Once again the 5th Dartford massive braved the changeable elements to face ‘Easter Camp’, our ‘Back to Basics Extravaganza.’ This year, Assistant Explorer Scout Leader, Sean took the camp lead to validate his Nights Away permit and plan an activity and fun filled weekend for our young adventurers.
It was a camp of many emotions, with absent friends who have moved on, or through study and/or work commitments were unable to attend; there were also two who will not camp with us again as young people due to reaching maturity or moving away…. BUT there were NEW faces full of enthusiasm and the 5th spirit who will take their place.
Activities on this camp included, but were not limited to, Fire lighting, Backwoods cooking, Kayaking, Water-Zorbing, Whittling, Survival bracelets, Fishing, Wide-Games, Easter Egg Hunt and above all…. Making new friends and team building.
Thanks again to Sean for a faultless plan, and the leaders and parents on camp who made it all possible and the parents who assisted with the muddy unload back at the hall.
Below are a selection of pictures from our weekend to give you but a taste…
2015 was a year no different from previous years when the 5th faithful came out under the guidance of manager Phil Hannah, to dust off the turkey cobwebs, and participate in the annual ‘5th Boxing Day Footy Match‘. This annual ‘All in‘ match has been an annual fixture in the group’s program, for all current and previous members, for longer than most would care to remember and for the last few years has been held at the Glentworth Club on Lowfield Street, Dartford. The score was irrelevant, but the participation memorable, so well done all who were able to participate.
This weekend saw 7 Scouts, 11 Explorers and 11 Adult members represent the 5th Dartford Scout Group at NSRA Bisley for the 39th Annual National Scout Rifle Championships. The weather was favourable and dry under foot, which meant we had an easy pitch and strike. Catering was once again looked after by Karen and Tracy and as usual, we couldn’t have managed without them. A big well done to all our young competitors for being in the right place, at the right time and in the right frame of mind, but despite our best efforts, only Jason’s bronze medal in the knockout to add to our collection, although there were some noteable near misses, with Chris coming in 5th in the Biathlon with the 2nd fastest time and 1 target off bronze and James 8th on Fullbore, just 0.2 off bronze. The edited results, both individual and by event/class are available to download below.
Over the past 6 weeks, Leaders from both the 5th Dartford Scouts Group’s Scouts and Explorers have been instructing our scouts to become proficient in the sport of air rifle target shooting. The course concluded with an exam, in which a minimum of 70% must be attained before progressing to the shooting part of the test. We are proud to announce that every attendee passed the theory exam and progressed to the shoot off. The “Shoot off” consisted of a practice card upon which as many “sighting” shots could be fired in a limited time period, in order for the participants to familiarise themselves with the rifle they had been allocated. Thereafter, a further 4 cards were issued where 5 pellets were shot at each.
In order to grade the participant’s capability, the NSRA created the following grade bands.
50 to 109 – Skilled Shot
110 to 149 – Marksman
150 – 174 – Expert Shot
175+ Master Shot
We were pleased with the level of competence we saw this year, with many scouts hitting excellent scores, but a special mention to Jess and Joe who achieved “Master Shot” – The highest possible grade within the NSRA’s YPS scheme which only a three of 5th Dartford Scout Group has attained previously. Jess is now our high record holder, beating our previous holder, Chris, by 9 points. Thankfully, both these scouts and almost all who attended the course will be representing Dartford at this year’s annual National Scout’s Rifle Target Shooting Competition at NSRA Bisley next weekend
Thanks to everyone for attending and joining in the fun at our AGM on Sunday, we also have several parents offer further help and assistance, which is excellent. A big thank you to the Explorers for helping to build and run the Aerial Runway.
Minutes and annual accounts will be published here soon, section reports below.
As you will recall, the 5th Dartford Scout Group were generously gifted a fantastic bespoke steel staircase by Adam Clarke of AKD Contracts Ltd. We are pleased to confirm the staircase has now been completed and brought in to use and we can hardly begin to thank Adam and his team of committed engineers for bringing this project to fruition.
In order to ensure only authorised and supervised access, we felt we had to include fencing and a lockable gate to protect the young folk in our care; once again Adam was quick to respond and upon visiting our site on Friday 20th March, he drafted plans and a quotation. It didn’t take us long to consider who best to approach to fund this additional work, and our first thought was Councillor Jeremy Kite, Leader of Dartford Borough Council, who once again generously approved the funding under the council’s Salute to Youth community plan. This went through in record time and Adam’s team have almost completed; that’s planning, funding approval and completion within a fortnight!
We will update this post as soon as it’s completed, but we felt it was so important to publicly thank Councillor Kite and AKD Contracts Ltd. on behalf of all the young people in our community who will benefit from this fabulous and safe addition to the adventurous activities the 5th Dartford Scout Group offers.
44 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.
It is with sadness that we report that Dr John Burne, one of the founding fathers of 5th Dartford Scout Group, died on 13 June 2014 following a short illness.
In the early 1950s Dr Burne – along with Ernie Johnston, Skipper Leigh, Alan Medcalf and many other volunteers, worked hard to raise funds so that the old wooden hut used by the group could be replaced with a state-of-the-art Scout Hall (the one we know and love today!). It took three years for the group to raise the money for the project and building work started in 1959.
It took two years for the leaders, parents and other volunteers to build the new hall and Dr Burne was one of only a dozen or so people who saw the project right through from inception to completion. Lyn Medcalf remembers well Dick talking about how Dr Burne worked tirelessly alongside his father, helping to dig out the foundations for the new Scout Hall.
Dr Burne was a former trustee of 5th Dartford and one of our lifelong supporters; he corresponded with the 5th all through his retirement and took a keen interest in our activities and, in particular, our current fundraising efforts for (yet another) new hall.
In January 1986 the group honored Dr Burne by naming its new Scout Troop after him.
Dr Burne will be fondly remembered and sadly missed.