Christmas and New Year

Christmas cookies

Even though the pandemic once again closed down indoor meetings in December, we are able to meet online and do things together, like bake/decorate Christmas cakes and cookies… It looks like we will still have to meet online in January, or possibly outdoors. In the meantime 1st Brussels wishes everyone a healthy and happy Christmas holiday. We want to thank all of our team for their continued work and flexibility as they adapt to the circumstances and offer scouting in whatever way is possible for each section. This term we have had lots of face to face activities, some of you have attended overnight events, and a group also undertook their DofE Bronze expedition. We have plenty of plans for the rest of the school year and hope that regular meetings and overnight events will be able to resume at some point in the near future, but the safety of our volunteer team and, of course, the young people is our priority.

If the recent restrictions have changed your holiday plans, and you have time on your hands, why not take a look at where you can find lots of information about badges and perhaps complete some items at home. Don’t forget to let your leader know!

If you are looking to join us, either as a leader or a young person, we do have space available for January 2022. Please do sign up on our joining list and we’ll be in touch.

International scouts camporee

We aren’t the only international scout group in the Brussels area… We are one of 4 ‘British’ Scouting Overseas groups in Belgium, although in reality our members are from many different countries. There are also Finnish, Danish, Swedish, Hungarian, American, Czech & Slovak, Italian groups and maybe more… Some also belong to FOS Open Scouting, others to Les Scouts. We all have groups for young people who want to experience scouting in a particular language or the culture of their home. Several years ago we formed the expat scouts association and started our own annual camp. Normally this happens in the spring, but last weekend we attended the much delayed 2020 edition. The weather was kind and we had a lot of fun.

Haarlem Jamborette 2023

Our Scouts and Explorers had a great time at Haarlem in 2019 together with Explorers from Norway and Brussels Girl Guides. British Scouting Overseas and 1st Waterloo were also there. Here are just a few of the pictures from 2019.

We’re already booked for the next edition in 2023! Will you be joining us! Put 5 August 2023 – 16 August 2023 in your calendar, because those are the 12 days when the 14th edition of Haarlem Jamborette will take place! 

If you’re wondering how good it is, one of your leaders has been attending every 4 years since 2003, and the troop had already been at least twice then! See if you can recognise 2 current leaders in this picture!

Whatever next?

April 2021 Well we’re still affected by the pandemic and restarting some small outdoor meetings, but you never know what we’ll be up to next…

This week the Cubs ‘travelled’ virtually to Cornwall to learn all about hedgehogs and how to help them with Prickles and Paws hedgehog rescue centre. They recently took part in a virtual camp, cooking, den building, wand making etc (there are more pictures in the gallery)

Take a look at the fantastic duct tape wallets made by our Phoenix Scouts last week. I hear their next topic is helicopters. Griffin are looking at cardboard gutter racing, bee and bug hotels and finding out if man can survive on bacon (or bread) alone…

The Beavers have been learning about St George (the patron saint of scouts) and his dragon. Some of them have been working on badges with their families; hiking, tie-dying and horse riding.

We’d love you to join us…

Adults are welcome to join the team as leaders and helpers  and make sure we have room for more young people.

No experience is necessary, online training is available and you’ll work alongside more experienced leaders.

We’re an international group, you don’t need to be British, but it is great if you can speak English.

As you can see scouting is fun!

We currently have plenty of space in Beavers  6-7 years old, and a little space in other sections too. Sign up now for September on our joining in page. Hopefully by then we’ll be able to meet indoors and out and enjoy real camps and sleepovers too!

Clearances for adult volunteers and overnight events

If you wish to attend an overnight event, or to be a leader/helper there are certain procedures the UK scout association require which  help to safeguard all the young people

All adults will need to fill in an Adult Info Form occasional helpers  so that you can be entered onto the scout association database ‘Compass’. Leaders also need to provide 2 referees.

For those who have lived in the UK after their 10th birthday please see Clearance-for-a-UK-parent-attending-overnight-events-2 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 can take up to 3 months to process a clearance!


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, need to apply through the Centraal Strafregister.

The group will send confirmation we’ve seen this to UK HQ at Gilwell who keep records on their database Compass...

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.

Light up Christmas Cards

Would you like to make a card which lights up? Or just colour one in and send it to someone? Perhaps someone you won’t be able to visit this year but would love to hear from you.

Download the template  advent card template (2 designs, print on card and cut to make 2 cards) and instructions..

Making a card with your own design .

