2017 highlights

24 January 2018
  • Two of our Explorers, Jess Ceeney and David Baxter have been selected for the 24th World Scout Jamboree in North America 2019. Only 36 places were available from the 129 people shortlisted for the selection camp in sub-zero temperatures, so it’s a top drawer achievement. Inevitably, not all of our candidates were successful, but they should feel proud of themselves.
  • A stack of Beavers secured Chief Scout Bronze Awards, their first step towards greatness: Eddie and Diachi Penny, Shruti & Shreya Nair, Sam Kennedy, George Stiff, Jamie Jones, Max Grand, Max Farnell, Sabri Yakup, Tom Lota and Wade Middleton. Keep it up!
  • Cubs’ epic Epping Forest bike ride from Chingford to Loughton and then back to Highams Park. The biggest success was having only one breakdown over the entire journey and also breaking the record for how many bells you can ring at the same time (while Jason was trying to give instructions!).
  • Scouts too, made use of the great outdoors with shelter building and an outdoor quiz – the scouts know every inch of Highams Park now so no excuses for not getting home on time.
  • Big news at Explorers. After a period more nomadic than a circus, the Explorers are back in the Malley as part of a new, merged Explorer pack. The Explorers is not quite out of the woods yet, and Chris Gill could definitely do with support, but this a big step.
  • The Beavers were on fire with a trip to the Chingford fire station and got the chance to use the hose. I can’t say for certain, but apparently the mums were more excited than the Beavers. Enough said!
  • And while on the pyrotechnic theme, Cubs improved their survival skills by learning how to make firelighters. No houses burnt down, but we had the firemen Beavers on hand just in case.
  • Explorers, for their part, spent an evening making cannons out of tennis balls and Pringle tubes. It can be confirmed that they were as loud as they were powerful. Rumours of target practise at unsuspecting Leaders was denied by all Explorers present.
  • Great thinking by Evie Ceeney who used a Jack Petchy Award for two fantastic activities for the Scouts at Gilwell – Leap of Faith and the 3-G Swing. Lots of fun and a big challenge for a few of our scouts – all did brilliantly.
  • Family Camp 2017. It remains the highlight of the year and a golden weekend. It was particularly great to see the Explorers join in and help run ‘It’s a Knock-Out’. We must tip our hats to the many that make it happen but in particular super Leigh Morl and Dan Penny who was Mr Family Camp for the first time and smashed it.
  • Beavers will long remember the day the police made an unofficial ‘visit’ one Tuesday night for routine ‘business’ – just not sure if Sam and Carolyn quite agree! Investigations continue…
  • Parents should rejoice at Cubs’ successful completion of their Home Help Badge. The competition to fold the sharpest shirt and ball the fastest socks was intense. This means that Cubs are now qualified in cooking, sewing, folding and washing up, so put your feet up parents!
  • Both Cubs and Scouts ended the summer term by hiking up to High Beech campsite – the Scouts carried all of their kit too. Mind, one team did get there suspiciously quicker than the others…
  • Explorers had a really fun evening of night time racing in the forest and making rescue stretchers. OK, so the rescue stretchers was a necessary consequence of racing in the dark woods but who’s checking!
  • Also worth highlighting was the fabulously atmospheric District carol singing around the campfire at the Mally.

And that doesn’t include the Beavers great Bug Hunt, smores cooking (apparently something edible), the annual summer water fight and spooky Halloween walk; the Cubs’ outdoor cooking, CD rack building and mega back-to-base games; or the Scouts trash fashion night, knot making, quiz night, and the 12 XMAS charity shoe boxes.

Thanks to everyone who has contributed and helped in 2017, including parents, leaders, parent-leaders, young leaders, the Group Executive, and most importantly, our outstanding Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorers who make it all worthwhile.