Pinsent: your help needed!

Most of us know how much our Scouts, Cubs and Beavers value the time they are able to spend up at Pinsent camp. Whether it’s crate-stacking, fire lighting, hiking, camping or some other activity, Pinsent is a marvellous resource. However, like all marvellous resources, it doesn’t run itself.

Winchester District regularly runs working weekends to help maintain the site and ensure it is safe and enjoyable for all its users. The next such weekend is scheduled for the 14th-15th October 2017. The 12th Winchester Scout Group has been allocated the 10am-12 noon slot on Sunday 15th October. We need a minimum of ten adult volunteers to help refurbish the individual camp sites. The work will include removing sycamore seedlings and saplings, clearing logs and returning them to the woodpile, spreading bark chippings over footpaths, and fencing. Children are also welcome, and can be found appropriate tasks to assist…..

Please, please, please don’t leave it up to the leaders! Find some boots, a thick pair of gardening gloves and come and join us for a couple of hours. If you can help, please let your child’s leader know or post on the FB page.

Look forward to seeing you there on the 15th!

Beaver autumn sleepover at the Scout hut

The autumn term programme of events got underway with a swing for our Beavers on Saturday 23rd September. On a day when Winchester was gridlocked, a dozen of the 12th’s youngest members were busy running a sweet stall at the St Bartholomew’s church fete (and, no, they didn’t eat all the produce), visiting the Royal Greenjackets’ museum, enjoying games on St Giles’ Hill and an evening bat watch at Winnall Moors with the Hants Wildlife Trust, before turning in for the night in the Scout hut.

Huge thanks, as ever, to Ladybird and her team of helpers for making the weekend possible.

Ladybird’s advice on how to iron a necker

It’s the Remembrance Day service this Sunday (the 13th) at Winchester Cathedral. We often say how it’s the highlight of our Scouting calendar – and it is. It is a real privilege to stand at the memorial with the Green Jackets and, as such, we need to look the part. This means full uniform for all Beavers, Cubs and Scouts, with ironed neckers.

Here, for avoidance of doubt, is Ladybird’s guide to ironing your necker:

  1. Iron flat
  2. Place triangle on board with point at bottom
  3. Fold over top by 1cm and iron
  4. Continue to fold and iron a 1cm strip until the badge is reached

Properly done, it will take around 15 minutes but should keep the necker in immaculate condition for two years!

On Sunday, please meet outside the West Door of the Cathedral at 8.45am. The ceremony will start at 9am and finish by 9.20am. 

Summer 2016 Cub camp

cub-camp-brownsea-island    cub-camp-campfire

The sea off Brownsea Island looks Mediterranean blue in the photos. General consensus was that the Cubs’ summer 2016 camp was “scorchio”. The Pack made the most of all that beautiful weather with a hike along the Clarendon Way, their visit to Brownsea Island, crate stacking, cub-dunking (don’t ask), plenty of campfires and, for brief respite from the heat, if not the noise, a trip to Oxygen freejumping in Southampton.

Huge thanks to all the leaders for making the week happen. The Cubs are still talking about it.

What a Cub Mum said…..

‘Everything started, “Mum, the best thing was…..”’

What the Cubs said….

‘I had a plaster but it’s much better and everything was so much fun!’

‘The fish and chips were amazing!’

Beavers’ 30th anniversary camp at Pinsent

Several of our Beavers were among over 100 local Beavers who participated in the anniversary District camp at Pinsent in September 2016. The Beavers followed Ladybird’s kit list to the letter and arrived with their teddies and onesies, tea towels and torches. Much fun was had sorting out sleeping arrangements, laying out carry mats and sleeping bags (query – are any of them ever so keen on bedtime at home?) and learning the importance of the “shoes off” rule in the tent. Then came lunch and an impressive variety of activities including archery, an obstacle course, cake decorating and, of course, songs and marshmallows around the campfire…… Everyone slept well, achieving a new and impressive morning lie-in record of 6.45am, and was thoroughly and happily grubby by noon on Sunday when it was time to go home.

Many, many thanks to Ladybird, Slug and Chick – and congratulations to Tyler for his award for “most helpful camper”.

What the Beavers said…..

‘It was SO much fun!’

‘Mummy, you’d be so pleased. I ate the biggest lunch!’

