2014-09-11 – Mayor’s Presentation

Paul our GSL met with Mayor Avtar Sandhu at the Civic Centre to collect the Mayor’s Cup awarded to ’5th Dartford Scouts’ as the best charity module at this years Dartford Festival (19th & 20th July) where the fundraising team arranged Cross-Bows, Book & Puzzle sale, a one-pole bridge pioneering project where we raised funds for our new hall fund, the Dartford Japan Jamboree Scouts also joined us with the Mayor drawing the prize winners of their raffle.

A big thank you to all Scouts, Explorers, Leaders and Parents who represented 5th Dartford Scouts so well that we were awarded this prize. The large cup is now proudly on display in our trophy cabinet.CIMG1367

2014-07-26 – Summer Camp 2014

summer_camp_small44 Scouts, Explorers and leaders attended this year’s summer camp at Butchers Coppice Scout Campsite in Bournemouth. The camp site was very good with a large flat camping field with good facilities and excellent activities. The scouts were divided in to three patrols which they names themselves (CTC, Somalia, Should of Gone to Spec Savers) and the Explorers worked as a team, dividing themselves in to groups for the cooking rota and activities.

The traveling to and from camp was problematic with Bournemouth being such a popular holiday destination leading to heavy traffic in all directions, resulting in 5:30 hours there and 5 hours back, even when diverting of the motorways and taking the TomTom diversion.

The first full day, Sunday, we hit the ground running by visiting Christchurch beach and then in the afternoon running Ready Steady Cook. On Monday, the older Scouts and Explorers prepared for the overnight expedition with the younger scouts taking part in on site games and sports challenges. With the equipment checked, food provided and route set, the minibuses dropped the expedition teams at Corfe Castle, with the Explorers setting off first whilst the Scouts stocked up on refreshments, before heading off on the ridgeway to Tyneham and meeting up again at Steeple Leaze Farm to pitch camp enjoy a hearty meal of bean-feast around an open fire under the stars.

Tuesday saw the adventurers return at lunch time just in time to enjoy an afternoon at Spashdown Water Park with all the fun of the flumes.

Wednesday saw all members take on the challenge of the camp sites high rope challenges and actively taking part in the sites camp fire (My hands are high, my feet are low, how do you like to bungalow!).

Thursday was a full day of sailing and kayaking at Hengistbury Head water activity centre with a sausage and chip supper and then drove out to Burly, where light pollution is minimal to meet with the local Astronomy Association and enjoyed an educational evening star gazing, observing the Moon’s craters, the rings of Saturn, Mars rising and the closest galaxy system Andromeda to mention a few.

Friday, the last full day on camp, saw us utilise the climbing, abseiling, power-fan and zip-wire activities & I’m very impressed with the Explorers video, which can be found below. With the clouds slowly rolling in, we enjoyed an evening BBQ.

Saturday was a wet start and a wetter pack down, with even more rain on the road home, resulting in all the tents being aired back at the hall.

Many thanks to all the leaders giving their time knowledge and experience to make this summer camp so successful, without them it would not be possible to organise and provide such an excellent experience for our Scouts and Explorers to enjoy and learn from: Maggie & Jim Lilleycrop, Del & Ashley Hurd, Dave & Felicity Monteith, Jason & Kay O’Brien, Darren Watts, Matt Parry.

Orienteering Challenge:
CTC – 16:40 mins, Somalia – 14:00, SoGtSS – 10:40.

Over Night Expedition:
Scouts: Nathan, Nathaniel, Ben, Chris, Henry, Joe, Matt & Angus.
Explorers: Dom, James, George, Cian, Shea, Jessica, Abi, Jake & Adam.

Paul Boreham
Group Scout Leader


 

2014-07-18 – Adam Jumps for 5th

postSince the age of 14, I had wanted to skydive. The thought of falling through the clouds looked fun and exciting, I once in a lifetime experience, unless you’re rich that is!

Unfortunately the age limit was 16 years for a Tandem Skydive, so I was going to have to wait, but when my parents asked me what I wanted for my 16th birthday, I knew exactly what to tell them. I also saw it as a chance to give something back to an organisation that had given me so many fun and exciting experiences, my Scout Group, 5th Dartford.

We had been raising money for a few years to build a new hall in Dartford for future groups in Dartford, so I started collecting sponsors.

The date was set for 15th July, after my GCSEs, and with help, I set up a fund raising page so people could donate online.

