1st Brussels Summer Fair 2017 – A Successful Fundraising Event

As part of their work for the World Challenge Award, Fundraising and Community Impact badges this term, Phoenix Scouts got down to planning and organising the 1st Brussels Summer Fair on June 05, 2017 at St Paul’s British Primary School. The troop raised approximately 600 EUR that afternoon. It was a great achievement for our scouts and also a fantastic opportunity to promote scouting and recruit volunteers!

At the beginning of the term, the troop listened to a talk on homelessness and shortly after, some of the oldest Phoenix Scouts participated in an evening handout of food and other necessities session at Gare du Nord.

Following this, the troop decided to take action to help the less fortunate and raise some money for charity. Initially, they proposed selling some cakes but in order to reach as many people as they could, after a troop forum, it was decided that the best way to do so was to organise a Group event and help raise some money for the Group as well. Hence, the 1st Brussels Summer Fair idea was born.

With the help of their leaders, the Scouts worked hard on publicizing, planning and organising the fair.

At the fair, they ran 3 stalls – the Orange patrol sold cakes and biscuits, the Blue patrol ran the Murder Mystery Tour and the Green Patrol sold drinks. There were also other stalls from the other sections including the sale of paracord bracelets and woggles made by the Cub packs, games run by the Beavers, a second hand book sale and a BBQ.

From the amount raised, half (approximately 300 EUR) was to be donated to charity and the balance is to be used by 1st Brussels to enable the Group to continue to run a good and balanced programme for everyone.

The Scouts also voted to split the 300 EUR donation between two charities (approximately 150 EUR each) – ASBL A Place to Live http://www.aplacetolive.be/ which provides scout-like outdoor activities for children living below the poverty line and UNLESS http://unls.be who now manage the handouts of food and other necessities at Gare du Nord (they took over from Serve the City some time ago and earlier in the term, welcomed some of the oldest Phoenix scouts who participated in an evening handout session at Gare du Nord).

Phoenix Scouts would like to thank everyone for their time and effort and for helping the troop make the event successful.

People who do voluntary work are healthier!

According to a study by the General Practice study group at Gent University adults who undertake regular voluntary work tend to be as healthy as those 5 years younger than themselves…  There are apparently several reasons, voluntary work has a positive effect on mental health, it allows care related hormones to be freed which help with stress and against infection. It can also provide activities which help protect against the effects of dementia in the eldery.

Many volunteers have a higher than average income which also has a positive effect on health. This ties in with previous results which show that listing voluntary work on your CV increases the chance of work.. The full Dutch language study can be seen on the UGENT website

So why not volunteer with us?

We have vacancies for

  • Group membership administrator: to help process clearances for parents who wish to help regularly or attend overnights.
  • Supplies and Equipment supervisor: someone who can keep the equipment inventory  up to date and order replacements and purchases, or  repairs as necessary- reporting to the Executive
  • Maintenance– additional help with servicing equipment (depending on skills) gas appliances, or canvas…

We can always use additional help in the various sections; from September we need additional assistant leaders in both Beavers, Montgomery Cubs, Scouts and Explorers. You don’t need experience- training is available.

Please contact a section leader or  Helen  our Group scout leader gsl(@)1stbrussels.be if you are interested in knowing more.

Clearances for camp 2017

If you wish to attend an overnight event, there are certain procedures the UK scout association require which also help to safeguard your child.

All adults will need to fill in an Adult Info Form occasional helpers 2017 so that you can be entered onto the scout association database ‘Compass’.

For those who have lived in the UK after their 10th birthday please see Clearance for a UK parent attending overnight events Please  also see the document below about which documents you need to provide to be cleared under the UK system. Please note: The UK Scout Association doesn’t accept DBS clearance certificates from any other source.  It usually takes a minimum of 3 months to process a clearance!

What information will I be required to include on my Disclosure form

All adults whether or not they’ve lived in the UK will also need to show us a local clearance

All adults* should obtain a local clearance from their commune ‘certificate bon vie et moeurs model 2’ ‘uittreksel uit het strafregister model 2’. * Certain categories eg military and diplomatic families who are not registered with the commune in the same way, cannot obtain this. Similarly if you have only just arrived in Belgium! Please let us know if that is the case so we can find an alternative.

The group will send confirmation we’ve seen this to UK HQ at Gilwell  who keep records on their database Compass..* If you showed us a local clearance prior to 2016 we may need to see it again (or a new copy) so that we can fill in the local form, as this is a new procedure.

The UK requires us to renew adult clearances every 5 years. We will contact you when a renewal is required. We usually keep the records for 5 years unless you leave the group or tell us you no longer require a clearance.

Criffel Beavers recipe book

This term Criffel Beavers have been busy deciding what some of  their  all time favourite recipes are,  no doubt using this as an excuse to make them again,  so they can take a nice picture of the yummy results!  They have collected 25 recipes into a Beaver recipe book which they will be selling in aid of the following 2 charities

The book will be hot off the press and ready to purchase at the upcoming Scouts and Guides Christmas Carol Service on the 4th of December at the price of €10.beavers-recipe-book

These books make excellent Christmas presents and as all the proceeds (approx. €6-€8 per book) will go directly to charity, this is a great opportunity to help a good cause.

