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Welcome to Edition 29 of Tails of the New Forest. This month in Tails, there’s been carnivals and events galore and some updates both from our member numbers and the total raised from Donkey Derby. Plus AGM, Race to National Parks and a fair few water activities. Intrigued? Find out more below!

What’s coming up?

Sponsored 24-hour paddle

It’s getting quite close now and need support and sponsorships of their young people as they complete this fundraising challenge:

Save the Date

There’s lots of opportunities coming up – save the date and keep your eyes open for the full joining details:

  • 6th-8th September: Skills Training Weekend open to all section volunteers
  • 14th-15th September: Young Leader training weekend covering Modules B-K at Lyndhurst HQ. Book now.
  • 22nd September: Soap Box Derby Race go-carts against others at Netley Marsh in a fun filled afternoon.
  • 13th October: Chief Scouts Award Day at Ferny Crofts, anyone who has received a top award in the past 12 months is invited.
  • 19th October: Ferny Crofts Fright Night booking now open.

Public adventure Fun Day at Ferny Crofts

Looking for something to do with the family during the summer holidays?

Why not check out the Adventure Fun Day at Ferny Crofts on Monday 26th August (the bank holiday).

Open to the public, this event will have a range of adventurous activities like high ropes, crossbows, and the adventure course.

They are also looking for volunteers to support with the activities on the day.

For full details of this event, and to book, take a look at Ferny Crofts’ website.

On your marks, get set, go! Race to National Parks

This summer, the Campaign for National Parks who support promote and campaign for the 15 National Parks in the UK, are challenging young people to #RacetoNationalParks using only public transport. It is part of their efforts to campaign for better public transport to and within National Parks and especially by young people (only 6% of park visitors are under 25).

The challenge launches in the week of the 19-25 August and they want groups who can lead by example by sharing your experience going car-free to help us raise awareness of the need for better sustainable transport options for under 25s. We are able to provide free tickets, guidance and help with route planning to any young person or group looking to take up an adventure for the summer holidays or interested in developing their campaigning skills.

Sign up here by Sunday 14 July to take part. 

But why? Campaign for National Parks are calling for every child and young person to have the Right to Discover National Parks. Right now, only 6% of visitors to National Parks are under 25. This means children and young people are missing out on the health, wellbeing and educational benefits of time in nature. We need to urgently change this. It all kicks off with our Race to National Parks challenge — highlighting our number one ask on public transport.   

How can young people get involved? 
Under 18s can take part in the challenge with a group including an adult. Over 18s can take part as an individual. 

Do share the invitation, support the campaign launch on social media and chat to the campaign if you want to know more. If you have any questions, please email us at [email protected] 

Reminders, opportunities and notices

District Annual General Meeting

You are invited to the New Forest Scout District Annual General Meeting on Thursday 18th July 2024 at 7pm at our district campsite, Harry’s Island near Burley.

You can find the agenda and running order here.

Join us for an evening of reflection on the past year and celebrate the Scouting skills and journeys ahead among fellow Scouters and with refreshments on hand.

For those travelling by car, please note there is limited parking within Harry’s Island itself, however there are ample Forestry England car parks nearby – Verely and Verely Hill are the ones to search for.

Gone Home – Canon John Turpin

We heard recently that Canon John Turpin went home at the end of June. John was the former vicar of Ringwood, an ex-Scouter and previously served as District Chaplain for New Forest West. Our thoughts go to his family and friends who knew him.

Job roles at Ferny Crofts

The Scout Centre for Hampshire, located not too far from us, Ferny Crofts is currently recruiting for two different positions.

They are currently looking for a housekeeper to look after their busy indoor accommodation buildings and for Outdoor Activity Instructor apprentices working at Level 3.

You can find out about both opportunities, apply and find out about volunteering opportunities too at their website:

The page is frequently updated with details of other roles, work experience opportunities, residential opportunities for Gold DofE and King’s Scout Award and how to get involved with their volunteer service team.

What’s been happening?

First up, there are the stories that have their own special place on our website already. First, we announced our census numbers from this year. Short version is that we have grown and are now bigger than before the pandemic, however the number of adult volunteers is still lower than before so we need more help.

