on Tuesday 15th October.  It’s during the day but please email if you can help.  This has a slightly different focus as all the organisations attending are seeking volunteers but Scouting offers something quite different…as we know.

County Conference – Saturday 19th October.

GLMW is hosting its first Conference in October.  This is a fantastic day of workshops to help Executive Committees, Group Scout Leaders and ADCc learn about diverse topics like OSM, Group Financing and the new digital tools the Scouts are developing.  There will be special guests too. Programme is attached but sign up by emailing the County Administrator Claire Booth on Section leaders are welcome too. It’s all about improving the Scouting we offer so please sign up.


Interested in learning to run climbing sessions?

The GLMW Climbing Team have courses running over the coming months.  Visit the Training Calendar for more info.

Safety & Safeguarding Training in our District

Part of the mandatory training that every leader or sectional assistant must keep up-to-date is safety and safeguarding.  The County runs a series of these courses but we are hosting one in our District on Saturday 2nd November. Visit to book a place on this course.

Caving complex at Walter Davies – work continues

With many thanks to Dave and Pete. Here’s another glimpse of the ongoing work to install this wonderful new facility at our District Campsite. But we do need more Groups to arrange a team/building day at the campsite to help with some of the remaining work.  Contact Dave if you can help. 


News from around the District  Send us your news! Share your achievements and your good ideas

Brigantia go to Croatia by Ben Pearson, ESL

The District Explorer Scout Unit, 24 Explorers and 3 adults,  went to Croatia this summer for a summer camp with a twist; there were no tents involved….or rain.  We decided to use Venture Abroad, a group ‘holiday’ provider this year to give us something slightly different.  Venture Abroad organise the vast majority of the trip and take a lot of the workload off the leader team; although slightly more expensive I’d highly recommend it for leaders wanting to go overseas for the first time.

We stayed in a youth hostel in Pula and were right on the coast; we could be in the Adriatic Sea about 30 seconds after getting out of bed…which the Explorers really enjoyed.  Activities included an educational snorkelling trip, stand up paddleboarding, a cultural tour of Pula including the amphitheatre, a visit to the aquapark and high ropes. It was really hot every day (32+) so everyone came back looking very brown and suntanned.

It was a very different camp with no tents, or cooking, or wet and grumpy young people but really enjoyable.  Bring on Wings2020 next year.

1st Ealing North’s Summer Camp by Tim Gebbels; SL

Between 15th and 25 August this summer, 20 scouts and leaders from 1st Ealing North headed to a greenfield just outside Monmouth for our traditional summer camp. Experience ranged from first timers through to leaders on their 36th successive summer camp with the troop! Our site was beautiful meadow in a broad valley on the banks of the river Monnow, which itself marks the border between England and Wales. Our camp was on the Welsh side so, naturally, it was raining when we arrived and for much of our first two days on camp. After that, however, we enjoyed fine summer weather for the rest of camp.

Once at camp, the scouts made themselves busy with the usual camp activities, putting into practice the skills they had developed throughout the year. The patrols wasted no time in setting up their patrol sites – tents, dining shelters, fire shelters and altar fires, gadgets, etc – and gathering wood for cooking. During the camp, patrols cooked about half of the meals for themselves and the leaders. They were responsible for their own sites, canvas, cooking and equipment. As pioneering projects, we built a camp gateway and a monkey bridge over the river. Throughout the camp, patrols were inspected in the same way as at Totem and competed to be the top patrol at camp.

During camp, we had a number of trips off site. We visited St Fagans National Museum of History (national museum of the year) for a fantastic and cultural day out. We also had two more adventurous days out climbing/caving at Symonds Yat and canoeing on the River Wye. Most scouts had a further day hiking around the valley in which we were camped while four of our more experienced scouts went off on a two day expedition hike, camping overnight at a campsite next to the Wye.

A particular highlight in the middle of camp was the Competition Meal. Patrols planned for themselves a full three-course meal and then shopped for everything they needed within a given budget. They were then locked down on their patrol sites all afternoon while they prepared food and an entertainment for the leaders who would eat with them. Competition was very fierce and ambition levels were very high and results were delicious!

The camp concluded with our traditional FEN (First Ealing North) Games, a competition of silly games organised by the young leaders, followed by a barbecue. We said goodbye to the scouts moving on from the troop and, finally, headed home, exhausted but exhilarated and looking forward to next year.

16th Ealing by Nigel Woodward, SL

Our summer camp this year was to the idyllic Corf Camp on the Isle of Wight.  21 scouts and a leader team of 5 had a great week following a water and land-based programme. This including kayaking, mountain boarding, archery and axe throwing (remarkably popular given the normal rules for axework!) culminating in an evening of coasteering in Freshwater Bay.  We also hiked around the headland overlooking The Needles during which we had a flypast by a Spitfire fighter from WW2. With a youngish troop we followed a “back to basics” camp programme with a ‘knot of the day’ challenge, getting everyone knife and axe certified as well as plenty of altar-fire based cooking.

Our PL’s headed off to complete their expedition challenge in the middle of camp, allowing our APL’s a taste of leadership for next year. The scouts also worked together to build a cob oven that enabled us to put freshly made pizza’s on the camp menu.  This proved to be a massive hit with a lunchtime that seemed to last all afternoon as more and more were served up. Now we need to work out how to make a transportable version

We finished the week launching home-made Canadian canoes the scouts had assembled from kits invented by the leader team after our end of camp banquet on the last night.  Fantastic weather blessed our week although the last 24 hours were memorable as 50-60 mph winds swept the island overnight and meant our ferry crossing to Porstmouth was quite blowy and not a yacht to be seen on the Solent!


Looking Ahead 


Book your next training course! 

The course schedule for the next 18 months is available on the County website at Places for many of the courses can be booked online, as well as through Local Training Managers.



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