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Report: Spy school weekend camp

Our weekend camp in September 2018 took us back to lovely Stedham in the South Downs. It was to be a level 3 camp sleeping in tents but had to change to a level 2 instead.

Camping at the end of September can be a bit of a gamble with the weather and we really got hit this year. Forecasts of heavy rain and gales meant that we had to change our plans. We decided to still go to Stedham but the Cubs had to sleep inside where we knew they would be dry and warm.

This was the last camp to be run by the current leader team before they step down at Christmas. We are urgently looking for new leaders to start a new chapter with Parbrook Cubs from January 2019.


As the Cubs arrived on Friday they made their ID cards and fingerprint key rings which we would use through the rest of the weekend. There was also time for a starlit wide game in the woods before bed. The unfortunate down side of being indoors in the warm and dry is that one noisy Cub is enough to keep all of the others awake. Also the thick classroom walls meant that the leaders outside could not hear the noise.

On Saturday we concentrated on our spy school activities. We split into three teams which then conducted three spy missions – a team challenge guiding their team through the minefield without speaking, a planning activity choosing the kit needed for the mission and a trying to get through our laser maze. After lunch with the rain pouring down we moved in to the new oak framed marquee for our afternoon activities and games. Sadly the continuing rain meant no camp fire but with it being the last camp for a number of our experienced campers we still had camp fire songs.

On Sunday it was still raining. After breakfast the Cubs were able to pack their gear inside but were getting a bit restless at being cooped up. Fortunately by mid-morning there was a bit of a break in the weather and they were able to make the most of the adventure course. We’d planned lunch on fires which wasn’t possible but the Cubs still made their pitta pizzas. By the time the parents came to pick up it had turned into a lovely day on the field. With our leaders giving up at Christmas it meant the end of an era on our camps with Marian retiring from camp cooking. As she has been a key part of our core camping team since 2007 we presented her with some flowers.


Our guest list was:

  • 19 Cubs – Adam, Ava, Dominic, Harry, Izzy, James O’M, James W, Jasmine, Joshua, Lucybelle, Luke W, Martha, Owen, Philip, Thomas B, Thomas H, Tommy, Tyler, Violet,
  • Leaders and helpers – Akela, Jacala, Tabaqui, Kaa, Marian, Rann, Rama (Sat), Shere Khan (Sat), Caroline (Sat), Katie (Sat), Beck (Sun)

We’re grateful to all the helpers who came along to make it such a good weekend, especially Katie, Caroline and Bec who provided kitchen support on each day. Also to the parents who did the less glamorous tasks such as cleaning the toilets or taking rubbish and recycling home. Remember – Cubs is not just kids stuff – we’re always pleased to have more helpers so do ask if you would like to get involved.

photoalbum3
Click to see photos from Stedham

Remember to click on the first picture and then the white “i” in the top corner to see our captions in the info window on the right of the screen.

Thanks to Jacala and Tabaqui for providing the photos

Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram to see photos from camp while we are there.

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Event: Spy school weekend camp

Our weekend camp in September takes us back to lovely Stedham camp site in the South Downs


Camp is still on and will run to the timings we have previously stated. However, Cubs will no longer be sleeping in tents. We are sorry that this will change the experience of the weekend but wanted to still go to Stedham rather than divert the weekend into our own hall. Having said that, we are still expecting the weather to be cool, wet and windy at times so please make sure you have your welly boots, warm clothes and a waterproof coat. Waterproof trousers are not required. Do take care on the narrow lanes and please park in the car park when you arrive as the field is too wet for vehicles to drive on.

What to do now

Please make sure you have paid your camp fees, take time with your Cub to do your bedding roll so that they can make it themselves on Sunday. Print off a copy of the directions to the site and have a look at them before you hit the single track roads around the site. 


When is the camp?

The camp is from Friday evening 21 September through to Sunday afternoon 23 September. On Friday evening the Cubs should arrive from 7pm. If you think you might be much later than this please let us know.
On Sunday afternoon the camp ends with our closing ceremony at 3.30pm. We hope to be off site at 3.45pm.