If you can’t attend the carol service you can still order one by email from criffel.beavers(at)outlook.com

Scouts & Guides Carol Service 2016

carol-service-appeal-2016

Members and their families are invited to our annual carol service; details above.

Your sections will be practising in the next few weeks. Please come in smart uniform and be ready to take part!

The charity we are supporting this year is – Le Petit Château. It is the largest centre for asylum seekers in Belgium. The centre has the capacity to offer 720 places for asylum seekers and provides them with a shelter and food. They also receive social, legal and medical care. In addition to this the centre also offers activities so that the residents can best utilise their time.

We will be asking the children to donate games as seen in the invitation above.

Group Bonfire & BBQ 5th November 2016

To celebrate bonfire night we held a scout social event for the whole family at De Kluis.  dscn1366 dscn1359 dscn1368

A lot of people were away for half term but around 100  came along to enjoy burgers and hotdogs and a big bonfire.

We aren’t allowed fireworks in the woods so in addition to the fire we had some games involving glow sticks. The balloon shaving proved very messy and  glowstick hoola hoop was also quite a challenge. Most popular with the younger sections was the glowstick treasure hunt in the woods, with as a prize a glow bracelet each. Some young people went around collecting tokens several times. As usual the scouts and Explorers enjoyed the lazertag  games

Lights and music added to the atmosphere.

Thanks to everyone who helped out by preparing, cooking, serving food or drinks, cleaning or bringing wood etc.

Gone Home

By now many of you will have heard the sad news that John Mason passed away on Sunday 23rd October following a long illness.

In 2015 at the Group Grand Prix

John Spring 2015 at the Group Grand Prix

John had been with the group around 20 years ever since his sons joined us. Right from the start he helped out with camps and events and after a few years became a leader. He loved to tell the story of how he was ‘tricked’ into taking on uniform as a leader, but no-one who knew him could have doubted his love of scouting and his willingness to spend time, not only supporting his own boys, but many other young people. Over the years he became not only a well-loved scout leader but also a trainer and mentor for new leaders, and our group quarter master. Despite his battle with illness over the last couple of years he still visited his scout troop whenever he could. His wisdom and support will be sadly missed.

Group members  received an email inviting them to John’s funeral on Monday 31st October.

Group Camp report

This October we had our first group camp at De Hoge Rielen in Kasterlee. group-camp-badge

After a wet start for the scouts and explorers hiking in from the railway station on Friday, the weather cleared up and we had 2 nice days for our activities. The site is large and has lots of woods and sandy areas as well as a lot of camping space.  It was great to see all ages  from Beavers through to Explorers working together on the Belgian folk games and  challenges.

We ate lunch in the restaurant and the typically Belgian chervil soup was a new taste for many! In the afternoon the young people separated into their sections and did some other activities with low-level slack lines, a blindfold course, a zipwire, a craft and GPS search depending on their ages. Just walking between activities meant the cubs walked 15km during the day, no wonder they were tired by bedtime! The scouts and explorers built shelters from tarps and pioneering wood. Network were having their own camp alongside ours and 6 members were there. They kindly transported some of the young people and baggage around in the heavy ‘trailer bikes’ and also collected wood and built us an excellent campfire.

On Sunday there was time for scavenger hunts, a wide game and a few other games in between packing up the site and clearing the buildings.

There are more pictures in our smugmug gallery

Joining scouts this school year

You may have seen pictures on the Belgian news of parents camping outside scout buildings to get their child a place.  Luckily we work with a ‘ joining in’ list, but it still isn’t possible to enrol everyone.  Your children’s safety, the capacity of the rooms and the quality of the programme all have to be safeguarded.  Our coordinator has been working hard offering spaces, where possible, to those  on the list. We have 47 new members starting this month. You should hear by September 7th  if we have a space available for your child. We have now filled all the places we can for this term, but there will be some more spaces available in January.

A good tip is to be flexible about which section night you want, we had to disappoint a lot of people this time who only wanted Friday Beavers.  Please sign up for a group near your home; there are other English-speaking groups in Waterloo, SHAPE and Central Brussels.  For British girlguiding (girls only) please sign up on their uk website.

None of the British groups meet at the weekend, except for special occasions, unlike the local scouts. So if weekends are what you want, please look at what they offer. There are also other expat scout groups in the Brussels area   eg Danish, Polish, Hungarian and Boy Scouts of America.

 

Annual General Meeting

Our AGM this year will be held during our Group camp, at De Hoge Rielen on Saturday 15th October in the early evening; from 17.30-19.30 (including the meal time. We decided on this, despite the distance,  as more members and parents will be present then attend when it is held locally.  Those who aren’t already taking part in (day) camp are very welcome to come and join us for the meeting. Attending the meeting is free, there is no fee to access the campsite for this, there are public footpaths on site.

We will be starting the presentation (slide show) during our evening meal; people arriving for the meeting are welcome to arrange their own sandwiches/ meal or to eat with us but please tell us if you want food so there is enough!

All annual statements will be published  before the meeting so there is an opportunity for questions and comments. If you are unable to attend but wish something to be raised please let us know at that time.