Written by: Andrew Aalders-Dunthorne GSL


Dear Families, friends and supporters of 1st Fressingfield Scout Group,

I hope that you have all had a peaceful summer and looking forward to the new scouting year, starting in September. Although sections have not been meeting we have had a full summer with working parties progressing developments at our new HQ site off Priory Road and clearing and cleaning the existing Scout hut on New Street.

More excitingly we have had young people involved in two summer camps this year, with the Fressingfield Explorers camping, climbing and hiking in Peak District and rounding off the five day camp with a visit to Alton Towers.

As I write a contingent of Leaders, Explorers and Scouts are recovering from the 15th International Norfolk Jamboree (NORJAM) held at the Norfolk Show Ground. I had the opportunity to visit the enormous camp with around 5000 scouts and guides from 31 countries earlier this week. Along with a range of activities from clay shooting to quad biking, circus workshops to crafts the site has a main stage area, full size fun fair, exhibition area and provides the opportunity for a range of visits to local attractions. 1st Fressingfield have been holding a daily friendly football match with a neighbouring camp of scouts from Egypt.

As we look forward to the next year of scouting, there will be further challenges and adventures.

Andrew Aalders-Dunthorne
Group Scout Leader


Explorers’ friendship parcel delivered to Mothers’ Mercy Home, Kenya

Our Kenya 2019 team have reached out to our hosts in Nairobi with a parcel of gifts, photos of themselves and letters to their soon to be new friends. Pictured are Chris, Adam and Emma Carman-Jones presenting the box to senior social worker Charles. I assume Dawn C-J is taking the picture. Thanks for taking the parcel for the Explorers all the way to Kenya. The Explorer Belt Expedition takes place Easter 2019.


Group Open and Presentation Evening:

A wonderful evening was held in July at the Fressingfield Sports and Social Club with nearly 200 people attending the event that saw various village organisations coming together in support of the Scout Group. Alongside scouting activities, archery, shooting, pioneering, axe throwing, minibus pull there were opportunities to have a go at the tennis and lawn bowls as well as a enjoy a burger and a pint. We were delighted to be joined by members of the Sports & Social Club, Fressingfield & District Royal British Legion, Hoxne Parish Councillors, members of the District Scout Council. The evening was kicked off with the Revd Canon Andrew Vessey leading prayers. District Commissioner, Steve Martin recorded a vote of thanks to the efforts of the adult volunteers and presented a County Commissioner’s Commendation to the Groups’ two Assistant Group Scout Leaders, Peter Smith and Michael Knights. Long Service award was presented to ABSL Adrian Green. Several new members were invested and a number of young people received Chief Scout Awards. Congratulations also to the following young people that were recognised for their considerable contribution to the Group, being awarded the annual Group shield for their section:

Beaver Scout of the Year: Thomas Durrant
Tiger Cub Scout of the Year: Ethan Midwinter
Wolf Cub Scout of the Year: Billy Chaloner
Adventure Scout of the Year: Nathan Hunt
Pioneer Scout of the Year: Ruth Earl
Explorer Scout of the Year: Aimee Wraight

Explorer Summer Camp – Peak District:

Members of the Fressingfield Explorers at the top of Kinder Scout, Derbyshire after a fairly gruelling climb up Grindsbrook Booth in near 30 degree heat, although well worth the effort. A great week was had in the great outdoors ending in a particularly stomach churning (well for me) visit to the Alton Towers theme park.


1st Fressingfield Contingent to NORJAM 2018:

Thanks to the Pioneer leaders, Jean, Michael and Richard for leading our contingent of Pioneers, Adventurers and Explorers to the 15th International Norfolk Jamboree (NORJAM). An amazing time was had by all.

This year, for the first time in over 30 years, we sent a contingent to our local Jamboree. 3 Leaders, 2 Explorer Young Leaders, and 14 Scouts spent the week at NORJAM at the Norfolk Showground. This was a great experience for all of us. Our allocated sub-camp was the ‘60s and we all dressed up in ‘60s costume for the closing ceremony, look out for the pictures!

The Scouts had 2 3 hour long sessions a day of activities, a free cinema for the evenings (and it opened most of the wet day), souvenir shops, a milkshake bar, evening disco entertainment in the main ring and plenty of people to get to know. There was a Breakout day for everyone to either Pleasurewood Hills or Colchester Zoo and a Circus performance which were enjoyed by all.

The available activity sessions included: a craft barn, a zip wire, air rifle shooting, go karts, circus skills, trampolines, bouncy castles and air bags, zorbing, clay pigeon shooting, abseiling, ninja assault course, caving, archery, crate stacking, funfair, kayaks, Jacobs ladder, ice skating, drum workshop, Zumba, fairground stalls, stilt walking and much more.

One of our highlights was a quickly arranged football match – thank you David. Fressingfield against a contingent from Egypt; two matches were played and honours were even.

The 150 acre site held several wasps, over 2,000 volunteers and approaching 5,000 Young People, who enjoyed 228,000 hours of activities. People came from 21 different countries and apparently we used 130 miles of toilet roll in the week!