Where is the camp?

The camp is being held at Stedham Camp site, which is rather tucked away in the South Downs on the other side of Midhurst. You will need to make your own way to the site. Since we were there last year the Midhurst Youth Trust has replaced the marquee with an oak shelter which looks very smart.

How do we get there?

Although a lovely site when you get there, access is along some very narrow single track roads with high banks on each side. Passing is difficult on these lanes so please be considerate to other drivers (probably other Cub parents) and the verges if you meet somebody coming in the other direction. To reduce the chance of meeting any of our parents in the narrow section, we suggest that you approach via Woolbeding and leave via Stedham village. You can download a map of the route and detailed step by step directions from http://tiny.cc/Bill2Sted. The nearest postcode to the site for satnav purposes is GU29 0PY which takes you to just south of the site.
Once onto the site you should follow the drive until you come to the car parking area at the top of the main field. Please park there and then carry your gear down the field to the camp which will be in front of you.

Will Velo South affect access to camp?

Velo South has been cancelled but was not expected to have an impact on our camp.
The Velo South cycling event takes place across the area on Sunday. To allow the event to take place there will be a number of road closures which will be put in place by West Sussex County Council. However, both Billingshurst and Stedham are inside the “ring” and the A272 will be open throughout. As a result we are not expecting this event to impact ours. You can see the map of road closures on the Velo South website.

What to wear

You must arrive wearing your uniform top. This means your cub sweatshirt/t-shirt and group scarf. Uniform trousers are not required.

What to bring

Please check the kit list. There are no special items this time. Make sure that you bring a warm, waterproof coat as we will be outside for much of the time, whatever the weather. The weather is getting colder at night too so make sure you bring at least 1 warm blanket to keep you cosy overnight plus your welly boots for first thing in the morning when the grass is wet. We lose a lot of heat through our heads so wearing a woolly hat is a good tip if you think you may get cold in your sleeping bag.
If you are new to camping and would like more information then have a look at our camping with the Cubs page.

Is there any paperwork to do?

We now have all the health forms – thank you.
As part of our secret agent theme we want all our Cubs to have a code name that they can use during the weekend. Please give it some thought before camp as you will need to register it when you arrive on Friday.

How much does it cost?

The camp site at Stedham is well equipped and so has higher camp fees than some other sites that we visit. This means that the cost per Cub should be £40. However, as usual we are reducing the cost using our Parbrook Cashback. As it will be the last camp run by the current team we are taking a hefty £10 off the fee – meaning that it will only cost £30.
We can only continue to offer Parbrook Cashback on our events if you carry on raising money for us when you shop online. Make sure that you have registered at www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/parbrookcubs/ and remember to click through when you shop online. The Easyfundraising app and donation reminder toolbar are also available to make it even easier.

Who is on the guest list?

Camp was open to all our members. At 18 September the guest list had 19 Cubs on it and has now closed. We now have all the health forms (HF) and nearly all of you have paid your camp fees (Pd). The guest list is:

  • Adam (Pd+HF)
  • Ava (Pd+HF)
  • Dominic (Pd+HF)
  • Harry (Pd+HF)
  • Izzy (HF)
  • James O’M (Pd+HF)
  • James W (Pd+HF)
  • Jasmine (HF)
  • Joshua (HF)
  • Lucybelle (Pd+HF)
  • Luke W (Pd+HF)
  • Martha (Pd+HF)
  • Owen (HF)
  • Philip (Pd+HF)
  • Thomas B (Pd+HF)
  • Thomas H (Pd+HF)
  • Tommy (Pd+HF)
  • Tyler (Pd+HF)
  • Violet (Pd+HF)

Adult help required

We are delighted that the core camping team of Akela, Tabaqui, Kaa, Jacala and Marian will be joined by Rann, Katie and Beck for this camp. However, there are also a number of behind the scenes activities that we would like help with, for example – transporting gear to and from camp, helping put up and take down tents. Have a look at our opportunities for adults page for more information about these roles.
Remember that anybody camping with us needs to have had the Scouting DBS check so do let us know in plenty of time to sort out the paperwork. You can start the process by filling in the occasional helper form online.

