The scouts have had another action packed year. We started the financial year with 20 scouts, and closed the year with 19, but have since gone up to 25 over the summer term.
I’m delighted to report that we have 3 new leaders : Graham South (Southy) as Assistant Scout Leader, Janet Wood as Section Assistant and Mike Barker who was previously a scout with me at 1st Weybridge who is currently helping as an Occasional Helper but about to become Section Assistant. Southy and Janet have both completed their initial training and were invested on 4th June. Fraser Hall who joined us as Assistant scout leader last September moved to Guildford and found the travel back for meetings too much after a day’s work and left us at the end of the autumn term.
Through the period covered by this report:
- We took part in 7 camps
- 5 scouts took part in the County Expedition Challenge in May
- We attended Scoutabout in June with scouts & guides from across Surrey
- We joined our group Family camp at Bentley Copse in July
- 6 of us joined the 10 day KIX county trip to Kandersteg in Switzerland in August – a wonderful week in the beautiful mountain setting taking part in exhilarating activities hikes high & low, cable cars, white water rafting, trotti bikes, a zip wire flyer, crazy golf and much more
- We tried out a different scout campsite with 1st Weybridge at Earleywood in November with highlights orienteering in Bracknell Forest and trying out the slides at Coral Reef.
- We braved January at Wintercamp at Gilwell Park, the Scout Association HQ where the scouts tried all sorts of activities whilst the leaders paddled in 4 inches of muddy water in the mess tent which didn’t look quite the same colour when it returned home!
- We held our traditional spring camp at Walton Firs after the Group Egg hunt in March with lots of fire lighting, cooking, first aid and caving.
- We kept active trying out the ropes course at Brooklands College, ice skating & running round at Laserquest. We tested out the various Walton Firs activities at their Founder open day. We cycled to America (in Runnymede!) and 3 of us earned our 1* Paddlesports in kayaks & canoes in September
- We spoke to scouts from around the World at JOTI (Jamboree on the Internet) in October then followed up learning about the various countries we’d spoken to and testing out their food!
- We made woggles, carved pumpkins and held a pancake bake off evening.
- We did some fundraising with our Scafell Pike challenge at Boxhill in April (7 ascents = the height of Scafell Pike) raising £289.20 for the group, we raised money with our crazy golf runs at Oatlands Fayre in May, we sang carols with the group at Waitrose at their December Christmas shopping evening raising £58.82, shared between the group and Home Start Elmbridge and we raised £296.79 bag packing at Waitrose the following week 50% of which we sent to DEC Ebola appeal.
- We reviewed our Code of Conduct.
- We joined in with World cup fever, building our own stadia and running our own mini competition.
- We helped clear some of the invasive Himalayan balsam on Esher common as part of Community Week.
- We attended parades at our own church and took part in St George’s Day and Remembrance Sunday.
Since then, we practiced circus skills, we have hiked round Box Hill, kayaked & built & sailed rafts at the District Water Activities day, 11 scouts took part in the County Expedition Challenge winning silver & Green awards, we learnt about central and local government and developed a lot more knotting skills at the County led Pioneer 15 camp.
Looking ahead we’re delighted to be planning our first self organised summer camp – 4 days in the new Forest area with 18 of our scouts and 11 from 1st Weybridge scouts. In September we’re also booked for a weekend in London staying overnight on HMS Belfast!
We’re delighted that one of our scouts has recently completed the Outdoor Plus challenge – our first ever – well done Ben! We’re also really pleased that several more of our scouts will shortly complete their Chief Scout Gold award. The Scout programme changed this year and the scouts, who are able to, have been racing to complete the final challenges for their Chief Scout Gold on the old programme. We will be starting the new programme in earnest from September, operating with transitional arrangements for the Chief Scout Gold for any scouts who started before January 2015.
Finally and most importantly as, without their help, there would be no scouts, I’d like to thank everyone who has helped run activities for the troop over the year:
- Southy, Janet and Mike for their regular help with meetings and weekend activities.
- Ian Whelan who helped on a fortnightly basis up to last autumn.
- And all the many parents who have volunteered to help joining hikes & cycle rides, filling their cars with kit etc.
And so, on to the next year!