Durham City District
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The Geoffrey Gordon Cup 2014

It's back... The 2014 Geoffrey Gordon Cup will be held on the 28-30th March at Dilston Scout Campsite near Hexham, Northumberland.

Take rural Northumberland, a load of Explorers and tons of exhilarating activities and you've got yourself the Geoffrey Gordon Cup! We've got a brand new location (returning after the snow of 2013!), brand new activities and we’re challenging Explorers from around the North East to take part. It’s a mix of a massive incident hike and an huge orienteering challenge.

Teams of between 4-7 Explorer Scouts start their challenge on the Saturday with a route of around 18km completing all the challenges which face them – in the past we've done everything from canoeing, a 7m spider mountain, high rope challenges to a 16 foot giant see-saw in the trees! There are points available for every activity that you take part in. Our event on Sunday takes a different twist and features lots of different activities in the local area. You’ll need to be fast and plan well to pick up all the points!

The cost to enter this year’s event will be £25 per Explorer to cover the cost of accommodation, activities, event support and some food. The deadline for booking is the 28th February 2014. Book early to avoid disappointment - we unfortunately have had to turn away teams in the past!

For more information and to book your team visit the website at www.durhamscouts.org.uk/ggc.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at ggc@durhamscouts.org.uk.

Beavers visit Santa

Thank you to Jonathon for these pictures from the Beaver visit to The Tanfield Railway - sorry still not photographic evidence of Santa

Module 13 Training

Dear all, the above training session in November was cancelled because Moor House had a power cut and so it has been rescheduled for Tuesday 25th February 2014, 7-9pm at Darlington District HQ, with me as trainer. I would appreciate it if you could pass this information to TAs for any leaders who need to attend. Applications for this are not through the county booking system, but via the link below:


Lee Woolsey, TA(Admin) for Darlington is doing the admin for this and the form will go to him. In the event that people are unable to access the form or have any queries, his email address is lee.woolsey@durhamscouts.org.uk



I am sure everyone would like to join me in welcoming:

Thomas Kitchen, Assistant Scout Leader at 1st Framwellgate Moor.

I hope everyone will support him through the appointment and training process.

Air Scouts - please pass onto Scouts

We are creating an Air Scout Troop for a trial period of about 10 weeks on Thursday evenings 7.30pm till 9pm starting on the 16 January. The unit will cover all areas of Scout aviation and is an additional option for existing Scouts.

The first session will include an Q & A for parents. There is no charge to attend however Scouts may wish to purchase the parts for building their models later in the term.

This opportunity is open to all Scouts (10-14.5 yrs) and any leaders with an interest in aviation within the Durham City District.

Please contact Michael at michael@framscouts.org.uk to register your interest or for more information.

Jamboree Fundraising Support

The District efforts to support our three representatives heading out to Japan in 2015 start at 10am on Saturday 21st. If you are able to assist please let claire@framscouts.org.uk know.

Young Leader Training

We're still finalising plans for the District Young Leader training on the 12th Jan. If you have a young leader who assists you please make sure you talk to them about the importance of the training - I will open the sign up after Christmas.

In the mean time if you would like to assist with running the day please let me or Andy Bottrill know.

County Office

The County Office shall be closed from 5pm 13th December 2013 and reopens on the 6th January 2014 at 9am. If there is anything urgent then please drop me an email as they shall be checked at intervals over the Christmas period and I shall endeavour to reply when possible.

Helen Willcox
Acting County Secretary

Training Update

Training advisors and Group Scout Leaders may be intersted in the national training update:

Frostie 2014 - Cancelled

We've now completed a review of Frostie, following the feedback we collected at this year's Confido. The majority of groups told us that they were no longer interested in attending Frostie and that we should focus our efforts on Confido.

As a result and after consultation with the relevant ACC's, we have decided not to run a Frostie event in 2014.

There was however interest in another Frosite:24 and I am working on plans for this for 2015.

Thanks for your continued support.

Ian Hammond

County Climbing Competition

Climb When Ready (the County Climbing Competition) will take place on the 2nd March 2014 at the Simonside Climbing Wall:

Improve your climbing skills
Have fun with 100 other climbers
Chance to win a District or County Trophy
Music, Video and Live Scoring with a great atmosphere!

We're inviting Cubs, Scouts, Explorers and Network members from across the County to join in- its a great opportunity to improve their climbing skills and put themselves to the test against other climbers! The focus is on fun climbing, not just a competition, so we are encouraging all ages and abilities to join in. There will be music, video and live scoring creating a great atmosphere.

There will be three sessions during the day, starting at 10am for Cubs, 1:30pm for Scouts and 5pm for Explorers/Network. Each group can enter up to 5 climbers per section (Cubs or Scouts). There is no limit to how many Explorer Scouts or Network Members can join in. The cost of entry is £4 per person, with entry to the centre, five climbs, all their equipment and a certificate.

Booking is now open until the 16th February 2014. For more information and to book, please visit www.durhamscouts.org.uk/climbwhenready/


5th Durham Beavers Raising Funds

On Wednesday 4th December 5th Durham City Beavers visited Treetops ward at UHND to present a cheque for £240 that they raised at a sponsored sing song they had done in October. The Challenge was to sing ten songs in thirty minutes and we did it (just)! Our cheque was received by Pauline one of the play assistants. Didn't they do their best?

