What’s been happening?

Carols by the fireside

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

On Friday 2nd December, and following an enforced absence of 3 years, around 120 carollers – all members of 3rd Ringwood or their families – were once again able to gather for a Group Carol Service around the (bon)fire in a field just outside Ringwood.

Illuminated by festive lights around the barn, over 45 decorated bottle candles, and the firelight, it was very atmospheric. We were very appreciative to also have the company of several members of the local Salvation Army band to keep our singing on track!

Although it was a very cold night – it was dry, and everyone was able to warm themselves around a huge fire, sing some carols, listen to the band, hear some seasonal readings by Cubs and Scouts, and then enjoy a delicious luxury mince pie and hot chocolate served by our local Active Support members in the barn, before leaving for home.

Our grateful thanks to the Salvation Army, and also to the owners for allowing our use of their field, barn, fire, PA system, and a little electricity!

Copythorne’s Squirrels Drey

By Kevin Harmer, Team DC

2nd Copythorne completed a very successful six-week trial at the beginning of December. The interest to continue was very high so we decided to continue with the Drey as from 11th January 2023.

We have been very lucky to have found 3 leaders to take on the Drey with the help of a parent rota. During our six-week trial the Squirrels engaged in activities such as a campfire, wildlife hunting, obstacle course and being detective Squirrels. We finished the six weeks with a Christmas party with a visit from the Father Christmas himself.

When we returned in the new year, the first meeting back we first invested our Section Leader Bobby in to Copythorne and then each Squirrel had their moment in being invested and saying their promise. A few weeks in and I’m pleased to say that we are fully up and running. We still have a couple of spaces left, so if you are interested in your young person joining Squirrel Scouts, please contact us at [email protected]

I would like to say a big thank you to the leadership team that helped to get Squirrels off the ground during the six-week trail, thanks to warren Turvey, Mary Stubbington and Joy Sellwood.

New Drey in town

By Steven Osborn, Group Scout Leader at 5th Testwood.

After months of planning, a new section for Scouting is coming to Totton. Planning to launch in February, the Squirrel Drey at 5th Testwood builds on the good work of the group and will hopefully reach new communities and attract new volunteer support too. With plans approved by our leaders and trustees, adaptations being made so our building is welcome to these red ninjas we really can’t wait!

Fordingbridge Christmas Fundraising

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

On Friday 02 December the Christmas lights were switched on in Fordingbridge by Santa and his elves. After a break due to the pandemic, it was also an opportunity for community groups and local businesses to set up stalls and for residents to enjoy a night out.

Our Cub leader Ivan had the idea of making bird boxes and feeders from scraps of wood to sell on the night and the Cubs enthusiastically got involved. We set up our stall on the high street and sold almost all of what had been made. We raised £230 on the night which meant a profit of £180 for our funds.

At the same time, we sold stamps for the Salisbury District Scout Post which we participate in each year. We have a network of local shops selling the stamps and hosting post boxes. There is a well-organised system of post collection and sorting both in Salisbury and within our Group. Delivery of the cards for our local area was completed in time for Christmas by members of the Group and Viper ESU. Overall, we sold over 2100 stamps and delivered 1700 cards across Fordingbridge and surrounding areas and raised a further £380 for our funds.

Scouts going for gold

By Steven Osborn, Group Scout Leader at 5th Testwood.

We all know that achieving the top award for each section gets harder as our Scouts get older with more personal effort required from each young person. At 5th Testwood we haven’t had a Scout complete their Gold Chief Scout’s award in too long so it was such as delight to see four young people awarded their Gold this term.

All four joined the troop during lockdown and the team at Garland Troop have worked incredibly hard to provide the best opportunities for them all so all could earn it. This included putting them in their own special Expedition patrol for the Autumn term so they could work on their Expedition challenge for sections of the evening while their peers attempted skills that they themselves had mastered before. We’re so proud of all four and it is great that they could come back to receive their awards too. We hope that their Scouting journeys will continue in some form into the future. Well done to them all!

Lyndhurst Scouts Christmas Camp

By a Scout from 1st Lyndhurst.

In December I went to my last camp as a Scout. We started the weekend by going on a 6-mile hike from Slufters Enclosure to Poulner Scout Hall.

