On Saturday 21st September 2019, as in previous years, members of the District took part Grow Fest (formally Food Fest) in Newcastle Town Centre.
Taking over the area by the Market Cross and Guild Hall, we had raffles, tombola, tea and cakes for sale and a climbing wall. These were all provided by members of 36th St. Wulstans Group and 96th Whitmore & Baldwins Gate Group. The Drums of 1st Porthill Group played at various points during the day.
The day also saw the old tradition of a ‘Mock Mayor‘ being revisited.
After the Mock Mayor was elected, our County Commissioner Jackie Brocklehurst, The Worshipful the Mayor of Newcastle-under-Lyme Councillor Simon White & Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Staffordshire Mr Ian Dudson presented long service awards and good service awards to various adult Leaders.
We are sad to announce the untimely passing of Jill Griffiths. Jill formerly held the post of Assistant District Commissioner Cubs and was Akela at 107th Westlands for many years. Jill joined Newcastle from her native Manchester where she began her time in Scouting.
She will be sadly missed.
Funeral details to be announced. Scout friends are more than welcome, but at the request of the family, NO uniform please.
We are very sad to hear that Peter Moxon, County Vice President, passed away on 29th August whilst in the care of the Douglas Macmillan Hospice.
Peter was a true Scouter, having served for over 50 years in various roles including the Assistant County Commissioner for Venture Scouts (1967-1970) and starting Venture Scouting in Staffordshire, Deputy County Commissioner of Scouts (1970-1971) and County Commissioner of Scouts for Staffordshire (1971-1989). Upon retiring as County Commissioner he was appointed a Chief Commissioner for England assisting the Chief Scout with responsibility for 14 ScoutCounties. He has been an Honorary County Vice President from 1997.
His funeral will be held on Tuesday 17th September at 2.15pm at St Giles Church, Newcastle prior to his committal at Bradwell Crematorium.
Over the weekend of 12 – 14th July 2019, over 500 Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorers from 14 Groups from across the District, joined together for this year’s District Camp. It was titled ‘Indaba’ which is a Zulu term for ‘tribal conference’. This was only the third full District Camp in 12 years, so it was a special event.
The majority of Cubs, Scouts and Explorers arrived on the Friday evening, and after setting themselves up in their tents, they joined together with the rest of the camp in the opening ceremony.
Each of the Groups were given a Country to represent as the camp had an international theme, partially due to the forthcoming World Scout Jamboree. The evening’s activity was a wide game for the whole camp! Following a lot of running around, it was time for supper and bed.
Everyone was up early on Saturday morning to get breakfast. This was cooked by a great cooking team in the Fox Glen. Food was served in two sittings due to the large amount of people on camp. During breakfast time, Beavers arrived and just had enough time to get into their tents before flag break.
The mornings activities were based on the Group’s countries for one sub camp and an ‘It’s a Knockout’ competition for the other. After lunch the sub camps swapped activities.
Following tea, there was an international parade around the camp. Everyone dressed up in costumes from their countries and were led by the talented young people from 1st Porthill’s Drum Corps. The parade went over to the road to the Training Centre side of the camp for a huge campfire. Deputy District Commissioner Dave was presented with his Silver Acorn Award by Jackie, the County Commissioner. Each Group performed a song or sketch.
The campfire finished and the fair opened. There were bouncy castles, slides, candy floss, trampolines, a BBQ and a live band. To close the evening there was a firework display.
On Sunday, after breakfast, there was a short Scouts Own and flag break. Following this was the District’s world record attempt for the largest human Fleur De Lis (the scout symbol). We were very pleased to be joined by The Worshipful the Mayor of Newcastle-under-Lyme Councillor Simon White.
At the time of writing (August 2019), we are waiting for confirmation of the record!
The final event before the camp closed, was a huge colour run for all the young people. They ended up covered in paint!
The camp was closed, thank you’s were said and everyone went home very tired!
