Scouts at Scarefest 2018
From 26th to 28th October some brave 1st Brookwood Scouts attended the annual Scarefest event at Gilwell Park in Chingford. Scarefest is a spooktacular weekend activity camp for Scouts, Explorers, Guides and Rangers. On Saturday participants could take part in a range of frightfully fun activities before Gilwell Park was transformed into a park of horror at nightfall when the spine-chilling shenanigans commenced. Amongst the fun Halloween games, giant inflatables and traditional scouting activities such as Jacob’s Ladder, archery, caving and climbing our scouts were given the chance to look super scary with some brilliant face painting as you can see below. The event also included a wonderful firework display enjoyed by all.
Halloween fun 2018
In October the Cubs dressed up in their brilliant Halloween costumes and had great fun carving pumpkins at the final session of the half-term. To see their amazing creations please click here.
Scouts victorious at Esher Night Hike
This Autumn the 1st Brookwood Scouts were overall winners of the Esher Night Hike. A fantastic effort by all that took part.
Cub Camp 2018
On the last weekend in September, a contingent from 1st Brookwood Cubs ventured away on an Autumn Camp in at Bentley Copse Activity Centre near Shere. Practicing putting up tents was the main agenda for the previous two evening meetings – for many Cubs this was the first time they had done this on their own – as well as learning what clothes and equipment they would need to bring to keep them safe and warm on their adventure.
After much planning, and many rainy days, Saturday 29th dawned warm and sunny, and with the help of both Cubs and Parents, we load a mountain of equipment into a hired van and parents’ cars, and set off to Bentley Copse.
On arrival, the first task was to construct the kitchen tent and mess area, while the 18 Cubs were divided into “sixes” – small groups that we named after animals – and set up their own tents in those groups. After a quick tent inspection, it was time for lunch and then straight into the afternoon activities.
Bentley Copse has many exciting things to do on site, and the Cubs learnt about the Country Side Code as well as thoroughly enjoying shooting air rifles in the indoor range and an amazing 3D maze complete with spooky surprises in the dark!
Supper of hearty chicken stew (and a veggie alternative) was followed by the traditional campfire. We were lucky enough to be hosted by 1st Sheerwater group at their campfire, with the young people all making up and presenting skits, as well as joining in all the songs. It was fantastic to hear the 100 or so voices around the campfire!
After hot chocolate and marshmallows, it was time for bed – quite a chilly night at only 3 degrees – but the Cubs all slept well and were up bright and early for breakfast and a 7.5 km hike through the Surrey Hills taking in Pitch Hill and its wonderful view.
Lunch came next, and then the daunting task of clearing away the campsite and loading the transport – which the Cubs all helped with superbly. Then, after a wide game or two, cake and prize giving (the Giraffes six earned the most points during the weekend – well done to them) it was time to depart back to HQ to stow away all the gear, before all heading home tired but full of great new experiences.
For many of our Cubs this was their first Camp – congratulations to them, and for the Leaders it was the first most of them had organised from scratch. We were delighted with all the smiles, and with seeing the Cubs develop their skills, teamwork and confidence over the weekend. Well done to them all, and a huge thank you to the organisers and parent helpers, without whom these events would not be possible. To see the brilliant photos from the camp please click here.
Cubs Community Litter Pick
During the summer the 1st Brookwood Cubs willingly did their bit for the local community by picking up litter from the village.
Bike Skills and Pursuit Race
One summer evening the scouts were out in force, improving their cycling skills, with obstacle courses, balance games and finishing off with a pursuit race (pictured). After such a sunny day it was lucky it had cooled down a bit in the evening, but it was nice to be outside!
Surrey County Lightweight Expedition Winners
Over last weekend, five 1st Brookwood scouts competed with 21 other teams in the Surrey County lightweight competition, the main hiking competition for the county. They camped over two nights, carried all their equipment and food and navigated a total of 26 miles, while being assessed at almost every component of the camp. As a competitive team, they were completely independent with no guidance from leaders.
They did this with hard work, skill and exemplary behaviour. As a result I am very pleased to inform you that with very strong competition, our team won the competition, and were awarded the trophy by the County Scout Commissioner. Overall, an excellent weekend for 1st Brookwood scouts, and our congratulations to the team.
