Last Wednesday we celebrated a brilliant year of Scouting and looked to the future. Here, we summarise everything that’s happened over the past year (give or take a month!)
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have been so supportive since I became chairman. It was a bit daunting to join an already well established group, but everyone made me feel so welcome and part of the team. Therefore I would not hesitate to encourage others to have a go and join in no matter how little time you have to spare.
Recently I have had the pleasure of attending a few scout activities, such as the recent St. George’s day parade and can only praise all the members of the 5th for a very good turn out and on being the best behaved group in the district. I am looking forward to the busy time ahead with many activities planned and a big thank you to everyone for all the hard work that goes into making the 5th a fun and vibrant group to be part of.
Group Scout Leader’s Report
This year has again been a very busy year for the group with all sections taking part in many of the district and county events and competitions, so many in fact that once again the group has won the coveted District Commissioner’s Participation Trophy. I am sure that the other leaders will want to tell you all about them in their section reports.
Building on the success of last year’s Group Camp, we once again held a camp on the May Day bank holiday weekend. The Beavers joined us for activities one day and slept in tents overnight, many for the first time. I think that all young people had a great time, with activities including crate stacking, abseiling, backwards cooking and zip-wire, all topped off with a splendid camp-fire led by the DC. This year the weather was rather kind to us with sunshine for the whole weekend and nice dry tents to pack away.
The annual census for this year shows our membership up on last year, the highest since 2009 with numbers growing steadily. I’m sure you will all join me in saying a big thank you to all of the leaders who have once again put in a great deal of hard work and freely given up a lot of their time to provide quality Scouting and also to all the officers and members of the group executive without whose hard work and support the group would not be able to run. I would especially like to thank Christine who is standing down as Group Secretary after 4 years and Lorraine who is stepping down as Beaver Leader after 9 years due to increasing work commitments. She will not however be leaving the group and will still be around to help. On this subject, we’re now looking for new Beaver Leaders, so if you feel you are able to fill this rewarding role, then don’t be shy and speak to us!
Beaver Leader’s Report
When we came back to Beavers way back in September we had 10 Beavers and now we have 24! We regularly recruit young people and swim them up to Cubs and we have had a 100% success rate this year in young people moving up.
We try to take part in as many District events as possible and always put 100% effort when we do. Last year we took part in the Swimming Gala with a very gallant try, but no trophy this year. Well done to all that took part. We also ran the District Christingle which was a huge success and was enjoyed by many groups in the local area. We try to meet with other Beaver colonies and our own Cub Pack as often as we can to encourage team work and confidence building. We were also able to do this by participating in the Fawn Trophy again this year, which was a great day solving puzzles and taking part in an array of activities. A good day was had by all.
We took part in Group Camp for the second year running. We have always had a fab time at Group Camp and our experience is that the Beavers absolutely love it, this year being the best so far.
We look forward to participating in the Soap Box Derby in September and we have the District Beavers and Families Picnic coming up soon. We are working on our Global challenge badge at the moment and we are hoping to get out more now that the sun has made an appearance. This half term we will also be helping with the preparations for the Totton Carnival float, which we are all looking forward to.
I would like to extend my thanks for the support of Darren, Craig and Steven as assistants, Matty and James as Young Leaders and of course to Sarah, my long suffering assistant. Without the dedication and support of these people, Beavers could not run and I extend my sincere gratitude and personal thanks. It is with regret that I will be stepping down as Beaver Leader from September this year but I am very excited to be in the process of training my replacement. I anticipate the transition to be smooth and I wish to extend my thanks to all Beavers and their parents over the 9 years I’ve been doing this crazy game. I will miss them all.
We look forward to another exciting year with Beavers and are keen to get involved in as many activities as possible so look forward to lots of exciting things to come.
Cub Leader’s Report
So 2013, what a year we had!
On average we saw 33 Cubs each and every Wednesday evening throughout the year, some joined from Beavers while a good number came from outside having never done Scouting before.
