New Scout Troop Opens at 94th Keele

We are really pleased to announce that a new Scout Troop has opened at 94th Keele. 

They have 2 brand new members and a number of Cubs joining them from Keele’s Cub Pack.

Many congratulations to Keele for opening a new Troop in the District and we wish them much success!

They also have a brand new website which you can visit here.

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Camping Equipment Disaster at Basford Scouts

After discovering that the storage area in the cellar of St Marks Church had been infested with rats, 14th Basford had to dispose of most of their camping equipment.
They are now on a mission to replace the contaminated kit and they now have Asda community funding.

So if you are shopping in Asda please ask for a plastic coin and put it into the Basford Scouts box to help them replace the ruined camping equipment.

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Centurion Explorers Trip to Canada

Centurion Explorers meet each Wednesday at 7:30pm for two hours, however on Wednesday 1st August the young people did not go home at 9:30pm like normal, they remained in the community centre to begin what would be camping adventure like no other they had been on. On the 2nd August 2018, Centurion Explorers from Newcastle-under-Lyme began an expedition to Vancouver, Canada. After over 18 months of planning, fundraising and hard work the unit including 20 young people and 6 leaders set off at 03:45 to fly from Gatwick Airport. After an early start, a 10-hour flight and an 8-hour time difference … the adventure of a lifetime began.

The first venture took us, 552ft high to see panoramic 360° views of Vancouver. Here, the young people began to see the size of Vancouver and pointed out locations such as Gas Town and the Whitecaps Stadium that they wanted to explore in that afternoon. With only a short time initially in Vancouver City Centre, we head to the Capilano Suspension Bridges, for spectacular views over 230ft above the Capilano River through open space and woodland. We were even lucky enough to spend an afternoon and evening at English Bay, to watch a firework display by South Korea in the final of The Festival of Light. Our first weekend went fast, and it was then time to get on a ferry and move camp, heading to Camp Byng, Roberts Creek.

Following the first trip, a highlight was the views and tranquillity at Camp Byng, heading out there for a second time, we were not disappointed. Camp Byng is a Scout Campsite, situated within a forest, next to a private beach, whilst the young people we took are used to seeing the goat that lives at Kibblestone Scout Campsite, nothing could prepare them for seeing the family of black bears that live at Camp Byng. Whilst in an area, where the was no Wi-Fi connection, the young people really began to gel as a unit, friendships formed and went from strength to strength. Activities here included a day spend at Pedals and Paddles, an opportunity for the young people to go sea kayaking and SUPing in the Sechelt Inlet, seeing rare starfish, seals and houses worth millions of dollars.

Following a peaceful week at Camp Byng, we headed back to Vancouver city centre where our non-stop adventure continued. Our adventures took us to Grouse Mountain, a 1,200m mountain where at the top we went on the Mountain Zip lines, with lines up to 200ft high reaching speeds of up to 80km/hr. Grouse Mountain also is the home to two rescued Grizzly bears, Grinder and Coola, who stood less than 10m away from the young people.

Our final big trip took us down the Strait of Georgia, Whale Watching, our really early start was worth it when we were lucky enough to see a family of 6 orcas swimming in the wild. Following this our guide told us we were leaving because close by 2 large humpback whales had been seen. It is very rare to see both whale breeds on one trip, but we were lucky enough to see the orcas and then the humpbacks put on a show and wave to us using their fins which were estimated to be over 10ft each.

As the trip of a lifetime came to an end we brought our final souvenirs for our families and packed to come home. The fundraising and planning had paid off, our adventure was over, we had laughed and smiled every day; it was time to head home and catch up on hours of sleep. Scouting is always looking for more adults to volunteer their time, it’s only an hour a week, or a continuous 400 hours for the leaders that went on this trip, but, I’m sure each one of them would not change a thing.

