Posts Tagged ‘Scouts’

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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Honours and farewells at 1st Bradley Stoke Scouts’ AGM

Posted on Sunday 8th September 2019 at 8:31 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of some of the young people who received award certificates at the AGM

Parents, youngsters and adult volunteers gathered at Brook Way Activity Centre on Wednesday 10th July for the Annual General Meeting and family BBQ of 1st Bradley Stoke Scouts.

As well as the usual elements of the AGM, bringing together the Scout Council to agree the annual report, thank Dunkley’s for auditing the accounts and nominate members of the executive to run the group, they celebrated a number of awards for young people and adults alike.

The Bronze, Silver and Gold Chief Scout Awards are the highest badges in Beavers, Cubs and Scouts respectively and represent work undertaken during their entire time in each of the sections (between two and four years). Amongst the adult volunteers, group fundraiser and active support unit manager Belinda Hodgson and group chair Nick Nelson received District Commissioner Awards from Clive Mason for their contribution over a number of years.

Clive himself had recently left as group scout leader on “promotion” to district commissioner, after ten years service, and the group presented him with a number of gifts, including an engraved torch (Ed: it’s a Scout thing!).

The evening was rounded off with the family BBQ, giving young and old the chance to get to know each other across the sections, as well as meet leaders, especially important for those ‘moving up’ to higher sections later in the year.

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

Photo: Some of the young people who received award certificates at the AGM (the complete list is shown in the Roll of Honour below). Click to enlarge; hi-res version on Facebook | Flickr | Google.

More: Roll of Honour 2018-19 »

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First aid training for USA-bound Scouts

Posted on Thursday 6th June 2019 at 8:46 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of two Scouts practising CPR on a dummy.

By Andrew Phelps, Avon Scouts.

Avonation Unit 70 was formed 18 months ago to prepare those who will be attending the 24th World Scout Jamboree in West Virginia, USA in July 2019.

After all the administration tasks and branding, the next thing on the agenda was what training the 40 members (36 young people and four adult leaders) thought would be essential for while they were away. A ‘first response’ first aid course was top of the list and so the leaders made enquiries into venues, instructors and funding.

The instructor was the easy bit, but it could only be held on Easter Sunday. The location was very central in the county being at Little Stoke Scout HQ. Funding was a bit trickier, so the unit applied to the Aviva Community Fund and Tesco Bags of Help.

Tesco replied to say that there were hundreds of applications and the unit probably wouldn’t get through by the time we went off to America, whereas the Aviva Community Fund was a ‘go’ from the start. Both applications went in and Avonation got through the people’s vote and the judges’ vote of the Aviva application and were given money towards their course. Then, a few days later out of the blue, Tesco sent an email to say the unit had been selected and were going to be in every store in the north of Bristol for March and April. The blue token voting has been a close-cut thing for all three applicants and our first aid project will soon find out how much money it is going to receive.

More: First aid certificate is a nationally recognised qualification »

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Why I volunteer #1: The Beaver Scout leader

Posted on Wednesday 22nd May 2019 at 9:34 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of Donna Carl standing in front of a group of Beaver Scouts.

By Donna Carl, 1st Bradley Stoke Scouts Beaver leader.

I give up two evenings a week, and the odd weekend to run a Beaver colony with lots of six to eight year olds, and two other leaders to keep me sane, as well as some fantastic young leaders, and it’s safe to say I love it!

I’m now in my 4th year of being a Beaver Scout leader. I started by responding to an advert when my local group was expanding and were looking for leaders. I didn’t think they would be interested in me as I don’t have any of my own children, and I wasn’t part of Scouting growing up. Being of a certain age, and a girl, I wasn’t allowed to join my brother when he went to Cubs, even though I really wanted to.

Fast forward some 40-ish years and thankfully Scouting is now available to both boys and girls, and the same for leaders. Despite my initial reluctance of thinking I might be judged or looked at oddly for wanting to join a youth organisation when I didn’t have any youth, I couldn’t have been more wrong. I applied, went through a relatively straightforward selection process and background checks, and was very soon welcomed into the Scouting family. Before I knew it, I had 18 very boisterous, very loud, very energetic six and seven year olds, whose parents had entrusted into my care for one hour a week. I had the help and support of a great team, who were old hands, and who knew the ropes and could put together a varied programme. Despite my initial reluctance of wondering how I would cope, not only did I cope, but I loved it! The Beaver age is such a great age, they are still exploring the world and get joy from the simplest of things. That joy is infectious!

It’s great to see the changes in them as they start their route through Scouts, and often they join as a shy, insecure child, who doesn’t want to leave their parents and they will leave us two years later as a confident eight-year-old that has learnt both practical and life skills and is rapidly gaining that independence and confidence to try new things, wanting to push themselves to achieve more and more. It really makes me feel proud to see just how far they come in such a relatively short time.

Inspired to volunteer? Find out more &raquo

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