On Friday 14th June 2019, 8 Scouts and 7 Explorers from across Newcastle District travelled to Snowdonia, North Wales. Their aim was to climb Mount Snowdon; at 1085m (3560 ft) Snowdon is the highest mountain in England and Wales.
We had a relaxed Friday evening, discussing our proposed route, kit and emergency scenarios.
At 6 am on Saturday morning we were woken by the smell of coffee and bacon, a full English breakfast is always a good way to prepare for a long day on the hills. Particularly when looking out of the window it was looking extremely wet.
Never the less we jumped in the minibus and drove around to the Pen-y-pas car park to start our climb.
Splitting into two groups we started walking up the Pyg track. As the first group broke away they headed up to Garnedd Ugain to bag the 1050m (3494ft) summit. Both groups then converged on the Llanberis path where we made our final ascent to the summit of Yr-Wyddfa (Snowdon). With visibility down to about 20 metres we gathered at the summit for a group photo before descending down the Llanberis path to Halfway House for some lunch in the sun. With the low clouds lifting we were treated to some stunning views across the valley and down into the town of Llanberis. We then continued down the path into Llanberis where we explored the area and relaxed with some ice creams.
After a long successful day on the hills we were treated to a fantastic sunset and chilli for tea back at our cottage in the Ogwen valley.
The following morning the smell of home wafted through the building as cheesy oatcakes were warming up in the oven. We then headed for the beach in Llandudno, some of the Explorers went for a swim in the sea whilst the Scouts explored the town and the arcades.
We then headed back to Stoke where the weather was even worse than it was in Wales.
All in all a challenging yet fantastic weekend was had by all, Scouts, Explorers and Leaders.
Thanks must go to all of the Leaders who helped to plan and run this weekend.
The Scouts expressed an interest in climbing more mountains in the future, this is something that this team has already started to plan for 2020. Watch this space..
On Sunday 28th April 2019, Newcastle District Scouts held their St. George’s Day Parade. This was held outside for the first time ever in the High Street by the Guildhall. This event was organised by the District Youth Executive, and at their request and design, was a mixture of tradition, with some interesting new twists!
The District’s Beavers carried banners about St. George, the Cubs carried swords they had made themselves and the Scouts made dragons for the parade!
Well over 400 hundred Scouts, aged from aged 5 to 75, gathered in the Queens Gardens and paraded at 2.45pm, led by the Drums Corps from 1st Porthill Scout Group, via the Ironmarket, into the High Street, where the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Staffordshire, Mr James Irvine Hinchcliffe-Friend, and Newcastle Mayor Cllr Gill Heesom, took the salute. There was then a celebration of songs and readings, presentations of awards and all Scouts renewed their Scouting Promise.
Other guests were Rev Josh Penduck, curate of St Giles Church and Newcastle District’s Vice Presidents.
Many people came and viewed the celebration and joined in with the fun. Newcastle Business Improvement District supported the event, and hundreds of “George Cross” flags were be given out to friends family and members of the public.
As well as the parade in Newcastle Town Centre, 3 of our Scouts were at the national St. George’s Day Parade in Windsor.
Alice Houldcroft and Heather Locker, two fantastic Beaver Scout Leaders from 107th Westlands Scout Group, joined around 300 Scouts from across the UK in Windsor.
They were honoured by His Royal Highness Prince Edward the Duke of Kent & Chief Scout Bear Grylls at Windsor Castle for gaining their Queen’s Scout Award, the highest honour in Scouting.
This honour is achieved over many years hard work and is an outstanding personal achievement for Alice and Heather.
Chief Scout Bear Grylls said: “This year’s group of Queen’s Scouts have truly tested themselves. In the process, they have become better, bolder and braver. The Queen’s Scout Award is an incredible achievement and today is a fitting celebration of everything they’ve accomplished at Scouts and in life. They have my total respect and admiration.”
Joining Alice and Heather was Newcastle District’s Deputy District Commissioner, David Gray, who had been awarded the Silver Acorn for distinguished service to Scouting.