In the Countryside …..

In Spring 2022, the cub section enjoyed four sessions, designed and delivered by Caron, Imogen, and the Naturally Connected team ( . Especially welcomed, as it marks the end of a series of Lockdowns in 2020 and 2021. This was a chance for the young people to get closer to and deepen their appreciation of the natural environment, with the help of skilled and experienced people, demonstrably passionate about what they do.

The program kicked off with a visit by the Naturally Connected team to our scout hut, armed with all things OWL, ID cards, calls from the different UK species, and even the pellets owls leave behind. Cubs engaged enthusiastically, naming different owl species and facts, and picking apart the pellets to examine the remains of owl meals (the bones and fur of small mammals (grizzly)).

Next, in March and early April, the cubs went on three visits to Bowlees Visitors Centre. Visit one: a walk to Gibsons Cave, building refugia big enough for a multitude of animals, den building, and even campfire smores. Visit two: more smores of course! learning about the Green Man lore and making giant nests to fit the entire cub pack. Visit 3: a fantastic journey back through geological time with Naturally Connected’s own geologist Naomi, who took the pack to see fossil evidence of when Teesdale was in fact a warm tropical shallow ocean floor teeming with life, then on to see the Great Whin Sill, a huge igneous intrusion that dominates the landscape in Teesdale and other parts of the north for the last 300 million years. And, you guessed it more smores!

The Cubs spent time with each other learning and playing, team building in the best possible surroundings and in the capable hands of Caron and her team. A big thanks to the Naturally Connected team from everyone at 12th Darlington Cubs!

12th Darlington Cubs

Going for Gold and More !

It’s not every night that you get to hand out four Gold Awards 🥇🥇🥇🥇 well done Robbie, Archie, Will and Alistair for achieving the highest badge in scouts. Four years of fun adventure and friendship.

We also had the pleasure of Oscar gaining his Sliver Award 🥈 as he moves into scouts. (Thanks Akela).

Jess and Florey were also invested.

The deputy district commissioner also dropped by to drop off David’s wood badge.

We even managed a full night of team games to welcome the new Cubs into the section.

Scouts Go on an Expedition !

The Scouts of the 12th Scout Group took in their Expedition over the summer break to earn their Expedition Challenge Badge.

Starting at Elm Ridge they had to get to Raven Gill Scout Campsite

As pat of their challenge they were asked to write a report on their expedition and the following is just that in their own words.

Scout trip to Raven Gill Campsite. (Report 1)

We started our journey at Elm Ridge as we walked to Darlington station. Upon arrival we grabbed a snack and got on the train to Thornaby station then to board another train to Danby. Once at Danby we began a long hike to the campsite. We pitched tents and started unpacking and making some pasta and pesto.

We played games on the field explored the campsite and ended the night with a hot chocolate.

The next morning we woke to the sheep and started packing we later had some breakfast and put down the tent washed up and cleaned teeth. After we played around in the grounds one last time we finished packing up all the stuff and made our way to the station got on the train and arrived at Darlington.

By Josh, Alistair, Summer and Edmund

Darlington Train Station
Darlington Train Station

Scout trip to Raven Gill Campsite. (Report 2)

We set off from elm ridge and accidentally split up from another four, we walked to the station where we bought coffee and hot chocolate, we then boarded the train and got off Thornaby and boarded another train to Danby. Once we started the walk Archie got us lost making us have to retrace our steps and find our way. On our way back we saw a dog which started barking. We followed a path west until we found a field and then walked up the road. We walked on a path surrounded by heather for almost a mile until we found a birch forest and walked through it having to take numerous breaks as Robbie got blisters. Once we passed the forest we followed a path to box hill and stopped again. We then followed the ESK way bridleway until we found another path. We walked by lots of farms and took multiple breaks but we finally met up with the other half of the group, unfortunately they ran off. One of them dropped their bottle so we had to carry that and shouted at them that we had their bottle but they didn’t listen. We carried it for about half a mile until summer stopped for it. We eventually arrived at the camp.

Once we arrived we pitched our tents in the rain and set up the event shelter. We cooked pasta and pesto and had cake and custard for dessert. Me, Fraser and Henry went exploring the site and found a dead sheep which we thought was pregnant but wasn’t. We informed the warden and then played hide n seek and lighthouses in the dark. After that it was lights out but not many of us actually slept. In the morning we put our tents down, Robbie’s very slowly, and had our breakfast. We then took down the event shelter and took the bags to Nigel’s car where they got packed away. With plenty of time to spare we were allowed 20 minutes of free time before setting off to get on the train and head back to elm ridge.

Freya, Henry and Fraser (but mostly Freya 😆)

Scout trip to Raven Gill Campsite. (Report 3)

We set off from Elm ridge and walked to Darlington train station and caught the train to Thornaby  and from Thornaby to Danby station and from there to Raven Gill campsite, we only got lost one time at the start and it was mostly smooth sailing from there. At the campsite we made pasta and pesto with hot dogs and tuna. Later that night we played a few wide games such as hide and seek and lighthouse. The best thing about the camp was the area we could use”

By Archie, Robby and Will

Scouts Finally Get To Camp

The traffic lights have changed and camping is back on!

The 12th took the opportunity to do a short one night camp on the grounds at Elm Ridge (thanks to the church). For some of the scouts this was the first time they have camped for the others it was a chance to get some more nights away for their staged badge. We dusted the tents off, played the game of which bottle has gas in it and setup camp. First night was all about cooking and campfires.

The scouts made a mountain of bolognese, followed by campfire treats and a few wide games in the dark. Highlight of the night was the campfire song written by one of the scouts for their personal challenge badge. You’ll never hear “take me home” the same way again.

After eating our body weight in eggy bread, Saturday involved a #MillionHands activity making planters, followed by a multi-geocaching challenge to crack the hidden code. Scouts went home tired but happy and a few more Outdoor Challenge badges were completed. On to the next adventure.

All together……

Carmel Road, take me home
To the place where I belong

Darlington, Co Durham
Take me home, Carmel Road