Crouch Valley District Scout Groups have been holding Virtual Meetings, engaging with their Group members remotely, using either Facebook, WhatsApp Groups or ZOOM Conferencing facilities. These have proven to be very popular amongst our members and an excellent way for Scouting to continue, in these difficult times. In some cases, this is the only opportunity for isolating families to have regular contact, outside of their immediate family circle. The suspension also meant that our Annual Renewal of Promise Camp, over the weekend of the 23rd – 25th April, also had to be cancelled. The event coincides with St, George’s Day, who is the Patron Saint of UK Scouting. This is a time of great celebration, amongst UK Scout Groups where they come together, as Districts, to renew their Scout Promise. This was especially true, for two Cubs (Archie and Maryam) both of whom had only recently been discharged from hospital following minor treatment. They took part in the weekends celebrations, as they did not want to miss out on all the fun and games.
Not to be deterred by this, eight District Leaders (John, Lisa, Tracey, Tony, Sue, Cheryl, Mark and Michaela) banded together at the beginning of April (remotely via ZOOM) to organise a Virtual Renewal of Promise Camp, where Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorers could still take part in activities and challenges. These challenges were specific to each Scout section, i.e. Beaver, Cub, Scout and Explorer and would entail the use of household objects that could be found at home, negating the need for parents to venture out. More importantly, these challenges could be completed from the comfort and safety of their homes, yet still allow them to be highly interactive. The Challenges would be uploaded to our Events Page, throughout the day and parents encouraged to post pictures of their children undertaking them. Completing these Challenges would fulfil various Scouting Activity Badge requirements. To supplement the event, a series of pre-recorded videos would also be uploaded at key stages during the afternoon and evening.
Our Event kicked off at 1pm, on the Saturday, with postings to our Events Page as well as via a WhatsApp Group, with the raising of our Virtual Flag followed by a pre-recorded message from Paul (Crouch Valley District Commissioner), stating that as a District we were about to create history, by holding our first Virtual District Event, where all fourteen Scout Groups and four Explorer Units where represented. In total over 530 parents / leaders, had registered onto our specially created Event Page, leading up to our event. The first challenge was released shortly after 1:30pm with the remaining challenges being released, at 2-hr intervals, throughout the rest of the afternoon and into the evening. These included making bird feeders from empty milk cartons, soap carvings, St. George’s Day arts & craft involving making dragon & castles junk models, bunting and knights pillow case tunic. For first of our Evening Challenges, involved helping to prepare the family’s evening meal that night. It was fairly evident, from all the posted photographs and videos, that it just wasn’t our young members taking part, but also their parents were joining in on the fun and games. These challenges were also extended to the Scout Leaders, who were given a special task to spell out R.O.P, using the most imaginative, creative and unusual items in their homes.
The pinnacle of our event, took place shortly after 7:00pm, when three videos of our Assistant District Commissioners (Cheryl, Mark and John) renewing their Section Scout Promises were streamed. Beavers, Scouts, Scouts, Explorers and Leaders were then encouraged to renew their promises and to upload a video to our events page. It total over 150 Beavers, Cubs, Scouts, Explorers and Leaders renewed their Scout Promise.
Another true scouting tradition, is to sit around a Campfire, toasting marshmallows and then to sing Scouting Songs. Again, with the cleaver use of technology, a Camp Fire Video was uploaded to our events page and our very own “I know a Song about that” Pat (Group Scout Leader – 6th Rochford), lead the District in singing a few songs. Sadly, we could not share marshmallows via the events page, so parents had to buy their own, which they then toasted on their own campfires or BBQs!! One of our evening challenges was to teach a parent a Scouting song and then to upload a video of everyone singing this. It was great to see so many parents reliving their childhood and singing. Sadly, at 10pm our fun and games came to a close, as we lowered our virtual flag and the Beavers, Cubs, Scouts, Explorers settled down to sleep either in their makeshift dens, which in some cases also meant the family bath or a tent in their gardens.
Sunday morning’s fun and games, began shortly after 8am following the raising of our virtual flag, coupled with the release of our final challenge, helping to prepare breakfast for the family. Our final act, as part of our Virtual Renewal of Promise, was a traditional Scouts Own act of worhsip. This is a time of reflection, on recent and past events and was led by a video from Keith, Chairman of the Royal British Legion (Hockley Branch). Crouch Valley Scouts support the RBL by fundraising in the lead up to Remembrance Sunday and last year helped to raise over £3500. Finally, Gillian Thomson (Rector of Holy Trinity Rayleigh) offered a prayer of thanks to all, as we lowered out virtual flag upon the this years unique Renewal of Promise.