If you belong to 1st Brussels and would like some copper tape and LED’s please contact Helen our GSL and arrange to collect an envelope… (while stocks last!) This can count as a simple circuit as part of the electronics badge


Or try making a decorative tile Decorative tiles or coasters made using Napkins as Griffin scouts did over zoom


tiles and pop up cards

Lots of activities

Here are a few pictures of activities our sections have undertaken this term… we had a few weeks when we could meet together outdoors and are currently back meeting virtually- but still managing a wide range of activities.


September 2020- wanting to Join?

camping in the garden

We already have over 20 new young people and several adults joining us this year to experience the fun of scouting.  It’s still a little different due to Covid- and we are waiting to see if it is possible to meet face to face. We want to be sure that we have all the correct procedures in place and that we don’t put anyone at a high risk of catching the virus, or being a contact leading to quarantine and missing school or work.

Scouting is known for teamwork, outdoor adventure  and service.. and where possible we’ll be encouraging that, but without large gatherings or camps right now.

scavenger hunt

That doesn’t mean we can’t have fun- a lot of young people made dens or pitched tents at home last spring, and had cookouts with their parents.

So we’ll be following all applicable rules, and probably offering a mixture of virtual meetings and things to do at home and some outdoor meetings. Before any face to face meetings you will receive information about the covid procedures and a form to sign, in addition to the normal instructions.

hanging around


Sign up on our joining in page– whether it is for now or for later.

We have a few spaces left in Thursday cubs and Friday scouts, so if you are between 8 and 13 and would like to join us, please sign up quickly and maybe you can start this term. It may take a little longer for our other sections, but people come and go in expat groups, so you should get an offer this school year.

We also have space in Beavers (6-7 yrs) on Fridays BUT Sarah our Beaver leader needs some adult assistance before we can fill those places. Adult help is also  very welcome in other sections. Volunteering is one way of ensuring there is space for your child, while also helping other families!

If you aren’t sure about what being a leader/helper means the Scout Association website has lots of info. and you are welcome to contact us.

Here are a few questions people ask.

Do I need a scouting/guiding background to become a leader or assistant?

No! Obviously if you have got experience in a youth movement it is very helpful, but most of our leaders are parents who have learnt on the job.

Do I have to be British/mother tongue English?

No. We have leaders and members of many different nationalities, which contributes to the international feel of our group. For safety reasons you do need a sufficient standard of English to be able to understand and give (or understand) clear instructions.

What age range are your leaders?

Leaders can be any age from 18 upwards. Most of our leaders are parents, but younger people are very welcome to join us. We do have explorer scouts (14-18) who volunteer as young leaders in some sections, but they always work under adult supervision.

How much time will it take?

cakes and information

That depends on you! If you’re helping in meetings it will take that much time, plus whatever time you take to train or prepare… but be warned scouting is addictive, and like any hobby you love, it will take as much time as you allow it to!

If I become a leader/ assistant what help is available?

  • There is a wealth of materials online and resources published by scouting which can provide the framework for weekly activities.
  • There is online training available and some local practical courses to help you in your role. Some of the training is compulsory but you are given plenty of time and opportunity to complete this.
  • Normally there are a number of joint camps and other events which you and your section would be invited to join.
  • We use an online database & waiting list  for administration
  • you can share out jobs between your team
  • collecting subs etc is done centrally


Scouting update summer 2020…

Even during a pandemic, scouting continues, although not in the same way.  If you are a member of the group already your parents can log in to the parents portal to find badge work at home, which you can work on whether at home or on holiday. There are also lots of resources on Some of you took part in the Great indoors weekend and other opportunities will arise.  Check on our facebook page and keep your leaders informed, so you can count the activities towards your badges.

14/7 We are still waiting to get permission from The Scout Association to hold outdoor meetings over the summer and we hope to restart meeting indoors mid-September, at  another venue.  Any summer meetings will depend on  leaders being around and they will inform you if/when that is possible. There will be extra paperwork and procedures to keep everyone safe and we will ask you to stay away if sick or quarantined. All this is of course contingent on  the situation continuing to improve and on Belgian guidelines at the time.

Interested in the group? There should be space available from September and you are welcome to sign up on our waiting list in the meantime. Please see the form on the joining in page.

We are confident we will be scouting one way or another later this year and look forward to meeting you!


Cub photographers

During the lock down,  some of the cubs are working on completing the Photographer Activity badge.
This requires them to learn how to use a camera or smartphone camera, as well as to take and edit  number of photos.
The cubs each choose a theme for their photos and some of their contributions are here entitled
Smurfs in the wilderness and other pictures.

If you want to know more about the badge you can visit the scout website

There are also photography badges for Beavers and Scouts and you can find some pictures from the scout section in our gallery