Durham City District
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Explorer Scout Duke of Edinburgh and Queen

This evening I have met with David Holmes (County Scout Network Commissioner), Stephen Ramsay (ACC Activities) and Ian Hammond (ACC Events) to discuss how we better coordinate the Queen's Scout Award and the Duke of Edinburgh's Awards in the Scout County.

Regarding the Duke of Edinburgh's Awards, we continue to see the benefits of encouraging our young people to register for and complete their Duke of Edinburgh's Awards at all levels. Stephen continues (with his wider team) to provide excellent support for the DofE Award and if you are not already doing so, I encourage you to support your Explorer Scouts in achieving their DofE Awards alongside their Chief Scout’s and Queen’s Scout Awards.

We will continue to help coordinate expeditions where you do not have four young people to undertake an expedition locally at the same level. We would specifically be interested in receiving your feedback on whether Durham Scout County should organise 'open expeditions', which your young people can take part in if you do not have four young people to take part on an expedition locally. This would mean joining up with other Explorer Scouts from across the County (and potentially with Ranger Guides and members of the Scout Network) to organise and complete expeditions. This applies to Platinum and Diamond Chief Scout Award expeditions, Queen’s Scout Award expeditions and Bronze, Silver and Gold DofE expeditions. Please let us know if this would be useful to your young people and if enough people are interested this is something that we could look at for next year.

For Explorer Scouts looking to start their Queen’s Scout Award (and for Leaders/Commissioners looking to support them) there are some great resources available at www.scouts.org.uk/qsa - specifically the ‘Reach the Top’ resources. We will also be putting links to these useful resources on the County website in the coming weeks.

If you have any questions about what your Explorer Scouts need to do to start or achieve their Queen’s Scout Awards, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me and I’ll be pleased to help.

Can I remind you all that the Queen’s Scout Award must be signed off by ‘the responsible Commissioner’. For Explorer Scouts this would usually be the DESC, but for Districts who do not have a DESC appointed, this should be the District Commissioner. If District Commissioners feel that they do not have the time or knowledge to undertake this additional role, I am willing to review these with your young people and sign off Queen’s Scout Awards for forwarding to Gilwell.

To those of you actively supporting our young people with these Awards – THANK YOU. For those who may need help, please don’t be afraid to ask the County team for support.

David Stokes

Moor House Beer Festival

Durham Scout Network Beer Festival is an event to raise funds to help Scouts from Durham Scout County attend International Scout Events. This year aim is to help scouts from Durham to attend the World Scout Jamboree in Japan in 2015.

Saturday 19th October 2013
2pm – midnight
Tickets - £5*
Hot Food for Sale throughout

Email : beerfestival@durhamscouts.org.uk

County Glider dates

I have been advised that the county glider is available on the following weekends. I cannot advise on any further details.

Sat 05 & Sun 06 Oct '13
Sat 09 & Sun 10 Nov '13
Sat 14 & Sun 15 Dec '13
Sat 01 & Sun 02 Feb '14
Sat 08 & Sun 09 Mar '14

More on a Friday plus further information

Adults taking new roles

The following adults have taken on new roles within the District:
Elizabeth Keegan at 19th Durham (Neville's Cross) as Group Treasurer
Susan Dickinson at 4th Durham (Gilesgate) as Group Chairman
Edith Gilderoy at 1st Framwellgate Moor as Assistant Beaver Scout Leader
Elizabeth Keegan at 19th Durham (Neville's Cross) as Group Treasurer
Garry Lee-Shield at 4th Durham (Gilesgate) as Beaver Scout Sectional Assistant
Eamon Mcmanus at 17th Durham (Coxhoe) as Assistant Beaver Scout Leader
Patricia Mesquita De Paz at Belmont Church as Group Executive Member

I am sure everyone will support them through their induction and training needs.

Campsite Survey

Thank you to everyone who took the time to complete the camp-site survey. One aspect that is apparent is the open remit of the project has lead to a very wide range of possibilities. I hope the camp-site sub committee will be able to report back over the summer with a more specific proposal and outline costings.


Lumiere returns to Durham between 14 and 17 November 2013 and volunteers of all ages are being invited to become involved and join the team of festival makers.


All the Volunteer Coordination is being run by Artichoke UK. More information can be obtained by ringing 020 7650 7611 or e-mailing festivalmakers@artichoke.uk.com

TV Opportunity

Dragonfly Film and Television are searching for remarkable children to take part in a new documentary for Channel 4 about childhood.

We are searching for inspirational, articulate children aged 10-12 with an interesting take on the world from across the UK.

I wondered if you were able to pass this on to the scouts in your association?

Dragonfly Film and Television have a history of making pioneering documentaries, such as the BAFTA Award winning One Born Every Minute, The Family and The Hotel. You can see an example of our work here: http://www.dragonfly.tv/productions

We are looking for inspirational 10 -12 year olds from across the country, who have compelling and interesting views on the world, for an observational documentary for Channel 4. The children will have the chance to throw their own dinner party, where parents aren’t invited.

They will be supervised by adults, but with mum and dad out of sight, what will they talk about?

What will their conversations tell us about their future ambitions? Do they view things differently to other children their age? How have their experiences shaped their lives already?

In the kitchen, two outstanding chefs, also aged 10-12, will be cooking up an impressive meal for their guests. What will they cook?

We hope this one-off documentary will be heart-warming and insightful.
It’s important that the children who take part are representative of young people across the country, from different backgrounds and with a range of experiences.

Perhaps they are a sporting champion, or have an incredible music talent? Maybe they see things differently to other children their age, or do they stand out as being opinionated and articulate?

Filming will take place during the summer holidays, but we strongly recommend that anyone interested should contact us as soon as they can.

We are also looking for outstanding chefs, aged 10-12, who are capable of creating a spectacular menu for a dinner party. They will be supervised, but they should have real 'Masterchef’ ability in the kitchen and plenty of enthusiasm.

Anyone interested in taking part in the documentary, should ask a parent or guardian to contact us as soon as possible.

Parents/ guardians please email:
Or call Elena on 020 70333 199

Sunday - Faith Picnic

The district faith picnic is on Sunday July 14th, starting at 10.30 at Broom Park

Activities are based on the theme of ‘Lindisfarne Gospels’ with the
Picnic at 12.30 and departure at 13.00.

District Campsite Survey Reminder

A quick reminder to complete the on line survey to find out what's wanted from a District Campsite. You can access the survey here and it will only take a couple of minutes to complete. Please do complete the survey by the end of this week so we can ensure we meet the needs of the District.

Executive Training

It was good to see a wide range of Exec members at the exec training night on Thursday - a particular thank you to Claire and Rebekah for running the evening.

If any of those attending have any feedback to improve the training for future years please do let me know.

Jamboree Info

Information for prospective members of the international service team is now available here

Initial information for the young people involved is also available here.

Shakespeare Trust

I am delighted to be able to confirm the Shakespeare Trust have agreed to donate £5000 to the District to allow us to fund many of the projects identified earlier this year. I will contact the individuals concerned in the next couple of weeks to confirm details.

Training Equipment

The District Training equipment which includes a projector, laptop, screen and 30 electronic voters is now up and running. If you would like to use the equipment please let me know in good time. The electronic voters work within Power Point - but you will need to allow a bit of time to get everything set up properly.

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