greatamwellscouts.org.uk
Beaver Sleepover 2015 PDF Print E-mail

sleepover2015 012 Beavers from the Wolves colony joined in with around 50 other Beavers at the Annual District Beaver Sleepover event.  The event is only open to our 7+ year old members and so the Beavers tend to only get the chance to attend once during their time as a Beaver.   This year's theme was "Medieval" and throughout the course of the evening they made shields, helmets, tabbards and prepared items from which a castle and moat grew overnight.  They also iced some shield shaped biscuits which they got to eat with their hot chocolate as a snack before bedtime.

After the fun, they settled down in their sleeping bags and watched some short stories before lights out at around 11:30pm.  Most began to settle around midnight but there were some inevitable sugar highs, toilet trips and ones who just took longer to wind down.   Between 6:00 and 6:30am they began to stir.  They enjoyed a hearty breakfast of fruit juice, cereals, crumpets, toast and jam/honey. They had all learnt a song too for which they took to the stage on Saturday morning to entertain their Parents prior to heading home.  Their bleary-eyed smiles showed that they had all enjoyed their mini-adventure away from home, for many it was their first night alone away from their families.  Some of the Leaders stayed up all night while others grabbed a few hours of napping... I know I wasn't the only one who slept on Saturday daytime to recover!

 
2015 here we come! PDF Print E-mail

A new year begins.  We welcome our new members to the group - we have over a dozen new Beavers in recent months.  Seeing the new little faces in comparison with the ones who are ready for the move to Cubs makes me realise just how much they have grown in their 2 years, both in stature and confidence.   Sadly we say goodbye to one of our Bears Leaders, Sam aka Badger has an exciting new job which means she no longer has the time to help in her role as Assistant Beaver Scout Leader.

The Autumn term was packed with great activities across all our sections:

Our Beavers had fun at our annual family WaGAwood camp at the Thriftwood activity centre in Brentwood; a joint weekend camp with 3rd Ware Beavers with a great range of fun activites providing our parents with some much welcomed quality time with their Beaver.  The Beavers were also busy with a range of other activites including hikes and games, a visit to Scotts Grotto, ropemaking and paracord sessions, campfires, a phototrail and the usual Scouting basics.  The Wolves hosted a fundraising Cafe for family and friends and raised a whopping £142.35 for Children in Need.  The Christmas lead-up saw fun with parties, making Christmas decorations for the tree display in Leeside Church on Dickensian Evening and the District Christmas Carol Service at Christchurch.  

The Cubs enjoyed activiies ranging from climbing wall sessions, the Joti internet Jamboree, pioneering, bush trails and skinning rabbits, a trip to a WWII bunker or to the observatory at Haileybury.  Around remembrance day, some of the Cubs met a veteran called "Buster" - his story had them all captivated.  Halloween saw a night hike and sleepover at HQ, with spooky games muddy boots and mucky faces it looked like lots of fun. The Cubs joined the Beavers with the Christmas Carols at Christchurch and making Christmas decorations for Dickensian evening - their display looked brilliant.  They also enjoyed an evening of Carols around the campfire.  

Scouts also had a session at a Climbing wall and enjoyed a range of Scouting basics from pulling a car to orienteering, night hikes and pioneering.  Their preparations set them in good stead for the Hertfordshire Scouts Green Beret challenge at Phasels Wood activity centre.  They ended the Term with an Ice Skating session at Van Hages.

The year's activities have already got off to a great start, Burn's night almost took on a new meaning for the Cubs who sampled some Haggis and Tattie Scones last week... the doors and windows were all wide open to prevent the smoke from the frying pans triggering an inpromtu visit from the fire birgade!

Last Updated on Thursday, 29 January 2015 10:27
 
The Story of an Adult Volunteer PDF Print E-mail

The story that follows is that of an Adult volunteer who has dedicated over 40 years to the Scouting movement.  This is the volunteering story of the Great Uncle of one of our Cubs and is written by Nick Brand

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silverwolfJohn Martin, was awarded the Silver Wolf after many years of service to the Association. About a hundred people a year receive the Silver Wolf, which is the highest award one can receive as an adult within the movement. The hierarchy of awards starts with the Award for Service, then the Medal of Merit, then the Bar to the Medal of Merit, followed by the Silver Acorn, the bar to the Silver Acorn, and then finally the Silver Wolf.

After receiving the award from the County Commissioner, the head of the scouts in Buckinghamshire, John attended a service on St George’s Day in the Chapel at Windsor.

After the service he witnessed younger scouts receiving their Queen Scout badges, awarded to those who have become Queen Scouts, and these can be young men or women. This is the top award for young adult scouts who are usually around the age of 22 years old. This ceremony took place in a courtyard in the grounds of Windsor Castle. The Queen Scouts presented lines to the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, who walked up and down the lines and reviewed them.

John did not actually join the scouts when he was a young boy living in Horsham in Sussex, because the Second World War was being waged at the time, and his mother did not want him to leave the home. He did however join the Combined Cadet Force while he was a pupil at Haileybury College in Hertford Heath.

He first became interested in the scouts movement as an adult through his first wife’s uncle who was heavily into the scouts. By this time, John had six children of his own, and knew that his sons would be interested too in the scouts.  John lives in Great Missenden and went to his first meeting in Lee Common in 1969 after receiving a leaflet, distributed to see if there was enough support to start up a group of scouts in the area.

