Expedition Practice Walk - Sunday 24th Feb

posted 21 Feb 2013, 13:40 by Ben Hudson

Details of this weekend's practice hike have been added to the Chief Scout Expeditions page. This includes details of costs, times, transport and a kit list. Please contact Ben if you have any queries.

Explorer Belt Parents meeting - Tuesday 12th July, 7pm, Ponteland

posted 7 Jul 2011, 15:32 by Ben Hudson   [ updated 12 Jul 2011, 04:59 ]

1st Ponteland Scout HQ

Explorer Belt
Just a reminder to those of you who attended the Explorer Belt Presentation on Wednesday night. The parents/sign-up meeting is on Tuesday 12th July at 7pm. This is being held at 1st Ponteland Scout Headquarters:

1st Ponteland Scout Headquarters
Ponteland Park
The Beeches
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE20 9SZ

If you're interested and would like to know more - this will be your best opportunity to find out!

The Slides

If you would like to read through the slides from the presentation - please click here.

Wallsend Explorers - Narrow Boat Weekend

posted 19 Oct 2010, 03:44 by Ben Hudson   [ updated 19 Oct 2010, 04:04 ]

After months of planning and a cancellation, W
allsend Explorers Canal Boat Trip finally happened last weekend.

It was touch and go on the day before as to whether the trip would go ahead as the boat required a new Starter motor fitting. Keith – the leader in charge of the boat’s maintenance worked his miracle and managed to get the boat started before we were due to leave Wallsend.

Half the group arrived at the boat on Friday Afternoon with Ben to pick up the keys and were able to take the boat on a short journey through a couple of locks and back before it got dark. The second half of the group arrived about 7pm bring our tea with them.

We then had a good meal of Pasta and Bolognaise with Pitta breads before having an early night to make sure we made the best of the daylight on the Saturday.

We were up at 7.30am to check the engine over before setting sail at 8am upstream towards Sowerby Bridge. We had a fantastic day. The weather was very kind to us and aside from a short stop to fill up with water we hardly stopped all day. The team were getting very efficient at operating locks by mid-afternoon and we managed to get it down to about 4.5 minutes per lock.

We wrestled with the Guillotine lock at Salterhebble Basin but after some gentle persuasion from Scott, the lock decided to let us through and we were able to make the last leg of our journey to Sowerby Bridge where we moored up so the crew could see the lock that marks the entrance to the Rochdale canal. A fantastic lock constructed a few years ago as the original two locks had been removed and replaced with a road, it was necessary to tunnel under the road and replace the two locks with one massive lock.

We then began the long journey back to Wakefield to return the boat to its mooring. We were able to get as far as Elland before the light failed and spent the night moored in a rather spooky cutting where we had a feast of Chicken Curry followed by the standard Cake and Custard.

Again we had an early start on the Sunday leaving the mooring at 7.30am to make the long journey. We had a brief stop for breakfast and again for lunch but other than that we continued our journey without a break.

As we were missing gang show rehearsal, Norman had brought his song book so we were able to practice on the boat. Singing ‘Riding along on the crest of a wave’ to passers by did get us some funny looks.

We finally arrived back in Wakefield about 5.30pm and were met by Jean, Roy and Keith form Wakefield Scouts who helped us retrieve our cars and empty the boat and return it to its moorings.

The final part of our adventure was the drive back to Newcastle. On the edge of falling asleep, we fell back on Campfire songs to see us back home.

Despite the fact we all still feel like we’re on a boat (swaying back and forth) I think I speak for us all when I say we had an excellent weekend. It was well worth the planning, the training and the wait. We’ve already booked to return again next year!

Thanks to Jean, Roy and Keith of Wakefield District Scouts for making sure our adventure came off without a hitch. We shall see you again soon!

Climbing at Corby Crags

posted 6 Sep 2010, 06:08 by Ben Hudson

Climbing - Sept 2010 - Corby Crags

The Wallsend Explorers were due to go on a Canal boat trip last weekend but due to damage to the boat, this trip has had to be postponed. As Ben and Norman were at a loose end, they decided at very short notice (about 24hrs) to take a trip climbing at Corby Crags near Alnwick.

A fun day was had by all. It was a good opportunity to brush up on or learn climbing, knotting and belaying skills, everyone taking turns to climb and belay each other.

Judging by the Success of the day - we will be doing it again!

This trip marked the first official non meeting night activity for new Assistant Leader Don - we hope it's the first of many!

It also saw the Wallsend Explorers revisit one of the first 'days out' we made as a Unit just over three years ago. We've come a long way in three years - lets keep it up!

Wallsend Explorers Summer Camp

posted 6 Sep 2010, 05:55 by Ben Hudson   [ updated 6 Sep 2010, 06:08 ]

This was the first official Summer Camp of the Wallsend Explorers - a milestone for the Unit. We joined with the 8th Tynemouth Scouts to spend a week at Greencarts Farm near Humsaugh - right next to Hadrians Wall.

Over the course of the week, we took part in a number of activities; Pioneering, Climbing, hiking, Backwoods cooking to name a few. We managed to visit both Chesters and Housesteads Fort too.

We also received a number of visitors. Firstly Julia Stenhouse and Ian Henderson called in to see what we we're getting up to (they arrived in time to watch us drip dry after a very wet hike!), Then we had the Beavers join us for a day - we took them to the Lokwide Cairn and everyone reaffirmed their promise. We were also visited by two Eagle Scouts form the USA who were passing through whilst walking the wall. And finally, Gwyn and David McKenzie called in (David was visiting to supervise part of Ben's Leader training).

