2022 Highlights

14 December 2022

The weekly gatherings of Beavers, Cubs and Scouts this year have covered a huge range of activities, with far too much to cover here. But the annual highlights include:

  • The Beavers had a visit from the Fire Brigade, and got outside a LOT: canoeing, litter picking, archery, and even celebrating the Summer Solstice.
  • After the long COVID enforced absence, Cubs burst back into action early 2022 with a medley of greatest hits: Night Hike, Glow Stick Challenge, Quiz Night and Board Games. All of which are proper floor fillers that the public can’t resist. NOW THAT’S WHAT WE CALL ENTERTAINMENT!
  • The Scouts marked the Chinese New Year by making good luck decorations (mine seems to still be working well) and had a great session learning sign language. Both sessions were run by parent helpers – Kwok and Claire respectively. Big thanks to them and all parent helpers who have played a part this year.
  • The Cubs were particularly blessed by our community of parents offering to run sessions on their own skills and interests. Thanks to these generous enthusiasts, the Cubs had evenings on Chinese New Year, Drama, Barbadian cooking and cricket down at Rolls Park. Jason insists that the rumours he was clean bowled by a 10 year old are all lies! Parent sessions are the best nights – we are hungry for more!
  • The Beavers also had a civilised game of cricket, and contrasted it with a mad, messy water fight night! They also spent the night on the Golden Hinde (surrounded by the queue for the Queen’s laying-in-state, which must have been very surreal), braved the weird Halloween goings on at the Mally and did bouldering at Gillwell Park.
  • As well as trips to Gilwell Park and Lee Valley Athletics Centre, the Scouts had a great session of bouldering over at Tottenham Hale Stronghold (which also accidentally included an added orienteering challenge: finding the venue).
  • Special mention also to the Cubs brilliant end of summer water night which managed to combine the best of friendly competition, understanding water conservation (yes really!) and complete watery chaos. Our new orienteering evening was equally fantastic, all the more for the fact that every cub made it back. Result!
  • The Scouts took part in a proper, very, very dark forest wide game of Capture the Flag over at Larkswood, which presumably terrified a few squirrels, and definitely terrified a few evening dog-walkers! Another Scout highlight involved a guest, Ben the Firefighter, running a CPR training session and answering questions. Question of the night has to be “Is it true that the water which firefighters use is wetter than normal water?” (No, apparently.)
  • This year saw a really good number of Beavers getting their Bronze Chief Scout Award. Big congrats to Nancy Marsden, Edie Ramsbottom, Lucas Dunne, Sophie Mills, Thomas Sarolli, Alex & Isabella Hoxha, Isabelle Imber-Murray and Albert Rance!
  • As well as outdoor favourites like kayaking on the lake and trail-making, the Scouts tried some slightly more ambitious things – one example, making pancakes using candles and tin can, wasn’t the most delicious evening anyone has ever spent, but I think most had fun trying and making an almighty mess!
  • Lastly, if you ever need a spark then Cubs are there for you. They turned up the heat and burned through a few fire-related sessions like fire lighting and a mildly-pagan Guy burning with that real Wicker Man feel. The Cubs danced around the bonfire like a proper disco inferno!

Of course there was more. We were glad to welcome back our legendary Family Camp this year, after a 2-year absence, and the Fairmead Hike Camp. So nice to be back to normal!

This year has also seen more expansion in the help we’ve had from our Young Leaders: Milly, Maya, Jacob, Oliver, Laurie, TJ, Harry and Edmund. All are superstars who demonstrate what being a Scout is all about – and from what I hear, they often show the adult leaders how it’s done…

While we’re talking about our Young Leaders, several events this year have raised money for 4 of our Scouts and Young Leaders – Sam, Eloise, Maya and Jacob – to attend next summer’s Scout Jamboree in South Korea. It will be an incredible experience and we’re very proud of them – so a big well done, not only to them but also to their families and everyone else who has supported them this year.

And so 2023 looms: during which we plan to bring Chingford Explorers, the unit which many of our Scouts move onto once they turn 14, more closely together with 1st Highams Park. And next year will also see a Waltham Forest District Camp at Gilwell, on 17-18 June with our Family Camp moving to 8-9 July. Make sure both are in your diaries!

Lastly: it’s important to remind ourselves that through all of the volunteers, plus of course the great contributions of help from parents, we have a pretty special thing going in 1st Highams Park, and we’re lucky to have it. But if you feel like playing more of a role, there’s always more to be done, so we’d love more assistance to lighten the load. If you’ve ever wanted to feel more involved and contribute to local life, get in touch.