By Nick Nelson, chair, 1st Bradley Stoke Scout Group.
It has been a hugely different year than we expected, but face-to-face Scouting is now returning to 1st Bradley Stoke Scout Group with both Cubs and Scouts getting outside, getting wet and getting muddy – against the principle that there is no such thing as unsuitable weather, just unsuitable clothing! We are looking forward to our youngest section, Beavers, joining them soon.
During the pandemic, we have continued to deliver the programme and ensured something different to school-based work, with virtual activities, fun and games. In this article, we want to recognise some of the fantastic efforts of our young people and adult volunteers during this period.
Firstly, Damon and Nathan, two Scouts from Wednesday ‘Jaguars’ Scout troop, completed their GOLD Chief Scouts Award. This is the highest award that can be earned as a Scout and reflects four years of effort across a range of activities including camping, hiking, team working, creativity and leading others. They are an example to all of our young people and will continue to provide that as young leaders, having moved up to Explorers and started their Duke of Edinburgh award. Good luck to both of you!
Dan Shadbolt, our deputy group Scout leader & assistant district commissioner for Scouts, was presented not only with a Chief Scout’s Commendation for Good Service but also his third set of Wood Beads on the completion of his commissioner training. That really is epic! And quite properly it was on a windy and rainy evening that he was presented with his award, whilst hiking with the Thursday (Lions) troop.
And John Morris, section leader of the ‘Cheetahs’ Cub pack on Mondays was surprised to be awarded his five-year long service award and remarked that it felt like ten! We are sure he didn’t mean it, although we have some pictures when he joined looking a little younger!
Pride of place, however, must go to Scott Warburton (assistant Explorer Scout leader, Trident Explorer Scout Unit and assistant Beaver Scout leader, 1st Bradley Stoke ‘Saturn’ Beavers) who received his much-deserved Queen’s Scout Award. This should have been presented last autumn but the pandemic got in the way! There are very few who manage to complete the top award for Explorer Scouts and Scout Network members (see www.scouts.org.uk/top-awards/queens-scout-award/). Scott is the first recipient of the Queen’s Scout Award recipient who has attended all the sections of 1st Bradley Stoke Scout Group and it’s also been many years since there has been a new recipient in Brunel District.
Scott will be invited to attend a County Awards ceremony and have the honour of attending the prestigious Windsor St George’s Day Queen’s Scout Parade next year. In the picture (above, right)is district commissioner Clive Mason and county commissioner Graham Brant, who surprised Scott at the very first face-to-face event Trident Explorer Scout Unit conducted. Fittingly, this was a hike and backwoods cooking event whilst he was back home from university in Lincolnshire, where he is training as a paramedic (yet still finds time to take part in virtual Beaver sessions).
If you have been inspired by what you have read and are looking for a new challenge, we are always looking for more adults to join the adventure, especially as we have lost a number of leaders over the pandemic and had to close two of our Beaver colonies. In order to restart and give opportunities to more young people (and adult volunteers!), please visit our website 1st.bradley-stoke-scouts.org and click on ‘Join 1st BSS’.
This article originally appeared in the June 2021 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal magazine (on pages 12 & 13). The magazine is delivered FREE, nine times a year, to ALL 8,700 homes in Bradley Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.
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