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Report: paddle sport taster

On 14 July 2018 we had the opportunity to join a paddle sport taster session organised by the District. Although originally scheduled to be held in Ashington where we did the rafting last year, the venue was changed to the Wey and Arun Canal at Drungewick Slipway.

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 onto the water. During the hour long session the Cubs had the chance to try various water craft. Some of them even managed to stay in them although there were quite a few splashes.

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Click the album to see pictures from our paddle sport testerGoogle 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.

We’ve got lots of photos from the event but think that this one is definitely worth drawing attention to – we call it “challenge accepted“. You’ll also find it in context in our photo album.

Thanks to Jacala for providing the photos, to the District team for providing such a great afternoon and to all the Cubs for trying the different craft so enthusiastically.

Cubs participating were: Emily, Martha, Rohan, James, Luke, Philip, Harry, Jasmine, Izzy, Violet, Finn, Adam and Poppy.

All of the Cubs that took part gained an extra event on their time on the water badge. Note that badges themselves are only presented at 1, 2 and 5 events so not everybody will get one this time.

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New leaders needed to run Parbrook Cubs

A new chapter for Parbrook Cubs

At Parbrook Cubs we have been very fortunate in recent years to have a stable leadership team supported by our young leaders and parents. However, things change and as children get older and move sections some of our regular helpers go with them. The end of this term sees us saying goodbye to Keego (Gemma) and we have already lost Bagheera (Jane) from our regular meetings. Next term we will see a number of the older Cubs moving up to Scouts, taking their parents with them. This includes Akela. Fortunately Akela and Jacala have agreed to stay on until Christmas so that they can provide some continuity and assistance to the new leaders that will take the pack forward into 2019. We are now urgently looking for those new leaders to run things, either to help from September or to take over in January.

Akela said “I joined Parbrook when Max started and running our programme has been great fun. However, now that Poppy is too old for Cubs I need to support my family in their new activities. Cubs has been great for all of the family but you do need a team of leaders to run things properly and avoid it all falling to one person. Everybody is busy these days but we hope that by taking their turn on the rota or even helping at camps our new parents will see what a great pack they have joined and will be able to contribute to its running.

Jacala said “when I moved to Billingshurst in 2006, Parbrook Cubs had just 7 members. Since then, working with a great team of leaders, we have built the pack up into the success that it is today. However, as many of you know, the commute from London makes committing to an 1830 start a bit tricky and although I love the website, social media and planning side of things I cannot step back up to run meetings single handed. Running things with Nick W has shown how important it is to have connections to parents e.g. via the school, as catching people face to face is so much better than just sending e-mails that people don’t always read. Having received my 30 years of service to Scouting award last year I am finding that coming up with new ideas for our programme is getting difficult and I don’t want to get into a rut or be the person that stops change because “we always do it that way”. The pack desperately needs an injection of new ideas and skills to take it forward and I don’t want to hold them back. Whoever steps up will find a generous balance in the bank thanks to our Easyfundraising and a cupboard full of camping equipment including our new tents. The building blocks are there, we just need the new people.

Sadly we know that e-mail appeals like this rarely result in anybody stepping up to fill the gap and so we plan to run next term with a parents rota. We will allocate two parents to each week and hope that you will be able to support us. Feel free to swap your weeks amongst yourselves if you find yourself unable to do the week we have suggested. Our currently advertised camps in August and September will go ahead as planned and as usual we welcome extra adult helpers at camp – especially in September.

If you would like to know more please discuss with any of our leaders or contact Zoe, our Group Scout Leader. For those that say that they would like to help but cannot manage a Tuesday evening there is good news. We have lots of behind the scenes roles that are still important but don’t have to involve a Tuesday evening. Have a look at our join us page for ideas of roles available.

Event: Summer camp 2018

Summer Camp is our main camp of the year and gives a chance to camp with us for more than just a weekend. We have got all week so there will be plenty of time for the usual camp fires, wide games and on site activities too. It will be a level 3 camp as we will be sleeping in tents.


What to do now: All our campers need to complete our usual online health form. Also please make sure that you have paid your camp fee. We have some of each outstanding at the moment.
We have now published the joining instructions which include the kit list and detailed directions to the site


Where: We will be camping at Downe Scout Activity Centre near Biggin Hill.

Directions: You will need to make your own way to and from the site. You may like to follow our directions. We’ll publish more details in our joining instructions. Whichever way you come you will end up on the narrow country lanes so please drive carefully.

When: Summer Camp is always in the same week in mid-August. This year we start on the afternoon of Sunday 12 August and will run through until lunchtime on Saturday 18 August.
We encourage you to come for the whole week as things are so much more relaxed than a weekend when we cram everything in. We also find that the Cubs get used to sleeping in the tents so by the end of the week end up sleeping in rather than waking the leaders at first light.
For those that think a 6 nights is a long time to be at camp we are also offering our usual 3 night mini camp option which ends at 5.30pm on Wednesday 15 August.

What: Our on site activities include the adventure course, abseiling, grass sledging and the crate challenge. We’ll also be hiking to Down House, former home of Charles Darwin. Our camping field has plenty of space for games and adjoins woods that form part of the site making it ideal for exploring, shelter building and wide games. We also plan to end every evening with camp fire songs.

Badges: In addition to those all important nights and hikes away we hope to work on the backwoods cooking and athletics badges plus adventure and outdoor challenges.

Preparation for activities: There isn’t any formal homework but we would like everybody to think about how they could describe themselves in 4 pictures (which they should be able to draw). This could be emojis but doesn’t have to be. You’ll also need to bring two A4 sized pieces of thin card (such as a cereal box) and 3 x 1p coins.

Cost: Activity centre costs seem to keep going up and that puts pressure on our attempts to keep camp fees low. As usual we are using a big chunk of the money you have raised for us through painless fundraising to subsidise the camp fees. That means that we are able to charge just £100 for the camp including all food, fees and activities. The camp fee for mini campers will be £70. This is less than we charged last year – largely because being a Scout run site they do not charge us VAT.

Who: Camp is open to all our Cubs. We are limited to a total of 12 campers because of the size of groups that are allowed to take part in the activities.

On 29 July the guest list is as follows:

  • Full camp – 9 Cubs – Martha (pd+HF), Emily (dep+HF), Adam (pd+HF), Joshua (pd+HF), Jasmine (pd+HF), Izzy (pd+HF), Thomas (pd+HF), Lucybelle (pd+HF), Violet (pd+HF)
  • Standard mini camp (Su-We) – 3 Cubs – James (pd+HF), Tommy (pd+HF), Luke (pd)
  • Reverse mini camp (Th-Sa) – 1 Cub – Rohan (pd+HF)
  • Leaders camping – Tabaqui, Jacala, Helen
  • Adults camping – Marian, Kaa

We do need an extra adults to help transport gear, pitch the tents etc. We hope that you will be able to assist. See the “helper at camp” section of our join us page to see what sort of help we need.

Paperwork: All our places are taken but all campers do need to complete our standard online health form.

Join: We have now published the joining instructions which include the kit list and detailed directions to the site.

View: We last visited Downe in 2014 and you can see our report from that camp on the website via our Reports page. For a more recent summer camp how about checking the report from our Orient Express camp at Blackland Farm in 2017.