Our friends across the pond

We keep in regular touch with our friends at our twin group, 12th Cambridge in Ontario, Canada. Here we report on their latest service project, bring some cheer to their neighbours living in a shelter for the homeless. Scout Leader Shelly Dyet reports from across the Atlantic…..

To mark Good Turn week 2015, the Scouts and Venturers arranged to make cookies for the local homeless shelter.  We were told to prepare for around 100 clients at the Shelter, and we probably ended up with at least 150 cookies.
In order to make this work, we used the kitchen at our other church, Wesley United, where 1 of our Beaver Colonies meets.  They have a large kitchen with a commercial oven, so we were able to cook 5 commercial trays of cookies at a time.
Scout cooks in action!

Scout cooks in action!

We divided the kids into 4 groups, trying to balance the skill level.  Each group was supplied with the recipe, a bowl, and mixing spoon.  The ingredients were in the middle of the room, on an island, and groups took turns gathering the items they needed.  When they had their batter ready, they dropped the cookies onto a cookie sheet, and started a new batch.  Once the ingredients were all gone, we stopped making cookies.  Some of the kids had clearly never baked anything before.  It was entertaining to see them try to figure out why their batter was so running, and then have them discover they didn’t add any flour.
All of the sheets of cookies were given the okay by me, except for 1.  The cookies, although eatable, looked more like hard candies, which again, I think had to do with the flour being omitted.  We had the kids eat this ‘bad’ batch.
While the cookies cooled, we discussed homelessness, and the reasons why someone may need to use the services of a shelter.
We put the cookies into pie boxes, and walked 5 minutes down the street to the shelter.
Some of the kids were terrified, and suddenly became very quiet when we arrived. The clients at the Shelter were very appreciative and took the time to thank the kids for their efforts.
When we arrived back at the church, we talked about the experience and how it differed from their expectations.  Many shared that they expected it to be dirty, messy, and the clients rude.  They had expected to be swarmed with people all grabbing cookies at the same time.  A lot were impressed by how tidy, clean, and organized the building was, and many expressed interest in helping out again.
So, Goodturn week 2015, was a success for us.  Now that the youth have done something like this, as opposed to picking up garbage, I can see them organizing a similar event for next year.

Diary from down under……

In the first of an occasional series here is the first report from 11 year old Rebekah, one of our scouts who is spending 6 months in New Zealand with her family. She has joined Island Bay Scout Troop and is joining in everything they do. Here she reports on ANZAC day, New Zealand’s equivalent of Remembrance Sunday.

Today I was in the dawn ANZAC Parade with the Island Bay Scout Troop. This was made up of the Keas (Beavers); Cubs; Scouts and Rovers (Explorers)). We had to get up at 3 am! We all met at Wellington High School along with about 240 other scouts and leaders – I was the only person in a UK uniform. We paraded down the street and assembled on ANZAC Square along with other representatives of the Guides, Air and Sea Cadets.
The cannon that fired was very, very loud.
A number of people spoke, laid wreaths, there was a piper who played the bagpipes and the Last Post was played. We also sang the Australian National Anthem and the New Zealand National Anthem (in Māori and English). We then went back to the High School for breakfast.
The Governor-Generals of both Australia and New Zealand spoke at the dawn service. They then flew immediately to Australia to take part in the commemorations there. There were also Turkish representatives and commemorations taking place in Turkey at Gallipoli. We have kept the programme and a poppy.
There was an estimated 40 000 people attending (20 000 were expected)! We were very near the front of the public crowd. For my Mum one of the most moving parts of the service was the Karanga – at the start of the service – led by Taranaki Whānui (a Māori woman). Wreaths were laid at the tomb of the unknown soldier and at the new Australian memorial.

A Highland Fling!

As well as the sailing trip older scouts and young leaders had the chance to join our friends from Hertfordshire Scouts on their Intermediate Mountaineering course at their mountaineering center at Lochearnhead in the Scottish Highlands.


The trip introduced our gang of 4 to the basics of mountaineering including navigation, mountain first aid, use of ice axes, use of ropes on steep terrain and wild camping. The week culminated in a 3 day, 2 night trek, wild camping in the mountains where they bagged a series of “munros” (mountains over 3000 feet high).

