2019-07-12 – Decima on Dartford Creek

On Friday 12th July a fantastic educational visit was hosted by David Leal in Dartford aboard the historic Thames Sailing Barge Decima, David took the 5th Dartford Scouts Earley Troop around the Victorian Sailing Barge explaining the history of Decima, how at times it was so fully loaded that water usually came over deck, he let the scouts have a turn of operating the winch and the rudder, explained the Leeboards, then they all went below where David explained how the skipper and crew lived in the front when it was working boat, they had a good look around the hold. By all accounts the Scouts had a very enjoyable and educational visit. Big thanks to Keith for the fantastic photos and for arranging this and of course to David for hosting the educational visit.


2018-10-25 – Beaver Halloween

Thursday 25th October 2018 was the date for this years joint Halloween party with Philpott Beavers and Peacock Beavers together.

Also invited were their parents and siblings which resulted in 40 people altogether joining in the usual Halloween games of Getting the doughnut off the string with teeth only, no hands allowed. Halloween picture matching for the younger ones. The Halloween story game for everyone in the hall and the traditional Apple Bobbing finishing with a game of musical bumps for children only.

This year we were lucky enough to have two special ‘Guests of Honour’  One of the first ever Philpott Beavers from almost 34 years ago Malcolm Medcalf and one of the first ever Peacock Beavers Ashley Hurd. It was great that they were both able to join us.

Everyone also got tucked into a Spooky feast of Pizza Fingers, Mini Quiches, Sausage rolls, etc  Skull decorated cakes and Fizzy Pop.

All the children were given Ghoulish Goody Bags to take home.

I would like to thank all the parents who turned up and joined in all the fun for being such good sports.

Auntie Beaver

(The Wicked Witch of West Hill)

2018-09-30 – Philpotts @ Oakfield

Saturday 30th September 2018 Philpott Beavers descended on Oakfield Park in the sunshine.

Firstly following a map to the Nature Trail where they searched for Cob nuts, Fir cones, Acorns, Conkers, Rose Hips, Blackberries and Fungi. Then they all had a go on the Fitness trail. Next was a walk around the allotments to see what vegetables were growing. All the while keeping a look-out for this years craze of painted stones of which we spotted at least eight different ones.

 A short Pit Stop for drinks and biscuits and a play in the Play Area.

We then went for a walk through the Church graveyard and the Beavers saw the gravestone of Paul and Emma the young Adults whose lives were taken along with those of our Ian ‘Eggy’ Edwards almost 20 years ago in an Avalanche in Scotland.

This was followed by a quick game of football whilst waiting for their parents.

Result 14 very tired but happy Beavers who got home 30 minutes before the heavens opened luckily.

Auntie Beaver

Summer Camp 2018

I would like to thank all the leaders involved volunteering their time, giving up a week of work, as well as the camp site team at Linnet Clough making our camp a truly enjoyable one, and not to forget our youth members good behavior and keen spirits which was a great combination for a safe, enjoyable, memorable group summer camp. A Summer Camp without tents!

Friday 27th July 2018

Meeting promptly at 9am at the Dartford Masonic Centre car park, were we loaded the last few pieces of cake and kit on to the van whilst we allocate folk to the three minibuses and managed to leave before half past. With a short pit stop at Newport Pagnell, we arrived at Linnet Clough camp site at 15:30, six and half hours later. Without any canvas to pitch, we quickly moved in to our allocated bunks along with the kitchen-diner. We then embarked on to a summer camp favorite of Ready Steady Cook with the three Explorer and three Scout patrols having £4 per head to produce a two course meal for the judging of presentation, taste, menu design as well as the clearing down afterwards.

