A celebration of a life – John White

Our thoughts and prayers with Marion and her family. A number of current and previous 5th Dartford Scouters celebrated the life of John White, who passed away after a short illness at the age of 86, at Thanet Crematorium and then with a reception at the Spitfire and Hurricane Museum, Manston. John and Marion retired to Palm Bay 22 years ago, but remained active volunteers with the Thanet Scouting Fellowship helping run District events, as well as part of the service crew at Marshside Camp Site as well as Spitfire and Hurricane Museum several days each week. Many 5th Dartford veterans will remember John from his 28 years of Scouting service with 5th Dartford & Dartford District totalling 50 years of Scouting. John was a good friend too many with kind, warm and supportive approach a true gentleman with a great sense of humour. 

Many good memories was shared between friends with recollections of of historic camps, activities and friendship along with John’s antics and sense of humour with one of my favourite being his fancy dress version of ‘Captain Carrot’. Farewell fellow Scouter, we shall truly miss you.

5th Dartford Scouters and Veterans: – Ted, Hillary & Sarah Essex, Jim & Maggie Lilleycrop, Rick & Sue Evans, Del & Wendy as well as Lynda  who started Collins Cub Pack in 1975 as well as the Brownsea Island Fellowship with John.

Jamboree on the Trail / TrailJam 2024

Saturday 11th May 2024 – Was the inaugural ’TrailJam’ event by new organisers after 25 years (1998 – 2023) of ‘Jamboree on the Trail’ as participated by numerous other Scouts all around the world https://www.facebook.com/Trailjamday/.

With the great weather, good company the Darent Valley Path which is one of Kent’s greatest hidden treasures of fine walking suitable for all the family was undertaken. With six Adult Volunteers, one Scout and one Explorers starting at Sevenoaks train station starting at 9:30 the procession begun, collecting other members alone the waypoints, finishing at Dartford Central Park at 4pm, 18 miles later.

By the end we had 14 adults, 1 Explorer, 5 Scouts, 8 Cubs and 10 Beavers from the 5th Dartford Scout Group.

Congratulations to all those who took part, with a special commendation to both Leo and Neil walking the whole route.

Easter Camp 2024 – Thriftwood The Village

With the incredibly wet weather we have had, it was unfortunate that a number of accommodation huts were decommissioned, however working with the camp site we were able to accommodate the Explorers in the serviceable village huts with alternative accommodation being provided for the Scouts in the Barcwood building by the fishing lake. 

Friday afternoon started with a safety brief on bushcraft tools: Open fires, Whittling knives, Axe and Saw followed by an afternoon collecting fire wood, creating an impressive wood pile from a recently felled old oak with marsh mellow sticks being fashioned along with an ember fire to cook the evening meal of beef burgers, beans and jacket potatoes. 

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Older Scout Expedition 4-5/4/2024

The six older scouts from Earley and Burne Troop approaching their 14th birthday/moving up to Johnston Explorers were provided with training to get them fully prepared for their Expedition challenge. These training sessions were part of the regular scouts evening as well as some additional sessions over a number of evenings: Badge requirements, Navigation, Route card, Menu planning, Shopping & food storage, Cooking, Expedition tent pitching, First-Aid and emergency procedures, Personal equipment, Packing a ruck-sack, Highway code, Countryside code, Risk assessments review.

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2023-12-03 – Birthday Parade

This year we celebrated our 107th anniversary with our Birthday Parade on Sunday 3rd December. We converged at the hall at 10am where we formed up, and sorted out our colours to be presented, parading with our flags from the hall to the URC Church in Spitall Street, were we where warmly welcomed by the congregation. 

The service given by John was fun and informative as well as celebrating the first week of advent, with a lesson given by John donning a Professor hat and teaching the Beavers and Cubs how to build lego towers on firm foundations with the power of pray. Leo and Alex providing the readings, with the Explorers collecting the offering and the prayers. Paul the Group Volunteer Lead said a few words , thanking the church congregation for their warm welcome, the leaders for their time and effort, the youth members for their energy and enthusiasm, recognising the ones who had achieved their Chief Scout Award over the past year as well as Keith for his leadership service of the past 20 years with a ’Thanks’ badge. John kindly gave a free gift of a prayer stone as a reminder to all at the end of the service, along with a biscuit and a drink, then we had to say good bye and return to our hall to be dismissed in order to get lunch and changed.

The afternoon activity was at Gravity, Bluewater were all participants was provided with jump socks and juice to keep them going for all the ups and downs of the trampoline park. After the limbs were weary, face flushed and fun had by everyone it was time to go home reflecting on the past year of Scouting and planning for the next.

2023-10-20 – NSRA Bisley Camp

The advance party arrived at our pitch @14:30 and despite earlier rain our allocation was favourable and the weather was kind to us for setting up camp even if squelchy underfoot.  More leaders and 15 young people, 6 of whom were first timers at Bisley, arrived after dark and stowed their kit before a team briefing where everyone was given a lanyard, map and an aid-memoir to help them to be in the right place at the right time for their events.

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Summer Camp 2023 – #INTENTS# Thriftwood

With ourselves enjoying at last year’s #InTents# at Thriftwood so much we rebooked again for this year. Having great memories of last year’s hot summer, we were over optimistic investing in an inflatable pool and new BBQs in preparation, which now seems a good future investment for the group’s events. With six leaders and 24 Scouts and Explorers fully prepared and roaring to go with our new site #4 which has an electrical hook up and adjacent to the archery field, close to the action.

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Air Camp 23 – The Best Ever – 09-11 June

After 10 months of planning and preparation the weekend finally arrived Air Camp 2023 – The Best Ever. With a total of 106 Scouts and Explorers, 22 of them representing 5th Dartford, descending to Old Hay Airfield, Paddock Wood.  The weather forecast was for a heat wave, which was accurate for a change. There was unfortunate accident on the A21 causing road closures and some a 2 hour delay in their arrival time, along with many parents discovering the wonders of the app WhatThreeWords/// as opposed to post codes and car SatNavs.

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