Archive for the ‘Youth’ Category

Bradley Stoke Scouts: A tale of two camps

Posted on Friday 15th November 2019 at 5:33 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo: Beavers making catapults.

By Nick Nelson, chair, 1st Bradley Stoke Scout Group.

This year, our youngest and oldest sections held camps a week apart in September, both challenging but in different ways.

Firstly, 30 Beaver Scouts (aged 6 to 8) from across all four colonies enjoyed a weekend camp in glorious sunshine. Many of them had never been away from home before, so camping out was a true adventure! The main aim was to introduce some basic Scouting traditions and campcraft, so one of their first tasks was to put up their own tent. Other activities included fire lighting, mini-archery and team challenge games. After supper, the Beavers were introduced to the concept of washing-up! Once it began to get dark the Beavers sat around the campfire, singing songs and toasting marshmallows.

After a little bit of sleep, the Beavers were up at the crack of dawn and ready to go again! Packing their own beds away was a challenge all of its own, but they then also got stuck into pioneering with making catapults and got creative with carving soap sculptures. Their final tasks were learning knots, map reading, mini-pioneering and a Kim’s game (to test their memories!). All too soon it was time to pack up and leave, but not before sharing the closing and prizegiving ceremony with many of the parents. They were able to share with us in congratulating the Beavers for a brilliant weekend that will hopefully be the first of many as they start their Scouting journey.

Photo of Scouts firemaking.

A week later, and 35 Scouts (aged 10.5 to 14) from three troops enjoyed a rather more austere camp at Cranham, Gloucestershire. When your kit is being quad-biked down to your campsite, you know you are a little more into the wild.

As we build skills through the sections, similar activities were conducted albeit with the Scouts doing more on their own. So as well as fire lighting from flints and steel, the Scouts used Kelly Kettles in a race to boil water. Time and again good teamwork proved to be a winning combination over single Scouts trying to do everything (that’s something else we teach them – work together. Gradually, they remember). And building skills means that they are responsible for more routine activities with everyone taking a shift of cooking and cleaning up afterwards. Just like the Beavers, sleep comes harder the first night although by the second, they are tired and go to sleep much earlier (even after a campfire with traditional chocolate bananas and s’mores).

More: Group is looking for more adult volunteers »

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Spectacular skate park skills and ‘have-a-go’ art sessions return to festival

Posted on Wednesday 10th July 2019 at 8:05 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of participants in the junior scooter category of the skate park competition.

By Graham Baker, town council youth development worker.

In recent years, the Bradley Stoke Community Festival has seen our town council youth work team and local young people work together to organise an extremely successful two-day package of activities.

Saturday saw the return of our popular street art workshops and the King Ramps skate half-pipe, with ‘have-a-go sessions’ and pro rider demos throughout the day. Strong winds presented an initial challenge setting up, especially building our 8ft x 16ft art wall, however, once up, the wall offered a useful windbreak for our art workshop activities.

The art workshops involved children and young people painting a 4ft x 2ft board with the support of professional artists, youth workers and volunteers, and the queues soon started to build. Due to demand we continued until 6pm and, sadly, still had to turn people away. However, about 70 participants happily returned home clutching their original works of art.

Meanwhile, spectators gathered for regular pro rider demos on the half-pipe with popular ‘have a go’ ride sessions for local young people. In addition, we promoted our usual youth work activities, but the gusty winds prevented our usual displays.

On Sunday, we relocated to the skate park with the skate half-pipe being set up alongside the park to provide important extra capacity. Soon, about 60 competitors, many accompanied by their family and friends, started to arrive and sign up for the competitions. There were more pro rider demos with the park open for use in between the competition runs. A circus skills workshop entertained and engaged not only the younger children, but older teenagers as well. Competitions were organised for all age categories and skate park disciplines (BMX, scooter and skateboard).

We kicked off with the extremely busy junior scooter competition and managed to complete two rounds of runs before the rain descended. At first, we were hopeful that the rain would clear, and we could squeegee the park dry; unfortunately, though, the rain set in and eventually we had to call off the competition. There was disappointment all round, but we are looking to organise another skate competition soon.

More: Find out about future youth activities in the town »

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Scouts brave the rain on September camp

Posted on Tuesday 16th October 2018 at 9:02 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of around 30 members of 1st Bradley Stoke Scouts at Symonds Yat.

In September, over thirty Scouts from 1st Bradley Stoke Scouts and their leaders held a camp at Biblins campsite in Ross-on-Wye. Despite the very poor weather, they managed to complete a challenging programme with some new joiners camping for the very first time. As our oldest section in the Group, this was a simple camp to demonstrate the skills they had developed over their time with us. So when they arrived they raised their own tents and ensured that all of their kit was safely stored inside with regular inspections to ensure it stayed that way. After an introduction from our camp leader Darrell and hot drinks, they spent the evening inside their tents as the rain started to fall.

On Saturday the scouts cooked every meal and washed up afterwards (if you don’t cook, you wash. Very quickly, cooking volunteers appear!). The activities began with traditional saw and knife whittling skills taught alongside a session making paracord bracelets. And later – despite being very cold, wet and tired – they completed a hike to Symonds Yat in very heavy rain (photo above). For a few this was a journey of the next 100 metres or the next corner, but they all made it up to the top and back to camp. We finished the day with a campfire, s’mores and roasted chocolate bananas. And then to bed. In the rain. Again.

Sunday morning saw the camp rise a little more slowly but after another breakfast cooked by the Scouts, we had forest games including the always popular manhunt. A break in the rain alongside some fierce wind dried the tents enough for them to be quickly dropped and preparations made for home. After a final check of the field to ensure that we left nothing but footprints, we went home in the SUNSHINE!

Inspired? The Group is always looking for more leaders to prepare our young people as they develop skills for life. For more information, have a look at the Group’s website:

This article originally appeared in the October 2018 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine (on page 27). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to ALL 8,700 homes in Bradley Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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Bradley Stoke Scouts take part in jamboree camp

Posted on Thursday 19th July 2018 at 1:10 pm by SH (Editor)

Members of the 1st Bradley Stoke Scout Group at the Brunel Jamboree in May 2018.

By Nick Nelson, chair of the 1st Bradley Stoke Scout Group.

Over the late May bank holiday weekend, 160 Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and leaders from the 1st Bradley Stoke Scout Group took part in the Brunel Jamboree, where they joined many other groups from the local district. With a superhero theme, the three-night, four-day camp included climbing, crate stacking, archery, shooting, an assault course, bouncy castles, craft activities, human table football and backwoods cooking.

Like all our camps, they are meticulously organised over many months by our more experienced camp leaders. However, the physical activity started on Thursday evening with tents being raised by a mixture of Scouts, adult volunteers and parents. This included putting up seven marquees, four of them together into a huge 18 x 8 metre space for preparing and serving food. We would need this when the rain came.

When the Cubs and Scouts arrived on Friday, everything was in place. Tents were allocated and new friends made (having so many sections means that sometimes you only get to know them on a camp). We paraded into the main event area behind our superhero banner designed by the Beavers and opened the camp. The hot dogs were eaten quickly and everyone returned to camp for lights out at 11pm and sleep (or quiet voices until the early hours).

More: Archery and karaoke disco »

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