Skip to main content

Summer Newsletter

Quite a lot of Scouts in high-vis, helping at a water station for the half-marathon in Wokingham

Group Scout Leader Update

It is my pleasure to welcome you to the new 1st Finchampstead Scouts termly newsletter. We hope this will be a great way for you to hear more about the amazing things being done by the young people in all our sections, Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorers.

Scouting relies on its volunteers and so I would take this opportunity to thank all our leaders, parents and other volunteers for the time they put in to make this all possible.

We have big plans for the group including a refurbishment of our Finchbase home over the next couple of years. We will tell you more about the plans nearer the time, as well as ways you can get involved from fundraising to helping out with the project. We want to ensure we have a home that can meet the need of our young people for years to come!

Matt Radford, Group Scout Leader

Willows Beavers – new leadership team

The Willows Beavers have had a blast this term, squeezing every drop of fun out of the great outdoors, rain or shine! We kicked things off with a night hike around California Country Park, turning into space explorers for the evening as they chased stars and discovered constellations. It was one small step for a Beaver, one giant leap for Beaver- kind!

Not being Beavers who sit still, we had super cool Taekwondo session. Led by a Taekwondo Instructor, the beavers jumped, kicked, and chopped their way through the basics, learning that focus and discipline can be just as fun as they are important.

Back at the hut, the Beavers turned into chefs, artists, and explorers without even packing a suitcase. They flipped pancakes like pros, got crafty with campfire skills, and took a whirlwind tour of the globe with themed sessions—diving into the world of books, celebrating South Africa, and even throwing a Scottish bash for Burns Night.

All in all, this term has been one big adventure for the Willows Beavers. They’ve learned loads and made memories that are sure to stick around much longer than their pancake creations did!

Badgers Cubs

6 Cub Scouts holding a long yellow snake

It has been a fantastic term for Badgers Cubs with one of the highlights being a close encounter with several reptiles. The cubs met snakes, skunks, lizards and a tortoise and were able to get as close as they dared!

We also had a great night with a special visit from Scout Leader Neal who was dressed in full regalia as he showed the cubs some traditional Burns night celebrations. Other than replacing the whiskey for apple juice the authentic celebrations included a rendition of Scotland the brave and even some dancing!

One of our favourite annual events also took place this term, with pancake day. This year was a particular success as most of the pancakes were edible and nothing was left stuck to the ceiling!

We also spent this term attaining the Local Knowledge Activity badge. This was completed in two parts, firstly with the help of an enormous map of Finchamsptead and secondly with a tour of Crowthorne to learn the local history and visit such landmarks as Wellington College and Broadmoor Hospital. I am pretty sure what the Cubs will remember it for though is the impromptu opportunity to see a Police car up close and the bag of chips we finished the evening with!

Next term we are looking forward to getting out and about as the evenings get lighter and in particular to our Cub Camp in May.

Fundraising – Kandersteg and beyond!

This year the focus for the fundraising team has been the Scout’s upcoming trip to Kandersteg. Highlights include a stall at the Wokingham Winter Carnival selling craft the Scouts had made, the Burns night evening and a quiz night.

A regular source of funds has been the One Lottery. If you are not signed up you could win an individual prize in the process of raising funds for the group:

The fundraising team will now switch focus to the hut refurbishment project – watch out for more information soon!

Summer fun day 2024

We will shortly be sending out an invitation to come to a 1st Finch Summer Funday planned for July. The afternoon will include a bbq and some fun water based activities and be open to all members of 1st Finch and their families. We will be limited to 100 for this activity so keep the date clear and keep an eye out for the invitation!

Leopards Cubs

A collage showing Cub Scouts attending AstroNight at the Science Museum

Leopards have had a very exciting term with the standout being taking part in the AstroNights sleepover at the Science Museum in London. AstroNights are the Science Museum’s sleepovers for children, where you can explore the museum after dark, this time to the rhythm of music. Inspired by their exhibition Turn it Up: The Power of Music, the evening included lots of hands-on workshops, shows and activities that delved into the power of music. After breakfast the following morning and a trip to the international space station thanks to the virtue of some 3D glasses it was then time to return home for some sleep!

Other highlights include serving drinks and cakes to their Mum’s for Mother’s Day and snow-tubing.

Kandersteg 24

August 2024 sees the return of the 4-yearly Kandersteg Scout Camp.

They have been Scout camps at the Kandersteg International Scout Centre since 1923 and every 4 years 1st Finch takes a group on a camp they will remember for the rest of their lives.

Nestled in the foothills of the Swiss Alps, this is a trip of a lifetime. After over a year, the fundraising is nearly done and it will soon be time to pack. Our Autumn issue will issue a full report, in the meantime bon voyage to all Scouts and volunteers attending!

Goldfinch Scouts

A collage of Scouts doing activities, and food they ate

Looking back on this term, the theme seems to have been running! We helped out with a water station at the Wokingham half marathon and enjoyed cheering on the runners, especially the one dressed as a banana!

We also had a lot of fun making marble runs for recycled material. This was a challenging and hugely fun activity for the Scouts.

Scouts also participated in our annual cooking competition where scouts have to plan, shop and prepare a 3 course meal for 2 people within budget. The meals this year were a definite step up with sushi, curry, macaroni cheese and kebabs all on the menu. A special thanks to the parents who judged the meals.

In addition to the London Monopoly Run, this term the Goldfinch Scouts have been making lanterns, amongst other things!

The Scouts brought in a can full of ice then used a hammer and nail to make a logo. They then painted it and added a candle.

We also kicked off with Kickboxing back at the beginning of the term. The Scouts took the opportunity to punch and kick out an evening of intense energy!

Oaks Beavers

Three Beaver Scouts making structures from spaghetti, and giving thumbs up

Recently, weekends have been dominated with preparation for the 3 towers hike in April. This is a Scout run event and has different levels of challenge for different age groups and abilities. For the Scouts this is a 27kn hike from Adventure Dolphin Pangbourne to Goring, the Ridgeway and finishing at Compton. The Scouts walk alone, unaided by adults between checkpoints.

We are the Monday evening Beavers, and we aim to fit in as many of our favourite games such as jailbreak and dodgeball in with our work towards our badges,

So far this year we have had a visit from Berkshire reptiles and challenged each other on local knowledge using a huge Scout hut sized map of Finchampstead.

We loved our messy science experiment evening that culminated in a series of erupting cocktails! We organise the Beavers into small groups called lodges and complete various challenges between the lodges, including who can build the tallest tower.

Now the evenings are lighter we have been able to get out and about focusing on nature and learning how to grow the tallest sunflower. Most recently we worked as a team to design a shelter fit for a Beaver!

This term we will be getting out and about with some hikes we have planned and will be challenging the Beavers to cook cakes on an open fire!

Scouts London Monopoly Run

A collage of two photos of Scouts in London

Both the Greenfinch and Goldfinch Scouts recently took part in the 2024 London Monopoly Run. The event saw over 8000 Scouts and Guides taking part in a live Monopoly game around London. Approximately 200 games were being played out at the same time and the Scouts didn’t know which team they were playing against.

The game required visiting actual locations on each of the monopoly streets from a given picture. Once there, the team could either buy or pay rent for the square.

Throughout the 7-hour game the teams were set challenges to top up their money while waiting for the rent to start coming in.

The Scouts needed to geolocate using an app, really testing their navigation skills.

It was a great day and all scouts enjoyed it even though they walked more than 30,000 steps!