Normandy 2015 – 3rd Squirrels Heath Sea Scouts & Zenith Explorers

18510701896_37007debd9_oAt May half term I was privileged to take my Scouts from 3rd Squirrels Heath Sea Scouts and the Zenith Explorers on a cycle trip to Normandy, France. We cycled from Cherbourg at the North of Normandy to Ouistreham to the East, using mainly quiet, coastal or country roads. Why were we there? We wanted to discover as many of the beaches used in the D Day landings in 1944, especially as it is the 70th Anniversary of V.E Day.

The Scouts carried all their own gear for the trip, stoves, tents and clothes. Each night we cooked as a collective, taking in turns to prepare the nights meal on Trangias but fresh croissants and drinking chocolate every morning for breakfast sourced the local shops by the Zenith Explorers who soon became experts at getting the best deal! We were away for eight days, seven nights camping at various sites, moving on each day was a great experience for the Scouts rising to the challenge of pitching and taking down tents everyday with a smile.

18350979639_2cf5e2fdd2_oMid week , Wednesday, camp routine was slightly different as we stayed at the Municipal Campsite at Bayeux for two nights. This gave us the opportunity of having dinner cooked for us by our support crew, Glynis and Theresa, who were staying in a static mobile home at the Bayeux campsite for the week plus provide free time for the Scouts and Leaders next day to enjoy the delights of this French town. Each day we tried to visit one museum in each area we were camping in, or along our route that dealt with the conflict but each one gave a different perspective on what had occurred which gave the Scouts a good perspective of the human cost of the conflict. This year we included a visit to the German Cemetery at La Cambe which was vastly different to those of the Allied Cemeteries some of the Scouts had visited in 2013 and the American Cemetery included on the 2015 itinerary.

Prior to free time on Wednesday in the morning we laid a wreath of remembrance at the British Cemetery at Bayeux, parading in full uniform; including the raising and lowering of our Group Colours. To the bemusement of French visitors this was conducted in complete silence- the Young People making us proud to be their Leaders. Bayeux Cemetery is of special interest to us because a relative James and Glynis Youngs. is buried there killed at the age of 20 on D Day. It was especially poignant as Glynis showed a photocopy of the telegram informing his mother of his demise and was able to share what she had discovered. This helped to capture the imagination of the Scouts as to what it might have been like to have landed on the beaches on 6th June 1944.

18350437579_b71dc5a2a5_oThroughout the trip the Scouts remained good spirited and sang songs while we cycled through the various villages along the coast much to the amusement of the locals..In total we cycled 132 miles and the Explorers 150 miles, as they had visited an extra museum; eight museums, one cinema, three Cemeteries and the RUG! Plus dinner in a French Restaurant and playing on the beach.

I have always been very lucky with my Scouts as they have always taken on the various crazy ideas our Leadership Team have thrown at them with enthusiasm. This trip being one of them. “How far have I cycled today? Whoa!” was the usual comment before going off to play a game of football or Frisbee before after dinner. Parents have commented on the change in their Scouts since their return from Normandy and the new confidence they now have. I would thoroughly suggest that if you have not already taken your Scouts abroad that you give it a try. The experience, team building, fun and putting into practice skills learnt in preparation for going to Normandy the Scouts and Explorers gained from this type of trip is one they will have for life. Also friendships are made or cemented as they helped and encouraged each other along the way. The Parent Helpers who attended also commented on what they had learnt from this experience.

17916211883_71d02f5bf4_oHowever, it should be noted that visiting Normandy could not have happened without the support received from the WHOLE Troop who helped to raise the necessary funds via attending five bag packing sessions at a local supermarket. One parent also ran some Try Dives to raise money. Everybody joined in to get us there. Such an adventure couldn’t have gone ahead without the prior visits and planning, so I would like to thank everyone involved in this as well as planning running this trip. The names are numerous but there needs to be a special thanks to our Support Crew Glynis and Theresa, who met us every day with lunch and were there when we needed them for a few bike repairs.

To sum up, this was a great trip. For me it clearly shows what can be achieved by having a great bunch of people working together to make sure Scouts are “Joining the Adventure ”

3rd Squirrels Heath Scout Leader.

View all their photos here!



