A summer break over and a new term of Scouting ahead. See what’s been happening already and plans for the future.

What’s been happening?

Scouts play their part at Ringwood Carnival

By Dave Gillam, Group Scout Leader at 3rd Ringwood.

After a Covid enforced break, Ringwood Carnival returned to the streets again on 17th September. Although unable to enter a float in the procession this year, 3rd Ringwood Scout Group was able to supply some manpower to help put out crowd barriers through the town centre on Saturday morning, and then fulfilled our annual task of clearing litter around the fairground and part of the Carnival route on Sunday morning.

Due consideration was given to separating as much litter as possible for recycling, and many bags were left heaped along the roadside for the refuse collectors. A further heap was left in the procession’s assembly area at Parkside – where the participants were rewarded with a welcome cool drink and the satisfaction of a duty well done! (Several other members were litter picking in other areas and so didn’t make it to Parkside for the photo).

First for Fordingbridge Beavers

By Shirley Brookes, Group Scout Leader at 1st Fordingbridge.

On Saturday 24 September, fourteen eager Beavers arrived at Sandleheath Scout Centre ready for their very first Beaver Sleepover. No-one knew what to expect – it was a new experience for all of the Beaver leadership team as well as the Beavers, with only Shirley, our new GSL (and the permit holder) having run one of these before.

After saying goodbye to parents, we set off on a nature walk to collect leaves, twigs and other interesting bits and bobs ready to make pictures with later in the afternoon. The weather was very kind and we were able to do our gluing, sticking and colouring outside in the sunshine and then play games on the Scout Centre’s large field whilst the glue dried.

After squash and biscuits, we made catapults out of lolly sticks and elastic bands (thank you Pinterest) and had a competition to see who could fire a paper ball the furthest. Whilst we were busy with this activity Alison, our Beaver leader, was assessed by Simon and Barry for her Indoor Nights Away Permit, so no excuses why the Beavers can’t sleepover again soon! After more fun on the field, we tucked into our meal of pasta, sauce and sausage, followed by Shirley’s favourite camp pudding – swiss roll and custard. After the Beavers had washed up their plates and bowls, we had a campfire and toasted marshmallows for s’mores. We then went back inside to settle ourselves down and listen to a story.

Eventually the Beavers did manage to do the sleep part of the sleepover and we woke up Sunday morning at a very civilised 7am. After packing our kit away and having breakfast it was time to go back out onto the field to enjoy the Autumn sunshine for a while longer. The Beavers learnt how to tie reef knots and they noticed that our World Scout badge includes this as part of the design. It wasn’t long before it was time for the Beavers to go home and for the leaders to reflect on a very successful first Sleepover.

More Nights Away at Netley Marsh Beavers

By Emma Hanslip, Beaver Scout Leader at 6th Netley Marsh.

The Beavers had their first sleepover at the beginning of September. We based it on the theme of ‘Fox’s Challenge’ a pawprint badge.

We camped at Woodlands Road campsite and had 15 eager beavers, all of them had never stayed away from home before but they did amazing.

We made fox masks and pictures using the leaves and sticks we found around the campsite. We also made up plays in our tent groups, using leaves and sticks we made people with googly eyes.

The Beavers worked well together to make their plays in the short amount of time they had to prepare their show. The Beavers made their own sandwiches for lunchtime, another first for every beaver and even did all of their washing up!

Well done too to Emma who used the sleepover for her Nights Away Permit.

What’s coming up?

Our first Squirrel Drey coming soon

By Kevin Harmer.


Copythorne have decided to open the New Forest District’s first Squirrel Drey, starting with a six-week trial to get parents to sign up to help with the leadership. We have contacted all schools and pre-schools in the local area and had an overwhelming response so far. Spaces are still available if anyone is interested in a place on the free trial or for a leadership position.

Squirrels is the newest branch of the Scouts family tree where four and five year olds can join in for the very first time. The six week trial will start at Copythorne on Wednesday 2nd November between 4.30pm and 5.30pm. It’s an age when minds are fizzing, when curiosity levels are sky high, when little lives are full of wow and wonder. Set them climbing that tree and who knows how far they’ll reach. For more details or to sign up, those interested can email [email protected].

Reminders and Notices:

Dates for your diary

  • Soap Box Derby – 9th October, get those amazing carts built, there’s still time to get them done and entry can be on the day, although Ian knowing in advance would be appreciated.
  • All Leaders Meeting – 20th October, 20:00hrs for a 20:15hrs start, at Poulner Scout HQs, 264 Southampton Rd, Ringwood BH24 1JQ
  • District Beaver Camp Fire – 22nd October, at Sandleheath Scout HQs. Keep the date in the diary, more info to follow this week.

Lynn, Ian, Kevin & Robin

Team DC – New Forest

Tails of the New Forest – 26th September 2022
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