Since the last AGM as a pack we have achieved loads, meaning loads of work for mums, dads, nans and aunties sewing on the many badges our young people have gained in skills such as Communication and Entertainment, although to be fair these badges were quite easy to achieve for our talkative and entertaining Cubs! However, Map Reading was more of a challenge so I would still take your Sat Nav with you just in case.
Rifle Shooting and Camp Donuts formed part of a variety of evening activities, both of these went down a treat with the Cubs. We walked the Walls of Southampton as part of our Community Challenge, learning the history of the city and amazingly kept dry despite the fact it had been very wet earlier that day and the Beavers had gotten soaked on their shorter walk earlier that evening.
We ended 2013 with two great fun filed evenings: Testwood’s Got Talent, with many Cubs entering this and an alien from outer space winning the day, and a Big Fat Quiz of the Year to see just how much everyone had remembered about 2013.
This year has started well for Cubs. We started working towards our Global Challenge badge, learning to use chopsticks in a fun and novel way and tasting food from around the world. We visited IKEA to learn about their projects and products that promote sustainability and recycling, potted up plants for Mother’s Day and ended term with an Easter Egg hunt around Eling.
The Cubs have also been out representing the Group. We managed to enter a team into the District 6-a-side football tournament; the team was undefeated through the group stages only to be beaten in the semi-finals in a penalty shootout. I haven’t been that nervous since 1996! They did us and themselves proud. As always both St. George’s Day and Remembrance Day Parades were very well attended and everyone looked very smart.
Group Camp was amazing and all the Cubs had a great time. 22 out of our 34 Cubs went, which was fantastic. They cooked on open fires, took part in adventurous activities such as Crate Stacking and Zip Wire. In true ‘Myths and Legends’ style, getting them through the Heroes Hike was a herculean task but we all made it. They even took part in our own Olympiad… who knew the fun that could be had with a swimming pool woggle! Myths and Legends was definitely the right theme as I’m sure this camp will be talked about for years to come, and I think everyone has just about recovered.
Going forward, Cubs are looking to split into 2 packs over 2 nights in September, though there is still some work to do on this project. This will mean we can give better Scouting (if that’s even possible) to even more young people. The pack continues to grow and there seems to be more and more interest from outside the group, which is fantastic.
So watch this space for Endeavour Cubs to join Discovery Cubs at the 5th NFN Scout Group!
Scout Leader’s Report
Since last year’s AGM, the troop has had a very busty year taking part in most of the district competitions including the Soap Box Derby, Stag’s Head Trophy daytime incident hike and the Eagle Trophy night incident hike. We entered two teams into the District Camping Competition and also went to the County Trek Cart competition, where we somehow won the Volleyball competition, beating teams of both Explorers and Scout Network!
This coming year we hope to again enter teams into all of the usual district competitions and preparing for this will form part a large part of our programme.
The troop held a week Summer Camp in July on Dartmoor. We hired bicycles for a day and the Scouts had a go at Rock Climbing and Abseiling on a real cliff face. This was on top of the usual summer camp activities and a trip to the beach at Bigbury-on-Sea – the man in the ice cream show was very surprised when I asked for 25 ice creams! We also had a weekend camp in Dorset where we were joined by the older Cubs who took part in activities including a Low Ropes course, learning how to use saws and axes correctly and a 3.30am run for some of the Cubs.
Already this year we have held a Polar Expedition Camp to the wild wastes of the New Forest in early February, held a survival weekend in April complete with pigeons to prepare and cook over an open fire, and attended the Group Camp in May.
We will soon be going rafting and camping out in shelters over a weekend and once again in June will will be entering a team at the County Trek Cart Competition. This year we will be keeping a little bit closer to home for a summer camp enjoying a week at a green field site near to Studland. Hopefully we will be doing some more rafting as well as using a local High Ropes course and taking advantage of the nearby Beach for days out.