‘We didn’t go to sleep ALL night.’ [They did; I checked with Ladybird and Slug – Ed]
What one of our new Cubs said….

‘Can’t I be a Beaver again for the weekend?’

Sailing at Spinnaker Lake

beaver-sailing-2        beaver-sailing

Rafting, kayaking and sailing…..our Beavers tried all of them one grey July day. Suitably garbed in wetsuits and life jackets, the colony did its very best to emulate their watery namesakes. New skills were acquired, new alliances made (‘I’ll sit this side, you sit there and we’ll both try not to fall overboard’) and, at the end of it all, another of Slug’s legendary barbecues fortified the tired and soggy sailors with pemmican and ships’ biscuits (aka sausages and cake).

Our thanks to everyone at Spinnaker for such a brilliant – and bargainous – day out!

What the Beavers said…..

“Our group fell in the water….because we wanted to!”

“I liked the barbecue afterwards. I had four sausages!”

“I got really wet but I didn’t mind because it was fun and I had a nice warm shower when we’d finished.”

“Can I go next year?”

St George’s Day parade – Sunday 24th April, 12.45pm

This year’s St George’s Day parade is only a month away. We’ll be marching our flags past the Guildhall and up through the High Street to the Cathedral.
Please keep the date free, iron your neckers, find your woggles, polish your shoes and bring your cameras!

We’ll post more information about precise timings and where to meet nearer the time.

Remembrance Sunday 2015

Sunday 8th November will see the annual Remembrance Service at the Cathedral War Memorial. It is the most important occasion in the 12th Winchester calendar and one that we are privileged to attend thanks to our long-standing links with the Green Jackets and Rifles Brigade.

We very much hope that all Beavers, Cubs and Scouts will be able to attend. Please ensure full uniform is worn, shoes are carefully polished, hair is neat and neckers ironed. (And don’t forget to wear something warm underneath the uniform as we will be outside for the duration of the service.)

Meet at the KRRC Memorial outside the Cathedral at 0900hrs. The service takes place  at 0910hrs and should be finished by 0930hrs.

Beaver Scouts do crate stacking!

‘The courage of those Beavers was nothing short of impressive’

Ladybird

The Beavers welcomed the start of the new scouting term with a series of evenings up at Pinsent. The highlight of these was undoubtedly crate stacking. Under a threatening early evening sky, the Beavers were harnessed and helmeted before, three at a time, testing their balance and their nerve in front of their friends.

Essentially, crate stacking is the act of placing one crate on top of another while a climber remains on the topmost crate without overbalancing and falling off. Obviously, our Beavers were secured safely, via their harnesses, to an overhead rope but nonetheless this was an exercise that required confidence in bucket-loads. However they all did themselves – and each other – proud. Everyone had a go and there were some extremely impressive crate stacks. Obviously, falling off them, or kicking them over, was half of the fun.

With many thanks from the Beavers to all the adults who made this exercise possible!

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Scouts’ sailing weekend

Our Scout group marked the start of summer by taking to the seas with a sailing weekend in July at the Royal Yachting Association accredited National Seamanship Training Centre in Portsmouth.
Friday evening saw some dry-land introductions to the concepts of sheeting, reefing and helming before a 6am start on Saturday morning. No-one had to be dug out of their cabin or tipped from their hammock: everyone was eager to make the most of the tides and get sailing for real. Moving back to the land, activities included a hearty breakfast and dinner – luckily, the traditional fare of ships biscuits and pemmican were not on the menu – and training included a session on knots before the group moved back to the water for an evening sail.
“It was my first time sailing. We had a nice time at the weekend. I learned how to sail Wayfarers and Picos with instructors who made it fun. I would go again next year!” Alistair

Sunday morning’s crew, although up and ready for the day at a similar time, was noticeably less lively than the previous day – at least at first. Demonstrating advanced skills, various boats became involved in a new form of naval warfare based on water pistols and buckets of water until everyone was wide awake.

“It was a fun experience to go to. The instructors were very good as they took you through your paces and if you were more advanced they would put you in a boat for more able sailors. I would definitely do it again and would like to try a Pico next time. PS – the power safety boat was excellent as it could go very fast!” Edward

The centre’s highly qualified instructors impressed us with their enthusiasm and their ability to cater for our group’s wide range of skills and experience – and all at the cost of only £25 per person. We are already making plans for a repeat visit next year: get ready to book your place soon…..