The day was one of the coldest in December, which meant there was plenty of ice to play with during the walk.

We arrived at the hall around 4pm, just in time to sit down for a lovely Christmas dinner, followed by Apple crumble. After dinner we went rock climbing within the hall. This was the first time that I had to belay other climbers, which was an interesting experience.

Totton Santa Run

By Steven Osborn, Group Scout Leader at 5th Testwood.

A big, big, thank you from all of us at 5th Testwood Scouts to the many volunteers who made our annual Santa Run a success. This was our first year trialling a 5km route option as well as the usual 2.5km route in the hope of attracting some of the more serious running clubs to the event (alas a new half marathon on the same day dented those!). I think this was the first year that we had so many marshals from across the group help out and volunteer so early, we love it when it makes our organising effort easier. Despite the bitter cold, we still had a good number of runners come out and join us and the Christmas Fayre had a great atmosphere too. We’re already planning our next
community event so keep an eye out for that!

Sandleheath Beavers reaching new heights

By Kathryn Flint, Assistant Beaver Scout Leader at 1st Sandleheath Sea Scouts.

The highlight of our Autumn term was taking the Beavers indoor climbing at 1st Poulner Scout Hall. We spread the activity across 2 evenings to reduce numbers to 9 beavers per session. This worked great and allowed the Beavers to work together in teams of three, one climbing, one belaying and the other as support holding the rope. All the Beavers had a wonderful time, for many it was their first experience of this adventurous activity. They also loved playing games at the end on the bouldering wall. Two of our leaders are currently training towards their permits and it allowed a fantastic opportunity for them to gain some experience with the little ones. Massive thank you to James Gates of 1st Poulner Scouts for making it happen!

Editor’s note: Poulner’s climbing wall is proving popular in this edition!

Stag’s Head Trophy returns

By Simon Down, Assistant District Commissioner for Scouts

First of all, a thank you to everyone that helped on the day, whether by helping to run the event, shadowing a team or entering a team. A special thanks to Barry Stride, as without him we wouldn’t have got this event off of the ground. This was the first Stags Head run by Barry and myself and we felt it went very well and we have learnt a couple of things we could tweak for next year. I think everybody had a good day out!

Points were earned for answering questions, activities on the manned bases and for completing the course in good time. A total of 34 Scouts in seven teams from six Troops from all sides of the District took part. Final results were:

1st – Copythorne Everett
2nd – Burley
3rd – Sandleheath Falcon
4th – Sandleheath Kestrel
5th – Testwood
6th – Lyndhurst
7th – Ashurst & Colbury

Antler Club rises again

By Steven Osborn, Group Scout Leader at 5th Testwood

Testwood’s long running bingo group returned last term to bring smiles to our community. The Antler Club has a long running tradition at our hall, starting as a fundraising event back when our hall was new, and has continued as a place for the community to come together. It’s a place where our neighbours can get out and ward off the loneliness.

As the new year starts they are growing their numbers steadily but there is still room for more. They meet on Thursday afternoons at our HQ on Blackwater Drive, Calmore, and is open to anyone interested. Plus, it must be the only place you can still get a cuppa for 20p!

Contact [email protected] and we’ll pass your details onto Tracy their organiser.

What’s coming up?

Leaders Practical Skills Weekend

By Simon Down, Assistant District Commissioner for Scouts

For the Weekend of 15th-16th April 2023 we have booked a pitch at Ferny Crofts for the chance for Leaders in our district to develop their Scouting skills.

Skills taught are dependent on demand and participants but could include knife safety, axe and saw, tarpaulin camping, backward cooking, map and compass, tent pitching, pioneering etc. We will pitch it for what people want. These will be similar to module 38 skills but longer sessions.

If you would like to take part, please respond by March 26th to [email protected] Please let us know of any particular area of skills that you would like to learn more about.

Also, if you are available to help deliver skills for this event that would be greatly appreciated. Once I have some idea of interest we will confirm the cost and timings.

