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.
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.
On 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.
At 3pm on Sunday 20th July four Philpott Beavers were presented with the highest award that can be achieved as a Beaver. The event was held at St Marys Church Greenhithe and the boys were presented with their certificates by Jacqui Wilkinson A.D.C. for Beavers. It was a very hot humid afternoon but the boys still managed to look cool and smart. Well Done Lucas, Jake, Thomas and Rocco
Since 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.
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.
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.
On Wednesday 14th May 2014 Philpott Beavers visited Pets at Home in Crayford as part of their Animal Friend Badge. So at 6pm 15 Beavers could be found sat on saw-dust bales passing around an adorable 12 week old small black rabbit. Some of the boys loved to cuddle and stroke it whilst some remained much more sceptical. Next were two Guinea pigs of different colours and Dave our expert for the evening told us many facts and answered numerous questions.
Then after cleaning our hands we headed off upstairs to meet James and his menagerie of Bearded Dragons, Snakes and Geckos. What a treat being able to touch feel and watch these creatures.
An hour and a half later we left having had a brilliant experience.
So very many thanks to the Manager Darren for arranging the visit and Dave & James for their patience.