Back to Basics Cub Camp
For this camp, 9 cubs from 1st Brookwood joined a district event with 107 cubs in total. There were activities during the day like backwoods cooking, including preparing mackerel and making dampers, fire starting, paracord bracelets, making wooden signs with fire brands and archery. It rained on Saturday afternoon but all the cubs stayed very cheerful. After a hike on Sunday the cubs all went home, many after doing their first nights camping without parents. Well done to them, and to Jason for organising the camp.
Mini CSI Evening
The cookies have gone missing. Can the Cubs study the crime scene, unravel the clues and deduce who is the culprit? A sprinkling of Wink Murder and photofit activities completed a fun-filled evening
Scouts May Camp
Over the early May Bank Holiday in 2018 from the Friday afternoon to Monday morning a group of 1st Brookwood scouts went on camp at Walton Firs in Cobham. We had 16 Scouts, 2 young leaders and 4 leaders. Quite a few of the scouts had not had much camping experience before, but did very well, helped by some of the more experienced ones. The weather was glorious. The trip included caving, crate stacking, buggy building, a hike and plenty of camp fires.
Woking District Lightweight Expedition
Over a weekend in March, four of our scouts hiked over 30km as a team, plotting their own route and hiking it quickly without getting lost. The weekend included setting up their own camp and doing their own catering as a team. This was done as a part of the Woking District Lightweight competition, around the Petersfield area. Below is a picture of them at camp in between the two days.
A packed crowd in the Brookwood Memorial Hall enjoyed a brilliant night of fun as a Chocolate Bingo evening was organised just before Easter. It was great to see the Beavers, Cubs and Scouts and their siblings form an orderly queue at the end of the night to receive an egg each. Mums and Dads were also thrilled to be given a bag of Mini Eggs on their way home. We look forward to more chocolate fun in 2019.
Quiz Night Success
Another fantastic annual quiz was held at the Brookwood Memorial Hall on Saturday 10th March 2018 with over 80 people taking part, raising funds for the 1st Brookwood Group. Many thanks to everyone that came along and to those that helped organise and deliver a great evening. Congratulations to the winning team. We look forward to next year’s event.
Elizabeth Barracks Welcome Brookwood Beavers
Our enthusiastic Beavers were put through their paces at the Elizabeth Barracks at Pirbright Camp for one Friday evening meeting.
Mother’s Day Crafts
Top secret Friday evening and the Cubs had such fun making beautiful Origami Mother’s Day cards as well as home made truffles. Some of the truffles even survived being eaten on the night and made it home for the Sunday!
Woking District Cubs Sports Night
On 24th February a group of 12 Cubs from 1st Brookwood took part in the Woking District Cub Sports Evening at Woking Leisure Centre. The Cubs were able to have a play in the soft play area, do some football and volleyball, take instruction on self defence and have fun trampolining. The evening concluded with the various Cub packs from the district having exclusive use of the Leisure Lagoon at the Pool in the Park. A great night was had by all.
Celebrating Chinese New Year
To celebrate this event and work towards the Cubs International activity badge, the Cubs all played some traditional Chinese games, learnt counting and some phrases, created wonderful symbols and sampled delicious food. We were very grateful to Chop Suey House in Knaphill for the kind donation of the scrummy spring rolls and enough fortune cookies for the entire group.
Fire Safety and Tin Can Pancakes
Who knew you can use those old soup tins and a tea light to make yummy pancakes… An informative and exciting evening in which the Cubs learnt more about fire safety, including how to create an evacuation plan for their home use, and then constructed a nifty way to make pancakes in an unusual manner. We love backwoods cooking!
In early February each of the 3 sections enjoyed a night of bowling at a local bowling alley with mixed teams of Beavers, Cubs and Scouts taking part together. Everyone had lots of fun and are looking forward to the next group activity.
At the Burns Night meeting in January, our Cubs helped prepare Haggis, Neeps and Tatties, made Cranachan, read some of Burns’ poetry and took part in some traditional Scottish pastimes.
Swimming Up and Investing New Leaders
In January a number of Beavers took part in the ‘swimming up’ ceremony to become part of the 1st Brookwood Cub pack, now that they are 8 years old.
Also on the same evening one of the volunteers was invested as a uniformed leader. Without such volunteers taking on the role and all the associated training the group would not survive so we are very grateful to all our leaders and young leaders too.
Welcoming New Beavers
The new Beavers being invested at the 1st Brookwood Group in 2018. Proud parents watched on as their child’s scouting journey begins.
One Friday evening, each of the 1st Brookwood sections enjoyed getting up close and cuddly with a variety of reptiles provided by a local reptile expert from Pentangle Aquatics.