Reminders, Opportunities and Notices:

Scout Active Support members wanted

By Joy Sellwood, Scout Active Support Manager

Scouts Active Support

Our District Scout Active Support Unit would like to recruit new members to help out at District and Group events, we
run several events each year and we would really struggle to run them without the invaluable support provided by our SASU members. There is no need to hold any other Scout role or have Scouting experience, anyone aged over 18 years is welcome to join.

For a chat about the role please contact with Joy Sellwood, [email protected] or Roger Newland, [email protected]

Permit Assessors

Please be aware that in the District we have several approved Nights Away Assessors and the main point of contact is Simon Down; [email protected]

We are also very lucky to have various county Approved Assessors for land and water activities who are based at Ferny Crofts. All leaders can run an ‘Assessor Search’ in Compass.

If you are wanting to run an activity and need a specific permit holder, you can also run a ‘Permit Holder Search’ in Compass. Permit Holders can then be approached for support. If anyone would like guidance on how to run these searches please get in touch.

New Forest National Park walking pack

The below link is to the New Forest National Park free walking pack, including a link to download a free walking phone app.

Check your email on Compass

We still have volunteers with an incorrect or old email address on Compass. If anyone has a problem accessing
Compass to update an email address, please contact Team DC, Lynn, who can help you with access or update the record for you. Compass is being replaced soon and everyone will need an accurate and unique email address.

Calor Gas bottle changes

By Ian Sims, Team DC

Calor have this week confirmed the rumours that they are discontinuing the following bottle sizes as of the 1st of February 2023: Cube, 3.9kg; Propane, 4.5Kg; Butane, 6Kg; Propane Lite & 12Kg Butane

More information can be found at www.calor.co.uk/cylinder-range-faq Once the existing stocks have been depleted, the smallest physical sized Calor bottles available for sale/refill will be the 5Kg Patio Propane, 7Kg Butane & 6Kg Propane, all of which are considerably larger in size.

Project 23 spaces

By Hampshire Scouts

There are a few spaces for young people (14-17 years old) and a space for one leader. More info here: Project23 or email [email protected] for more enquiries.

Scouting Sixty Years Ago

By Roger Newland, Scout Active Support

Ringwood Senior Scouts Camping in the Snow January 1963.

Weekend 12th-13th January

We all met at Bob's house at 12.30 on Saturday. After loading our kit in Mr. Johnson's car we set off on our bikes for skip's caravan. On reaching Skip's we loaded our kit on the sledge he had made.

We set off with the sledge and our rucsacks, taking the road toward Ogdens. When the road ended we set out across country towards the small wood on the horizon. After trudging through deep snow, we came to the wood and set up camp in the wood. After clearing away the snow we put up the tents. We built a fire and cooked our tea. After tea Jinks and Robert set off home again as they has to go to a church party, they said they would return about 10.30.

We stoked up the fire and then set our for a walk. Following some deer spours we travelled round the edge of the wood, on reaching the end of the wood we turned back to camp. We had a warm around the fire and then set out in the direction in which we had arrived. When we returned we made some soup for supper and then retired to bed. At 11.45 Jinks and Robert returned, finished the soup and then also returned to bed.

In the morning we got up at about 10 O Clock?! We had breakfast and started packing up the gear and tidying the site. At almost 1 O Clock we set off for home, reaching Skip's caravan some time later we had a hot drink, then set off home. We decided that a camp in the snow is something to be participated in to be appreciated.

Gone Home: Ian Mason-Smith

By Roger Newland, Scout Active Support

Sorry to report that Ian passed away on December 11th 2022 at the Christchurch MacMillan Unit.

Ian served the Scout Movement for many years, in Europe, Hampshire and Brownsea Island. He was a Commissioner in the Benelux Countries and in Hampshire on the Development Committee. He was Chairman of New Forest West, manager of the New Forest West Fellowship and a member of Scout Active Support also an early member of the Hampshire Scout Heritage team.

If you don’t know Ian from Scouting you may well have seen him driving around the area in his trusty Austin 7 Rhubarb. He was also on many charity committees including arranging to bring the Peace Light to Ringwood.
He will be missed by his wife Pam, family and his many friends.

Lynn, Ian, Kevin & Robin

Team DC – New Forest

Tails of the New Forest – 27th January 2023
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