Summer term update

Changes at Parbrook in September: I start with some difficult news. As I noted in the start of term note, I’ve been a helper with Parbrook for almost ten years and Akela for the last three. It has been great and it is amazing to look back at what we have done and think about the number of Cubs that have been through the pack in that time. However, with time pressures increasing I have made the difficult decision to step down as Akela after Summer Camp. I’ve been offered another role in the group but won’t be helping with Parbrook from September. Although Jacala and Raksha will be staying with the pack, neither of them can commit to being Akela and so we now have to make the plea for extra adult help. It is unlikely that we’ll find a new Akela just waiting to be asked and so we need to work out how to run the pack until somebody can be found. We want to discuss this with you so will be holding a meeting for parents during our pack meeting on Tuesday 10 June, starting at 6.30pm. (We’re grateful to the Beaver leaders for staying on to run our pack during the meeting). Please have a think about anybody that you know who might fancy the role, even if you can’t do it yourself. Please contact our Group Scout Leader if you have any names to follow up.

Past events: As we look towards the second half of the summer term it seems amazing that we have managed to pack so much in since Easter. A look back at the new “reports” section of our new website shows reports from bluebells in the woods, St George’s Day parade, Jamboree on the trail (which also featured in the County Times), our pack meeting bee survey and most recently the Communicator’s badge day at Amberley.  We hope that you are keeping up with them – remember that if you follow us on Twitter or “like” our page at then you’ll be prompted when we update the website.

Cheeky monkey’s marathon challenge: Back in April we had our evening of challenges to support children with cancer in the UK. We’ve now got the sponsor money in and have sent a cheque for £207.40 to the charity. We’re hoping to hear back from them soon. Well done to all that took part and raised money for the charity.

Jamboree on the trail update: I know that those of you that went to the South Downs for our JOTT walk had a good afternoon but you may be wondering what happened to the JOTT17 badges that we’d promised you. Unfortunately the demand in the UK was so great that a further supply of badges has had to be ordered from the Canadian organisers. We’ll pass them on as soon as they arrive.

Looking ahead we have more events coming up. Remember that you can download our programme for the term.

Brazil weekend camp, 13-15 June
We picked 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). For those on our guest list please see the camp page for more information and let us have the balance of your £30 camp fees as soon as possible.

Brazilingshurst 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 or to decorate the float on the day itself please let me know. We’re very grateful to Tracy Viney who is again doing all the ringing round to try and secure us a vehicle to use in the parade.
The group has asked for assistance setting up the show on the Saturday. More details online but again please contact our Group Scout Leader if you can help.

Downs Link Cycle Ride and Picnic, Saturday 19 July
Later this 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 tell you how to check your bike and to allow you to try your hand at mending a puncture. Each week a different six will do our cycle session:

  • Red six – 24 June
  • Yellow six – 1 July
  • Green six – 8 July
  • Blue six – 15 July

You’ll find these dates listed in our calendar and in the programme for the term. Note that unfortunately we will not have time to check your bikes individually so there is no need to bring them to Cubs. Separately we’ll do the other activities required for the badge, culminating in our cycle ride and picnic on the Downs Link which will take place on 19 July. This is the first time that we have run this sort of event so we hope that you will be able to join us. Let us know by completing the reply form. The cycle ride and picnic will be open to families although we can only look after the Cubs – other children or friends will need to come with a responsible adult.

End of term pack meeting, Tuesday 22 July
We’re hoping that the long, hot summer will have kicked in by the time we get to the end of term. As usual our last meeting will be held at Nowhurst camp site near Broadbridge Heath. We’ll start with a wide game in the woods and end with a camp fire. We’re pleased to invite the whole family along for this evening which will also be my last as Akela. To allow time for everything we’ll extend Cubs to finish at 8.30pm.

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. You’ll be pleased to note that we have been able to reduce the camp fees since this camp was first advertised. We are still accepting new names for the camp if you haven’t already registered. Just let us know by completing our reply form. Unfortunately our numbers for the full camp are rather low this year and we will have to make a decision whether it is viable for this element to take place once final numbers are known. Do talk to me if you have picked the mini camp but in fact could stay longer, just not until the Saturday. We can probably come to some arrangement.

Weekend camp, 12-14 September
Hot on the heels of Summer Camp and just after we start back in September we have another weekend camp. We’ll be sleeping in tents at our local site – Nowhurst near Broadbridge Heath. We’ll be making the most of the woods and filling our weekend with fire lighting, wide games and games on the field. We hope that all our invested Cubs will want to come along as for those unsure about camping it is just up the road. Camp fees are held down thanks to our Parbrook cashback and are set at £20, unchanged from last year. You can reserve a place using our online reply form and a £10 deposit.

Sunflower competition
We launched our tallest sunflower competition about a  month ago. By now you hopefully have at least 1 sunflower seedling that is growing away. As long as you protect it from slugs and don’t let it blow over it may now be time to put it in the garden. Let us know how yours is doing. Just e-mail a picture with a height measurement to Jacala and we’ll put them on the website.

Painless fundraising
It looks to be a record breaking year for our painless fundraising. Our donations in the first quarter were over £200, partly thanks to Jacala’s holiday booking which earned us over £100 on its own. It is great to see the money coming in as more of you support this fund raising initiative.
By shopping online (at 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