Saturday 28th July

After a good breakfast, we departed for the historic village of Hayfield with a few of the leaders enjoying the pleasantries and ambience of the town along with a cream tea at Millie’s tear rooms & Chocolatier. The younger scouts were provided an introduction to Hill walking by Del, Andy, Kevin & John around Kinder reservoir whilst the older Scouts and Explorers undertook the Kinder Scout Mass Trespass walk. The trespass walk is a 12.8 km challenging stroll where you can take in the breath taking scenery, where we experienced all the weathers one can expect on a summer day from bright sunshine, overcast, mild breeze to a gale on the top where we had to take shelter from the wind to dark clouds coming over the horizons with lighting strike accompanied with a clap of thunder followed by rain & hailstones for twenty minutes before the sun came out again.  Arriving back at camp we had time to shower and change for one of our favourite meals, a combination of Chicken Korma, Chicken Tikka Masala or Beef Madras before we started the evening Archery competition.

Archery Scores – Individual

Scout 1st – Owen W

Scout 2nd – Danny B

Scout =3rd – Jon.P & Jake.M

Explorer 1st – Angus G

Explorer 2nd – Henry M

Explorer 3rd – Callum R

Archery Scores – Team

Scout 1st – Jon P

Scout 2nd – Ryan S

Scout 3rd – Joe T

Explorer 1st – Angus G

Explorer 2nd – Henry M

Explorer 3rd – Chris R

Sunday 29th July 

In the morning the weather against us with a gentle drizzle set in for the morning we looked to make time to sort and tidy our lodgings, before we honed our carving and whittling skills with an ambition to bring the individual produce to create component for traps that could be triggered, which resulted in various success of trip ropes, counter leavers and dropping baskets. With the weather finally breaking, field games were actively pursued. A fine evening meal of Shepherd’s Pie was enjoyed prior to the evening Target Shooting competition using the camp site’s new Gamo scoped rifles at 8m.

Shooting Scores – Individual

Scout =1st – Jon P & Lucas S

Scout 3rd – Thomas R

Explorer 1st – Megan O

Explorer 2nd – Henry M

Explorer 3rd – Ben C

Shooting Scores – Team

Scout 1st – Joe T

Scout 2nd – Ryan S

Scout 3rd – Jon P

Explorer 1st – Henry M

Explorer 2nd – Angus G

Explorer 3rd – Chris R

Monday 30th July

With an early, light breakfast and doubled packed lunch we departed camp in our 3 minibuses just before 8am and headed south…arriving at Alton Towers for opening time, once we gained entry the patrols with their assigned leader went their different ways navigating their way around the different rides of their choice (including the new Wicker Man). The day soon disappeared with the park closing at 6’ and the hour travel back to camp, where free time was enjoyed until the evening meal of Pasta Bake was consumed with a healthy appetite.

Tuesday 31st July

A lie-in and a late start was enjoyed after all the energies that were spent the previous day. After a leisurely breakfast we headed to Hyde Leisure Pool with its warm waters, wave machine and flume were enjoyed for several hours.

An exceptionally early dinner of Spaghetti Bolognese was eagerly devoured, followed by a 45 minute journey to Alderely Edge, Cheshire where we meet up with Derbyshire County Scout Caving Team who provided a 2 1/2 hours guided tour of the ‘Wood Mine’ which was first dug early in the 1830 for copper. 

Wednesday 1st August

The younger scouts took on the challenge of the Low Ropes course during the morning whilst the Explorers and Older Scouts prepared for the overnight expedition, and in the afternoon enjoyed fishing at the local lakes with sausage mash and beans for tea.

The intrepid explorers finally departed camp and headed straight to the local Asda store to stock up for their travels with their DofE training coming in to practice with £5 per head for breakfast and dinner. Provisions were quickly purchased and we set off for the Goyt Valley, with the Explorers starting at Pym Chair walking the ridge way, taking in Cats Tor, Shinning Tor, passing the Cat & Fiddle and then navigating to Cumberland Cottage the overnight Bothy. The Older Scouts were transported to Clough House and helped open/clean up the Bothy before making a saunter up to the Shutlingsloe trig point  enjoying the evening view of the country side below. The evening meals were quickly rustled up on the bothy gas cooker and as darkness fell a fire was lit and the dark history of the 1780 hunting lodge read and discussed.

Thursday 2nd August

After a refreshing night sleep the expedition folk, breakfasted of fruit and porridge pots and departed across the moors to Buxton, meeting the rest of the party in the Pavilions Gardens at Buxton. All were issued with £2.50 for lunch and the remains of their camp bank to buy souvenirs and present during the afternoon shopping and sight-seeing in Buxton.

