2021-08-27 – Hammock Camp

With the revision of COVID restriction and guidance on Scouting activities we managed to arrange at short notice a Hammock Camp at Thriftwood Scout Camp Site.

Friday – Setting up camp was certainly different without tents, with a shelter and parachuter camp fire area already on site it only involved rigging 20 plus hammocks and setting up the kitchen which seem to take the same time as a normal camp! With the Scouts exploring their new surroundings, collecting wood and fetching water the adventure begun with a BBQ feast of sausages, burgers and corn on the cob, it was pretty impressive how much smoke a parachute can contain, let alone Tim’s laser show to entertain us. And what do all Scouts of all ages enjoy after supper and in the dark, Wide-Games of course, with a hide and seek game as we paraded through the camp sites, along with a night time navigation snippets whilst we were in the clearings identifying: The Plough, North Star and Jupiter rising in the West. With the day finishing with Hot Chocolate and biscuits around a blazing log fire.

Saturday – Starting the day with Paul’s world-famous Porridge which always sets you up for a day at camp, even if it was made with white pepper (it looked the same as salt container!). The Scouts prepared themselves a breakfast of Bacon, Eggs and Beans before the morning activities of wood carving with a few good tent pegs being created as well as a hamster chew sticks and other creations, with the Explorers fabricating camp seating. The Kayak session was great fun, with the leaders seeming to fall in much easier and more often than any of the younger members especially when the games of had and little fishy being played. After hot showers a lunch of ham & cheese or even cheese & ham sandwiches was quickly devoured, followed by field games before the trip to the ‘Providore’ to stock on sweets and drinks. The rest of the afternoon was taken up with collecting wood and preparing the chickens for supper cooked in Dutch ovens as a one pot meal, surprisingly there was very little left overs as compared to the breakfast porridge.

Another fine evening enabled more wide games to be played, followed by the traditional Hot Chocolate around the camp fire.

Sunday – Pancakes proved to be very popular, with the predictable flipping competition. Following breakfast, the Scouts walked the camp site collecting an array of different leaves from the trees and identifying the various wildlife as well as sampling the plentiful blackberries. All participated in a Scout Own reflecting on Scout and Scouting focusing on how we as individuals can achieve so much working with other scouts. The walk ended up at the assault course where the cargo net proved the most popular obstacle. With lunch devoured the last few field games were played out, with a flag down ceremony where all Scouts were presented with a Thriftwood ‘Intents’ Camping badge to close down the camp.

Earley-Troop During Covid19 Lockdown

Since the start of the start of the lock down we have looked to continue with virtual meetings using Zoom 40 minutes free sessions each and ever Friday. Here are the details of what we been up to…

+++19Mar2020+++
Hi All,
I hope this email finds you all safe and well.
For the first time since 5th Dartford inception in 1916, following the Government and The Scout Association guidance we are to suspend all face to face meeting until further notice. This impacts Friday evening meeting, St Georges Day Parade, Easter Camp, Family & Summer Camp.
I have suspended on line subs payments, and will look to return all camp deposits via post over the next week.
Baden-Powell original scouts in 1907 started with groups of boys buying weekly publications and trying out the activities with their family and friends. In this modern age of the internet we will look to maintain Scouting by virtual activities, where we will be sending activities that you can complete with your family. 
The first one is the completion of Fire Safety activity badge that we started. I will send out information 19:30 on Friday evening.
Kind regards PB
+++++++++++++

+++20Mar2020+++

The Scout activity to be undertaken this week… Please email photos and information back of what you have managed to achieved.
 