What about food?

As usual with these camps, the first food we will be providing will be a hot drink and biscuit before bed. You should make sure that you have had your tea before you come. Apart from that we will be providing a full service of meals through from Saturday breakfast until Sunday lunchtime so there is no need to bring your own supplies. We don’t allow food or drink in the tents, not even water bottles. We will have squash or water available at all times so please don’t bring your own. Sweets in the tents cause litter and can attract insects so we do not allow the Cubs to have sweets at camp.

Pills and potions

If you require any medication during the weekend please ensure that it is clearly labelled and handed into to a leader (not buried deep in a bag) when you arrive at camp. If you sometimes need an inhaler for asthma please remember to bring it. Activities at camp can be strenuous and tired Cubs are more liable to need their inhalers.

Keeping up to date when we are at camp

During camp our important updates will be via Twitter so remember to follow @parbrookcubs, text follow parbrookcubs to 86444 or check our twitter feed at www.twitter.com/parbrookcubs. We also hope to provide photos from the site on our instagram feed – www.instagram.com/parbrookcubs

Report: Spider weekend camp

Our weekend camp in June 2018 took us back to Nowhurst camp site near Broadbridge Heath. It may just be 15 minutes up the road but it always feels a world away when you get there.

As we were camping on the Spider site we used that as the theme. Our spider inspired bases on Saturday included making spiders webs, following the trail to a spider’s larder, hanging by a thread on he climbing tower and negotiating the spider’s web in the woods. We also had time for our spiders v flies wide game.

We’re grateful to Mel and Marian for looking after things in the kitchen, to Rama, Kaa, Bagheera, Rann and Tabaqui for running the activities and Chris Evans and his team for bringing along the tower. Also a special mention to those that came to help pitch tents or transport equipment so that everything was ready when the Cubs arrived on Friday night, especially Martin, Jon and Lara.

We’re always short of adults who want to camp overnight with us and so do let us know if you fancy helping. We need a minimum number of adults on site overnight.

You can keep up with what is going on at camp by following us on social media. We tweet occasional messages each day but the main photo stream is on our instagram account.

Thanks to Jacala for providing the photos

Event: Billingshurst Show, Sun 24 Jun

This year the Billingshurst Show takes place on Sunday 24 June. It is the main fundraising event for the group and a great part of village life and so we are keen that everybody takes part.

The main show information is available on the Billingshurst Show website but there are lots of ways to get involved:

Badge competition now closed
Each year all the Scouts and Guides that help on the stalls or behind the scenes with the show get presented with a souvenir badge. The badge for this year was designed last year so now it is time to design the 2019 badge. Just download the form and draw your design in the box. Completed forms should be posted in the box in the hall. We hear that there has not been a single entry so far so that increases your chance of winning – but only if you post your form before the closing date of Thursday 21 June.

SETTING UP THE SHOW

Please complete our show helpers form and return it to Cubs, Nat Evans or Zoe Jenkins to let us know what time you can help set up or take down.

Friday
There is a lot of fetching and carrying to be done to get all the necessary tables, chairs, fencing and equipment into position. Help is wanted from 3pm to 5pm.

Saturday team
As you can imagine, there is a lot to do to get the field ready for the show. There are tents to put up, stalls to organise, tables to distribute and countless other tasks. The group is asking for parents who can help with this task. You don’t have to volunteer all day but even an hour would be useful. There are slots from 9.30am to 5.30pm

ON THE DAY

Parade
We asked for a team of parents to run our entry in the parade but sadly did not get any interest. As a result we will not be taking part. It gets harder every year to find a vehicle to use  and walking in the parade never gets the same attention from the judges. However, if you want to see the parade then the route is available on the show website.