A great evening of fun as the Beavers tried building towers with Logo.
Christmas Tree Collections
On Sunday 7th January, a group of Cubs and Scouts from the 1st Brookwood Group collected approximately 70 Christmas trees from residents in Brookwood and Sheets Heath. The trees were then transported to a local collection site. Residents made donations to the group and the initiative raised £567.75 including gift aid to be reclaimed.
This year half of the money raised is going to help with fundraising for Woking District Scouts attending the World Jamboree 2019. The collection teams on Sunday were hugely boosted by these Scouts, their parents and other District volunteers. The group would like to thank all the local residents who supported this scheme.
Carol singing at Brookwood Station
Commuters at Brookwood Station were entertained by the 1st Brookwood Group on Friday 15th December when our Beavers, Cubs and Scouts sang Christmas carols and handed out mince pies during the evening rush hour. A collection was held for Woking Hospice and we are delighted to announce that a total of £261 was raised on the night from the donations. A huge thank you to everyone that took part, including a number of parents and leaders and thanks also to the local community for their generosity.
Community Christmas Cards
Towards the end of the Autumn term, the Cubs enjoyed making Christmas cards for the homeless + building our own community-themed board games.
During November there was a continuation of the first-aid training that has been received during the time with Beavers + Cubs.
Remembrance Day Service 2017
On Sunday 12th November 2017, the 1st Brookwood Group joined members of the armed forces and the Police at a moving Remembrance Day service at Brookwood Cemetary. Each of the 3 sections of Beavers, Cubs and Scouts was well attended despite the cold weather.
Chief Scout Gold Award
In November two of our scouts did their final presentation to the rest of the scouts, leaders and parents. They were then presented with the top Scout badge, the Chief Scout Gold, by the Woking District Commissioner, Liz Pocknell.
On the last meeting before Halloween, the Cubs had a fantastic time carving pumpkins with some brilliant designs on display.
Tents & bandages
One Friday evening the Cubs had great fun pitching tents and practising putting bandages on each other in the hall.
Cubs support charity swimathon
On Sunday 8th October 2017, 4 Cubs from the 1st Brookwood Group, along with 3 older siblings, took part in a Swimathon, organised by the Woking Rotary Club. This charity fund-raising event took place at the Pool in the Park in Woking and amongst the beneficiaries was the Birchmere Scout site that our group uses. Each of the swimmers took turns to swim a length at a time and our Cubs managed a total of 78 lengths in 55 minutes. Together the team raised approximately £300 and were delighted to each receive a medal upon completion of the swim. Well done to everyone that took part!
‘Swimming up’ ceremony
With a number of our Beavers recently turning 8 and therefore now old enough to move up to Cubs, one Friday evening in September 2017 there was a ‘swimming up’ ceremony for 7 of them. The Beavers sat on mats and waved goodbye to the rest of the colony and were pulled by Cubs using rope to bring them across the ‘river’.The Cubs happily accepted them into their pack and the ceremony was watched and enjoyed by family members of both sections. New Cubs Leaders were also invested during the evening.
Dampers and camp fire
Our Cubs had a whale of a time this term making dampers – filled with jam, marshmallows or chocolate spread, finding sticks outside and then cooking them over a camp fire.
Tents and Den building
Our Beavers had fun recently when they went out to some local heathland to build tents and dens.
Scouts night hike
On Saturday 7th October, there was a district night hike, with 20 scout teams doing an 8 mile hike course in the Dorking area. This started at 8pm and finished at around 2:30 AM. 1st Brookwood fielded two teams, a training team who had less experience and so were supported by leaders, though did the tests by themselves, along with most of the navigation. There was also a Brookwood ‘A team’ who plotted a route and then walked the course on their own. The course had a number of checkpoints, where Scouts had to do tests on things like first aid, teamwork etc. We were very pleased with their performance, both groups worked well together as teams and supported each other.
The photo below is of the training team doing their first aid test at a checkpoint at around 1AM.
Scoutabout takes place every three years, and this time was at Ardingly for a full weekend. Approximately 5,000 scouts from all across Surrey attended. 1st Brookwood Scouts were there, as a combined group with the Knaphill Guides for the first time.
There were activities during the day, set up by the huge amount of scout and guide groups present, from drone flying, quad biking, blacksmiths, wood carving, paddle boarding and too many other things to mention. We as a group did a maze/orienteering that a large number of scouts enjoyed. There were concerts and films in the evening that were enjoyed by all. This was a highly successful event, and huge thanks to all the Scouts and Guide leaders who put all the effort into planning it.