Fire Safety Activity Badge
1.       Talk to your family about what to do in the event of a fire at home
2.       Test your smoke detectors in your home
3.       Perform a risk assessment of your own home 
1.       Have you a smoke detector on each level?
2.       Do you have a carbon monied detector where you have stoves?
3.       Have you oil heaters and open solid fuel fires?
4.       Have you portable electric fires?
5.       Do you dry clothes over heaters?
6.       Do you use extension leads, electric wiring and fuses
7.       How do you use of household gas, including gas fires
8.       Have you any party decorations and candles
9.       What effect does closing doors and windows
10.   Do you use BBQs

Personal Challenge Award
Complete two personal challenges 
A few suggestions but please feel free to create your own:-

  • Give up using your games console for a week !!!
  • Help your younger brother or sister with their school work for a term
  • Learn how to communicate in basic sign language
  • Do at least an hour of physical activity every day over the summer holidays
  • Do the washing up at home for two weeks
  • Note in the attachment, any achievement that you have made over the next week.

 ++++++++++++

+++27Mar2020+++
Hi, I hope you are all keep safe and well
This week with these wonderful clear sky’s we can look revisit the Astronomer badge after our recent visit to Sutton at Hone Observatory.
In addition we can use these skills to help with our navigation to locate both north and south.
How to locate North by using your watch.
http://www.scoutsociety.org/repository/orienteering/Finding-North.html
How to locate South by the Moon
https://www.naturalnavigator.com/find-your-way-using/moon/

Astronomer Activity Badge details
Space Station – ISIS UK Fly Over Details
++++++++++++++

+++03Apr2020+++
20:00 – Open up call and get used to the app
20:10 – Virtual Scavenger Hunt
20:30 – Collect in ideas for further virtual meetings
20:35 – End of call

+++++++++++++

+++10Apr2020+++
1) Prepare and practice your jokes – First 10mins
2) Set up your virtual camp at home (a den in the back room or a tent in the back garden) – Remaining 20mins

                Sean camp fire 

+++++++++++++

+++17Apr2020+++
Congratulations to Maisie for completing her personal challenge award, please send in you completed sheets to complete yours.
This weeks challenge as the weather is good and many were talking of BBQ’s is to make your own burgers, send in your recipe and photos so that we can all vote for the winner next Friday.
Below is the one I am trying from Jamie Oliver…

Jamie Olivers  Home Made Burger Method

  • Wrap the crackers in a tea towel and smash up until fine, breaking up any big bits with your hands, then tip into a large bowl.
  • Finely chop the parsley (stalks and all), then add to the bowl with the mustard (if using), and the minced beef. 
  • Crack the egg into the bowl, then add a good pinch of sea salt and black pepper.
  • With clean hands, scrunch and mix everything up well. Divide into 6 and pat and mould each piece into a roundish shape, roughly 2cm thick. 
  • Place the burgers onto a plate, drizzle with oil, then cover and place in the fridge until needed – this will help to firm them up.
  • To cook the burgers, preheat a large griddle or frying pan for 4 minutes on a high heat, then turn the heat down to medium.
  • Place the burgers on the griddle or into the pan, then use a spatula to lightly press them down, making sure the burger is in full contact with the pan.
  • Cook the burgers for 3 or 4 minutes on each side, depending on how you like them – you may need to work in batches.

Don’t forget the astronomy badge – you can clearly see Venus this evening

2019-09-20 – Earley-Troop Night Hike

Whilst Earely Troop converged at Ingress Abbey they completed their route card,  checking the equipment they had, the weather forecast, detailing the planned route. Before setting off, time was taken to look at and review the history of the stately home which is still a family home (Lord and Lady Hailes) which was built in 1831 from stones from the old London Bridge, the follies surrounding the gardens and the curse laid on Henry VIII and all future owners of the estate from the last Abbess of Dartford! Continue reading

2019 Summer Camp – Cinque Ports Expedition

With this years summer cap plans to return to Gravelines not be possible, Kevin and Sean quickly arranged an alternative expedition camp to the south coast at Kingsdown Camp Site near Deal via public transport.

Friday 26th July: With rain clouds approaching Dartford, we meet at the train station at 10am checking people in with their run-sacs and bags. Boarding the half past train heading to Walmer away from the rain, arriving two hours later, where we shouldered our bags and headed to the coast path via Walmer castle. It was not long before bags were adjusted and trades made helping each other out as we hiked the 4 miles to the camp site.

Continue reading

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. Continue reading

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!

Continue reading

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.