Probably the highlight for most of the Explorers was our evening hike as the Sun set to spend a night camping on a Forestry commision backpackers website on the edge of Wark forest. We arrived just after the sun set so we had our first experience of pitching tents in the dark. We followed this by retrieving some water from the stream to make Cuppa Soups and Mug shots. The final task was to set up the toilet - a turfing spade and a loo roll in a dry bag!

The following morning, after porridge, we hiked along a section of the Pennine Way to meet up with the Scouts at Housesteads fort.

The general consensus was that the week was a great success and we look forward to many more like it in the future! Click here to see some more Photos.

Tynemouth battle for Victory at the County Bell Boat Race

posted 12 Jul 2010, 07:21 by Ben Hudson

Having escaped the Bag Pack early, a joint team from the Wallsend and Coast Units took part in the County Bell Boat Race at Newburn on the Tyne. Despite a heroic effort, they came second overall but this was largely due to another team attempting to board their boat mid race!

After achieving second place in the first heat, the team went on to join four other teams in the final. After getting off to a cracking start, the team were gaining on the leaders. However an attack to the starboard side had a serious impact on the team's momentum and despite a fantastic effort gaining ground on the leaders, it just wasn't quite enough to take them in to first place.

At the end of the day, the team did Tynemouth District proud and depsite not bringing home the winners medal - the moral victory definately goes to our team for racing fairly, within the rules and giving it their best shot. Well done team - great effort!!!

Chief Scout drops in for tea at Medieval Marra Camp

posted 3 Jun 2010, 13:58 by Ben Hudson

A group of Explorers from all three Units were joined by some guests from the County Jamboree Unit at the Medieval Marra Camp over Spring Bank Holiday Weekend.

Along with the many activities on camp and an exciting selection of evening entertainment, the Camp held at Beanley in Northumberland was visited by Chief Scout - Bear Grylls.

After arriving by helicopter and being given a guided tour of the camp he paid a visit to the Tynemouth Explorer camp to indulge in a cup of tea with Julia, our DC - proclaiming the kitchen to be the most important tent on camp. He then continued his tour of the camp before taking off to visit the Sea Scouts in South Shields.

Despite a mixture of weather (don't let the photo fool you - Sunday was minging!) everyone enjoyed themselves having a go at a variety of activities including Zorbing, Canoeing, Climbing and Medieval Longbow. Evening Activities included A live band, A campfire, Discos and a Ceilidh. There was even a rare stage appearance of ABBA (The Jamboree leaders).

Whilst the Explorers were out enjoying themselves, the Jamboree Unit were kept busy fund raising and showing VIPs around the camp site. The Jamboree Unit made £500 on the sale of Keyrings, Bottle openers and Fridge magnets and would like to thank any leaders and participants who bought them - your generosity is very much appreciated!

Thanks to DC Julia and Martin and Liz for doing a fantastic job catering for us. We're looking forward to the next Marra camp in 2012!

Wallsend Explorers attempt Morris Dancing

posted 6 May 2010, 05:43 by Ben Hudson

The Wallsend Explorers would like to extend their thanks to the Monkseaton Morrismen who have for the past two weeks been doing their best to teach the Explorer some rather complex Morris Dances.

During the first week, the Explorers split into two teams of eight to have a go at a Yorkshire Long Sword dance.

The second week we progressed to a more local 'Walbottle 5 Sword' rapper dance using flexable 'Rapper' Swords.

Over the course of the evening three teams of five mastered steps called 'The nut' , 'The Rose' and 'The Ring' moving on to 'The Roll' and 'The Needle'. Some members of the Unit even attempted the somersault!

After we had had a go, the proffesionals gave us a demonstration of what lots of dedication and practise can lead to and showed us how to do it at speed - hurtling around the Scout hut at a frightening pace!

All the Explorers really enjoyed the last two weeks and threw themselves into it - only afterwards did they realise how much hard work was involved.

Once again thanks to all the Morris men for giving up their time to show us the ropes! We all had great time - hopefully you may see a few of us at practice in the future!

For more information about the Monkseaton Morris Men, please visit their website.

Explorers return from Centenary Camp in London

posted 15 Mar 2010, 16:22 by Ben Hudson   [ updated 17 Mar 2010, 07:45 ]

The combined might of the three District Explorer units and the District Network have just returned from an Excellent Weekend in London.

Camping at Bounds Green just 2 minutes walk from the Underground we set out to Explore various sites around the city including the British Museum, The Science Museum, The Imperial War Museum, The Tate Modern, The National Gallery and the Natural History Museum. There was even time to visit Covent Garden for a spot of shopping.

After arriving back to the campsite and consuming large amounts of curry, the evening continued with a traditional Camp fire with lots of crazy songs delivered with enthusiasm by an assortment of leaders including Crazy Thom of the Network...

Sunday morning was spent touring the sites of Westminster and Buckingham Palace, stopping off at the Houses of Parliement to invest some new recruits into Explorers and Network.

After lunch, we sadly had to climb back on the bus for journey home. It certainly seems to have been a very popular trip - would we like to do it again? Let your leaders know!

Medieval Marra - Last chance!

posted 15 Mar 2010, 16:14 by Ben Hudson

Medieval Marra Camp - 28th - 31st May 2010

I know this is a long way ahead BUT all signs are this will be a very popular camp so if the unit wishes to attend I will NEED deposits by Monday 1st March to (hopefully) secure us some space.

The total cost of this weekend will be no more than £65.00. In order to book this camp I will need a deposit of £40.00.
The weekend will take place at Beanley, near Powburn, Northumberland. As with previous Marra Camps, there will be plenty of activities

on offer. For more details please  visit

If you wish to go, please return the slip below with a £40.00 deposit. The remainder of the camp fee will not be due

until mid May.


If you have any questions about the event, please ask – more details will be circulated nearer the time.

on offer. For more details please visit

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