January saw us at our first camp of the year, Frost Camp at Bentley Copse. With freezing conditions Scouts and Explorers joined with others from across the County for a weekend of activities including shooting, archery, zipline, climbing, bushcraft and social tree climbing amongst others.
The sections all returned with the usual ‘first night back’ games. Beavers built spaghetti towers using marshmallows and held evenings based around health & fitness. The Cubs practiced their cooking skills. We also welcomed a visit from Surrey’s Police and Crime Commissioner, our local PCSO and a police car (which the Beavers enjoyed) and a lively talk about drugs with the Explorers.
Beavers continued their healthy living theme and held a music night. All the sections cooked pancakes with the Scouts taking this up a notch with a pancake hike! The Explorer went go-karting and took part in the District shooting competition earning 3rd place.
Tony, Graham and Matt became qualified axe-throwing instructors, introducing a new activity for the Group.
We celebrated our 105th birthday. Scouts ran some first aid training including CPR – this is a great life skill that we should all know.
The Explorers took part in the London Monopoly Run with others from across the country and then followed it up with the highlight event of the Great Escape spending the weekend avoiding capture across Ashdown Forest whilst completing various challenges. They finished the competition is a respected 3rd place.
The Cubs took part in the District Swimming competition finishing second.
Lockdown then happened and online meetings commenced. Bring on the challenges, quizzes and scavenger hunts!
CampAtHome saw over 90,000 young people across world spend the night in makeshift dens, blanket forts, duvet caves and tents in garden. From our Group we had 70 take part and special mention to Thomas and Isabelle who spent a number of nights outside in their tent.
Beavers launched their ‘London Marathon’ challenge (thanks Liz) individually accumulating steps walked to match the distance of the marathon. Cubs made fire station models and origami flowers. Scouts undertook a lego modelling challenge whilst the Explorers did virtual quizzes. Using a large quantity of old coloured scarves we made a number of drawstring bags for NHS staff – a big thank you to everyone who supported this.
Scouts did a live cook show. We celebrated VE day with various crafts, homemade scones and others. We held a Group Family Quiz – well done to Brooks family for winning.
With lots of contributions we complied and published Our Water Madness video (have you seen it?) – seems a long time ago when we all got wet!
The Group’s AGM was held online followed by another family quiz. This saw John step down as Chairman to be replaced by David Howells.
Beavers did junk modelling, disability awareness and sign language. Cubs did first aid with many practicing bandage on their parents. A plethora of mug cakes were made by Scouts whilst the Explorers did virtual orienteering, chain reaction and Taskmaster.
It was the turn of Beavers and Cubs to make mug cakes including donuts in a cup.
We took part in the Great Indoors weekend as Summer Camps could not be held.
Explorers carved water melons and the Beavers held a beach party.
A quieter month as is usually but we took part in Surrey Roar – the County’s online camp.
Although we hadn’t been using the Scout Centre whilst in lockdown, we took the opportunity to do some maintenance and improvement work including commencement of the rear storage area.
Face-to-face meetings started for small groups which was a welcome return. Explorers chilled around the campfire and did axe throwing, Cubs went litter picking (an excuse for a walk). We made use of the astroturf at St Joseph’s School. Archery evenings were run for Cubs and Scouts at the District campsite on Reigate Hill.
Beavers went on a torchlight walk and did their cooking badge. Cubs had a go at axe throwing. Scouts took part in the District Archery coming 1st place with Ed getting the highest score! And the Explorers cooked spaghetti bolognaise and did pumpkin carving for Halloween.
We unfortunately had to return to online meetings. The Beavers reflected onwhat Scouting was like during the war for Remembrance Day. Cubs did their take on the Rule of Six with a cooking challenge and spent an evening doing experiments as part of the Scientist badge.
Both the Beavers and Cubs held evenings talking about bullying and also a joint dance class.
Being unable to attend the pantomime at the Harlequin (as we have done so every year) we instead watch an online Panto, Jack & the Beanstalk, put together by Peter Duncan, former Chief Scout.
With a small reprieve to be allowed to meet outside again Cubs held a Nerf laser gun evening. Scouts returned to the favoured (should that be flavoured?) cooking them with gingerbread houses.