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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

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Event: Jamboree on the Trail, 12 May

Jamboree on the trail is an annual day for the World Scout Movement to hike together. All Scouts, whatever their age and wherever they may be in the world, are invited to participate in whatever way they can. In their own way, everyone will be hiking in the same direction; towards a better future through Scouting. Jamboree on the trail (JOTT) takes place on the second Saturday in May. This is its 21st year and the sixth year that we have taken part.

Sometimes we can forget how lucky we are to live in such a lovely part of the world so we thought it would be nice to have a family day out – no sponsor forms or restrictions, just a nice walk with great views.

Summary of arrangements
When Saturday 12 May
Meet Grassy area near Whiteways Cafe, 2pm
Wear Uniform scarf with appropriate layers for weather. Don’t get caught out by the sun – likely to be cool and windy on the hilltops. 
Bring Snack and water bottle
Return Whiteways Lodge Car Park by 5pm
To do now Health form required for those not walking with their family

Saturday lunchtime update: the rain looks set to be with us for the afternoon so do make sure you have a waterproof top and maybe trousers with you. 

Where: We’ll be starting from Whiteways car park and doing a circular walk which includes a stop at Bignor Hill. In total the hike will be just over 5 miles but we’ll be taking it nice and gently.

Start: There is a free (but often busy) car park at Whiteways Lodge, just off the A29 at the top of Bury Hill. Why not come along a bit early and take advantage of the food and drink on offer at Whiteways Cafe. Hopefully the weather will be nice enough for an ice cream at the end too.

When: JOTT day is 12 May 2018. We aim to leave the car park at 2pm, stop at Bignor Hill at about 3.30pm and be back to the cars at around 5pm

What: We will be hiking in the South Downs – taking in parts of the Monarch’s Way and the South Downs Way. You can see the route on a map. We will walk together as a group.

Who: Our JOTT hike is open to all our Cubs and their families. We will look after any Cubs that come on their own. Family, friends and dogs must remain your responsibility. Obviously we can’t accept any non-Cub children unless they are with an adult. This year our hike will just be for our Cubs plus families and friends of Parbrook Cubs.

Paperwork: We would like to have an idea of the numbers that are likely to take part. Please book via My Scout as usual. Cubs walking on their own must complete our usual health form so that we have up to date contact information.

Cost: This is not a fund raising event. There is no charge for taking part

Wear: You should wear clothes appropriate to the weather on the day including strong shoes for walking in (no wellies). Cubs should wear your scarf but the rest of your uniform is not required. Remember that it can be windy up on the Downs so even on a sunny day it can be quite chilly – a windproof/waterproof coat is a good idea to have in your bag, even if rain isn’t forecast.
We suggest that you have a number of layers that you can put on or take off as the need arises. The sun is strong at this time of year and part of the route is very exposed so consider a hat and sun cream if the weather looks as if it may be required.

Bring: You should bring a water bottle and a snack or two in a day sack that you can carry. We’ll be sitting on the grass when we stop for our break at Bignor Hill so make sure you have either a mat or a coat to sit on.

Badges: All Cubs that take part will get a special JOTT21 badge after the event (as well as an extra hike on their hikes away score). We’ll also give JOTT21 souvenir badges to anybody else who walked with us and would like one – just let us know how many on the day. We’ll order them after the event when we know the numbers that attended and present them when they come through a few weeks later.

We’re social: Watch out for postings on our instagram page during the event.

Last year: You can see how we got on in previous years by looking at our JOTT reports. If you haven’t walked with us before then the photo album gives a good idea of the terrain and scenery

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.

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 are expected to 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 badge plus adventure and outdoor challenges. We are still working out the detailed programme.

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.
You can reserve your place by paying a deposit of £28 (full) or £18 (mini) with the balance paid at times to suit you as long as all fees are paid before camp.

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 20 March the guest list is as follows:

  • Full camp – 11 Cubs – Martha, Rohan, Emily, Adam, Luke, Joshua, Jasmine, Izzy, Thomas, Lucybelle, Violet
  • Mini camp – 1 Cub – James
  • Leaders camping – Tabaqui, Jacala, Keego, Helen
  • Adults camping – Marian, Kaa

We do need an extra adults to help transport gear, pitch the tents etc. We will give you the opportunity to say how you can help when you book. 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 so if you still want to come please speak to Jacala

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.