To celebrate the last evening of the camp a BBQ was enjoyed and with a fire lit the evening quickly slipped away with chatter of recent exploits and future plans.

Friday 3rd August

A final breakfast was cooked from the contents of the fridge: Cereal, milk, porridge, bacon, fish-fingers, mushrooms, tomatoes, eggy-bread, potatoes, fried eggs, baked beans and not much else was consumed a lot faster than it was cooked. After cleaning down all the rooms of the Barn Complex there was time for a final cup of tea, provisions for packed lunch were given out for the long drive back home, finally arriving at 19:20 with parents eager to see the tired scouts, and the scouts looking forwards to going home after an exhausting week.

2018-05-12 – JoTT 2018

Saturday 12th May 2018 was the date for the annual Jamboree On The Trail. This is an International event held for the last 21 years and the eighteenth year in a row that Dartford District including 5th Dartford Scout group have taken part.

After a spell of very good weather the week before, the morning turned out to be decidedly cool and a little damp but this didn’t deter our Group turning out in force. Some Leaders

and Explorers starting from Sevenoaks at 9.30am and walking the 17 miles along the Darent River path picking up Scouts, Cubs, Beavers and their families en route and finishing at Dartford park  at around 4pm. 

Here we were all greeted by District Leaders young and old  and given snacks and hot drinks and the much coveted J.O.T.T. Badge.

Well done everyone who participated however far they walked and we look forward to seeing you all again next year.

2018-06-08 – Kent County Air Activities Camp

Once again the 5th had been invited by Kent County Scouts to provide archery and target shooting activities for the County Air Activities camp at Old Hay Airfield, Tonbridge, and by doing so securing a number of places for our Scouts to participate in numerous air themed activities, including piloting microlight aircraft and rocket building/launching.This gave us the oppertunity to get many, if not all of our participants through the bulk of the staged Air Activities badge, which we will look to conclude and present during the next term.

Please click here to view the Kent Scouts web page with more details and pictures from the weekend.

2018-03-30 – Easter Camp 18

With the advance forecast looking somewhat inclement, it was decided that we would switch from our usual pitch at Thriftwood to ‘The Village’, comprising of a large permanent marquee with refrigeration, gas range, lighting and running water, together with 5 x 6 person bunk sheds and 1 x 4 person, the extra cost was well within contingency and given that it included all the gas we needed and saved us the fuel to transport all the tentage, tables, benches etc., was money well spent.  The bunk rooms accommodated the Scouts, leaders and for the first time, 4 selected cubs from the Phillips Pack.  The Explorers braved the elements in their tents, but with the experience they have gained from years of camping, they were snug as a bug.

Activities included a pioneering project, raft building (and piloting) and fishing on the well stocked lake.  All the young people, Cubs included, cooked a Friday evening meal of sausages, mash and beans, Saturday morning, again cooked by the YP was an ‘English Breakfast’, lunch was prepared centrally between activities and in the evening everyone cooked Paella, with homemade garlic bread done in the ovens. Everyone ate their fill and the meal was a great success.

With a pirate theme for the camp, there were frequent shouts of ‘Arrrggghhh’ at roll call etc.

Alas not too many photo’s taken, but a few to get the flavor of the camp. However, everyone had a good camp, made even better with a swift strike and very little wet kit to unload and hang out back at base.

Megan Selected for #WSJ2019

As many of you will know, our Megan from the Johnston ESU and Young Leader from Phillips Pack  has been selected as one of 7 young people to represent Dartford as part of the Kent contingent, at the 2019 World Scout Jamboree in west Virginia.

Each young person attending will need to raise just shy of £4000 to cover their costs and to help those in developing countries, who do not have the same fundraising opportunities.

Dartford district Scouts, the 5th Dartford Scout Group and Dartford Borough Council have been very generous in their support of Megan’s fundraising, but there is still a way to go and all donations and fundraising opportunities would be very welcome.