We may not have held a tradition Scout Camp, but our Virtual Renewal of Promise was every bit as exciting and enjoyable, for our members. For the first time, parents, brothers and sisters were able to take part and become part of the history that Crouch Valley had just created; holding a Virtual Renewal of Promise, simultaneously uploading challenges, videos to both our Events page and WhatsApp Group and then getting immediate interaction responses, directly from our Scouts and more importantly their parents. By the end of Saturday night, our Events Page had over 1400 interactions, photographs, video and comments on our various posts. It was truly humbling to read all the positive comments by parents and it is difficult to single out any particular comment, however, this probably best summed up the weekend’s events: –
“The boys and I have been involved in Scouting for a number of years but I have never been to a Renewal of Promise. I’m so glad I have now! What a wonderful weekend but it would not have been possible without the leaders. Scouting has given my three so many opportunities, such great life lessons, a grounding for the rest of their lives and lasting friendships. The leaders work tirelessly to give the youngsters this opportunity so I would like to say a heartfelt thank you, both to the leaders of 1st Hawkwell and Phoenix Explorers, but also to everyone who has taken the time and effort to arrange and ensure this was a success”.
Will be one of the many positive memories of COVID-19 which we will never forget.
Melanie (Parent, 1st Hawkwell & Phoenix Explorers).
Want to know how you can approach the litter pick? Thinking about why you should include the event in your busy programme? Want to know how to claim your free limited edition badges?
Essex Scouts have the pleasure of bringing to you some simple guidelines and information about the amazing upcoming litter pick.
Download the brochure here Essex Scouts Litter pick Guide
Don’t forget to let us know how you are getting involved.
Over Seventy Cub Scouts from across Crouch Valley’s fourteen Scout Groups, descended upon Sweyne Park School (Rayleigh) to take part in an Inter-Pack Uni Hoc Competition, which forms part of the District’s Cub Scout Colour Games. This year’s event was organised by Lisa Davies (District Cub Scout Leader). Each Cub Pack that took part, fielded a team of up to seven Cub Scouts, though only four played in each match. This was a round robin event, with each Pack playing a total of ten games; there were fast and furious lasting for 2-minutes each. A win would earn the lucky team 3 points, whilst a draw would earn both teams 1 point each.
Whilst the scores where being checked and double checked, Paul Chapman (Akela from 1st Hawkwell) organised a game of Heads and Tails. Each Cub Scout donated £1 entrance fee and chose their side, Heads or tails. At the flip of a coin, those on the losing side where eliminated. This was repeated, until only one Cub Scout remained, winning a tin of Hero chocolates. A total of £75 was raised, with the money going towards Children In Need.
Places were awarded to the top three (3) highest scoring Packs. Though, a further play off was required to determine second and third place, as these teams were tied at the end of the event. Third place went to 1st Hullbridge, 2nd place went to 1st Ashingdon and 1st place was awarded to 4th Rochford. The victory for 4th Rochford was even more special, as this is the first time they have won a District Event. Sue Humphries (Cub Leader – 4th Rochford) said that these events are great and give the Cub Scouts a chance to meet other Cub Scouts from across our district and take part in fun and exciting activities. Scouting offers so much to our young members and they also get a lot from scouting too, increased confidence, team working and skills that will remain with them for life.
Tickets are now on sale for It’s a Date 2020, the famous variety show performed by the Southend Scout and Guide Gang Show. The bi-annual variety show is returning to the Palace Theatre from Wednesday 19th till Saturday 22nd February 2020 and the gang are looking to put on another memorable performance.
With adult tickets on sale from £14.50, children (under 18) £10.50 and a Family ticket (4x tickets, minimum of 2x Children) priced at £42, It’s a Date provides fantastic entertainment for the whole family. With over 60 Scouts and Guides from the Southend area the show will feature plenty of fun and laughter. The show is certainly going to be one to remember!
Tickets can be purchased via the link here: https://www.southendgangshowtickets.org/
Special group rates are available for Scout and Guide groups, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to enquire about these.
We look forward to seeing you during show week!
The District Hike represents the pinnacle of the Crouch Valley Cub Scouts District Activities and is only open to those Cub Scouts aged 9½years of age or older, due to the gruelling 27.2 miles hiked over 3-days.