 

Report: Summer Camp 2017

For Summer Camp 2017 we returned to Blackland Farm activity centre near East Grinstead. In what was a rather unsettled summer we did very well with the weather

Our theme was the Orient Express and each day we visited a new country. The Cubs each researched a country to tell us about so that we could complete our passport each day.

Camp ran from Sunday 13 to Saturday 19 August with our mini-campers leaving us on the Wednesday. It was a level 3 camp as we slept in tents. With Sussex100 in 2016 we hadn’t had a proper summer camp since 2015 which meant that none of our campers had been on such a long camp with us.

Our countries and activities were:

  • Sunday – start our journey in London, Make passports & country flags
  • Monday – Paris, France. Climb the Eiffel Tower and abseil from it
  • Tuesday – Munich, Germany. Hike to the Bluebell Railway. Steam train trip
  • Wednesday – Vienna, Austria. Climb the Alps, swim in the River Danube. Celebrate Prangstangen and attend site campfire.
  • Thursday – Budapest, Hungary. Explore the Buda Castle labyrinth and visit the Kassai Valley archery school.
  • Friday – Bucharest, Romania. Cruise the Danube Delta to the Black Sea
  • Saturday – arrive in Istanbul, Turkey – our destination

Our guest list was:

  • Full week (8): Lucybelle, Thomas, Martha, Robin, Violet, Joshua, James, Luke
  • Mini camp (3): Megan, Evan and Poppy
  • Helpers camping at various times – Rann (Su), Lindsay (Mo)
  • Adults camping – Jacala, Marian, Hathi (Th-Sa), Kaa, Tabaqui, Hawkeye (Su-We)
photoalbum3
Click to see photos from Blackland Farm

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 for providing the photos

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

Report: Pack holiday at Runway’s End

Our night away in February 2018 took us to Runway’s End activity centre near Farnborough. It was a level 1 camp as we had warm 5 bedded rooms, each with their own toilet and shower. However, the high cost of this sort of accommodation (and the VAT that they charge) meant that we restricted our stay to just one night.

Camp started at 10am on Saturday morning and we were grateful for the warm building as the weather outside was cold and damp. Two of our campers were transferring from Beavers so we started with investitures.

With the formal part of the camp out of the way we had a quick game of hockey before venturing outside in the damp to explore the site and its fixed orienteering course. The bases were a little tired and well hidden – some groups never did find number 2. As the rain came down, the paper sheets that had to be punched at each base became increasingly soggy so we were glad to return inside for soup and sandwiches.

After lunch we were in the hands of the Runway’s End instructors. Unfortunately our climbing instructor was ill so one of the groups did archery instead. Several of the Cubs earned a special sticker that showed that they had popped a balloon on the target. The other group headed for the caving centre. After their safety briefing the Cubs changed into their caving suits and headed into the purpose-built caves. Just like real caves the roof was dripping with water and the tunnels were a bit damp in places. One of the groups was so confident in the tunnels that it went through them with no torches on at all. We were grateful to have Rann with us as he took some of the Cubs through tunnel 1.

After a warming dinner of Marian’s homemade lasagne followed by chocolate pudding and ice cream the Runway’s End duty manager decided that we needed to do a fire drill. So we dutifully headed outside into the rain. After being assessed for compliance we headed for the woods for a soggy game of spotlight. Then it was back inside for camp fire songs in front of the wood burning stove.

On Sunday the sun was shining for our hike along the Basingstoke Canal. We started near the Farnborough Road bridge and then headed along the canal to Eelmoor Flash. The canal was mostly sheltered from the breeze but when we got to the actual end of the runway it was a bit more exposed and rather chilly. That didn’t stop the Cubs wanting to stay and watch the planes. The second one to take off was operated by Vista Jet and its website gives a clue of what it may have been like inside. After returning to Runway’s End for a hot lunch we had some team building games in the hall before it was time to head for home.

More photos from our night at the museum

Our guest list was:

  • 19 Cubs – Adam, Emily, Finley K, Finn L, Harry F, Harry L, Izzy, James, Jasmine, Joshua, Lukas, Luke K, Luke W, Martha, Poppy, Tegan, Thomas, Tommy, Violet
  • Leaders and helpers – Akela, Keego, Jacala, Rann, Marian, Lindsay

We’re grateful to all the helpers who came along to make it such a good weekend. Remember – Cubs is not just kids stuff – we’re always pleased to have more helpers, especially helping Marian in the kitchen. Do ask if you would like to get involved next time.

You can always 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.