2015/16: It’s just got better and better!

Last Monday our Scout Group held it’s AGM. Below are some of the reports given at that AGM highlighting the amazing work all of our sections have had over the past year.

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Chairperson’s Report: Tracy Hogan

I almost can’t believe another year has gone by so quickly.

Tonight you will hear all about the things the Scout group has been up to in this time and learn about future events in the planning and how we are moving forward with our hall renovations and fundraising. What you won’t hear for the leaders or the children and young adults is how much of their own time they give for this group. It’s not just the turning up on the night for the various sections but all the planning and sorting that goes into organising those nights, activities or camps. Then there is the training for their roles which often involves homework, nights at meetings getting their work checked and weekends away on courses. It amazes me how much of their own time they give up to create a fun, exciting and safe programme week in and week out for our young people to share in. There are also all of the section helpers and other volunteers and supporters that are quietly working away in the background but who are equally important to making the 5th New Forest North (Testwood) Scout Group the excellent group it is today.

So a massive thank you to all of you, far too many to name but they know who they are, and also thank you parents and guardians for your continued support: long may it last. I would also like to thank in particular Liz for all her hard work as Treasurer and Sian for her role as Secretary and all the other jobs she has found herself doing now. But my biggest thanks go to Barry who is the glue that holds this group together and is the calm in the storm, even if he doesn’t realise it. Thank you for all your help and support over the last year and I look forward to it in the following years to come.

Group Scout Leader’s Report: Barry Stride

Thank you all for coming along to the 2016 Annual General Meeting of the 5th New Forest North (Testwood) Scout group. It is good to see so many parents showing a keen interest in their children’s scouting.

This year has 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 have won the coveted District Commissioner’s Participation Trophy for the fourth time in six years. This is in addition to all the fantastic camps and activities that your leaders organise for their sections. I am sure they will want to tell you all about them in their section reports.

The annual census for the year once again shows the total group membership to be up on the previous year with 92 members including leaders, up from 81 the previous year. This is the highest since 2009 and the group is still growing steadily. I am especially pleased to welcome several new leaders to the Group over the past year, particularly in the Beaver section.

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 so freely given up a lot of their time to provide quality scouting for all your children this past year, and also to all of the officers of the Group Executive Committee without whose hard work and support the group would not be able to run. On this subject, if you feel you would like to help in any way, maybe with fundraising, maintenance, helping with the sections or even joining as a leader, please don’t be shy. Come and speak to me at any point.

Beaver scout logoRiver Test Beaver Scout Colony Report: Scott Wilson

Has it really been a year since I stood up here before you all?

This year has been an extra special year for Beavers everywhere as we all celebrated 30 years of fun and friendly adventure at Beavers. And for this year we’ve grown more than ever, welcoming Lisa, Sandra, Joe, Adam, Harry and Debbie to our team as well as nearly 30 Beavers to our colony each week.
This year we’ve taken part in a whole host of larger events with the rest of the District, starting off with the Soap Box Derby in September – full of action and where we proved our car could do donuts on a hill! Come November time we took our annual trip to Paulton’s Park, accompanied by the equally dependable thunderstorm; great fun was had by all as we got to experience some new rides! This was then followed up by the District Swimming Gala which saw a good turnout from our section, and our annual Christingle at Lyndhurst. A new year saw all of the district’s Beaver colonies meet up for the Fawn Trophy day of challenges, which varied from using giant chopsticks to move tennis balls from one place to another to crossing a raging grass river and a very real water relay challenge to rescue a ping pong ball. On top of this, we also attended the Remembrance Sunday parade in Totton in November and the St. George’s Day parade in Lyndhurst in April.

