Some highlights from 2015

6 January 2016

2015 has been a tremendous year for the Group – here are some of the highlights:

  • Another massively successful Family Hog Roast in September to round off a superb summer. I want to say that watching the kids charge about is a bit like watching pigs in poo, but I suspect that’s a bit disrespectful to the pig. This day would not happen without the Morl family, Leigh, Tom and James. They are legends.
  • A stack of Beavers securing Chief Scout Bronze Awards, their first step towards greatness: Alex Denny, Edmund De Bono, Max Rahman, Joe Cheek, Oliver Hall, Joseph Corbett, Codey Daniels  and Henry Jarvis.
  • Top marks to Cubs Boris Richter and Avi Shah who won the District and County Chess Championship. Brains as well as brawn. Well done!
  • Our Scouts who enjoyed over 2 weeks’ worth of Camping this year in a range of conditions that would rival a world tour. Bet there is a badge for that too.
  • The hugely successful Explorers Survival Camp which required them to build their own sleeping shelters and cook various wild animals for dinner. Never again will this lot moan about making their beds.
  • It’s worth saying again, but the brilliant turn out for the Mally working bee weekend. The building is now watertight, lit, and looking so much more handsome. Hats off to Chris Gill who put a huge effort into organising and for giving some boys access to the handsaws for tree chopping duty. On their own.
  • Our six brave Beavers: Joe Cheek, Codey Daniels, Henry Jarvis, Harry Grant, Jay Purewal and Joseph Corbett Beavers who attended District Camp and apparently did not miss their Mum or Dad one jot!
  • The Cubs who had to survive an attack by a horde for zombies on their night forest walk from Chingford to home. Every single Cub said they were not scared, but we know. Yeah we do.
  • A packed and diverse programme for the scouts which included St George’s Day, Scoutivity (A Scout based activity day), St Andrews Cup, First Aid training, Athletics’ Badge, and Carol Service.
  • Let’s not forget our 11, that’s right, 11 Explorers who put in the graft and raised the money to attend the World Scout Jamboree in Japan. Thank you to everyone who supported them on this once in a lifetime opportunity. The 2019 Jamboree will be in West Virginia (mountain mama) and I’m expecting Highams Park to be there on mass again.
  • Another incredibly successful Family Camp, and the absolute highlight of our year. Massively oversubscribed, unbelievably well organised, and a lifetime of memories. Ian, Andy, Paul and Leigh we bow before what you do.
  • The incredibly fortunate Beavers and Cubs who were again blessed by warm weather for a rugby taster session by a leading and hugely respected rugby coach (me and Ian Bennett). England selectors, look this way!
  • Our shark like swimming team who came third overall in the humongous District Gala despite not being able to compete in half the races because we had no non swimmers! Well done to cubs Edmund De Bono, Evie Ceeney, Anna Whitman, Oscar Dean (the world’s tallest cub) and Scouts Laurie De Bono, Lucy Kelly, Sid Nair and Jessica Ceeney. Special mention to Luke Herbert and Paul Baxter for helping organise.
  • The Scout’s Christmas outing to Broadgate for ice skating and falling over lots and lots.
  • Our first ever Group Awards Night and a chance to recognise those who demonstrate those wider strengths and attributes that are so often neglected.
  • Congratulations to those Explorers who completed their residential for Gold Duke of Edinburgh and in particular Zoe Rogers who has completed both their Gold Award and Queens Scout Award and will have the pleasure of attending Buckingham Palace and Windsor next year. Good for some! Robert Ellis, Jack Karalus, Hollie, Zoe Allday, Ellie Williams, Katie Hutchins, Joe Starkey, all completed their Silver Award too.

And let’s not forget stella contributions at the District Cross Country Race, Gang Show, Cub Camp, and the other wildly enjoyable activities on every Tuesday and Thursday.