Section Report 2020-2021

In the financial year 2020-2021, we started with 26 scouts and ended with 29. Due to Covid 19, the troop met online for the whole year. With university also running online in the Spring, Adam was able to join in and help with meetings too.

We ran 39 troop zoom meetings with up to 26 scouts attending (17 overall average), we joined Northumberland Scouts’ Camp at Home in April 2020, we ran a troop virtual weekend camp in June 2020 and a virtual family Easter camp weekend in March 2021.

We had visits from:

Hailey from the Forensic Experience,

Dan from the Army Flying Museum,

Molly from Oaks Martial Arts

We made compasses & oscillators, built tripods, spaghetti bridges (see Dyson Engineering Challenges) & the longest egg run we could (from upstairs windows, garage rooftops etc), made kites & hot air balloons, communicated in morse code and played Hangman using the phonetic alphabet.

We “raced round the World” – ever tried a mile hand propelled on a skateboard or running backwards?, spoke with scouts round the World on JOTI (Jamboree on the Internet) and learnt Foreign language phrases.

We played Battleships, Skribbl, tackled Escape rooms, did Kahoot quizzes.

We cooked burgers, hobo stew, mug cakes, pizzas, pancakes & Easter scones.

We made face masks, painted poppy pebbles for Remembrance Sunday, learnt about photography and tried Lightpainting.

We went on an Egg hunt round Walton or Weybridge and … found our eggs under our beds!

We participated in Kohoutek 2021 (an event run by Bristol university scout leaders) with our 4 teams coming 11th, 24th, 29th and 52nd out of 156 teams.

We awarded:

2 Chief Scout Golds – Finn Foley & Amelia Flowers

Challenge Badges : 6 Creative, 1 Expedition, 2 Outdoors, 3 Personal, 10 Skills, 2 Team Leader, 5 Teamwork, 5 World

Activity Badges : 12 Chef, 8 Communicator, 8 International

Staged Badges : 5 Air Activities 2, 4 Emergency Aid 3, 1 Hikes Away 10, 2 Navigator 3, 11 Nights Away (mixed levels)

Not a bad haul for a year run entirely online!

Since Easter 2021, we have loved being able to meet back face to face again outside, where scouting should be! We’ve also welcomed Mike Barker back whilst he’s been living back in Weybridge, a very welcome extra pair of hands whilst we ran our covid adjusted activities.

Through this last term, we’ve played outdoor games, built fires, cooked on Trangias, helped reduce the invasive Himalayan balsam on Esher common, run an Expedition day, tried some creative photography and closed with a fun evening kneeboarding at Thorpe Lakes last week. Thankfully not many of our scouts have had to self-isolate, but we’ve missed those who have.

Huge thanks to our fantastic team of leaders : Janet, Mike R, Salv, Adam, Thomas, Mike B, Chris, Connor,  James and Joel. It’s been a challenging time as we first focused on how to keep running scouts on zoom, keeping it fun & inclusive, then worked out how to run covid safe face to face meetings, with all the accompanying risk assessments.

We bid Connor farewell as he focuses on his A levels next year and wish Thomas every success as he heads off to university in September. We do hope Mike B, Adam, Chris and Thomas will still be able to join some of our activities.

Sally Rogers

Scout Leader