This event has been a major part of the Cub Scout calendar for over 14-years and is extremely popular amongst Cub Scouts and Adult Leaders alike and is the brain child of John Blundell, Crouch Valley’s Assistance District Commissioner Cubs (ADC).
The 27.2 miles takes the Cub Scouts on a tour all around the District, visiting local landmarks, Churches and listening to all sorts of gruesome tales. The hikes enables the Cub Scouts see our lovely district from a different perspective, utilising footpaths, rights of way and crossing private land with the permission of landowners. They gain over the weekend numerous experiences, are tested to the limit both physically and mentally and above all make memories for life!
In total fifty-five Cubs Scouts from across the District’s fourteen Cub Scout Packs, they were supported by eight Young Leaders (Aged 14 – 18yrs old) and thirty-five Adult Leaders. For this year’s hike each Group taking part carried their Pack’s Mascots, which is part of the Essex 100 Challenge, celebrating 100 Years of Scouting in Essex.
Essex Scouts has set 100 challenges for each Scout Group to complete, during the year. One of these challenges is to take photographs of their Group Mascots on adventures during the year. Not all the Adult Leaders walked with the Cub Scouts, as some worked tirelessly behind the scenes ensuring the safety and well being of all the walkers over the 3-days. A dedicated team of First Aiders, walked with the Cub Scouts and were affectionally known as the Care Bear Team. Kevin Potter, a veteran of over 14 District Hikes, sadly could not walk this year, due to a recent operation, though this did not stop him driving around the District catching up with the walkers ensuring everyone was OK.
The Cub Scouts adventure started off from Hockley’s Congregational Church, in Bramerton Rd, shortly after 20:00hrs. Their first leg was just a short walk to Hockley’s Methodist Church where they played games with their youth members. Once the evening started to draw in, the Cub Scouts set off again towards St Peter & St Paul’s Church, before heading back towards Hawkwell, via Plumberow Mount for a well-earned rest at 2nd Hawkwell’s Scout Hut. This part of journey, the Cub Scouts would experience a true ‘Night Hike’, for some their first experience! They would discover the magic of Glow-worms, Barn Owl soaring and stretching above their heads and viewing the sunset over the River Crouch. They reached Plumberow Mount, just after midnight, and shared Hot Dogs with new and old friends. John Blundell (ADC Cub Scouts) said “The experience of a night hike, in absolute darkness, is not about ‘seeing’, it is unique and something every child should discover, crossing brooks, climbing hills, discovering a puddle, night time sounds playing trick on your ears. The Cub Scouts loved every minute!!” They finally reached 2nd Hawkwell Scout Hut shortly after 1am, where they all quickly settled down to a well-earned rest.
Early next morning, fuelled by Bacon Rolls, the Cub Scouts and Adult Leaders eagerly set off for St Andrews Church (Ashingdon), after only 5-hrs sleep. Whilst at Ashingdon Church, the Cubs Scouts were treated to some gruesome tales of medieval life, before heading off to pay their respects at the American Aircrew Memorial. Their next leg of their journey would take them towards Canewdon, to be treated to more Bacon Rolls at Canewdon Congregational Church, curtesy of 2nd Canewdon Scout Group. After this short pitstop, the party set off for St. Mary’s & All Saints Church (Stambridge), where they made some hedgehogs from recycled books.
The end of their morning adventures would see the Cub Scouts heading towards 4th Rochford Scout Group, where they would spend most of the afternoon being treated to a lovely buffet lunch, followed by Arts and Craft with Lisa Davies, from Perfectly Potty. This activity has been a firm favourite with both the Cub Scouts and Leaders alike. They get to decorate a mug, with scenes that represent their adventures on the District Hike. The break, also enables some of the Leaders to get some rest as well as the Care Bear Team to administer some much need foot therapy treatments amongst the walkers.
Shortly before 5pm, the walkers set off to visit St Andrews Church (Rochford), where they were given a history of the church by John Howard a Church Warden and also the former Group Scout Leader of 4th Rochford. The next stop, would be to St. Mary’s Church (Hawkwell), where the Cubs where told about their Plague Pit. With even more gruesome tales having been being told, they headed off towards Crouch Valley’s District Camp Site at Ark Lane, where there they would spend the night resting, before their final leg on Sunday morning.
On Sunday morning, the Cub Scouts were presented with their Special Hike T-shirts and scarfs, known as Tony’s, named after Tony Edwards a formal Cub Scout Leader with 1st Rayleigh, who sadly passed away a few years ago and was an ardent supporter of the hike and would regularly walk with the Cub scouts. Their first stop off, on their final leg, was at Belchamps Scout Activity Centre, where the Cub Scouts piled on mass into the shop to spend their pocket money. Once stocked up on sweets, they set off towards Holy Trinity Church (Rayleigh), via Hockley Woods.
