What’s been happening?

More Top awards for District!

Back in May, Jake Beach and Dale Francis had the privilege to attend Buckingham Palace to be presented with their Gold Duke of Edinburgh Awards. A few weeks later, at Ferny Crofts, their Queen’s Scout Awards were presented by Paul Hedges, Assistant County Commissioner.

The Queen’s Scout Award is the top achievement in Scouting and, on this occasion made even more poignant as these will be some of the very last, from now on becoming the King’s Scout Award.

These awards are the culmination of years of hard work and dedication, taking on challenges in volunteering, physical, skills and expedition. Like all Queen/King Scouts in Hampshire they both had the honour to wear the Silver Elephant for a short time. The Silver Elephant was presented to Hampshire Scouts by the late Lord Mountbatten, many of you may not know who he was but his former residence was the Broadlands Estate in Romsey!

Dale and Jake have been friends since primary school and started Scouting in Beavers and moving through the movement concluded with them being the stalwarts of District Network.

They had to make a short speech at the Ferny Crofts presentation, and both said the highlight of the award was completing the 109-mile South Downs Way – a very hard, but looking back, enjoyable expedition. The picture at Buckingham Palace was taken with their expedition group.

Let’s hope this is the first of many adventures they undertake together. Importantly they also said thanks to all the Leaders that had helped them along the way, from their initial days in Beavers through to Explorers, a thought echoed by their parents. It will probably only be later in life that Dale and Jake look back and appreciate what an achievement this is.

Jake said; the awards took us longer than planned to complete, being disrupted and delayed in 2020 due to the pandemic but we got there in the end. Certain parts of our award ended up being different than usual. Our expedition challenge was adapted expedition that didn’t involve camping. However, this didn’t make it easy. We walked the South Downs Way from Winchester to Eastbourne over the course of 6 days with early mornings and late nights. For both of us, this was the highlight of completing both awards.

We would recommend anyone in the district who is thinking of completing both awards to do so.

Well Done Dale & Jake!

Awards at District AGM

Robin Mair (l), Team DC, with Keith Greenaway

We had a good attendance at the District AGM on 11th July, a lovely sunny evening at Harry’s Island, thank you to all who managed to make it.

It was also an ideal opportunity for Robin to present Keith Greenaway with his 60 years Long Service Award. Keith has held lots of different Scouting Roles over the years and was the New Forest North Treasurer for over 12 years. Keith is a valued member of the District SASU and our Badge Secretary.

Young Leaders reach the top!

Congratulations to Rose Szymanski and Haydn Jones, both Young Leaders at 5th Testwood and Explorers with Cerberus, who were both recently awarded their Young Leader Belt Buckles!

It’s the top award for the scheme, which saw them complete all their training to become better leaders and four missions to put it into practice. As both have now reached 18, a new chapter begins with Haydn continuing as an adult volunteer leader with the Scout Troop and Rose undertaking new and exciting adventures abroad!

Very well done to you both. If you know anyone aged between 14-18 years who is interested in volunteering with our younger Scouts as a Young Leader then please get in touch. It can be for an award like DofE or just for the skills it brings. Our new Young Leaders lead Michael Doncom is happy to bring anyone up to speed on the scheme and how volunteers can help support Young Leaders too.

Latest from the Scout Active Support Unit

By Lynn Tatavossian, Team DC and Roger Newland, Active Support Co-ordinator

Throughout the year our District SASU are invaluable helping out at numerous District events. So, it was nice to hear about the following social events they have recently had.

We had an enjoyable day out on the IOW in June. Taking the Lymington/Yarmouth ferry, then using our bus passes to get to Totland where we had lunch. We then walked to Colwell Bay where we were treated to a cream tea by Tony Parker at his family’s holiday cottage.

In July twelve of us paid a visit to Lyburn Cheese Farm for an evening tractor tour and talk followed by a cheese supper with refreshments.

On a much sadder note, Joy Sellwood has decided to resign from her role as SASU Manager due to work commitments, however the good news is Joy will stay as a member of SASU and help when she can. Joy was the SASU Manager in New Forest North from 2010 and continued into the new merged District, so over 13 years loyal service, a huge thank you Joy!

If anyone would like to volunteer for the role, please have a chat with Joy or one of Team DC.