Bake off
The bake off competition has been expanded this year with new categories. Simply take your baked goods to the Bake Off tent (opposite the food court) before 2pm on the day of the show. See the show website for bake off categories.

Our stall
Once we get to the field we will be running two stalls in the Scout area. We have a world cup sweepstake game where you can buy a country for £1 and potentially win £10 if yours is the country we have chosen. (No football knowledge required).
We also have a paper aeroplane target game. For 50p you can have a piece of paper which you can then fashion into a plane. We have a book of designs to give inspiration. Once built and decorated you can then fly your plane to see if you can hit the target.
We are grateful to Nat Evans for organising our stalls and have invited the Cubs to staff it in slots throughout the afternoon. You can do any slot but we have notionally allocated Reds from 1300 to 1345, Yellows from 1345 to 1430, Greens from 1430 to 1515 and Blues from 1515 to 1600 (when its a knockout starts). You can let us know what time slot you can do by registering on My Scout.

Scouts and Guides knock out
At 4pm the Scouts and Guides will be taking their turn in the arena for an “it’s a knockout” event. The first category will be rainbows v beavers. This will be followed by our competition of brownies v Parbrook v Dauxwood Cubs. Thanks to everybody that has volunteered to be on our team. We hope that the other Cubs will be there to cheer us on.
Further categories will then pitch the Guides against the Scouts. We hope that there will still be plenty of people around the arena to cheer us on. See our 2009 gallery below for the last time we beat the Brownies!

Donations
At short notice we have been reminded that the Beavers are running a cake stall and would welcome donations brought along on the day. Not sure if you can combine that with the bake off. Also the Guides are running their usual chocolate tombola which may be a bit tricky with the weather looking so warm. They are also looking for donations.

TAKING DOWN THE SHOW

Sunday deconstruction team
When everybody goes home the real work starts. Volunteers are wanted between 5pm and 8pm to take things down and load up the lorry.

Monday morning distribution
The final task is to return everything to where it came from. Allan and Chris will be sorting things out but need extra help between 9am and 12 noon.


Visit our past events page for a reminder of our Billingshurst Show entries for 2015 (vive la France), 2014 (Brazil),  2013 (Summer Holiday), 2012 (Mr Benn),  2011 (Lion King), 2010 (Kung Fu Panda) or 2009 (In the Jungle Book).

Report: Jamboree on the trail 2018

Each year, on the second Saturday in May, Scouts from across the world are invited to take part in a hike as part of the international Jamboree on the trail.

This was our sixth year of taking part and nine brave Cubs were part of our group of friends and family (and dogs) that returned to a rather soggy South Downs. It was great that so many family members and friends of the pack were able to join us for our hike.

You are never guaranteed good weather at this time of year and after several sunny hikes in recent years it seemed that our luck with the weather had run out. Although the morning was dry, the afternoon was wet although thankfully not windy otherwise the exposed sections of route would have been very unpleasant. The low cloud and reduced visibility meant that we didn’t see the spectacular South Downs views that this walk is known for.

We were pleased to meet walkers from 1st Barnham and 2nd Felpham who were doing a similar route to us but in the other direction. Together their group had 100 walkers which is quite impressive.

We published the map of the route online so suggest that families head back to Whiteways on a drier day and try the walk again.

Each Cub that attended gets an extra hike added to their Hikes Away badge score and all our walkers will receive a JOTT21 souvenir badge. (Hikes Away badges are awarded at levels 1, 2, 5 and 10 so not everybody will get a badge this time but their participation has been recorded).

Click the album to see more pictures from the event

Once in the photo album remember to click on the picture and then the white “i” in the top corner to see our captions. Thanks to Jacala for the pictures.

You can see what some other groups have been up to for JOTT by looking for #JOTT posts on Twitter. Just remember that we cannot be responsible for posts from other groups

Scroll down this page for the links to our JOTT reports from previous years