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

2014-07-20 – Hike & Cub Camp

CAMPOn Friday 20th July to Sunday 22nd July the annual cub camp for Fifth Dartford Scouts commenced. A group of scouts took part in a night hike to the campsite on the Friday night. This involved scouts and some helpful explorers acting as young leaders to take leadership roles within the group and allowed them to practice their map reading skills. The scouts, explorers, parents and leaders hiked for 6 miles and arrived at camp at around 11:30pm. Although some parts were challenging, particularly the navigation and map reading, all found the hike very enjoyable. The next morning the scouts left and the cubs arrived. Many activities were laid on for the cubs on the Saturday including backwards cooking, go karting and survival bracelet making. In the backwards cooking exercise the children made boiled eggs in oranges and melted chocolate in bananas as well as frankfurter sausages in spaghetti and other original dishes. After backwards cooking the cubs we’re given time to play their independent games of football on the field. Then after lunch some of the cubs made survival bracelets whilst others took turns to slide down the make-shift waterside making the most of the hot, sunny weather. In the evening the cubs attended mass and then returned to the camp to tuck into a bbq. After all the burgers had been eaten and the cubs plastic plates and cutlery we’re clean some wide games of manhunt we’re organised by the young leaders. Shortly after the cubs we’re sent to bed read for their next busy day of activities. On the Sunday morning after breakfast the cubs took part in two trails set up by the leaders. This required teamwork and using all their senses. Eventually the time came to pack up the tents and find the owners of lost property before the parents came to pick the cubs up.

Overall cub camp 2014 was a very successful weekend and a big thanks goes out to everyone who made that possible, particularly Delia Davidson who was in charge of running the weekend and achieved her night’s away permit.

Chloe (Johnston ESU)

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)