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!

Celebrating 90 years of scouting in 1st Brussels

We held our 90th anniversary celebration in 2015.

anniversary cake

The cake was delicious and we enjoyed watching some slides from both our history and from the previous year. There are a few pictures of the event in our smugmug gallery. Here are just a few historical pictures. If anyone has pictures or more details on our history from 1925 – 2000 we would love to hear from you! From around 2006 onwards there are a lot more pictures in the gallery.

Virtual Camp Blanket

Just as a bit of fun – some of our Brussels camp badges! Many of them were designed by cubs and show a lot of creativity.
We have a few spare camp badges left which we are happy to sell within the group for €1 each to help you decorate your blankets… ask at the next group event.

Scout Groups visiting Belgium – What to do?

What can we recommend ?

Of course there is not a one-size-fits-all answer to this, and so we recommend that you do some background reading to see what is available, and what you might be interested in.

Visiting Belgium

A good place for visitors to start might be the Belgium pages on WikiTravel which is a free Travel Guide that tries to be fairly self contained, you will also find it useful to get some general background on the country, and that can be found on our old friend Wikipedia.

If you want information about West Flanders and World War One Commemoration we have written a document with some useful information 2014-visiting the battlefields

There is also a scout museum in Leuven http://www.scoutsmuseum.be

Belgian Cities

For City information take a look at;

Out and about

For some other rural destinations across the country start with the Tourist brochures on the Brussels Wallonia website and the Flemish Tourist website .. or for more info try;

 

Campsites and Accommodation:

Please see the list on our resources page..
  • The nearest scouting campsite to the 1st Brussels home town of Tervuren is De Kluis, owned by the Flemish Scouts and Guides. There are contact details on the website and you can book one of their many sites and search for availability here they speak fluent English.
  • 1st Brussels do not have a Scout hut, so sadly we can’t help you with a sleepover.

Theme Parks

  • The nearest Theme park to De Kluis is Walibi near the town of Wavre.
  • Wikipedia maintains a list of other Belgian Theme parks here.

We hope you enjoy your visit!

All of the websites mentioned on this page are maintained by third parties, not by us: We probably didn’t need to say that, but just in case.

1st Brussels History

The earliest British Scout group in Belgium was in Brussels in about 1910 and was run by H. Parfitt who later became the first Chief Scout of Belgium. The early British records were lost so we can’t be 100% sure if there is a link between this group and 1st Brussels, however our earliest registration records date to 1924, and show us meeting at the same place; Holy Trinity Brussels, then called Christ Church.  This means more than 80 years of British Scouting in Brussels.

Recently we met a 1st Brussels Scout from 1935-1940, some of his photo’s are in our Photo’ Gallery, he also gave us a list of notable events during his time:

1935-1939 (HQ Basement of Square de L’Industrie)

  • Scout evening at Christ Church hall: ‘the wives of King Henry ‘ to raise funds.
  • Invitation to British Boy Scouts in Antwerp, slept aboard a small cruiser belonging to the Sea Scouts.
  • Troop Activities: Ambulance efficiency, Repairing toys for Christmas tree, Guide/interpreter to British scout troop from Leeds, Waterloo, special church built in steel, meeting with Eclaireurs Français.
  • Camps: Remouchamp, Corbion, Domaine D’Argenteuil,  World Jamboree in Holland Vogelenzang 1937.
  • Parade: Special march past of all the Belgian scouts in the presence of HRH King Leopold III at the Royal Palace. 1st Brussels led the parade followed by the Eclaireurs de France.

1939/40 (HQ Rue Joseph II garage)

  • Events: Christ Church service attended by Anthony Eden (foreign affairs minister) who presented the colours; a Union flag and a green and yellow 1st Brussels flag (which is still in use today).

Wartime

  • 10th May 1940 “General dispersion”.
  • July 1940 relocated to Mont de Marsan (Landes).
  • Diverse activities for British Scouts, refugee committee and Red cross. Active as dispatch riders.
  • Interpreter for St John Nurses who had an ambulance and a Bedford Truck.

If you were a  member of our group and have photo’s, documents or stories please drop us an email on web@firstbrussels.be