On 17 October 2017 we held our pack meeting at Billingshurst fire station.
The fire fighters welcomed us to the briefing room. We discussed the sort of incidents that the fire brigade attend, the importance of smoke alarms, tips for making a 999 call and the importance of a regularly checked smoke detector and knowing your escape route.
Then it was into smaller groups for a tour of the fire engine and a chance to try on the protective gear. We has a chance to try out the hose before returning to the briefing room where the BEAT responders were meeting. They gave us a demonstration of the defibrillator and the chance to practice resuscitation.
As you will see from the pictures, Cubs is not just kids stuff – we’re always pleased to have more helpers so do ask if you would like to get involved next time.
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.
Our weekend camp in September 2017 took us back to lovely Stedham in the South Downs. It was a level 3 camp as we slept in tents.
This year we were on the Parbrook Space Race so the site became our secret research base where our teams developed their rockets to send into space. Camping at the end of September can be a bit of a gamble with the weather and we had to make some changes to the programme and deal with wet tents at the end of the weekend.
On Saturday we divided into three teams which the Cubs named Space Raiders, Space Invaders and Moon Pigs. We visited the new adventure course to test astronaut fitness. It was sunny and warm on the field so we made our lunch to cook on the fires before some fire lighting practice with flint and steel. As the weather closed in we made our model rockets and ended the day with songs in the marquee.
On Sunday it was wet at first. Getting the Cubs to work in their tents to make their bedding rolls into their tents was a bit tricky. It is always tempting for Mum to make the bedding roll at home but on a Sunday it is the Cub who has to do it and if they haven’t done it before they will struggle. It is always best to practice at home and we had been through what to do in our pack meeting just before camp. The day brightened up enough to stop the tents dripping and allowed us to do our eggs in space activity on the field. By lunchtime it was raining again so we were grateful to have baked potatoes for lunch. We just had time to launch a few bottle rockets before it was time to go home.
Leaders and helpers – Akela, Bagheera, Hawkeye, Jacala, Josh (Fri & Sat), Marian, Max, Rama (John), Shere Khan, Tabaqui
We’re grateful to all the helpers who came along to make it such a good weekend. Also to the parents who did the less glamorous tasks such as cleaning the toilets, taking rubbish and recycling home and coming to the hall after camp to help us hang up the tents to get them dry. 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 next time.
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.
Hello everyone and we hope that you had a great Summer break. As those of you that came to Summer Camp will remember, we had the best week of the holidays in terms of weather. We’re hoping that it is saving itself for a fine and settled weekend when we go to camp at the end of the month as it has certainly been pretty poor recently.
As usual we have planned a packed programme of activities between now and Christmas. So what have we got planned?
badgework – we will be working towards the home safety, animal carer and communicator badges
visits – we will be taking our pack meeting to the fire station and pets at home – and all our meetings are on our usual night this term
nights away – in addition to our tent camp at Stedham we have not one but two museum sleepovers. More details below
seasonal items – being the autumn term we have also got the usual activities around Remembrance Sunday and that will be followed by our Christmas 4-pack
You can download your own copy of the programme to pin on your fridge from http://www.1stbillingshurst.org.uk/parbrook/prog.pdf. You will find a more detailed version in My Scout. Everybody should have had an e-mail about camps recently which includes the My Scout link to that event. Don’t forget to create yourself an account so that you can log in to see badge progress, the programme and to book on our events.
We will be having a short meeting for parents at the end of our meeting on 19 September. Please do try to come along at 1950 if you can.
Leaders this term
We are hoping to have three young leaders helping us this term. This will allow us to give more priority to working in sixes and to allow them to develop more as a team. There are some events in the programme where we will need extra help – you’ll find them marked in the programme on My Scout so do please take your turn, rather than just leaving it to our familiar faces who might like the chance not to be called on every time.
What is Scouting all about? If you wanted to explain to somebody why they ought to join us then you could do worse than show them this picture from our end of term evening at Nowhurst. It has it all – outdoors, fires, songs, family, smiles, together. You can see our other photos from that great evening online via our reports page.