John had always been interested in maps and compasses. Being a farmer, he initially offered his land to be used as a campsite for the scouts.

He soon began to take on many new roles within the organisation. First he became Treasurer of the new group; then Assistant Scout Leader (ASL); then Scout Leader; then Group Scout Leader for both cubs and scouts.

The County Commissioner approached him to see if could become Buckinghamshire’s District Commissioner (DC), which covered an area of half a dozen towns and some small villages and about 1000 scouts. After about five years he took a break, and then took on the role of Assistant DC (General Duties) around 1982 and did that for several years. After this he ended up eventually with four positions which he held down at the same time: he became District Secretary, Assistant DC (Gen Duties), District Chairman, and District Treasurer. Eventually he resigned from the District Chairmanship.  He also took on the role of District Administrator (CRB) the main function of which is to check to see if people applying for posts within the scouts have any criminal records.

John believes that the scouts movement still serves its initial purpose of giving young people leadership skills, and of teaching the young how to build things, lash things together, use canoes and rafts, and so forth.

His grandson is currently an Explorer (14 to 20 year olds) and is currently on an expedition with the scouts in Iceland and his Great Nephew is a member of Cubs at Great Amwell.

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If that inspires you to volunteer then please contact us..

We welcome anyone who can spare some time, whether you want to actively help with the weekly sessions or prefer a more behind the scenes role, there is something for all. Even if you only have a spare hour to offer we are always looking to add to our team of volunteers.
 
Carnival 2014 PDF Print E-mail

Another Great Amwell success with our brilliant entry getting "Most Original Entry" and "Best Overall" for the 3rd Year running! 

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Well done to all Beavers, Cubs and Various older Helpers in our Squad of Mini Batman's, Classic Batman & Robin and the Gotham City Police Department for keeping that pesky Joker locked up in Jail where he belongs!  Those lazy Police kept stopping for a rest which allowed the Joker time to escape from the Jail Transport Cart.  But there was nothing to fear as the ever-prepared mini Batman Squad swiftly alerted Batman & Robin to the problem with their 60 whistles!  Batman & Robin set chase and soon had the Joker locked up again!  If you were stood next to us when the Joker escaped, then sorry for making you deaf with all those whistles! 

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This was just the start of the fun for the Cubs, who then went on to spend the night camping and doing various Oxley-shield-type activites over at our HQ.  Should be some sound sleepers come sunday night, as I have heard from a good source that some of the cubs were chatting until 2am! 

Last Updated on Sunday, 06 July 2014 22:04
 
Family Camp 2014 PDF Print E-mail

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The first weekend in June 2014 produced another successful Great Amwell Family Camp with over 100 members from all sections joining in with the fun and activities.  A sedate Friday evening with glow-light lantern crafting and hot-dogs for all allowed everyone time to get tents pitched and have a chance to chat and relax by the Campfire before the activity programme on Saturday.  The weather held off overnight and gave everyone enough time to have Breakfast before a passing deluge of rain reminded everyone what Scout Camps can be like at times.  Thankfully, the rain cleared away and we spent the remainder of the weekend enjoying the clear skies.

Activities were based on a "Festival" theme. In the Team Chariot Racing challenge, two teams battled one another to carry their Chariot components through an obstacle course and then assemble their Chariot at the bottom and race back up to the top.  The Rocketman base was great fun with everyone making their own rockets from plastic fizzy drinks bottles and then firing them toward the trees using compressed air; this proved to be very exciting and produced a few wet faces as water was an essential component in propelling the bottle once pressurised! A Backwoods cooking experience was led by the Leopards Cub Leaders and they certainly won the prize for the most whacky costumes and presentation!  Their base had amazing outdoor pizza ovens that comprised of cardboard boxes lined with foil placed over small disposable BBQ's, and a fire drum made from the old inside of a washing machine - pure genius and both very effective!  Add to this the usual S'mores and other tasty backwoods offerings and you have some happy munching!  Crafting activities included Noise makers, Bracelets, Mardi-Gras masks and the very popular Tie-Dyed Nekkers. Everyone also contributed to a giant Mural that captured the ambience of the weekend and this is now up on the wall inside the hall for all to see over the next few weeks.

 

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To add to the Festival feeling, the local band “The Antidote” came along to entertain everyone through Dinner and late afternoon free-time. The wide-game headed into the woods.  The day's events were completed by the evening Campfire, opened by the Scouts with the traditional Four Spirits Ceremony. Two former Beavers were invested into their new Cub Pack at the Campfire and everyone then tried their best to keep the neighbours entertained with some traditional campfire songs. The Scouts who joined in as helpers for the weekend were based in their own camping area at the top of the field and joined a little competition against the rest of the campers with the battle song “There ain’t no flies on us”; considering their reduced number they did a brilliant job at being heard across the field.

 

On Sunday, everyone crafted their own Paracord Cobra Weave keyring fob to add to their keepsakes from the weekend, which will remind them of the fun weekend they had. The events were then rounded off with the Scouts Own and flag down ceremony. Brilliant weekend, well done to all involved in the planning and smooth running.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 June 2014 12:57
 
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