This report is part of a series from members across the district for the Annual General Meeting to be held online on 8th July 2020.
The report is presented in two parts as the role of Assistant District Commissioner for Cubs changed during the year. It also contains the report of the District Cubs’ Chessington trip.
April – September 2019
Well this is my last report as ADC Cubs, it’s only a short one covering June – August as I am pleased that Richard White has taken over the reins.
We start last June but the Six A Side tournament took place Mid May with lots of teams taking part.
It was a lovely sunny day and some great football was played and fantastic team spirit and great sports person ship was shown by all the Cubs that took part. Congratulations to Dyak Cubs who lifted the trophy. Our thanks go to Robin Mair for all the back ground work he did in preparing the fixtures and for setting up the pitches. Also, for Lyndhurst Junior Football Club for allowing us to use their ground.
In July Craig organised and ran the 2nd Muntjac trophy, this time he changed the venue and extended the length of the route (well the whole of Wilverly Enclosure to be fair) which on a very hot day in July was rather challenging for the Cubs and Leaders that were walking with them. Despite the challenges all the Cubs enjoyed themselves and well done to Testwood for coming out as winners.
As I said at the start this is my last report, as now I have joined Team DC, I needed to hand the reigns over. It has been a pleasure and honour to lead the Cub Section for the District over the past 13 years. We have seen a lot of changes; many leaders come and go and thankfully some are still in post. We have seen many Cubs achieve a lot and go on to become Scouts and Explorers and even Young Leaders. We have done many District, County competitions and brilliant County Day trips and Camps.
I would like to finish by thanking all the Leaders for all their support over the past years, especially Tara Paul as my DCSL for many years. I wish the Cub section much success in the future. I would also like to thank Richard White for taking the role on.
I know Richard and the leaders have lots of new ideas to try. Oh, and Richard only 12 years and 4 months to go in post!!!
Former Assistant District Commissioner (Cub Scouts)
September 2019 – May 2020
Since taking on the role of ADC Cubs in September 2019, I’ve had the pleasure of hearing about some great programmes that the Cub packs have taken part in, provided by the great Cubs leadership teams.
These activities include night hikes and star navigation, pancakes, home help, safety, Lego nights, Parent & Cub Camps. All the cubs have had great fun!
We have also had some District activities including the Chessington World of Adventure sleepover with 46 Cubs taking part in September.
District Competitions that also have taken place since September are the District Swimming Gala in November with 7 teams taking part. Thank you for organising again Ian.
We also had the Colin Stewart Brainbox Competition in February 2020 with most Cub packs taking part. Thank you Tara and her team for organising.
Unfortunately due to the Covid-19 pandemic we’ve had no face-to-face Scouting and cannot continue for the time being. While district and pack events have been cancelled, numerous groups are still running with some great activities via social media and Zoom meetings including Virtual Camps, pizza making, quizzes and more activities.
Hopefully very soon we can get back to some normal scouting face to face but in the meantime thank you for the hard work given by all section leaders and continuing to support your Cub packs.
Assistant District Commissioner (Cub Scouts)
District Cub Expedition to Chessington World of Adventure
In 2017 a Cub pack forum held at the 5th gave birth to the idea of alternative sleepovers with museums, aquariums and theme parks were among the ideas that came forth from the Cubs. So away we went to find out how feasible this was. In 2017 we stumbled upon sleeping with Sharks at the national aquarium. We wanted exclusive use, so it was decided we would run this as a district sleepover. Five packs attended and whilst on the trip the leaders thought that these alternative sleepovers as a District were a good idea.
So following the success of the Plymouth aquarium sleeping with sharks trip, it was time to host another alternative sleepover for the Cubs of New Forest North District. So late in 2018 homework started on finding a sleepover of equal measure and this time we turned to Youth Fun Days.
The wheels were set in motion and this year we would end up taking 8 Cubs from the 1st Lyndhurst, 10 Cubs from the 3rd Ashurst & Colbury and 28 Cubs from the 5th New Forest North Cub packs to Chessington World of Adventure. Coaches were booked, and to save money in the park on lunches on the Sunday, we found a local sandwich company, Just Rolls in Shirley, who were amazing. With a quick blast round Costco, we had everything we needed for packed lunches.
