Welcome to the Spring term

Welcome to the Spring term. We hope that you had a great Christmas break and are looking forward to the challenges ahead in 2015. Before we get into all that we have some unfinished business from last term.

Reports from past events
Unfortunately we got a bit behind with our reports from past events last term. However, Jacala has been busy over the holidays and has now caught up. This means that you can now see our photos from the Lord Mayors Show, Remembrance Sunday, Navigators badge weekend and bag packing in Budgens. Just click on the “Reports” link at the top of the page and then select “Already in 2014” to see all of our reports.

Parbrook Cubs on social media
We’re proud of our website and hope that you enjoy seeing our tweets when we are at camp as well as looking at the reports after the event. We’ve summarised our social media links on their own page so that you can make sure that you keep up to date with the information that you want to see. Just click on “About us” and then select “Parbrook Cubs on social media

Artist badge
Well done to everybody who completed their artist badge last term. We presented them on our last week but there were a few people missing so we’ll catch up with you this term. Some people still have one task to do so it is a good time to remind you about the County Camp badge competition. You’ll need to bring your entry in on Tuesday 6 January as we have to hand them in to the District by 12 January.

Spring term
During the holidays the leaders have been planning the programme for the term. We have a packed programme to take us through to Tuesday 24 March. One of our aims this term is to get the Sixes working better as a team and so we’ll be spending some weeks on team challenges. We’ll also be looking at science and first aid, the RSPB garden birdwatch and District Quiz.
Remember that you can download your copy of the programme and parent rota by clicking on the “this term” link at the top of the page. For more about the programme each week or dates coming up later in the year check our online calendar (on the right of this page).

Parent rota
We’ve published a weekly rota for this term. As we have a number of new members this term we have paired their parents with some of our more experienced helpers to make sure that they get a good start with us. We hope that we can find you interesting things to do and that you have had an enjoyable evening with us. If you’d like to help more regularly then do let us know.

Arrivals and departures
We’re pleased to welcome some new starters this term, especially those coming to us from Monday Beavers as they have previously mostly gone to the Dauxwood pack. During the next few weeks you’ll be working through your membership badge with Raksha. In addition to a completed personal information form you’ll also need to bring us £5 to pay for your handbook. However, you won’t need to pay any Subs to us until after half term. In order to make room for our new members we’ll be saying goodbye to some of our older members. We’ve arranged places for Lauren and Robert at Monday Scouts and Ollie at Friday Scouts. You’ll continue to do Cubs as well as visiting Scouts for the next few weeks.
We’ll be investing the Beavers and flying up to Scouts on Tuesday 10 February

Points competition
We hope that you’ve been keeping up with the Six and Cub of the month competition. You’ll see a monthly posting with the results and can find previous winners by clicking on the “Points competition” link and selecting “Six & Cub of the month” at the top of the page.
We’re happy that the Cubs like wearing the special “Cub of the month” woggle but have been looking to improve the Six competition to get them working better as a team. As a result, from this month the Six competition will have a stronger reward element. We’ll take the winning six off to do a separate activity which we hope they will enjoy. It might be a good time to remind yourself of the ways to earn points – see our points competition page.

Weekend events this term
Unfortunately we won’t be able to have our usual night away this term. With our leaders having Saturday commitments we’re struggling to find enough adults to run our weekend events.

New badges
We’ve told you previously how Scout HQ plans to introduce new activity badges and challenges in 2015. We’ve not yet been given details and so have planned this term based on the current scheme. It gives a good opportunity to get those existing challenges completed if you are already well on the way.

Compass is the new Scout HQ records system. All of our Parbrook Cubs are now on Compass as its use is compulsory. It also records details of parents which should mean that in due course it will be possible for you to log in to see your records. As well as checking that we have the correct details it should also make it easier to do badgework at home.
One of the facilities is to e-mail members. Since we don’t currently have an e-mail list it could be a useful facility. However, we want to make sure that you are not deluged with messages from Scout HQ and the rest of the group so do keep us posted if you start to see anything odd in your inbox.

The Group sets the Subs that we have to pay each term. Of this £30, a portion (£13) is paid to the Group and the rest is retained by Parbrook Cubs. See our Subs Explained document if you want to understand how this works.
This term we will again offer our Easyfundraising supporters a £10 discount on their Subs payment. In addition, we are rewarding those 11 Cubs who came to the Parbrook bag packing sessions by giving them a further £5 per bag packing session Subs discount. Just make sure that you tick the right boxes on the reply form.
If you haven’t already signed up then do visit www.easyfundraising.org.uk/parbrookcubs so that you can claim your £10 discount.

Gift Aid
The group can claim Gift Aid on Subs payments. The Group coordinator is a Parbrook parent, Tracy Viney. She tells me that the number of Gift Aid members has dropped and so the Group is missing out on this free income from the Government. If you would like the Group to be able to claim Gift Aid on your Subs please complete the Gift Aid form. It is very simple and can be backdated.
We can also claim Gift Aid on our Easyfundraising donations. This can only be done by ticking the Gift Aid box in your Easyfundraising account details – it is not covered by the Subs paperwork.

Events this term

RSPB Garden Birdwatch, Sat 24 & Sun 25 January
We’re hoping that our Cubs will take part in the annual RSPB garden birdwatch and will be running some bird themed pack meetings in the run up to the weekend. You just have to take an hour out of either of the two days and record the highest number of each type of bird that you see in your garden. You can send the results to the RSPB but don’t forget to bring your totals to Cubs on 27 January so that we can find out what is Billingshurst’s most popular garden bird.
Have a look at the RSPB site for more information, identification guides and to find out how to send in your results.

District Quiz, Monday 2 February
We’ll be entering two teams in the District Quiz. Each team will be made up of an 8 year old, 9 year old, 10 year old and one other Cub. The Quiz takes place in Petworth and is generally an interesting evening. This year the questions will be set by 1st Fittleworth.

Scout day at London Irish rugby, Sunday 22 February
We will be attending the 3rd annual Scout day at London Irish. They have again chosen their Aviva Premiership rugby match against Leicester Tigers as the Scout match. We will be opening this event to the whole Group and have booked a coach. You’ll find all the details and prices on our London Irish page. We’re pleased to report that over half the coach seats are now booked.

District trip, Saturday 21 March
Cubs from across Petworth and Pulborough District will be converging on the Historic Dockyard in Portsmouth. Our admission ticket includes access to the full naval heritage and a boat trip round the harbour. We’d welcome some additional adult help on this trip. We’re just waiting for the District to confirm the costs but for now you can record your interest on the reply form.

Painless fundraising
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. We’re delighted to record that the amount of money raised for Parbrook funds since we introduced this in 2007 has now reached £2000. Thanks to all that support us this way.
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 “donation reminder” toolbar (recently updated so that it works even better) and you’ll never miss a commission again. There is now a new ipad and iphone app so that you can be sure of getting donations on your mobile device. Remember that anybody can support us so pass on the link to your work colleagues, friends and family. 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.

Nick Layt, Jacala
on behalf of the Parbrook Cub Leaders