Tag Archives: nature

Report: Gold rush weekend at Nowhurst

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.

More photos from Nowhurst
Click for more photos from Nowhurst. Remember to click on the white “i” in the top right corner to see our captions for each photo

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.

Report: Jamboree on the trail 2017

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 fifth year of taking part and we had a record turnout as 13 Cubs were part of our group of friends and family (and dogs) that returned to the South Downs. It was great that so many family members were able to join us for our hike. Numbers were further increased by 17 Dauxwood Cubs and their families who joined us this year.

You are never guaranteed good weather but this year it was again a gloriously sunny afternoon which made the views from the South Downs Way even more spectacular.

Each Cub that attended gets an extra hike added to their Hikes Away badge score and all our walkers will receive a JOTT20 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.

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

Event: Jamboree on the Trail, 13 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 20th year and the fifth 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 13 May
Meet Picnic tables outside 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

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. Although we plan to follow the same route as previously, this year we will walk it the other way round – so starting with the open countryside and ending up with the forest. (This change of direction is not shown on the map)

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 13 May 2017. 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 but remember that we are going to walk in the reverse direction to that shown.

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.
We’re pleased to be joined by Cubs from 1st Billingshurst’s Dauxwood pack too.

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

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 JOTT20 badge after the event (as well as an extra hike on their hikes away score). We’ll also give JOTT20 souvenir badges to anybody else that would like one – just let us know how many on the health form. 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 on our JOTT16 page. If you haven’t walked with us before then the photo album gives a good idea of the terrain and scenery – just remember that last year’s downs will be ups this year.

Report: Navigator’s weekend at Walton Firs

Our weekend camp in February 2017 took us back to Walton Firs activity centre in Cobham.

With stormy weather forecast for Friday evening we braced ourselves for the worst but apart from being a bit damp the weather didn’t really affect us at all.

We were using the Brunswick building which is rather a long, dark walk from the car park. A good test for those bedding rolls which kept everything dry until it could get inside the building. Once unpacked we had an explore of the site in the dark before heading back to the toilet block which was even further than the car park.

The main activity on Saturday was to work on our stage 2 navigator badge. We explored sketch maps, Billingshurst landmarks and sank some battleships as we learned about grid references. It wasn’t all inside though. The sun put in an appearance in the afternoon which meant our tracking and orienteering activities were a good chance for a run about on the field. After dinner we finished off with a game of spooky spotlight.

With the badge work out of the way we were back outside again on Sunday. Walton Firs has an infamous adventure course which is known for its mud and its rope swing. It didn’t let us down and it was pleasing to see all our Cubs have a go – there are pictures of almost all of them on the rope swing in the gallery. After a quick brush down it was time for a visit to the shop – the money had been burning a hole in their pockets all weekend. After lunch we handed over to Akela for “I’m a Cub Scout, get me out of here”. As usual the time raced by but we managed to fit in blow football with maltesers, feely boxes and a bush tucker challenge before the parents arrived.

More photos from Walton Firs
Click for more photos from Walton Firs. Remember to click on the white “i” in the top right corner to see our captions for each photo

We’re grateful to Bagheera for helping Marian in the kitchen and to Jacala, Tabaqui, Akela and Josh for running the activities. 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 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.

Report: Pack meeting – a taste of Diwali

On 18 October 2016 we used our pack meeting to find out all about Diwali.

The Hindu festival of lights takes place this year on 30 October but in large cities across the country the lights have been turned on and there was a special festival in Trafalgar Square on 16 October attended by the Mayor of London.

We had a special guest too as we were pleased to welcome back Phoenix who ran our evening as part of Tesco’s Eat Happy project. The Cubs heard the story of Rama and Sita and found out how Diwali is celebrated. They then had the chance to make some raita dip and taste it with some bread and vegetables.

At the end of the evening we had time for a few games.

photoalbum3

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.

We’re grateful to Phoenix and Pulborough Tesco for providing the resources and materials for the programme