Welcome to the Summer term

Welcome to the Summer term. We hope that you had an enjoyable Easter break. We’ve planned another packed programme of activities to take us through to July and beyond, We’ve 3 camps booked plus the chance to earn more badges at pack meetings and with a little extra work at home.

Leaders Before I get too carried away with the activities we have to first focus on the people who deliver the programme each week. As you may have seen, at the end of last term we were very sad to say goodbye to Raksha and Bagheera. We thank them for all their help, in Raksha’s case over very many years with 1st Billingshurst. She’s agreed to continue helping behind the scenes with badges and our banking which we’re very grateful for. More positive is that Baloo has agreed to take on the top Cub Leader job and will be Akela from this term. His first priority is to find some new regular helpers. We’re pleased to be joined temporarily by a Dauxwood Cub parent who will be ensuring that we have two adults present at the start of a meeting. We will also be operating our parent rota again and hope that you will be able to take your turn. There is more information about helping at our meetings online. In addition to pack meetings we are also looking for helpers at our activities and camps. With us it isn’t just the child that joins the cubs – it is a family affair and we hope everybody feels welcome. If you are not sure what you could do to help please ask, or see our join us page for some ideas.

Events As usual we have a lot coming up. This term we are extending our Groupspaces facility that we use for group e-mails so that you can book your place on our camps and trips. You can also use it to say no to events so that we know that you won’t be coming. We’re introducing payments via online banking so no need for cheques or envelopes of cash unless you want to. You’ll get our bank details by e-mail when you book a place on a paid for event (or select your subs category). Please make sure that you use your Cub’s name as the reference if paying online. We considered moving to full online payment but this would see an extra 3.5% added to all our costs as the card handling fee. Compass, the Scout HQ records system that is currently offline, has promised a payment facility so we’ll see what it has to offer. Details of all our events can most easily be found by clicking on the “Events” menu at the top of the page. Here is a quick summary of what is coming up:

  • St George’s Day parade: one of the two parades each year that we hope all our members will attend. The District parade will be held in Petworth this year.
  • Jamboree on the trail: we’ve decided to repeat our popular family walk in the South Downs for our part of the international jamboree where Scouts across the world all go hiking on the same day. Although there is no charge we would like you to register your interest so that we know how many people to expect.
  • Naturalist badge : East and West Sussex Cubs are coming together for a day at Amberley museum. In addition to all the activities normally available  they will be running extra events to complete the Naturalist badge. Register via Groupspaces but please note the early closing date of 28 April as we have to give our numbers to the organisers.
  • Weekend camp: Our next camp will be held just up the road at Nowhurst camp site near Broadbridge Heath. We’ll be sleeping in tents and are grateful to Hawkeye, Matt Copley and John Harris for coming along to help. Marian would still like a kitchen helper. On Sunday it is Father’s Day so we are inviting Dads to come along and join us for the day. Register via Groupspaces.
  • Summer camp: Our main camp of the year takes place in August at Bentley Copse near Cranleigh. We hope that we’ll get a good level of interest for our camp which runs from Sunday to Saturday (or to Wednesday if you don’t fancy the whole week). Because of Cub Centenary celebrations we won’t be able to run  our own Summer Camp in 2016 so please make the most of this one. As soon as costs are confirmed we’ll make the Groupspaces registration available.
  • Weekend camp: Our final camp of 2015 takes us back to Stedham near Midhurst from 25-27 September. It has been closed for the last few years since West Sussex County Council sold it off so we’re really pleased to be heading back to one of our favourite sites. You’ll be able to reserve a place with a deposit payment as soon as we have our confirmation back from the site. Have a look at our photos from 2012 for an idea of what the site is like.

Subs We’re sorry to say that 1st Billingshurst has increased subs from this term. They rise from £30 per person per term to £35. We’re still offering a £10 per person per term reward for our Easyfundraising supporters (see our Subs Explained document if you want to understand how this works). Please let us know which Subs you are paying by registering on Groupspaces. In the last quarter we raised some £67 through our supporters shopping online. While this is great it is clearly not enough to cover 24 x £10 rewards so please do your best to remember Easyfundraising when you shop online, With the iphone app and donation reminder toolbar it should be even more painless to raise money for us when you are shopping online.

Badges In addition to hikes away, naturalist and nights away we will be working on some other badges this term:

  • Farm to fork – thanks to all that have now completed the badge by letting us know about much travelled items in their kitchen. We’re plotting them all on a map which we’ll share when we have had a few more replies. We’ll present the special badges to those that have completed the badge and leave the form online for the rest of you.
  • Animal carer – this is our featured badge between now and half term. We hope to follow-up our succesful visit to Tesco with an evening at Pets at Home in Horsham. We’ve put a date in the programme and are waiting for them to confirm. You can still complete the badge even if you don’t have your own pet. Those that did the garden birdwatch in January will have a credit for part of the badge. If you have a pet we’d like to hear about them. We’ve allocated 2 weeks when you can bring in a picture, tell us their name, what they eat and any other interesting facts. You’ll only have a couple of minutes and please don’t bring in your actual pet.

Points competition We continue to celebrate our best six each month by having a reward evening when they get to do a special activity. The sumo wrestling has proved very popular. Remember that you can earn points for yourself by completing badges, being at Cubs on time at the start of the meeting (6.30pm), being smartly turned out at inspection and by representing us at events. In addition the six can earn points through games and activities at pack meetings. You can 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.

Billingshurst Show We’re in a bit of a fix with the show this year. With Bagheera’s departure we’ve lost our creative genius who would have designed our float. We’ve got a couple of weeks allocated in the programme but really need somebody to design and coordinate our entry ahead of the show on 28 June. The theme this year is red, white and blue so please get in touch if you can help. We’ll also need a stall to run at the show itself so again please get in touch if you have any ideas, especially if not a tombola!

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. This term marks the start of a new chapter for us. We hope to build on the best bits and embrace new ideas but we can’t do it on our own. As part of the Parbrook family we all need to work together to ensure that we remain the best Cub pack around.

Nick Layt, Jacala on behalf of the Parbrook Cub Leaders