If you came to all our nights away this year so far then you could have already been away for 10 nights. This term we have the chance to add a further 4, making an amazing 14 nights in total this year.
While we have a regular team that we can call on for our camps, it has been noted that Marian, Kaa, Hathi, Rama, Shere Khan and Hawkeye are all parents of Cubs that left some time ago (or the Cubs themselves). Although it is great to have them along it does mean that some of our current parents (with the exception of Rann and Chil of course) are not taking the opportunity to come to camp too. We are always on the look out for more helpers so do ask if you fancy it.
All of our nights away are open for booking via My Scout for all our members that have been invested – just go to the events tab and see what is available to book. Our new starters this term cannot come to camp until invested so will be able to come to our Chichester museum trip.
Space race weekend at Stedham
Our first night away this term is only a few weeks away at the end of September so we need to move fast on the arrangements. We will be returning to one of our favourite camp sites in the South Downs. This year the site will be home to our rocket lab as teams of scientists work to design and fly their rockets. But who will fly highest and will they all make it to the launch pad? It should be a fun weekend of activities and those that came to the full summer camp can’t wait to share the new songs that we learned at Blackland Farm when we have our Saturday night camp fire.
Submarine museum sleepover
Jacala has been looking at this venue for a while but they need a high number of campers so we were delighted when the Beavers asked if we would like to come on their trip in October. We will leave Billingshurst by coach on Friday evening and have a tour of HMS Alliance (submarine) before settling down for the night in the museum. On Saturday after breakfast we will cross Portsmouth Harbour on the ferry and climb the Spinnaker Tower before picking up the coach for the trip back home. Note that this trip may be cancelled if the organisers do not get enough interest to fill the required number of places.
Night at the museum
We had already planned our own museum sleepover at the start of December. This time we will leave Billingshurst by train as we head for Chichester. We’ll have time in the museum once it is closed to the public and then settle down to sleep amongst the exhibits. On Saturday morning we will catch the train back to Billingshurst where we will then go to the Scout Hut for a day of activities, finishing at 5pm.
We hope that all our Cubs will be able to attend at least one of our nights away events this term. More information about each one, including timings and costs, is on My Scout so do have a look at the entry on the events tab.
Our Easyfundraising statement for Apr-Jun17 is now in. Thanks to all our online shoppers that remember to click through from https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/parbrookcubs/ when you shop online and helped us raise £74 in the quarter. That takes our total for the year so far up to a nice £167. However, it looks as if our Jul-Sep quarter is a little low so don’t forget to click through when you shop online.
It really is easy to raise money for us when you shop online – that’s why we call it painless fundraising. See https://parbrook.wordpress.com/fundraising/for more details and remember that the money we raise is kept by Parbrook Cubs and used to reduce the costs of camps and expeditions – just look for “Parbrook Cashback” to see where it has saved you money.
Those that came to our end of term evening at Nowhurst back in July may remember that things have changed in the District and our group during the summer. We were able to present Kath Bridger with flowers to thank her for her time as District Commissioner and for the support she has given us, not least by regular visits to present Chief Scout’s Silver Awards.
She has now been replaced in that role by Glyn Pullen. As a result the Group Scout Leader in our group has changed to Zoe Jenkins who was previously the leader of Dauxwood Cubs. Tracy Evans has now stepped into that role athough Zoe is still helping too. If you need to contact Zoe then the gsl at 1stbillinghurst.org.uk e-mail address is the best way to get in touch.
A lack of leaders and helpers is badly affecting our Beaver colonies with both Monday and Tuesday unable to take new members until their leader situation is resolved. This explains why some of you have younger children that are stuck on the waiting list and have been unable to join Beavers. if you know anybody that would be able to help with Beavers do please get in touch with Zoe.
We are pleased to see that things are rather more stable in the Scouts where Allan Smith has taken over as Scout Leader at the Friday (Downlands) troop. Allan is also group quartermaster and looks after us really well when we need equipment for camp so we are sure he will make a great Scout Leader too.
