2009-05-22/25 – District Jamboree

On Friday 22nd May, the leaders set off bright and early to Walton Firs campsite in Cobham to set up what was to be a very successful Jamboree camp indeed. The weather was the best we’d seen this year and our booty of awards was a fair haul too. The Fifth netted 1st place for both the over and under 14’s cardboard canoe race with a first and second place overall; and thanks to the Collins Cub Pack, the 5th also won the tug-o-war. Accreditation was also received with the 5th winning a third in the Cubs gun carriage race.

The overall camp atmosphere was bustling and just listening to the group at mealtimes it was clear the group were having a fab time. Thanks, as always, to the 5ths leadership team for “making it happen” for not only its own members, but also all the other scouts/cubs/beavers at the jamboree who enjoyed safe excitement on the canoing on the lake and on the pioneering zip-wire, which was built by the 5th’s Leaders.

2009-05-19 – Bear Grylls – Chief Scout

bear-gryllsThe adventurer and former SAS reservist Bear Grylls, most commonly seen on television jumping from helicopters, plunging over waterfalls, climbing inside dead camels and eating anything that still wriggles, has been appointed the chief scout.

In its boldest move for some years, the Scout Association handed the daredevil presenter a remit to help attract the 6,000 volunteer adult leaders it urgently needs to clear the waiting lists of 33,000 children – including Grylls’s own.

“It’s the proudest appointment I’ve ever had,” Grylls said yesterday, explaining that he first learnt survival techniques as a scout. “Scouting is where it all began. It gave me a lot of confidence. Sitting round the camp fire, I would have laughed – as would the leader – if I had known I would one day become chief scout.”

2009-05-09 – Jamboree on the Trail


Jamboree On The Trail is an annual day for the World Scout Movement to hike together, whatever age and wherever they may be in the world. In their own way, everyone will be hiking the same direction: towards a better future through Scouting.

There was a fantastic turnout at Sevenoaks station at 08:30 this morning, with @ 100 Scouts, Leaders and parents turning up for the 17 mile Dartford District 2009 JOTT.  Along the way there were numerous pickup points and our numbers grew to staggering 667, which was a record breaker.    

Alas I only got to take a few photo’s as everyone was eager to crack on as opposed to posing for the camera, but I’ve captured some beautiful scenic pictures of the Darent Valley trail.  Everyone had a great time and aside from one splinter, from a gate overlooking the old Roman Villa at Lullingstone, there were no injuries.  

I’m looking forward to next years JOTT already, where I hope to see the 5th extend the start point to 20 miles – just to show everyone else that the 5th not only go the extra mile, but three. Anyone second that?

2009-05-05 – Mayor’s Charity Presentation

Dartford’s Mayor, Ian Armitt, used his last evening in the job to present cheques to 14 volunteer organisations and charities, from nearly £30,000 that he raised for his charity appeal during his year. We were lucky enough to receive a cheque for £2,000 from the Mayor and the Leader of the Council is also going to contribute £1,500 as part of his commitment at our AGM last year, to match the Mayor’s generosity. The money will go into our New Hall fund.

At the event at the Civic Centre on May 5th, the Mayor also gave the Mayor’s Award for Volunteers 2008/9 to each of the organisations, specifically recognising the efforts of all of the volunteers that help organisations like ours. I would like to add my thanks to the Leaders, Assistant Leaders, members of various committees, parents and helpers and all of those people who volunteer time and money to make the 5th Dartford one of the most successful Scout Groups in the County.

Neil Young, 5th Dartford Group Chair.


2009-05-04 – 2nd Annual Shooting Competition

Monday 4th May was a busy day for the 5th, with a marquee hired out in Hextable park, which went up at @9am, with many hands assisting. The main event was of course the 6yd Target Shooting competition, which saw a good turnout and a well run, safe and fun day was had by all. There were several competitions consisting of Scouts (10 1/2 – 14 1/2) 6yd rifle, Explorers (14 1/2 – 18) 6yd rifle, Adult Male 6yd rifle, Adult Female 6yd rifle and this year we also had 10m rifle and 6yd pistol too. There were also some fun prises for closest to the secret number, and highest scoring family. There are too many winners to list them all in text, but please see the attached screenshots of the winners and scores. It should be noted that all instructors voluntarily excluded their scores from any prizes, although in my case it would have made no difference at all 😆

Well done to everyone who competed.

2009-05-02 – Thank you Travis Perkins




The climbing wall was recently closed whilst a thorough inspection of the scaffold and the boards was undertaken. Dave Monteith decided that the time had come to replace the boards to ensure the continued safety of our climbers and visitors. In order to facilitate these repairs as cost effectively as possible I contacted my very good friend Andy Hood, who is the Manager at Travis Perkins in Woolwich.  Andy told me that Travis Perkins had a community program and may be able to assist by donating some of the timber required to affect our repairs. Thankfully, this was the case and Travis Perkins delivered some 300KG of timber in varying sizes, which were not only of use on the scaffold, but for other upcoming projects too. Having gratefully received this donation, we found that we had sufficient funds to purchase (at very favourable rates,) some specially ordered scaffold boards for the upper levels of the scaffold, thus ensuring safe footing for many years to come. I would like to thank Andy and Travis Perkins on behalf of all at the 5th, for their assistance with this project; and would like to think we could call upon their services again when we build our Ice wall and new HQ.