Shortly before 12:30, you could hear a loud chorus of Cub Scouts merrily singing ‘Everywhere we go”, led by our very own Scouts Got Talent Superstar Paul Chapman, from 1st Hawkwell, as they walked towards Rayleigh High Street. The parents lined their way eagerly clapping and cheering the arrival of the Cub Scouts and Adult Leaders. After a short rest the cub Scouts entered the Church to even more applause and to attend a short service of thanks and praise to both the Adult Leaders that freely gave up their weekend and to the Cub Scouts for their endurance over the 3-days and 27.2 miles hike around our lovely District.
“This is one of the most challenging events a Cub Scout will complete, it has been recognised by the Scout Association for the unique nature of the weekend and carries a personal commendation from our Chief Scout Bear Grylls.” John Blundell Assistant District Commissioner Crouch Valley Scout District
Scouts and Guides are now invited to sign up for SHINDIGS 2019! Standing for “Show IN a Day In Guiding and Scouting”, Southend Gang Show are looking for Scouts and Guides in the Southend area to sign up.
Taking place on Saturday 9th March 2019 at Shoeburyness High School, Scouts and Guides will get the chance to experience performing on stage in front of a live audience. Participants will rehearse together learning new dance routines, songs and items to act as well as making new friends and having fun. Then in the evening, the Scouts and Guides will perform their newly learnt routines on stage.
SHINDIGS is open to Guides, Rangers, Scouts, Explorers, Network, Young Leaders and Leaders involved in Scouting and Guiding in the Southend, Rayleigh, Crouch Valley and Castle Point districts. You can participate as either a cast or orchestra member!
Jo Brown, Performance Director for Southend Gang Show spoke of the event ‘SHINDIGS is a fantastic introductory event for young people to get a taste of performing live on stage. It’s a great day and a chance to make new friends too! Sign up as soon as you can so you don’t miss out!’
To sign up, complete the form via this link http://groupspaces.com/southendgangshow/join/
For any questions regarding SHINDIGS 2019 please contact email@example.com
1st Hockley Beavers & Cubs ran a joint evening to welcome Repeating History. They brought with them swords, shields ,costumes and other items to demonstrate in a practical and fun way, by dressing up and role play, the life of a Viking. a fun evening was had by all.
Essex County Scout Caving Team (ECSCT) have now finalised our badge course dates for 2018.
- June badge course 29th, 30th June- 1st July
- October badge course 5th- 7th October
- November overflow course 9th- 11th November
Visit ecsct.org to see photographs from last year’s trips.
The application pack with full details is available on our website, direct download (pdf) here:
Come on a trip, or ask us about providing the activity as part of your camp (in a caving area), or teaching rope work as part of one of your troop nights!
Book early to avoid disappointment!
Scouts and Guides from Southend, Rayleigh, Castle Point and Crouch Valley are being encouraged to sign up to participate in It’s a Date 2018. The bi-annual variety show will return to the Palace Theatre next February and the Gang Show is looking for active Scouts and Guides to sign up as cast and band members, ready to wow audiences.
The Gang Show has become a centre piece of the Scouting and Guiding calendar and always puts on a show to impress. The show gives young people the chance to sing, dance and act in front of a live theatre audience whilst also providing the opportunity for the young people to learn, develop and make new friends. No previous theatre experience is necessary just buckets of enthusiasm!
Those Scouts, Guides, Explorers, Senior Section and Network members interested in participating are invited to sign up and attend our ‘come and try’ event on the 1st October 2017 at Southend High School for Girls. Young people interested in joining the cast must be 13-25 years old, in school years 8 or above and be prepared to give there all for the famous variety show. The band is open to all those aged 13 and above.
Millie Goddard, a member of the cast for It’s a Date 2016 said “Southend Scout and Guide Gang Show is a fantastic way to perform on stage, learn new skills, make new friends and have fun! Nothing quite beats the feeling of getting up on that stage at the Palace Theatre and seeing hundreds of audience members smiling back at you. I’ll definitely be signing up for the 2018 show!”
If you’re interested in becoming a part of Southend Scout and Guide Gang Show and coming along to the taster session on Sunday 1st October 2017 at Southend High School for Girls you can sign up at http://groupspaces.com/SouthendGangShow/join/