On Sunday 4th March Scouts from 2nd Guildford and St
Nicolas 9th Guildford participated in the 35th annual Surrey
County Scouts (& Explorers) Cyclo-cross Competition held at
Ranmore Common. The event was run with somewhat soft
going as a result of the rapid thaw of the snow from the
“Beast from the East”.
The weather on the day started decidedly murky but then
cleared before becoming showery. This all made the
woodland course quite tricky providing a few thrills and
spills, but without any major incidents, and the usual
mechanical challenges. Whilst the turnout wasn’t huge,
competition was fierce. Scouts from the District did well with
a win in the U13 and a Bronze medal in the U14 categories.
Thanks to ACC (Scouts) Paul Iverson and his team for
organising and running the event and to Dorking District for
the use of Ranmore Campsite. (Photos from 2nd Guildford
and Surrey Scouts Media team) – Quentin Vaughan ADC
On Saturday 24th February, eight teams took part in the
annual Cubs Indoor Challenge.
The teams from 5th Guildford ‘Lions’, 1st Stoughton, 2nd
Guildford, 1st Rydes Hill, 1st Weyfield and St Nicolas 9th
Guildford had to construct a marble run to see how far a
marble can run from the start to finish. They were marked
on behaviour, teamwork, design of the run and they were
measured how far the marble ran. The points were close but
5th Guildford ‘Lions’ won
Thanks goes to all the leaders who helped on the day and to
Weyfield School for the use of their hall for the event.
In late November, Normandy Scout hut was transformed into a hive of Christmas activity. Nearly 60 Beavers from across the district met for an afternoon of festive crafting. The young people thoroughly enjoyed themselves making a wide variety of Christmas crafts. These included felt tree decorations, 3D Christmas trees, snowman biscuits, Christmas cards, toilet roll snowmen and stained glass window pictures. The latter involved much glitter. I expect Normandy will be hoovering it up for many weeks!
Thanks to all the leaders and helpers for running the activities, and to all the Beavers who came along. This is sure to become an annual fixture on the district calendar.
Our next district event is the inaugural junk modelling competition in March; in which we hope teams of Beavers will again display their creative prowess using a pile of junk!
The District is seeking volunteers to ensure that we can provide Scouting for all the young people who would like to join the organisation.
We require urgently adults to assist in Onslow Village and Rydes Hill, with Beaver and Cub Scouts. It is a fun and rewarding role, allowing you to see young people enjoy the events / activities you help to organise and grow in confidence and ability over time. The Scout Association provides a wide range of books and electronic resources to aid volunteers plan their activities. Volunteers have access (free-of-charge) to an award winning national training programme to help them feel more confident in what they do.
No specific skills/qualifications required – full training and support will be given. Some experience of working with children/young people may be useful but not essential.
Experience of volunteering with the UK’s largest co-educational youth organisation is a great addition to a volunteer’s CV.
For more information, please provide your name and contact email address.
On Saturday 7th June 50 Beaver scouts from across the district met at Normandy for an afternoon of space themed fun. This theme was chosen to coincide with the launch of the new Space activity badge. The weather was kind, and despite the threat of rain all the Beavers were able to join in a range of indoor and outdoor activities.
These activities included decorating a constellation cookie, being able to name the eight planets in our solar system and watch a presentation on a current space mission. Thanks to Tony Lees who ran a rocket launching activity, with the 6 fastest launchers pitted against each other for a final ‘Rocket Off’ .This was won by Isak from 1st Stoughton.
The Beavers also enjoyed some traditional scouting activities such as tracking and rope making. A huge thank you to all the leaders and helpers that made the afternoon so successful.
Over the weekend of May 16th – 18th scouts from three Guildford West troops took part in the County Expedition Challenge. Competition and training teams from regular participants 2nd Guildford (last year’s winners) and St Nicolas 9th Guildford were joined by a training team from Rydes Hill.
The event involved scouts being marked on their performance in planning and walking two hikes (hard 12 mile and 6 mile courses) and their ability to run a camp using lightweight equipment. All teams did really well with 2nd Guildford finishing 2nd in the competition and the St Nicolas 9th Guildford training team coming third. The strength of the training teams showed there is a good chance for success in future years.
A new Explorer Unit has been established by Guildford West in partnership with St Nicolas 9th Guildford Scout Group. The unit was formed on Good Friday with Guildford West’s DESC and District Commissioner in attendance. The District Commissioner and GSL of St Nicolas 9th Guildford invested the new unit’s Explorer Scout Leader, who in turn invested the first two members of the Unit. The Unit now has six invested Explorers with a pipeline of Guildford West Scouts looking forward to joining.
The Unit is just starting out on its adventure. An adventure that’ll be outdoors focused, challenging, exciting and great fun. It’s focused on supporting its Explorers to work towards Bronze and Silver DoE alongside the Chief Scout’s Platinum and Diamond Awards. The Explorers week-by-week Scouting will be their DoE activities.
The Unit will meet almost exclusively at weekends, filling a niche for those Scouts who find weekday evening activities difficult to fit in but can do things at weekends. It means the District is providing more options and new ways to access Explorer Scouting, and more ways to retain an even greater proportion of Scouts into Explorers.
The Unit held its first activity recently will all Explorers completing an off-road cycle tour of the High points of the Surrey Hills across Leith Hill and Holmbury Hill. By tradition of course it rained. Afterwards Explorers said “that was hard work” and “never seen so much mud in my life” and “Wow”. During the ride, two new Explorers were invested on the top of Leith Hill.
Next the Unit is cycling on the South Downs Way, so the Explorers can decide if they want to do their Bronze DofE expedition by bike, tackling a lightweight expedition on the south coast and is off to Gilwell24 in July.
On Friday 14th March over one hundred scouts and guides took part in the annual Guildford West District Scouts Night Hike from Tongham Scout HQ to Normandy Scout HQ via a cross country route involving a range of incidents along the way. 19 teams from 2nd Guildford, 1st Normandy, 1st Stoughton, 4th Farnham (Tongham), 1st Rydes Hill, St Nicolas 9th Guildford, 1st Rydes Hill (St Marys) Guides and 1st Onslow Guides participated in the event which took place under a very helpful full moon and fine, clear skies. Teams were either accompanied by adults or Young Leaders (training teams) or unaccompanied (competition teams). The field of teams was more than twice the size of last year’s event with many new teams from outside Guildford West District Scouts.
The course took teams between 3 and 5 hours to complete and required good navigational skills, physical fitness, teamwork and mental agility. Teams were scored on their performance at check-points and their ability to navigate the course. All teams performed really well with few navigational problems. Once teams had finished they camped over at Normandy Scout HQ.
The winner of the competition event was St Nicolas 9th Guildford B team who narrowly pipped St Nicolas 9th Guildford A team and 4th Farnham (Tongham). Scores in the competition category were improved on last year demonstrating the high quality of the field overall.
In the training event, 2nd Guildford Scouts held off strong competition from Rydes Hill Guides to win their category. The two leaders were neck and neck on scores from the bases but a faster time covering the course clinched it for the scouts.
Probably the greatest challenge of the night was finding the mouse which had decided to take up residence in one of the Rydes Hill Guides tents. The organisers are considering tightening the rules to prohibit pets for next year.
We look forward to seeing the teams back for the event next year. We are grateful for the support and assistance from many people without whom the event wouldn’t have happened, and to 4th Farnham and 1st Normandy Scouts for the use of their HQs.