Some comments by parents;
Thanks to all the leaders for giving up seventeen days of your valuable time to give our children such an amazing experience. It really has done him the world of good and seeing the enthusiasm on his face whilst telling his stories is heart-warming. You really are a fabulous bunch of memory makes.
Thank you to everyone involved in the organising of such a massive trip. He is truly privileged to have had the chance to go to Canada. We appreciate everyone’s hard work and his memories will last a lifetime.
A massive thank you to everyone involved with the Canada trip, from the organising of fundraising events to planning the itinerary and giving our kids the adventure of a lifetime and memories that will stay with them forever, I’m so proud that he is a member of the amazing Centurion Explorers, I cannot put into words the gratitude I have for you all, thank you doesn’t seem enough.

Grace Edwards
Assistant explorer Scout Leader
More photos are in the Gallery.

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79th Clayton Scouts Trip to Norway

79th Clayton – Strand Jorpeland 2018

Over the past 14 years Mitchell Troop Scouts have established and upheld a close relationship with a Scout group based in Strand Jorpeland, Norway. We first met this group at the International Friendship Camp at Kibblestone in 2004. We hosted them again at the IFC 2008 and 2012. In 2016, we held a Potteries themed camp for our Norwegian friends at Kibblestone, making more friendships and memories. In between all of this we have spent three very enjoyable weeks (in 2005, 2010 and 2014) with our international friends in Strand Jorpeland, Norway.

During our 2016 UK camp, Mitchell Troop was invited back to Strand Jorpeland. Planning commenced in September 2017 to take 16 Scouts, 5 Explorers and 7 Leaders across to Norway for the week long camp. Flights were booked, team building camps were held, and kit talks happened and finally, after 11 long months of planning, we were ready to depart on our adventure on the 28th July 2018.

Things got off to a rocky start upon arrival at the airport. 28 excited Scouts, complete with rucksacks and hand luggage, arrived to the devastating news that our flights had been cancelled and there was no other option but to turn around and go home. One by one, parents were called back to the airport and we sent some very tired and upset children away, with no idea of whether our trip would be going ahead.

Fortunately for us, Scouting in Newcastle really is made up of a fantastic team of volunteers. Within 8 hours of being turned away from the airport a team of 4 Leaders had sat around a kitchen table and rearranged coach transport and flights out of Aberdeen and Newcastle upon Tyne airports for the following afternoon. There are no words to express the thanks we have as Leaders, and from the Scouts and their families, to tell the District how grateful we were for their personal and financial support during these stressful few hours.

At 3:30am on Sunday 29th July, 24 members of the group boarded a coach to take them to Aberdeen airport. All in high spirits, they set off on their 9 hour journey. Meanwhile, the other 4 members of the group travelled to Newcastle upon Tyne airport to catch their flight.
By 8pm all 28 Scouts had passed through security, boarded their planes, touched down in Norway, caught a ferry, and were finally dropped off in camp, 28 hours later than expected.

But we had made it.

Upon arrival at Camp 773 we were greeted by 32 excited Norwegian Scouts, Rovers, and Leaders. This meant that we had a total of 60 Scouts between our two countries, camping together for the week.
On our first day we sailed ships to an island for a pirate themed wild camp. Some of the scallywags amongst us were forced to walk the plank which naturally ended up with most of the Scouts in the sea! We camped out under tarps and in hammocks, tried new foods, and rebuilt friendships. The following day we sailed back to Strand Jorpeland where we were treated to lunch at the Norwegian Scout Hut on the harbour. The Scouts played ultimate Frisbee and then took part in sailing themed activities before heading back to site for a wash in the fjord.

On Wednesday we travelled to Pulpit Rock where we planned to sleep under the stars. Whilst the sun set the Scouts set up their base for the night on top of the mountain. After sunset we walked to the edge of the cliff and, alongside 2,000 other people, watched the premier of Mission Impossible 6 in the open air. This was part of a big event in Norway that was reported by all major news networks as part of the movie was filmed on Pulpit Rock.