Young Leader Training Weekend – April 25th – 27th 2014

On the weekend of 25th – 27th April 2014 we will be holding a Young Leader training weekend at Moor House. The cost is being subsidised by Durham Scout County and the costs will solely be to cover the cost of catering and some adventurous activities over the weekend (remember – “The Cube” will be up and running by then!)

We will be including an open ‘Module A’ on the Friday evening for any Young Leader who needs to complete this compulsory module. This can be attended even by Young Leaders not attending the rest of the weekend.

The remainder of the weekend will be a mixture of Module delivery. We will not be able to cover every module (and we will not be including Module G ‘ First Aid Master Class’), but we want to deliver the modules that you and your Young Leaders want/need most.

We will be opening course for bookings in the New Year, but could you please let me know:

- Would Young Leaders from your District / Unit be interested in attending (if so, any idea how many?)

- What modules would you like us to cover?

- If you’d be willing to help over the weekend (delivering modules, catering, supervising activities etc)?



Message from County Training Manager

Some of you may or may not be aware but a number of months ago I informed the County Commissioner with my intention of sadly leaving my current CTM appointment to concentrate on being 100% 'match fit' again.
Due to work commitments, hospital appointments, medication and other factors, I am sadly not able to give my full attention to the role, which is needed. I leave the post at the end of this month.
It's a decision that I didn't take lightly and tried other means to keep in post but it was clear and only fair that the role requires full commitment.
After this appointment, I will no longer hold a county role. My 6 years working within the county has been excellent, I have really enjoyed meeting so many dedicated leaders.

With this said, I don't feel that there would be any benefit in meeting tonight as I won't be in role next year to see anything through. Sorry if you this is the first you have heard of this but I give my intended notification a number of months ago.

Until the end of the month I will be sorting wood badges and certificates out, as normal. I am in the process of chasing a number of them up still.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your overwhelming support over this difficult year for me and I am looking forward in continuing to see you all around the county.

Christingle Service

Good to see so many people at Thursday's Christingle service.

Congratulations to all the leaders who received their long service awards and Holly on achieving her Wood Badge. If you think you are overdue an award please let me know so I can follow it up.

Joint Cube Night

1st Fram Friday Scouts and 5th Durham Scouts held a joint night based around 'The Cube' - one of the Scouts even said -
'We should do it more often'!

Young Leader Training

After a rather slow start for Young Leader Training I can finally confirm the first training session will be on the 12th January. All Young Leaders are expected to complete training - please ensure all your young leaders have the date in their diary - more details to follow soon.

County Safeguarding Training

Dear all, just a reminder that part of the validation for Module 1 is that leaders need to complete the on-line safeguarding training on the county website. The link is:


The content builds on and is additional to what is delivered as part of the Module 1 course / DVD.

Ben Patterson

It is with sadness that I report the death of our District President Mr. Ben Patterson aged 89.

Ben had been a scouter since he was a cub scout, and held the posts of Leader, District Commissioner, (Peterlee) and lastly President of Peterlee District Scouts. Ben was also an honorary County Scouter. Ben was a passionate scouter and health permitting attended all major District events. Ben was awarded the following honours for his Scouting achievements:-

The Medal of Merit 1978
The Silver Acorn 1988
The Bar to the Silver Acorn 2003.

The Funeral is to take place on Thursday 28th at 2pm Pittington Methodist Church. There will be a private, family only service at the crematorium. The family have requested no flowers.
Ben will be sorely missed by his friends in the district and those that knew him.

Scouters are invited to attend in uniform, and 2nd Wheatley Hill Scouts are putting on refreshment for after the funeral so any scouter is more than welcome to attend.

Belgium and the Battlefields - 2014

It was a pleasure to meet some of you at last Saturday’s International Forum in London.

It was clear from those of you I met that there is a strong interest in Belgium at the moment due to the Centenary of the Great War in 2014. In order to mark the occasion and encourage more groups to learn about those who fought so bravely for our liberty, we are running a ‘Leaders Information Tour’ to visit the Battlefields of Belgium over the May bank Holiday weekend next year. Please would you mind forwarding this to your GSLs or anyone interested in your County.

We are, as always, keen to help you promote International travel to your groups and would be interested in any opportunity, be it attending an event or sending you some literature to keep on file. With over 50 years’ experience of helping groups with their travel plans we are an ideal option for not only the tentative first-time travellers but those regular travellers who want a one-stop shop for all their travel requirements with full support from the very first enquiry until they get back home again.

If there’s any further information you require on this or any other aspect of our holidays, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Kind regards

Christine Hunt


December Safeguarding Newsletter

The County December 2014 newsletter can be found here.

Burns Night AT Moor Hosue

Saturday 25th January 2014

Come and join Moor House Adventure Centre for a traditional Burns Night celebration

Feast on Haggis, Neaps and Tatties, try out led Ceilidh Dancing then dance the night away with our Disco.

Tickets: £7.50 each

To purchase tickets or for further information please contact

Moor House Adventure Centre:

Tel: 0191 5841703 or email: info@moor-house.org.uk

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