Beavers Pirate Fun Day
A number of Beavers from the 1st Brookwood Group enjoyed a day out at Mizens Miniature Railway in Woking in June 2017 as part of a District Beavers event. The Beavers had exclusive use of the site and as well enjoying rides on the different steam and diesel engines they loved the bouncy castle slide and joining in with various pirate themed craft activities.
Camp fire, tents and marshmallows
One Friday evening the Beavers had a fantastic time outside the hall toasting marshmallows on a camp fire and drinking hot chocolate. They had fun practising putting up tents in preparation for the various camps they will go on throughout their scouting experience. It’s fair to say there was plenty of running around and lots of excitement and everyone had a thoroughly enjoyable time.
Celebratating St George
On Sunday 23rd April, a vast contingent from the 1st Brookwood Group took part in the St George’s Day parade at Woking Football Club. It was a wonderful afternoon with around 300 Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorers in total from a range of local groups taking part in the celebration.
The 18-25 year old Explorers performed the George and the Dragon story as a “rock opera” which was brilliant. The various categories of Scouts then took part in an adapted “cat and mouse” game in which youngsters dressed as St George ran after “dragons” who were carrying banners with Scouts promises. Once they had caught the dragons and retrieved the banners, the St Georges handed them to the Scout leaders and the Scouts all renewed their promises – a key part of the themes of the St George’s Day celebrations.
The 1st Brookwood Group was well supported by family and friends sitting in the stand cheering them on, especially during the Samba dance led by the Explorers. The event concluded with the youngsters each receiving a well deserved and much appreciated doughnut. Liz Pocknell, District Commissioner said “It was joyful – a true celebration. I am proud to lead such a positive group of people who achieve so much”.
Buddhist Temple visit
On Friday 31st March 2017 a group of 1St Brookwood Beavers and Cubs visited the Dhammakaya Temple Woking in order to studdy the basics of Buddhism.
Upon arrival, the monks and members of temple staff gave the Beavers and Cubs a warm welcome and showed them around the temple as well as introduced the temple’s activities to them. The young people were given a lesson giving a basic introduction to meditation and taught how to think of your mind as a crystal ball and keep the image of this held at the centre of your body to keep the mind still and balanced. The group were then shown around the different areas of the temple including the meditaion room, Luangpoo, the great master room, and Hor Chan, the dining room.
After that the spokesman of the temple gave the group a talk about how to improve one’s self as a person by learning the benefits of giving, keeping precepts and practicing meditation to conclude the day. Many of the Beavers and Cubs told us that they had thoroughly enjoyed their visit and our hosts were all very honoured and pleased that it was such an enjoyable day.
Woking Fire Station visit
On Friday 17th March more than 35 Beavers and Cubs visited Woking Fire Station in its new(ish) home for a combined evening event. After an introductory talk by fire-fighters Marty and Mike, we were shown around the watch room and then given a detailed viewing and explanation of the fire engines and all the equipment they carry.
Moving outside, we we introduced to the fire tower, experiencing the “cosmetic smoke” as well as pitch dark – two of the major challenges in a fire rescue situation. It was clear that the most exciting activity came at the end of the evening when one of the fire engines was moved into the outside area and each young person was able to operate a fire hose – some very broad smiles were evident as they sprayed water and tried to give the adults a good soaking…
We were incredibly lucky to spend two hours there uninterrupted by emergency callouts, and are very grateful to the Watch for their welcome and for taking the time to host such a large group. The Beavers and Cubs were superbly well behaved, and full of questions (memorably “can you fight fire with fire?” and “can you walk on water?”) which the unflappable fire-fighters fielded without breaking stride – proving that they are indeed ready for anything!
Experimenting with Science
One Saturday afternoon 12 Beavers from 1st Brookwood joined a number of other local Beaver Sections in a Science Day held at Knaphill. Overall some 50+ Beavers took part in a range of practical activities and experiments including:
- nature – artefacts from the natural world
- sensory – identifying substances by feel and by smell; sound experiments
- simple electric circuits & potato powered clocks
- air rocket building (and “stomping”)
- fluids – densities, acid/alkali, food dyed flowers, chromatography
- gases – CO2 volcano, seeing how how candles burn oxygen, rising & sinking raisins in lemonade, yeast inflated balloons
The stomp rockets were popular, with some even disappearing over the Scout Hut roof! As well as squash and biscuits at half-time (an activity on digestion?) the Beavers all went home with big smiles (and shoe boxes filled with the results of their experiments) as well as having earned the Experiment Activity Badge.