Having only had 45 minutes sleep, we hiked to the plateau of Pulpit Rock where we hoped we would catch the sunrise. Unfortunately we were met with pink cloudy skies and light rainfall, however the Scouts were still positive enough to pose for a group photograph with some of them daring to lie right on the edge and look down! Something which made our trip leaders stomach turn!
The Scouts then headed back to Camp 773 for some well-deserved sleep before more swimming in the fjords and then hosting an ‘English’ themed evening of food and activities. The Norwegians had invited family, friends, and old Scouters to join us for a Full English Breakfast and traditional English Scout games, rounded off with a classic campfire.

On our last full day with our Norwegian friends, we continued with our water themed camp and canoed 3 kilometres along the fjord to Grimsli  whilst stopping off at different shores to collect bingo cards. When we arrived at the beach we were treated to cheesy hot dogs in the rain before drawing the bingo and watching Leaders and Explorers take part in a very competitive ‘no rules’ canoe race. Needless to say everybody ended up in the water with our UK leaders winning the race (but not without cheating). The Scouts clambered back into their boats to complete the 3km return journey in tough conditions of headwind and rain. Upon arrival back at camp the Scouts chose to capsize their boats and were taught how to safely rescue each other before heading for some more fjord showers. In the evening we started to pack our bags and had our last supper together before heading outside for a group campfire. During the campfire we sang songs and were treated to a guitar solo, before exchanging gifts and hugs and toasting marshmallows.

On Saturday 4th August we said our teary goodbyes and boarded a coach for Sola Airport and the journey home began. After some minor hiccups the return journey ran considerably smoother than the outbound journey and we touched down on UK soil at 5pm where we were greeted by many happy parents.

Since arriving back in the UK we have received many positive comments from the Scouts and their families about what amazing memories they have made with their new friends. We have extended the invitation to the Norwegians to host them again in the UK in 2020 and we look forward to starting the planning process all over again!

Once again our thanks go out to Newcastle Scout District, families, friends, and fellow Scouters for all of their support in the planning and undertaking of this event.

Yours in Scouting,
Jon Mycock (Scout Leader),

More photos are in the gallery.

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Gone Home: June Eilledge

Those involved in Castle Capers between 1980 and 1990 will remember, with a good deal of fondness, the time when June Eilledge was in charge of wardrobe. Well to be honest – a huge number of people in Newcastle will remember June for being such an excellent friend to Scouting over many years.
She started her involvement in Scouting as a parent (of Ian and Mark) at 14th Basford Group sometime in the 1970’s and was one of those parents who were totally supportive of the Group. Later, in 1980, she took over the wardrobe department of Capers and the running of hiring costumes out from an attic room in the Brampton area.
I last saw her in the audience of Capers 2018 and remarked to her how well she looked – so I was shocked to firstly hear of her recent spell in hospital and, even more so, of her passing away on Thursday 9th August.
Her funeral is at St John’s Methodist Church Wolstanton on August 21st at 11.15.
June always had a smile on her face and simply could not do enough to help you – she will be very sadly missed indeed.
Steve Broadhurs

June checking a costume. From the 1992 Castle Capers Programme

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Gone Home: Rick Minshull

We are saddened to hear of the recent passing of Rick Minshull.

Rick was well known in the District as a Leader at 74th Silverdale and in the District latterly being the District’s archery adviser.

Rick’s funeral will  take place at Bradwell Crematorium on Monday 2nd July 2018 at 3.20pm. Family flowers only, donations in memory of Rick can be made payable to C. Ambrose for the purchase of medical equipment.

Our thoughts are with Pauline, Elizabeth and Victoria and all of Rick’s family.

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Newcastle-under-Lyme Volunteer of the Year Award 2018

I’m pleased to announce that Linda Baddeley, our District Administrator, has been announced as the winner of Support Staffordshire, Newcastle-under-Lyme Volunteer of the Year Award 2018. This was decided by on line voting, which saw Linda as one of 4 finalists that were selected from over 40 nominations.
It’s great that her work in the District is recognised, not only by us, but also more broadly in the community. 

