It’s been another exciting and rewarding year. We started the financial year with 20 scouts, and closed the year with 26. Southy, Janet & Mike were all invested during the year, having completed their initial training, and Southy and Janet, our Assistant Scout Leaders are now well on their way towards their wood badges. We were also delighted to welcome our ex-scout Ben Cox back in January as a Young Leader and hope we will see Chris Brooksbank, who left the troop at Easter, also return as a Young Leader in September.
So what did we get up to through the year?
- We were thrilled to have 9 of our scouts achieve their Chief Scout Gold award last autumn – quite a crowd of us attended the County award evening in November!
- We went on 6 camps/residential events:
- County Expedition Challenge weekend in May 15 with and both an experienced & a combined team taking part.
- Pioneer 15 weekend where we had great fun learning knotting & lashing skills sufficient to build a bridge, a roundabout and a swing boat by the end of the weekend.
- We were thrilled to run our first ever summer camp jointly with 1 st Weybridge and had a glorious 5 days in the New Forest from where we visited Brownsea Island to see where scouts all began, tried sailing, made our own kites & flew them and buried scouts in the
sand on the beach!
- In September, we spent the weekend exploring London, being frightened at the London Dungeon or admiring the aquatic life at the Aquarium and sleeping overnight on HMS Belfast – not to forget the all you can eat pizza!
- In November, we challenged the rain & the wind at Phasels Wood scout campsite in Hemel Hempstead where we played Aeroball & human table football then adjourned to the local swimming pool and tested our swimming skills for a badge as we were all wet anyway!
- We conclude with our traditional spring camp at Walton Firs on a chilly weekend at the end of March where the firelighting was put to very good use keeping warm as well as checking out the Swedish Beast, cooking hobo stew and of course toasting marshmallows.
- We did both our Emergency Aid 3 and Fire Safety badge, the latter at Walton Fire Station where we were also treated to a car cutting demonstration and had a chance to try out the hoses.
- As part of the A Million Hands programme we learnt all about Water Aid, built our own water collectors and wrote to our MP in support of Water Aid for World Water Day.
- We fundraised carol singing and bag packing at Waitrose, sending half of the bag packing proceeds to Water Aid as part of the government matched programme.
- We visited the Elmbridge Council chamber and debated with the Mayor.
- We went quad biking, kayaking, canoeing & built our own rafts, and took part in the County Cyclocross on Ranmore common.
- … and a few other things too!
Since then, one of the highlights of this summer term has been winning the County Expedition Challenge trophy – 3 teams took part this year winning 2 gold and a silver award with our competing team winning the overall trophy – so very proud of them. Another highlight was our first ever scout achieving his 50 nights away – Adam Wood – quite a camper! We have also had a go at our own mini
Olympics using Sir William Perkins’s School’s athletics facilities and have been testing our greenfingers at the Group’s allotment.
We’re looking forward to the District Water Activities day on Saturday, Family camp next week end and summer camp at the end of the month in the Peak District, as well as hopefully harvesting the allotment in the autumn!
Next year looks to be every bit as exciting with amongst many other things a return to Wintercamp in January at Gilwell, the home of Scouting, and Scoutabout the County-wide scout & guide camp in July. We also look forward to welcoming the cubs moving up in September and later through the year.
Finally and most importantly as, without their fantastic input, support and hard work, scouts wouldn’t be anywhere near as much fun, I’d like to extend a huge thank you to Southy, Janet, Mike and Ben, and to all the other leaders, Executive and parents who have volunteered to help in so many ways over the year.
And so, on to the next year!