The summer months are naturally the most active for any outdoor organisation, and this Summer was no exception, as with glorious weather our sections enjoyed Camps and activities, and all of them outdoors !
June saw our Cubs attend the bi annual County Cub Camp, and with nearly 60 attending from the Group, saw us being the biggest Contingent there, and out of 900 campers too.
With activities across four zones, that included Tomahawk throwing, Circus Skills, Bell Boating, Kart Racing as just some activities within them, then the Cubs and Leaders where kept busy, as well of course, as our Beavers, who visited the event for the Day.
With dry weather , our Camp site at Tawd Vale was an oasis of calm amongst nearly two thousand that attended the event, and provided a great sanctuary for rest and drink top ups to the Cubs and Beavers throughout the event, and being so close to the “action” meant we were all ideally placed to get the most from all the activities.
With our 60 Cub section contingent, joined by our 30 plus Beaver Contingent, it made our Group was the biggest represented at the event, and no great surprise, one of the main elements of the organising team, as we co ordinated all the Fun Zone activities, for all participants to enjoy.
Thus we put a lot into making the event a success, whilst the Cubs and Beavers of the Group, got a huge amount out of it too.
Then very soon July arrived, and the District Canoe and Water Activity Scout Event, hosted and organised by Gary was held at our HQ, using the Canal as the main base for the several activities.
These included Rafting, Canoe Slalom, Canoe Water Polo, Open Canoe Races amongst many others, and the event saw over 100 young people take part.
All in all, a very busy day, but one that saw everyone enjoy themselves, and of course…. Get wet !
Next came time for our annual review, which in old speak, was called our AGM, but we have gradually changed the format of reviewing the last 12 months, acknowledging individuals contributions , and the more formal part of electing and approving our accounts and business side of things, to make it more relevant to young people and their Parents.
This year was the culmination of that change process, when on a Friday Night in July, we held our first ever “Activity and Awards Night” when all sections and their members and Parents and Family, were invited to the HQ to see annual awards be presented, try a few activities themselves, or at least see the young people enjoy them all.
With Canoeing, Archery, Shooting, Camp Cooking and some Inflatables all on offer to keep people busy, we saw many Parents have a go, many for the first time, as well as over 70 young people from our Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorers all taking part too !
Our Explorers even being joined by members of the Southport Swords Folk team, to teach them the Star of David Sword Dance, for eventual performances in Switzerland at our Summer Camp.
All in all a very busy night, but one certainly enjoyed by all, with most asking “when is the next one?”.
Our Business side of the formalities were held on a separate night a few days later, when we were also pleased to see many Parents take up the invite to that, and take the steps to get more involved, and help the Group continue to thrive.
This part of our annual review highlighted the success financially the Group has seen over the last 12 months, thanks to the great support to the fundraising events and socials arranged, with our Contingency funding being increased, and funds now being put to one side to offset the investment in our New Mini Bus.
Key of course, is continuing this success, so our sections can continue to invest money in their activity programmes, and special events.
One huge special event at the end of July, was our Summer Camp to Switzerland for 72 Group members, when we returned for our third visit as a Group to Kandersteg International Scout Centre.
This was a key example of how Group support at any level, allows us to plan and deliver a unique programme for our young people, as in order to make the event inclusive to as many young people as possible, the Group subsidised the cost, by basically covering the cost of the Transport.
The Camp was held over 11 nights, two of which were journeying there, and then back, with 9 nights at the Centre, camping in our own tents, surrounded by the Alps !
The village is a beautiful example of an Alpine setting, and is so receptive to the 1,400+ who are camped there at any one time during the Summer, and the Centre is a World Scout one, founded in 1923 by Baden Powell himself.
With over 35 plus Countries represented during our stay, the event was a truly International One, and our next news article will focus on the experiences and details of what we did in Switzerland !
Regards until next time !
Ian – Group Scout Leader
Well I confess, it is entirely my fault why no News has been written up, and shared out, but I would like to suggest some mitigating reasons, as to why since February, I have been lapse !
The main one being, its been exceptionally busy, which coupled with annual holidays, jobs at home, has all meant it got put to the bottom of the pile of things to do.
Thanks to a timely reminder from David, and some quieter (recovery) time after a large Camp, I hope to do a whistle stop recap of things going on…..
March – saw a spring camp at a new venue to the Scout Troop, as they went to Bibby’s Farm Site, just south east of Preston, and apart from enjoying glorious weather, also enjoy some traditional open fire cooking and some team challenges, joined by other Scouts on the site.
April – once again saw the Group host the Annual District St Georges Activity Day, when over 600 members of the Scout Groups across the District descend on the Parish Field and enjoy a huge range of activities. Once again we were joined by Leaders and Guides neighbours, who also supported the delivery of craft activities, as well as numerous organisations and attractions we hired in for the event.
With relatively fine weather, the event this year proved the busiest, with yet another increase in attendee’s as it becomes more popular every year.
May – started busy with a record Car Boot Sale on the 5th, followed by Lydiate Festival on Sunday 6th! The good weather continued and saw both events successfully help raise funds for the Groups HQ support and development, thanks to help from Parents, Leaders and young people !
With ongoing section meeting nights enjoying balmy evenings too, it was a busy month, that then ended in the Bank Holiday weekend seeing another Camp for our Scouts, and a water activity day for our Beavers and Cubs.
The Camp too, had a water theme, as it was afloat, thanks to the hiring of two Narrow Boats on the Calderdale Canal in Yorkshire, and using them for a cruise with stops along the way, soaking up the sun again.
With numerous locks to navigate, then all the Scouts and Leaders had a turn in helming each boat, and all had a great and relaxing time.
The Water Activity Day was held on Southport Marine Lake, using the Scout Centre there, and saw over 60 Cubs, Beavers and Leaders meet at the HQ, coinciding with another busy Car Boot Sale, adding to the congestion, and then boarding a coach for the short journey.
On arrival they got into Groups, to start their activities, which ranged from Dragon Boating to Kayaking, whilst some of the Leaders faced their own challenges….. some Travellers arrived at the Centre, and tried to site their Caravans right by the centre, and its facilities !
No doubt some heated exchanges may have taken place, but not by the Leaders and the Centre volunteers, and eventually common sense prevailed and the travellers left, and all before the young people had finished their time on the water.
After getting changed, a Picnic lunch was enjoyed, followed by some games, a McFlurrie, and then the Coach home !
All in all, the weekend saw just under 100 Group members busy with Water, in one place or another !
June already, and at the time of writing our Cubs have been busy again at the BiAnnual County Cub Camp, enjoying two nights away, whilst our Beavers enjoyed a day visit to the site.
Full details of this busy weekend next time, as for now, its time to finish off this article and head to the HQ, as we have ongoing work to complete on our newly refurbished office, and with Scouts meeting tonight, I best not be late!
Regards until next time !
Ian – Group Scout Leader
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