Scouts Responding to Nepal Earthquake Appeal

G.L.N.E. Scout Leaders, can we have a few minutes of your time now and over the next few weeks at your sectional meetings. We have all seen the devastation in Nepal following the earthquake.

Are you aware that Rover Scouts and Leaders are still searching in uniform and that young Scouts are pitching in, by erecting shelters for the homeless and caring for those who need first aid, medical care or just a hand to hold. Some of these Scouters have lost relatives, but are still helping others. 

As a County we can help, will you join us to help? It can be done so simply, getting your Beavers or Cubs to fill a Smarties tube with 20p coins, older Cubs, Scouts and Explorers could do some work for family and friends for a donation or a sponsored activity.

Once you have collected your donations, give it to your Treasurer and get them to write a cheque to ‘G.L.N.E. Scout Council’, don’t send it to County HQ, send us a message on here or email and we will let you know where to send it. We will keep you all up to date with the totals.

Donations will be paid to the Disasters Emergency Committee. Follow us on Fb – Scouts Responding to Nepal Earthquake Appeal.

Please share this county wide, we can make a difference.

St George’s Day Awards 2015


Congratulations to all of our St George’s Day award receivers!!!


Malcolm David Smith – Group Scout Leader, 27th Chingford, District Executive Committee Member, District Training Adviser, Chingford

John Francis Taylor – Group Chairman, 14th Ilford (Methodist Church), District Vice President, District Scout Active Support Member, Ilford Northwest


Roger Frank Fall – Cub Scout Leader, 1st Corbets Tey, District Cub Scout Leader, Hornchurch, County Local Training Manager

Peter James Seddon – Group Scout Leader, 7th Hornchurch (Methodist), Hornchurch, District Commissioner, Squirrels Heath

Linda Gillian Thorogood – District Training Adviser, District Commissioner (Acting), Hornchurch, Campsite Management Committee Member

David Alan Wriderholt – District Scout Active Support Member, District Training Adviser,


Peter Henry Banks – County Queen’s Scout Award Co-ordinator, County Adviser Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, Assistant County Commissioner

Marian Hilda Bedding – District Scout Active Support Member, Chingford

Reginald James Bedding – District Scout Active Support Member, Chingford

Alfred Charles Ford – District Training Adviser, District Commissioner, Newham, County Local Training Administrator

Alan Hall MBE TD – County President

Joan Davina Holder – District Scout Active Support Member, Chingford

Sheila Rosalind Langley – Group Treasurer, 2nd Ilford North (St Lawrence Barkingside), Ilford Northwest

Julie Anne Leeper – Group Scout Leader, 2nd Romford, District Training Adviser, District Scout Active Support Member, District Administrator, Romford, County Trainer

Andrew James Mann – Group Scout Leader, 19th Romford, District Training Adviser, District Scout Active Support Member, District Nights Away Adviser, District Administrator, District Commissioner, Romford

Dean John Milton – Scout Leader, 11th Ilford North, Ilford Northwest

Alice Barbara Robinson – Scout Leader, 7th Chingford (St Anne’s), Chingford

Denise Barbara Taylor – Cub Scout Leader, 2nd Ilford North (St Lawrence Barkingside), District Cub Scout Leader, District Training Adviser, Assistant District Commissioner Cub Scouts, Ilford Northwest

Ian James Taylor – Cub Scout Leader, 29th Hackney (St James), East London

Alan Wiltshire – Group Scout Leader, 2nd Collier Row (Ascension), District Training Adviser, Romford

Roger Francis Winston – Group Supporter, 1st South Hornchurch (St Johns) Hornchurch

Pamela Joan Wood ACIE – District Treasurer, District Scout Active Support Member, District Appointments Advisery Committee Member, District Administrator, Ilford Northwest

Ilford Northwest Beavers District Science Afternoon

Beavers from across the district enjoyed a fun afternoon of various Science experiments at our first ever district science afternoon in February. Experiments included the senses challenge, walking across eggs, investigating forces, making spinners, making and flying paper aeroplanes and using fruit to make electricity. Thank-you to everyone who came along to support the afternoon.

Philip Merchant

(ADC Beavers Ilford Northwest)

INW Beavers 2 INW Beavers 3INW Beavers 1