The scenery was nothing short of breath taking and was a chance for older scouts to stretch themselves before moving onto explorers. Next stop….. the Advanced Mountaineering Course at New Year!

Afloat in Norfolk

12th Cambridge Scouts took part in the SWAN65 sailing expedition over Easter.  Half a dozen of our fine galley-boys and girls set sail in a group of 28 scouts and 22 leaders in traditional 1930s Broads cruisers.Varied weather!

As is often the case around Easter, the weather provided its challenges.  After a couple of days of sailing, a storm blew in and the fleet was confined to home port.  This provided the opportunity to engage with some shore-based activities, including archery & crate-stacking (kindly hosted by 50th Norwich) and trips to Norwich cathedral & castle and Yarmouth.

Later in the week, conditions improved and some fine sail-training was had by all.  Suncream was deployed.  Wroxham and its bridges became the location for mast-lowering practice and a spot of quanting.

Friday evening saw the return of the fleet to the boatyard, fish & chips for everyone and prize-giving, with Ben “can we switch the engine off?” Binks being awarded the Quant Fever prize.

Well done to all our Scouts (& Explorer) for being such enthusiastic crew-mates for the week.







New Scout Troop – 1 week to go!

It’s 1 week today til the 12th Cambridge launches its second Scout Troop!

So, our very first meeting kicks off at 7:45pm next Wednesday, at the Scout Hut on Gilbert Road.  The entrance is through a fairly narrow set of gates between the Gurney Way and Courtney Way turns; there’s a full map here (under the “The 12th” tab).  The meeting will run to 9:15pm, and parents are welcome to pop in for a chat at the end (or indeed at the start, but the leaders may be a little busier sorting things out then).

We’ve got a couple of games included in the programme, as well as a general introduction to Scouting, a getting-to-know-you activity, and a session on using pen knives safely.  As with most Scout evenings, no specific kit is needed, other than uniform for those Scouts who are already invested (i.e. those transferring from Thursdays).  It’s a good idea to wear old clothes, just in case we have some messier or outdoor activities, and to bring a coat/waterproof that’s suitable for the weather.  We’ll be doing quite a few things outdoors over the summer term in particular.

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For those few people who haven’t returned information forms yet, it would be really handy to have them in advance, but otherwise do please bring them in at the start of the meeting.  As you’ll appreciate, we need contact and basic information before any Scout is left for the meeting.

If there are any queries, please do email, or give Toby a call on 07912 494875.

Events to look forward to…

  • Archery competition camp: Friday 8 to Sunday 10 May
  • Go-karting: Sunday 17 May
  • Sun Run (night hike): Saturday 20 to Sunday 21 June
  • Troop camp: Friday 10 to Sunday 12 July
  • Summer Camp: Tuesday 18 to Monday 24 August

New Scout Troop – 2 weeks to go!

It’s 2 weeks today til the 12th Cambridge launches its second Scout Troop!

Over the last two months we’ve used the weekly updates to set out some of the events for next term – including the “Sun Run” overnight hike in June; the Troop camp in July; and the main Summer Camp in August.  Once we’re up and running in April, we’ll be inviting bookings for those events (this is managed through a simple online system called OSM, and there’ll be more details sent out about this soon).

There are also a couple of places spare on a go-karting activity which the Thursday night Troop has arranged for Sunday 17 May.  This costs £25, and anyone who might be interested is welcome to email for more details.  We’re putting this out now, rather than waiting until our first meeting, as space is genuinely limited.

We’ll also shortly be confirming a Wednesday around the Whitsun half-term when we’ll meet at a local campsite rather than the Scout hut, for outdoor games, camp-fire, and more.


Next week we’ll give a flavour of the programme for  Wednesday 15 April and the first couple of meetings, as well as reminding everyone about the practicalities – meeting times, what to bring (don’t worry, not much!), etc.  But if there are any questions now, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Events to look forward to…

  • Archery competition camp: Friday 8 to Sunday 10 May
  • Go-karting: Sunday 17 May
  • Sun Run (night hike): Saturday 20 to Sunday 21 June
  • Troop camp: Friday 10 to Sunday 12 July
  • Summer Camp: Tuesday 18 to Monday 24 August