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)

Scouts & Guides Carol Service 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.


Mountbatten cubs aim for the top!

Mountbatten cubs had a great time at their climbing session at Sportoase, Leuven, this Saturday. A big thanks to the instructors, leaders and parents who made this possible.

Fun at the Grand Prix , Balloon Bath and Dancing

We had a great time at this annual event, which this year had a few added twists due to the 2 challenges we were attempting.  Beavers were racing their homemade Lego cars while cubs and scouts had spent time working on their ‘pinewood derby’ cars competing to be the fastest or to win one of the design prizes. In total we had around 100 racers and 5 design categories for each age group. Everyone who took part can also tick of parts of their challenge awards.

Mountbatten cubs had baked cookies to sell for Water aid as part of the million hands challenge. They raised €108.64 for the charity.

During the day we also took part in two of the FOSonFire challenges, building a giant balloon bath for the Beavers and getting at least ‘100 people’ involved in dancing the ‘Polonaise.’  The balloons were a great hit with the Beavers so thanks to everyone who helped blow them up! It takes a lot of balloons to fill a space approx 3m x 3m x 75cm.

These and other challenges we did during meetings have been filmed and if you visit our challenge page and click on ‘like’ you will help us gain points both for the group and our FOS region.  A few of the films didn’t quite work as expected and couldn’t be included this time, but we had enough to gain the maximum points for these tasks and we hope you had fun taking part.

There are prizes to be won by the top 4 groups and for creativity.

There are more pictures in our Gallery– and if you took pictures please ask your section leader for details of how to upload them, so we have a complete record from the event.

A big thanks to everyone who helped prepare, set up, supervise, or clear up and of course well done to all our participants!

Spring 2016

Each term we welcome new members and say goodbye to families and thank you to leaders  and volunteers who are leaving. This term we’ve been able to welcome 16 new young people and are saying goodbye to 3 of our Beaver leaders.  We wish all the families well in their new locations, and hope they are able to enjoy scouting there.

We are also happy to announce that Central Brussels is now launched as a completely separate UK scout group and has beaver, cub and scout sections, and has just opened a second cub pack. We will still be seeing a lot of them at joint activities like the Grand Prix in February and various camps.

We are members of the Brussels British Community Association and their latest newsletter is here BBCA_NewsletterJan_2016  It includes an article about 1st Brussels.

The new group has taken a lot of folk from our waiting lists and 1st Brussels is now able to offer spaces to most  young people aged 6-13 who wish to join, at the start of the next school term. We even have spare space in some sections. That is partly because we need to ensure we have enough adults to lead each section. Some sections cannot currently accept new members until more adults are available.

Our group is entirely run by volunteers and we can always use  help whether that is leadership during weekly meetings, helping at events and camps or behind the scenes with the exec.  Please consider what part you could play in providing the best possible scouting for your child and others.

Behind the scenes roles

Group administrator(s) ( beavers/cubs)

  • Coordinate the appropriate clearances for parents/helpers attending overnight events (DBS/Local)
  • Check against documentation than collect and post the necessary forms
  • Liaise with leaders to ensure we know who has completed the process

 The following leadership roles are available now, or during the coming year.

There is training and support available for those taking on these roles. We work in teams, so if you can’t commit to every week you can still help. You don’t need previous experience,   a willingness to work with children, a love of the outdoors and a sense of humour is enough!

Leadership roles : Sections which meet at the British School of Brussels (Tervuren)

  • Nevis Beavers Tuesdays 1700- 18.15              1 assistant leader
  • Churchill Cubs Thursday 18.30- 20.00                    1 assistant leader
  • Lomond Beavers Friday 17.30-18.45            2 leaders/assistants
  • Griffin scouts Friday 1900-2100                              1 scout leader
  • Explorer Unit 1900-21.00                             2 leaders/assistants

 Leadership roles : Sections which meet at St Pauls British Primary (Vossem-Tervuren)

  • Criffel Beavers Wednesdays      17:15 – 18:30                          1  leader
  • Phoenix Scouts Wednesday 18.45-20.30                2 leaders/assistants

Most of our team are parents but we very much welcome other adults aged 18+, who would like to join our leadership team. You don’t have to be British, we have people from many nationalities, but you do need to be able to speak English.

 Volunteering with scouts is fun!