This year has seen our Beavers spend more time in the outdoors than before and as a first, more time sleeping away from home than ever before. We held a sleepover in this very HQ, complete with a drive-in movie, with the Beavers providing their own hand-built vehicles. It was a very successful night, one which we will be repeating in the Autumn term. This was however blown out of the water by our big District Beaver camp at Ferny Crofts in May this year to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Beavers. Sleeping out over two nights under canvas, it was a truly amazing event. Over the weekend, under glorious sunshine, they took part in everything from crate stacking to the adventure course, games of skill to rescuing someone from the woods, volleyball to a large traditional campfire. At the end, the Beavers left with smiling faces which for us can be the only reward.

Outside of these big events we’ve had a varied programme run by all of our leader team. We’ve had a go at wellie wanging and cheese rolling, foot golf and junk modelling. We’ve worked on skills such as First Aid, communicating with each other and maintaining our bicycles. Our young leaders ran a successful night themed around ‘May the 4th be with you’ and we’ve visited Testwood Lakes in recent weeks, despite the thunder and lightening! Finally, we visited Moors Valley within the past month to celebrate the Queen’s 90th Birthday among friends, the wildlife and the play trails. One of our more original night ideas was our ‘Who Ate the Cake?’ night when our Beavers were challenged, murder mystery style, to discover who ate Fisher’s cake. Full of challenge, costume and role play it is no surprise that this is a night loved and remembered by all, parents, leaders and Beavers alike. It has proved so popular that other Beaver colonies within the district have even tried it out!

This year I want to thank everyone on the team that has made this year possible, to our parents for their constant support and of course to the Beavers themselves for coming along and having fun each and every week. Looking ahead, our colony continues to grow in popularity and so we are looking to open up a second colony. This will make each colony’s size manageable, so that the Beavers can continue to have fun and make friends, and so we can accommodate any more young people who wish to join the adventure. Thank you for listening and here’s to next year!

Cubs 100Discovery and Endeavour Cub Scout Packs Report: Craig and Sarah Challis

So what have we done in the last year? In short, loads and then some!

Both packs are continuing to do well, we have 32 Cubs across both packs. We hope that some of the high profile public events that Cubs and the group are getting involved with will grow this number. And of course we also have those Beavers swimming up to us to hopefully enjoy the next leg of their scouting journey.

2015 was the Cubs’ ‘Year of Adventure’, a warm up if you like to this the 100th Year, and since the last AGM the Cubs had an action packed Summer Camp, with an unexpected take over of Lymington’s Salt water baths; I think there was only 3 or 4 people using it that weren’t from our group. The Autumn and Winter terms saw the Cubs take part in Farm to Fork where they got to visit our local Tesco and learn all about their food and where it comes from. We brought Hungry Hippos to life at the Scout Hut, and some of the Cubs brought along their parents to Superhero Parent & Child Camp where all our heroes were put to the test. We took part in the lantern parade and some of the Cubs showed off their talent at Testwood’s Got Talent. We wrapped up our Winter term with a trip to Aladdin at the Mayflower and our Christmas sleepover, where the Cubs enjoyed a whole day of festive activities and games and their very own Christmas dinner – the Brussels sprouts and gravy will be better this year!

2016: What a great year it’s been so far! We had a terrific, though ever so slightly damp, Birthday Camp which was extremely well attended by the majority of the two packs. The Cubs had a great time, despite the mud, and took part in all sorts of activities with the camp also playing host to guests which included past leaders, helpers and supporters and some members of the District team. Over the last year the Cubs have raised over £400 of their £600 target to help Marwell’s Zany Zebras project. Which in turn meant we got to welcome Phyllis into the pack and after some teething problems, she has been painted bright and boldly and is ready to go on the trail in July. We have also looked at Scouting around the world by holding our very own Olympics which saw the Cubs represent countries from across the globe who all have one special thing in common… Scouting.