Then, there’s the news of the amazing Scouts rafting day at Testwood Lakes last weekend with [SPOILERS] taking home the trophy and all having an amazing time. Thanks to all who put it together.

Finally, we’ve heard from 3rd Ringwood about their amazing Group Camp at Headlands. Find out more there.

Now, what else has been happening?

Copythorne’s Carnival weekend happened nearly three weeks ago now, with curiosities, engines, activities and the floats from all the young people of the parish. We’re sure more pictures will emerge, and if they do we’ll be sure to share them, however here is how the band kicked off the weekend with the Carnival Day itself featuring a certain celebrity…

Testwood celebrated June being Pride month by having a special guest to a special session for both Beavers and Cubs

Sandleheath has been really very busy, with their Cubs making sushi:

…Beavers on the water:

…Explorers sprucing up the place

…and finally some Top awards to boot!

Meanwhile, it’s been great to see the Squirrels at the local community garden:

There’s been commemorations this month for the 70th anniversary of D-Day and a number of our young people marked the event. Fordingbridge Scout troop played their part:

There are new winners of awards in Fordingbridge of the Tony Parker Award:

Testwood’s Cubs spent a fortnight taking on the murky waters of Ferny Crofts through some raft building (maybe getting ready to take on the Scouts rafting competition some day) and the noble target sport of archery:

And the last word from social media goes to this wonderfully varied snapshot into the life of a Cub pack, courtesy of 1st Fordingbridge:

Biggest ever Donkey Derby a huge success

A huge thank you on behalf of both the 5th Testwood Scouts and the 4th Eling Sea Scouts to all who came along to this year’s Donkey Derby. It was our biggest ever event with an area double the size, new activities and games to try and more than 2,000 of you came along to experience it.

With stalls, trains, climbing, nerf wars and games alongside the traditional donkey races, there was plenty for everyone to do in the unexpectedly beautiful weather. Thanks to your support, the event raised £11,700 to be split between the two groups.

There is much more, including many more pictures of the event and media coverage on 5th Testwood’s website.

Dockyard rounds off top term for Netley Marsh

6th Netley Marsh Chestnut Beavers have had a very busy term. We have done loads of scout skills which included tying knots, putting up a tent and lighting small fires. (As previously reported), we celebrated St George’s Day and had Councillor Neville Penman as our guest visitor and we told him all about what we had done to gain our you shape badges, we told him how each lodge had planned an evening and then led the evening. We had a puppet show, a marble run, a games night and a glow stick disco. The Beavers did think that Neville was Saint George!

We have been out litter picking with Team Totton, which finished in a visit to the park. Plus, we had our Netley Marsh carnival where we were Hawaii and came second on the floats. We have also had a visit to Calshot Castle, where we had a look around, and we did our air activities badge. 

We will be going to our District Picnic on 2nd July and just went to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard with other Beavers from Hampshire on the 30th. We went on HMS Warrior, saw the Mary Rose and went on a boat trip in Portsmouth Harbour, getting the train there and back too.

And Finally! Betty the Beaver on her travels!

Greetings, Betty the Beaver is back on her travels. She is an honorary member of 3rd Ringwood Beavers and left the colony in 2018 to travel the world. She took flight for New Zealand, via London and Gilwell Park. 

She has enjoyed many adventures in NZ, plus a brief trip back to London, a visit to Paris and San Francisco. 2020 onwards she undertook a prolonged hibernation. But now she is back, last seen at the Boxwell Reservation Scout Centre in Tennessee, USA, via New York City. 

Follow her adventures and updates on Instagram at @bettythebeaver. It is hoped she will continue her adventures and make more Scouting connections around the world. 

PHEW! That was another bumper issue, please do keep the stories coming in and we’ll share them, including throughout the month.

Remember you can stay up to date with what’s going on on our Facebook page (/newforestscouts) or Instagram (@newforestscouts). Plus if you’re a volunteer you can be part of the Facebook group for members too.

Do remember to share your stories with us throughout the month so we can share them directly and keep having great Scouting adventures.

Lynn, Robin and Kevin.

This edition was published slightly later than usual due to some important last minute items to add. Items for the next edition in July to arrive before the 26th please.

Tails of the New Forest – 30th June 2024
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