Closer to home you will spot that we start the term with almost 30 in the pack. It is great to be so popular but it does make taking new starters from the waiting list a bit of a challenge as we have to give priority to transfers from other groups and then Beavers who need to swim up. This term we will welcome 1 Beaver, 2 transfers and 3 from the waiting list. Unfortunately it does not look as if we will be able to take any more from the waiting list in the near future. However, Dauxwood Cubs starts with around 15 members so should have capacity.
Those of you with children in Beavers have already been asked if you want them to come to Parbrook when they are 8. This has allowed us to “book” their places to guarantee that they get in. Over the next few weeks we will be asking those who will be 10.5 this year or next to give an indication of which scout troop they might like to attend. This is to allow the troops to start considering their availability.
Finally, the group has asked us to remind you about gift aid. We can claim it on the Subs that you pay each term and the money raised goes into Billingshurst Scout and Guide funds. Registration can be done via My Scout and many of you are already signed up. We’ll send an invitation e-mail to others in the next few weeks.
On 14 June 2017 we took our pack meeting to Ashington so that we could do some rafting. On what was a very warm evening we had a great turnout and built 3 rafts with help from the Ashington scout leaders.
We started by working on building the rafts themselves. Because of our numbers we had three teams, each working with the Ashington leaders. After a few clove hitches and lashings to make the frame the blue plastic barrels were fixed on.
Before the Cubs could head to the water there was the all important safety briefing during which they were fitted with their buoyancy aids. Then it was time to get the rafts in the water. At first all was well as the Cubs paddled their way around the island but then a few slipped off the rafts into the water. By the end of the evening the rafts were forgotten and all the Cubs were in the water – with their buoyancy aids of course.
We’re very grateful to the leaders from Ashington for providing us with such an enjoyable evening.
Those that follow us on Instagram were able to keep up to date with photos during the evening.
Google has changed the way it displays our photos so click on the first one and then the white “i” in the top corner to see our captions in the info window on the right of the screen.
Our weekend camp in June 2017 took us back to the Spider Site at Nowhurst camp site near Broadbridge Heath.
We’d heard that there was gold in them there hills and so set off to discover more about the Californian Gold Rush and to look for gold ourselves. We were delighted to have 20 Cubs on our guest list which with our support team made it one of the largest camps we have had for a while.
Once unpacked on Friday evening we started with a wide game in the woods. Saturday morning started earlier than expected for some of us with some of the Cubs making enough noise to need a visit from Jacala and Akela from 4.30am – more or less as soon as it got light. After a brief shower of rain early Saturday morning the weather switched to gold rush mode too with lots of lovely sunshine. On Saturday morning we found out some more golden facts and made jumping frogs – just like the frogs of Calaveras County in the story by Mark Twain.
On Saturday afternoon the Cubs went prospecting with a whole list of activities and challenges to do. These included panning for gold and also rope making which was part of the pioneer badge that we had been working on. Being in the wild west we included a sharpshooter challenge which turned out to be surprisingly difficult. Activities on Saturday ended with our usual camp fire (built by Rama), songs and of course hot chocolate.
On Sunday the time raced by once the Cubs had been inspected, packed away their gear and swept out their tents. They still had time to collect firewood and make fires using sparks from a flint and steel rather than matches.
We’re grateful everybody that helped us run the weekend – starting off with the parents who loaded up their cars to transport the gear to site and then helped pitch the tents. Then to Caroline and Chil for helping Marian in the kitchen and to Jacala, Tabaqui, Akela, Shere Khan, Rann, Rama, Craig and Kaa for running the activities.
A special mention to the Harris family who all turned out to help us, despite no longer having any family members in 1st Billingshurst. It is always great to see our former members and we’re really grateful for all your hard work over the weekend.
Also to Rann who as a parent of a new Cub decided to take the plunge and join us for the weekend. We were able to present him with his camper badge to recognise that it was his first night away with us (and hopefully not the last).
We’re always short of adults who want to camp overnight with us or help in the kitchen so do let us know if you fancy coming along. 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.
If you enjoyed the gold rush weekend then don’t forget to register for our other camps in 2017. We have three more opportunities including our week-long summer camp in August. Registration is via My Scout.