Our week at NORJAM was a fantastic experience and we are looking forward to the next one in 2022.
See more pictures in our gallery: 1st Fressingfield > Gallery

Welcome to another new leader:

The Group has a great team of adult volunteers that take up a uniformed role; these individuals contribute hugely to the fun and fellowship for us all.
So welcome to: Mirin Neirek, new Assistant Scout Leader (Adventurers)

New Volunteer Leaders wanted:

With the growth of places for young people this also opens up the opportunity for more adults to join our team as volunteer leaders – this is a hugely rewarding way of getting involved with our Group. Leaders receive training, mentoring support, free uniform and discounted cost ‘adventure’. If you are interested please contact a member of our team.

We are currently recruiting for:
Beaver ‘Warriors’ Colony, Saturday morning
Cub ‘Tiger’ Pack, Monday evening

Headquarters update:

Work continues to progress at our new site off Priory Road, a perimeter fence is now in place and temporary storage is on site. Environmental works have started with site clearance and the creation of new wildlife area is well underway, including the excavation of the pond and installation of a pond dipping area and fencing. Cowham’s Car and Commercial garage are working on turning the old agricultural trailer into an outdoor stage and we hope to have it returned to site during the autumn. The Campfire circle area has also been started and we are currently exploring funding opportunities for the outdoor Chapel and a small assault course.

The ‘Building of Community Foundations’ campaign has started well, but we still need lots more squares sold before we can start the ground works. PLEASE, circulate the form and information to your family, friends, employer, local businesses and organisations. For just £50 a square this is an investment in the future success of our Scout Group and for our members. If £50 is a bit of a stretch why not get five members of the same family to chip in a tenner each and buy a ‘family named’ square.

Building on Community Foundations Appeal

Fundraising we NEED YOUR HELP:

Our Executive, Leaders and Young people are working hard to raise the funds we need to deliver exceptional scouting for our community. We will only achieve the results that we need and your children deserve, if the whole scouting community comes together. PLEASE, support our fund raising events – buy a foundations square see article above but most importantly of all, pledge to organise a fund raising event yourself – whether that’s a garage sale to clear out the house, a cake and coffee morning, jumble sale or even a sponsored silence. No matter how small your contribution every pound will take us closer to our goal. We have around 200 people directly involved (leaders, executive, young people) in our Group – if between now and Christmas everyone raised around £100 – that would swell our HQ development fund by a massive £20 000 which is enough to fit out the kitchen, toilets and showers at the new HQ.

Your support is vital – please help us to help your Scout Group!

Y&P Scout School Sections:

For the past ten weeks 1st Fressingfield Scout Group has been sponsoring a new venture to deliver scouting to a whole primary school as part of the school timetable. Our new Yoxford and Peasenhall School Scout sections were trialled over the summer term and subject to final review by the our Group Executive and school leaders is set to become a permanent part of the school weekly timetable. Currently lead by Colin Clarke and Cameron Hopkinson we are looking to recruit new adult leaders locally to ultimately run the news sections a Beaver Colony and a Cub Pack totalling around 60 additional members for 1st Fressingfield Scout Group. Taster sessions included, trust games, learning the Scout Law, archery, fencing, shooting, wide games, navigation skills, fire lighting, backwoods cooking and emergency first aid.


Phil-the-Bag collection:

Over the next few months we will be collecting textiles, including unwanted clothing, shoes, belts, bags, bedding and soft toys for Phil-the-Bag. Every kilogram of textiles will be converted into cash and this money will be added to our HQ Development fund. Please bring along donations to the scout hut on your usually meeting and your leader to store it away. Thank you.

Fressingfield Car boot sale – Diss Mere:

Congratulations to Angie Ellis (the driving force) ;-) and everyone else involved in the organising and running of the car boot sale on Sunday 19th August, for many of us an early 5am start! The event was well organised and well attended with around 60 car-booters trading.

We achieved a great result with the following amounts raised:
Car boot: £285.00 for the HQ development fund
Explorer BBQ: £135.25 for the Kenya Expedition
Barrow-of-booze: £247.00 for the Kenya Expedition
Total on day: £667.25

Dates for your diary:

w/b 3rd Sept: Sections re-open (check your section programme for exact start date)
15th Sept: District Scout shooting competition
17th Sept: Norfolk County Scout Council Annual General Meeting at Dereham
28th Sept: (2pm) Investiture at Yoxford & Peasenhall School Sections
29th Sept: Explorer Scout day Paintballing
26th-28th Oct: Explorer mountain bike camp in Thetford
11th Nov: Remembrance Sunday Service and Parade
17th & 18th Nov: Bag Packing at Morrison’s in aid of the HQ fund and Kenya
15th-17th Feb: Leadership Development weekend (Explorers & Adult Leaders)
6th-22nd April: Explorer Belt Expedition to Kenya
3rd-5th May: Group Camp at Eaton Vale Activity Centre (all sections)
19th July: (7pm) Group Presentations & Open Evening
23rd-28th July: Senior Sections Summer Camp

Lots more dates coming your way soon – we are working on an amazing programme of activities and events.

Click here for all upcoming events…