New Forest on the Marvellous European Road Trip: Project 23

By Kevin Harmer, Team DC

On Saturday 22 July, 6 leaders and 20 young people from New Forest District set off on Project 23 for a 3-week adventure across Europe by coach stopping at three Scout campsites in Austria, Czech Republic and Germany to undertake scouting type activities, meeting Scouts from other countries, sightseeing, other adventurous activities that they can find, and some pure fun activities.

Kevin reports: We made it to Zellhof in Austria, our first campsite after 2 days of travelling. A quick hotel stop in Munich with a comfy bed and shower, coaches smelling a lot fresher on Monday morning. We arrived at Zellhof around mid-day. So many things to do this afternoon and evening. One of the most important things of course was to get all of the tents erected on the campsites.

The lifeguards arrived at 4:30pm, so that everybody could go swimming in the lake – just as the heavens opened and a massive thunderstorm went over. However, a little while later, many of the YP did manage a dip in the amazing lake (and the lifeguards stayed a bit later than planned as well). The lake swimming has been a major attraction in the late afternoons, overseen by our Austrian Lifeguards. Swimming whilst it is raining is not a problem, but we have had to evacuate a few times due to thunderstorms.

We have been here for a few days now, and have been busy with activities, with different teams undertaking different parts of the program. The rain has been fairly constant, and quite heavy at times, but has only affected one part of the program so far – that is the Toboggan run that was weather dependant. Our first dry sunny day today (Thurs 27th July). So far, a good day for clothes washing.

Half of the team have now done the white-water rafting, which has been much anticipated, and very much enjoyed by everyone. Others has been out cycling and walking as well. The visit to the Salt Mine was also amazing, which included a small train ride, an underground boat, and a long wooden slide that gets you down into the mine!

Some of the teams have days off today, but we still have a trip to Saltzburg to go before we move on to Vienna on Saturday. Another couple of nights in a hotel before we move on to the Czech Republic and then Germany.

See you in a couple of weeks
Kevin & Robin

What’s coming up?

Gambia Expedition

By Paul Stubbington, Assistant Explorer Scout Leader, Magellan

The expedition, led by Magellan Explorer Scout Leaders, was originally due to be December 2020/January 2021 but got postponed due to Covid. We have been going to The Gambia since 2002.

There will be 25 Explorers/Network and 7 leaders from across Hampshire flying out to The Gambia on 4th August for 3 weeks. We’ve been training/for the last 18 months including learning how to repair and maintain bikes, brick laying and painting. Whilst in The Gambia we will be renovating classrooms, building kitchens and repairing bikes. We have a particular focus on enabling girl’s education and our work to repair bikes so that girls can use them to travel the long distances to school could make the difference between a good and bad education. During the trip we will be staying at Kaira Konko Scout Lodge.

We will be returning to the UK on Saturday 26th August and there will be a presentation by the Expedition Contingent at 5pm at Copythorne Parish Hall for anyone that is interested.

Scouts: Join the Stag’s Head Trophy

By Simon Down, Assistant District Commissioner for Scouts

Date for your Troop diaries, the Stag’s Head Trophy, day time incident hike, will be held on Sunday 24th September. More details and joining instructions will be sent out soon.

Reminders, opportunities and notices

Find our latest stories on social media

By Steven Osborn, Communications lead

We do our best to celebrate the best of our district on social media through our Facebook page (facebook.com/NewForestScouts) and with updates for volunteers on our Facebook group (facebook.com/groups/new.forest.scouts.members.group).

Now we’re on Instagram too (instagram.com/newforestscouts/) which will make it easier to share our good news with the younger adults of our area who aren’t generally on Facebook.

If you’ve not liked or followed the pages or Instagram or part of our Facebook group then please do so as it helps get messages out as quickly and easily as we can.

Once you have joined the Facebook Group, you can post section’s activities and pictures on there and attract a larger audience. Steven is happy for you to send him articles for Instagram and Facebook – emailing [email protected] and messaging those pages will both work.

Perhaps experiment doing this with any camps that take place during the summer.

Steven and Lynn are due to revisit our media strategy and try to use the social media platforms more than Tails of the New Forest, so watch this space.

District Diary

When I gave the shout out for articles for this edition, I didn’t think I would get much back, how wrong was that! We have had some fabulous reports, what an awesome District we are part of.

Enjoy the rest of your holidays and let’s hope the weather improves for us all.

Lynn, Kevin & Robin
Team DC – New Forest

Tails of the New Forest – 27th July 2023
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