It was fantastic to be able to represent 1st Brookwood at the event, and the Beavers made us proud with their good behaviour and enthusiasm. Our thanks go to Woking District for organising the fun-filled afternoon, to Geraldine Meldrum-Dolan (our Assistant District Commissioner for Beavers) for running the session, and to all the volunteer helpers on the day who ran the stands, assisted the Beaver groups, and made tea throughout!
It has been quite a while since we last attended an event outside of the 1st Brookwood Group – and now we have had such a good experience we hope this will lead to greater adventures.
At one of the group meetings the Cubs put up tents in the hall, practicing their teamwork and preparing for future camping. It also helps to make sure all the tents are in good working order. This helped towards their Adventure and Teamwork badges.
Grass Heads fun…
The Beavers latest creations… bald now but in a few weeks all will have a full head of grass!
Recently, Cubs spent an evening learning about disabilities and understanding the challenges people with disabilities have. Split into small groups, they worked on practical examples, including:
- communicating sentences without using non verbal techniques.
- learning the difficulties of understanding spoken words when able to see but not hear the speaker.
- making a jam sandwich while unable to see anything.
The evening’s tasks and discussions all worked towards the Disability Awareness activity badge.
Beavers ready for take-off
Last week the Beavers began working towards their Air Activities stage 1 badge with a fun evening learning about different types of aircraft and even making paper aeroplanes. Each Beaver was tasked with finding out about an aircraft (i.e. Concord) and telling their section and others about an aircraft (real or imagined) that they would like to fly in and why. They were able to drawing or models to illustrate their choice of aircraft.
District Award For 1st Brookwood Scouts
We are proud to show the 1st Brookwood A team being presented with the the District Night Hike trophy. They came 1st out of 26 teams in the competition at the end of November. A great achievement by all those involved.
Beavers Being Busy…
At a recent Beavers meeting the task was to create an image of an owl in salt dough working towards the skills challenge badge with expert tutelage from Seren. The Beavers were able to take their creations home, bake and decorate.
Christmas Tree Collections
On 7th January 1st Brookwood Scouts braved the cold and rain to collect Christmas trees from the households in Brookwood in return for donations from the residents.
Split into two groups, heading left and right from the Memorial Hall, the dozen or so willing helpers from Cubs, Scouts (and one Beaver) tracked down all the households who had signed up to the scheme, found the donation (either in a somewhat soggy envelope tied to the tree, or via a polite knock at the door), and carried them to one of several piles along the main road, where they were collected by van/trailer and transferred to the temporary recycling point in Pirbright.
It was fantastic to be able to help the community – we were even able to accept a number of on the day additional trees, and the generous donations, totalling £420 for the “collection service”, which was significantly higher than last year, will help fund more exciting activities for the Group.
All agreed that the high point was the additional donation of spare Christmas Candy Canes from one household, which the team savoured on the walk back to the hall.
Thank you to all who took part – the organisers, Cubs and Scouts, and especially the residents of Brookwood for their generosity in supporting the scheme.
The end of year party for 1st Brookwood Scouts, with bowling and pizza for everyone, with 60 scouts, cubs and beavers attending. A big thank you to all the organisers and leaders who helped out, it was a really awesome night. This brings to an end another year for the group, with plenty to reflect on. Our Scouts are building a track record of success in their competitive activities, becoming the team to beat in orienteering. After many years of key support for the group, some leaders will be moving on at the end of this year to Scouting pastures new, with our sincere thanks and appreciation. It has also been inspiring to see a large number of new volunteers step in to fill the gaps and build on the examples that have been set. 2017 is set to be an exciting year.
Remembrance Day Service
Beavers, Cubs and Scouts of 1st Brookwood were all proud to attend the Remembrance Day Service at Brookwood Cemetary on Sunday 13th November 2016. Some of the youngsters also participated in the service by laying a wreath and bearing the flag of the 1st Brookwood group.
Eyes Down For A Full House
A fantastic night of fun was had by all as Chocolate Bingo fever hit Brookwood on Friday 11th November 2016. Great to see the Memorial Hall at full capacity. An excellent fund-raising event and well done to everyone involved in organising a brilliant evening.