On Friday 13th September at 8:30am, we left Lyndhurst car park by coach and made our way to Chessington for a weekend of fun and adventure. After an obligatory stop at Fleet services, we arrived at Chessington at around 10:30am. The Cubs, with bedrolls in arms, day bags and pop-up tents on their backs making them somewhat resemble teenage mutant ninja turtles, made the short but steep ascent to the Tiger field which would be our base for the weekend.
The Cubs excitedly put up camp and got their bedrolls unpacked and ready for when it would eventually be time for bed. We had all this done by 11:45 so the decision was made to eat lunch before heading into the park. We were quickly briefed on meeting times and place for our evening meal and headed into the park where the 3 groups split up to enjoy all the rides and attractions, occasionally bumping into one another as they moved around the park.
At 5pm we all came back together as arranged for dinner. Along with 2 Cub packs from elsewhere in the country and a large contingent of Girl Guides, we were taken to the pizza and pasta restaurant in the park for a buffet of “as much as you could eat” pizzas, pasta and salad washed down with bottomless cups of fizz.
After everyone had eaten their own body weight in food, we were then led off to the Wanyama village and reserve which was at the rear of the park’s safari lodge hotel. Whilst there, we saw the resident animals including meerkats, ostrich and some very amorous antelope among other African animals in the park’s enclosure. This was until the majority of Cubs and Guides started to feel the effects of bottomless fizz glasses and, not wanting to take us all into the hotel bar’s toilets (the closest), we were led back to camp at the Tiger field stopping at some conveniences elsewhere in the park en route.
Once back, the Cubs let off steam in the fields. Although there was a selection of outdoor toys to use, the Cubs amused themselves whilst the leaders put their lunches together for the next day. (A fairly easy job thanks to those ready-made sandwiches). The leaders also took the opportunity to grab a tea or coffee before the cubs had the choice of a hot or cold drink and biscuits before bed. The leaders watched the toing and froing of aeroplanes in and out of Heathrow as well as a beautiful sunset. We were also lucky enough to be treated to an amazing firework display in the middle distance from our stunning vantage point looking back over Kingston-upon-Thames and beyond towards the M3.
The next day we woke at around 6am to what would turn out to be a magnificent hot dry day. Bed rolls were packed back up and the tents left to dry from the morning dew and we all went back in the park before it would open to the public.
First stop the smokehouse grill for bacon rolls, juice and a coffee or two. Then an early tour of the valley of the kings where we first saw the Sea lions who took full advantage of their early morning audience to show off just what amazing swimmers they are. A majestic male lion, laid out head aloft, in his enclosure soaking up the early morning sun and completely oblivious to all the Cubs and Guides staring on from the safety of the footpaths surrounding his domain. The wonderful gorillas gave quite a show of eating their breakfast. I drew some parallels to the Cub breakfast time that had just passed.
Then it was ride time with the advantage of being in the park before the public meaning that the first two rides were virtually queue free. Testwood Cubs flew off with their leaders to ride the Vampire, which they got on straight away and within 20 minutes both this and Dragon’s Fury were ridden. The Park now started to fill with the general public but everyone seemed to had been able to get on everything they had wanted to.
At 3pm, we returned one last time to the Tiger field to break camp and make our way down the hill back to the coach. We stopped again at Fleet Services for a comfort break and we had decided to buy the Cubs McFlurry’s as the ice creams in the park would have required selling a Scout hall. The McDonald’s staff faces were a picture when the orders went in. We arrived back at Lyndhurst just before 7pm with very tired Cubs who had had an amazing time. Once again another cracking alternative sleepover and one I’m sure all involved would be keen to repeat. So how do we top these amazing trips? What will the alternative sleepover be in 2021 for the Cubs of New Forest North?
Cub Scout Leader for 5th New Forest North (Testwood) Scouts and Assistant District Commissioner (Growth)