It’s a fantastic opportunity to highlight Scouting and the vital work that our volunteers do in giving skills for life to the young people of Newcastle.
The award was presented this evening (11th June 2018) at a volunteer networking event, by Cllr Gill Hesom, Mayor of Newcastle.
To be eligible for the award, the nominee needed to reside in the council district of Newcastle-under-Lyme and volunteer for a charity or community group that benefits the residents / habitat of Newcastle-under-Lyme.
Vera Bloor
District Commissioner

More photos are in the gallery.

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2018 St George’s Day Parade Windsor

As well as parading through the town or camping at Kibblestone last Sunday, members of the District were at Windsor Castle for the St. George’s Day Parade.
Jordan Everill from 79th Clayton was there as he had been awarded his Queen’s Scout Award.

Our District Commissioner, Vera Bloor, said “Newcastle District Scouts are incredibly proud of Jordan’s achievements and commitment, and wish that his success is recognised locally, as well as at Windsor.”

Also, Steve Broadhurst Bar to Silver Acorn, Linda Baddeley  and  Dorothy (Dot) Bailey.both Silver Acorn were there as well. Vera said of these volunteers –

I am incredibly proud of these volunteers, and their awards are testament to their enthusiasm and commitment to scouting. Hundreds of young people have benefited from the support and guidance they have provided in a variety of roles in our District.

Linda with UK Commissioner Tim Kidd and  Staffordshire County Commissioner Jackie Brocklehurst

The St. George’s Day Parade in Windsor was n the presence of Princess Beatrice and the Chief Scout, Bear Grylls.

More photos are in the Gallery

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2018 St. George’s Day Parade

Yesterday saw Scouts from across the District parade in Newcastle Town centre to commemorate the patron saint of Scouting, St. George.
Over 300 Scouts and their volunteer Leaders, gathered at The Queens Gardens Newcastle before parading at 2.45pm along The Ironmarket, via High Street to St Giles Church for a service.
Newcastle’s Town Cryer, Mr Gordon Brayford, helped enhance the sense of occasion and Porthill Scout Group’s Drum Corps lead the parade, followed by Scouts from the District and invited representatives from the Girl Guides.As 2018 is the 100th anniversary of the end of World War 1, part of the service commemorated Scouts who gave their lives during this conflict. As this is a specific commemoration, representatives of the Royal British Legion also  joined the parade and service.
As the parade passed by the Cenotaph in High Street, the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Staffordshire, Wing Commander Elliott Sharrard Williams together with the Mayor of Newcastle, Cllr Simon White took the salute. The parade then processed in to church for a celebratory service, renewing Promise and a celebration of Scouting and local Scouting activities.
Members of the Castle Capers cast sang twice while in Church and various awards were also presented.

More photographs can be seen here.

As well as the parade in the Town, Groups also renewed their Promise while on camp at Kibblestone and members of the District who had received  the Queen’s Scout Award and Leader Awards were at the St. George’s Day Parade in Windsor in the presence of Princess Beatrice and the Chief Scout, Bear Grylls.

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Newcastle District’s Recruitment Campaign

Our District Commissioner Vera, and some of the cast and crew of our Gang Show, Castle Capers, were interviewed on BBC Radio Stoke on Tuesday 3rd April 2018.
Vera talked about volunteering and the the need for more adult volunteers in the District. Volunteers don’t necessarily need to be a Leader, but can help out in many ways and at times to suit themselves. As the advert says “Every Little Helps”!
Everyone talked  about what Scouting and Castle Capers  means to them. You can listen below.

As Vera says in the interview, we are in need of at least 2 Assistant Group Scout Leaders and section leaders/assistants. People returning to Scouting , who have been young leaders, for example, are particularly welcome.

If you feel you can help in any way, please contact us via the Contact page.

There was a follow up item on the news the following morning Radio Stoke.. You can listen below.

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