Welcome to the Summer term

Welcome to the Summer Term – bluebells, Brazil and bikes. As usual we have a lot coming up and hope to make the most of the warm and sunny weather by being outside when we can. Although we start with bluebells, the flowery theme continues through the term as we will be planting sunflowers for our tallest sunflower competition and also doing a wild flower survey to see how bee friendly the meadows are. This all leads towards our Summer Camp at Downe where we will be finding out about Charles Darwin and working on our naturalist’s badge. Check our online calendar for more detail about each week’s programme.

Cheeky Monkey’s Marathon Challenge
We ended last term with our challenge evening. It was indeed a challenge to get through all the events in the time but most got there in the end. Thanks to our extra helpers who counted, timed and in Steve’s case hopped their way through the evening. We’ve some pictures and our report from the evening in our gallery.
We’ve already had over £70 of sponsorship money come in and hope that the rest of you will remember to bring yours in this term. Raising money, no matter how much, will mean that taking part will count towards your Community Challenge and of course we hope to be able to make a nice donation to help children with cancer in the UK.

I’ve already told you about most of our summer term events so here are some reminders with full details available on the website:

St George’s Day Parade, Sunday 27 April
St George is the patron saint of Scouting and England. Each year we have a special parade which includes the chance for all our members to reaffirm their Promise. The event is organised by a different group each year and this time it is the turn of 1st Easebourne which means that we will be heading along the A272 to Midhurst. Please see the website for maps and timings. With the whole District in attendance car parking is always an issue so please arrive early. We need to be lined up by 1.15pm so suggest that you are there by 1pm at the latest. I’ll choose our flag carrier on Tuesday and we will practice marching during our meeting. It is always difficult for the leaders to take pictures during the parade so do please bring your cameras and send Jacala your photos if you plan to watch the parade.

We seem to have caused a bit of confusion last term over Subs. Some of you have paid twice and others not at all. I’ll be in touch with you individually if you need to change the amount you pay this term but please don’t rush to pay in the first week. As usual we will use our Parbrook Cashback to make a contribution to the £30 subs that the group expects you to pay. This will mean that you only need to pay us £20. From next term this discount will only be available to those who have registered to support our painless fundraising at www.easyfundraising.org.uk/parbrookcubs.

Jamboree on the trail, Saturday 10 May
This is probably the only event in the year when Scouts from across the world do the same activity on the same day. It will be the second year that we have taken part. We’ll be starting from Whiteways car park at the top of Bury Hill and doing a circular walk that takes in parts of the Monarchs Way and South Downs Way. We’ve factored in a rest stop at Bignor Hill which will be about half way round.
We always like to open up our events to parents and families where we can and so again this will be open to anybody that would like to join us. Cubs on their own will be looked after by us but other children will need to be the responsibility of the adult that brings them. All Cubs that take part will get a special JOTT17 badge plus of course an extra hike added to their hikes away score. Although there is no charge for this event (we’ll use Parbrook Cashback to pay for the badges), it would be useful to have an idea of the numbers that we can expect so please confirm your interest on the reply form.

County communicator’s badge day, Saturday 24 May
The guest list for this East Sussex County organised trip closed at the end of last term when we passed our numbers to the organisers. We have 9 Cubs on our list and will be in touch with you individually to confirm the arrangements for the day. We plan to travel by train as shown on the website.

Brazilian weekend camp, 13-15 June
We pick up the Brazilian theme from the Billingshurst Show and will be using it for our camp at Walton Firs in June. We expect to climb Sugarloaf Mountain, explore the rain forest and head deep underground into the gold mines – all without leaving Walton Firs. We’re sorry that we had to limit the numbers at this camp but Walton Firs charge for activities in groups of 12 and we didn’t have enough campers to be able to afford two groups (24 Cubs).

Billingshurst Show, Sunday 29 June
The Brazil theme will be in our meetings and camps after half term. If you can help with our float design, at our crafty meetings on 10 and 17 June or to decorate the float on the day itself please let me know. We’re hoping that you will be able to do some of the preparation at home this year.

Cycle ride and picnic, Saturday 19 July
After half term we will be working on the cyclist badge. We’re using a Bikeability instructor who will be visiting our pack meetings in June and July to check your bikes and to allow you to try your hand at mending a puncture. Separately we’ll do the other activities required for the badge, culminating in our cycle ride and picnic on 19 July. We’ll send you more information in our Summer Term update after half term but do make a note of the date and check the programme to see when you can bring your bike in.

Summer camp, 10-16 August
Our main camp of the year is our week long Summer Camp. This year we will be going to Downe Scout Activity Centre which is near Biggin Hill. We will be spending time in the woods, abseiling, having a go at the crate challenge and visiting the home of Charles Darwin which is nearby. We’ll be working on our camper, naturalist and backwoods cooking badges. As usual we have the full camp from Sunday to Saturday and a mini-camp from Sunday to Wednesday. If you reserved your place with a £10 deposit last term then the balance needs to be paid by the end of term – no rush to do it immediately unless you’d like to do it in stages. We are still accepting new names for the camp if you haven’t already registered.

Join our team
I’m always grateful for the support that we get from you, the Cub parents. Whether it is taking kit to camp or helping out in a busy pack meeting then I know that the support is available. Everybody has skills that we can use and we’d like to make the best of them. We call it Team Parbrook.
When we were planning the programme we realised that our uniformed team has remained much the same since Jacala joined us in 2006. This stability is great but we do find that we are running out of new ideas to keep the Parbrook programme fresh and exciting. We’re looking for new adults to join our team on a regular basis so if you have been thinking about some things that you’d like the Cubs to do or fancy getting more involved in our camps and expeditions do please get in touch. Since Keego left last year we have fewer uniformed leaders than we’d like which can cause problems when one of us is unavailable. We want to make sure that Parbrook remains the best Cub pack in the area but can only do that with your help. Please get in touch if you’d like to know more about how to get more involved, even if you can’t help us every week.

Painless fundraising                                                                                     8 www.parbrook.org.uk/funds.htm
I do seem to go on a lot about our painless fundraising but hopefully you’ll have spotted the real difference it makes to the running of our pack as we continue to do more for less. It is only by using this extra income that we are able to reduce your contribution to subs by £10 a term, to continue to subsidise our camps and expeditions and to invest in new equipment for the pack. We all benefit – but only if you help us by raising the money in the first place.
By shopping online (at www.easyfundraising.org.uk/parbrookcubs) you can raise money for us at no extra cost. With over 3000 online shops to choose from there is something for everybody. You won’t remember them all so download the “find & remind” toolbar and you’ll never miss a commission again. Thanks to everybody already supporting us this way. While the donations stay with Parbrook Cubs for us to use, the group also benefits as it can claim back Gift Aid on our donations (if you ticked that box when you registered).

As ever, please get in touch if you have any questions or concerns about our activities.


Karen Brooks, Akela