CubJam 2016 was a fantastic experience for all involved, and despite being one of the smallest contingents, our Cubs and leaders did incredibly well, winning prizes from no less than Steve Brackshall. The scavenger hunt saw us win prizes and our leaders did handsomely in the raffles, scooping two prizes. Bear Grylls also brought smiles to those who managed to get his signature, not to mention the 6 full-on days of fun we had. Upon return from CubJam, we took the Cubs to Paulton’s Park for a visit with a difference as the Cubs got to handle the biggest cockroaches and stick insects I’ve ever seen.

At Cubs we love nothing more than involving the whole family and this year we have had them quizzing, junk modelling and hunting Easter eggs alongside their Cubs who have no doubt led the way. The Cubs also managed to take part in a few District events including Soap Box Derby, Brainbox challenge as well as the Swimming Gala and the Football tournament. All Cubs who took part in these events did fantastically well and thoroughly enjoyed themselves. We also had a fantastic turn out from both packs for the Remembrance Day service and St. George’s Day Parade. The Cubs were impeccably turned out and were very well behaved. In June we took a small group of Cubs to the County Festival of Flags Parade in Winchester. These Cubs were a credit to themselves and to their pack. We still have some fantastic things lined up to complete our 100 year celebrations. A jam packed Summer camp, takeover day at Warwick Castle, Medieval Parent & Child camp and Totton Santa Run as well as lots of other fun activities.

Garland Scout Troop Report: Mike Jones

Since last year’s AGM, the troop has had a very busy year, taking part in most of the District competitions including the first place in the Soap Box Derby. In February, we took part in the Eagle Trophy night incident hike and in June we sent a team to the County Trek Cart competition at Cricket Camp, where we came second in the scout section. This coming year we hope to again enter teams into all of the usual district competitions and preparing for this will form a large part of our programme.

The troop held a week Summer Camp in July at a green field site at Studland on the edge of Poole Harbour. Activities included rafting, a fantastic high ropes course and a very expensive visit to Brownsea Island. This was on top of all the usual summer camp activities and a hike to Corfe Castle. After the success of last year, we once again held a cycle expedition with the Scouts riding to Ferny Crofts on the Friday night and then on to Wilverley on the Saturday. On Sunday, we returned home, stopping for ice creams at Lyndhurst. In November we had a weekend Winter Camp at Wilverley. Here we were joined as usual by the older Cubs who took part in activities including a night incident hike which was made rather more difficult by the heavy rain.

Already this year we have held a Polar Expedition Camp to the wild wastes of Ferny Crofts at the beginning of February and took part in the District Camp in May. Next weekend we will once again be entering a team at the County Trek Cart competition at Cricket Camp, always a great fun weekend where hopefully we can build on last year’s second place. This year we will be going only slightly further afield for our Summer Camp, with a week on a woodland site near Frome, Somerset. This is a site we have visited in the past, with access to a good range of activities including, among other things, caving near Cheddar.

Fleur de lisFundraising Report: Lorraine Barkshire


Well, we have had quite a year since the 3 Peaks Challenge with a few events adding to the Fundraising pot. We have had a Christmas Fayre which raised approximately £500 and recently a Jumble sale which added approximately £80.

We have raised a staggering £6,500 over the last couple of years towards the renovations of the hall, including a new kitchen. As you can see, work has started but as with all these things unfortunately it is slow progress as we wait for quotes or the time to do it ourselves. One of the things we need to help continue this amazing start to our fundraising is people. People who are not only willing to help at events but to run them as well. Up until now it has been a combined effort from me and the leaders to organise and run events. However, as I am sure you are aware, we are very busy people and it is getting harder to find the time to put these events on. It would be brilliant and a huge asset to the Scout Group if we had a group of people that were willing to form a Fundraising Committee. If you think this is something you could help with, please let myself or Tracy know so we can get this organised.

Unfortunately, due to personal reasons, I am going to need to step down as Fundraising leader, therefore we will be looking for somebody to take over, all you need is enthusiasm, ideas and to be organised and you are good to go. We have great leaders and parents who are incredibly supportive and are always willing o help so you’re not alone. Any questions, please ask.