On 15th July the day looked cloudy and after a tiring drive to Headcorn, Kent, it was confirmed we would not be jumping today. Three days later and after another sleepless night, we did the drive again.

After an hour and a half briefing session and dressed in all the gear, I boarded the plane with my tandem partner, Dave.

There were 2 solo parachutists and 4 of us tandem skydivers. I was the youngest; the oldest was doing it for her 50th birthday. As the packed light aeroplane took off I started to feel a bit nervous, but noticed my right leg kept jumping and seemed to have a life of its own.

I was second to jump. I sat on the end of the plane by the door and Dave counted to three and we were off.

The feeling of freefalling through the sky was amazing and nothing like I have ever experienced before. I could hear myself shouting, hear the wind whistling around my ears as the skin of my face felt like it was being pulled back and stretched. I could see the clouds below me. I felt excited and relieved that I had actually managed to jump.

It felt like I was falling forever, until Dave released the parachute and I felt the pull of the harness straps cut into my groin!

Dave showed me how to control the straps and do tornados, spinning ourselves round and round. I took control of the parachutes and glided across the sky.

As we came into land in a nearby field, I had to make sure I put my feet up in front of me so I landed on my bottom. We were then taken back to the base. My first thought was that I wanted to do it again. Better get saving I suppose!

I have a video and photos to remind me of a great experience and also managed to raise £650 for the 5th Dartford Scouts New Hall Fund.

Adam (Johnston ESU)

2014-05-02 – Edinburgh Chase

This year’s Edinburgh Chase was just as popular as previous years and had a number of teams consisting of 5th Dartford Explorers and Leaders taking part, ranging from the Junior to Veteran categories.

This year was one of the more challenging routes that this event has offered, but this didn’t stop all of our teams from completing in very respectable times.

A special mention to 5th Dartford Leaders team 72, who completed the course in 6hrs 18mins and also passed through both of the surprise checkpoints. This meant that they were awarded 1st place in the veteran category.

Thanks to the organisers  for making such an enjoyable event possible and also to the 5th Leaders who did not take part in the hike, but instead gave up their time to provide hot dogs to teams after completion. I hear that there are already people in training for next year’s event…

Full results from this year’s event can be found here.

2014-05-10 – 17th Int’l JOTT

JOTT_201417th Jamboree On The Trail

On Saturday 10th May 2014 despite the weather forecast hundreds of Beavers, Cubs, Scouts, Explorers, Network and Leaders walked from various start points along the Darent Valley Path for the 17th International Jamboree On The Trail all ending up at Sutton-at-Hone Football Ground.

5th Dartford were well represented by all age groups and although a few showers en-route gave us a bit of a soaking spirits were high and a good time had by all.

At 4pm as we all crossed the finish line we were well catered for with drinks and snacks and big smiles when all participants were presented with their badges.

Thank you especially to all the family members who took part for the very first time. We look forward to seeing you all again next year!

2014-05-09 – Scout Archery

Archery_2014Following 9 weeks of practice, our team of 24 competing archers plus Pauline and Tim supporting, arrived at Phasels Wood Activity Centre for the 9th National Scout Archery Competition.  We had a clear run on the journey to camp and were fortunate in securing a good pitch and set camp in favorable weather conditions.

Alas the weather turned wet, with heavy rain and gale force winds gusting, and mud everywhere, but the team’s spirits were not dampened as our shooting detail times could not have been better.

Everyone represented the team well, but a special mention to to our two Scouts, who between them took silver in the under 11s field targets, silver in the under 14s 20yd targets and bronze in the under 14s overall.

Full results will be posted once available.PassportDSCN4962

2014-04-18 – Easter Camp @ Thriftwood

EasterAnother well attended Easter Camp, which this year was blessed with warmer weather owing to the later holiday weekend. Many new faces attending their first Scout Camp, learning new skills as they start their new adventure. Activities included Kayaking, Climbing, Archery, Fishing, Backwoods cookery, Campfire, Wide Games, Axe & Saw, Whittling & Survival Bracelets. Passport

Climbing Wall Staircase Donated

Many of you will by now have heard about or seen in the Gravesend Reporter, that Mr Adam Clarke of AKD Contracts, has donated a complete steel staircase, worth @ £25,000 to provide safe and permanent access to our climbing wall. Preparations for the slab, upon which the staircase will sit, have begun and we should expect the project to complete in just a few weeks time, so you’ll all be able to see it and put it to good use at our AGM on 8th June.  AKD Contracts

  Continue reading