Category: News

District Beaver Fun Day 2014

  |   By


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.

ADC Beaver Scouts

County Hiking Challenge 2014

  |   By


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.

New Explorer Unit

   |   By


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.

District Night Hike

   |   By


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.

Quentin Vaughan
ADC (Scouts)

Guildford West Explorer Scout Chosen as Lord Lieutenant’s Cadet for 2013

   |   By


Congratulations to Romy of 1st Normandy Explorers for being chosen as one of the Lord Lieutenant of Surrey’s Cadets for 2013. Dame Sarah Goad, the Lord Lieutenant, invited Surrey Scouts (of which she is President) to nominate an Explorer Scout as non-military Cadet, and Romy was selected as one of these.

All their duties will be in full uniform and the expectation that they will be exceptionally smart as they will be at the forefront of royal and other events. They wear the sash and badge of the Lord Lieutenants Cadet during their year in office. During an event or visit the role of the Cadet is normally to stay close to the Lord Lieutenant and assist wherever possible. At other times they will be expected to mingle with guests whilst remaining alert to what is going on and being ready to help.

The District are very happy that Romy has been chosen to represent not only Surrey, but Guildford West Scouts.

Cub Scout’s footsteps for the future

   |   By


Matthew Hill, aged 8, from 2nd Guildford Scout Group has raised over £2,500 to help rebuild his Scout HQ by completing a 32 mile walk.

Matthew walked from Guildford to London to raise money to help rebuild his Group’s Scout meeting place. His efforts means Scouting can continue to deliver high quality activities and opportunities for young people.

Starting his trek at his Scout meeting place, Matthew finished up at Baden-Powell House in Central London over the course of the Bank Holiday weekend, 4-7 May.

In the weeks leading up to the walk, Matthew surpassed his goal of £1,000 in donations and by the time he reached Baden-Powell House, had raised £2,615 with more donations still to come.

Well prepared

Though the walk was a wet one, Matthew was well prepared, having completed several practice walks with his supportive mum, Anne.

His favourite leg of the trip was at Hampton Court where he was surprised by well wishers and also took in some sightseeing. Rather than hosting an event within his community, Matthew opted for the hike, saying ‘There’s no cost for a walk. You just say what you’re doing and if people think ‘yeah, I like it’, then they’ll give you some money.’

An investment in the future

The 2nd Guildford Scout HQ was deemed unfit for purpose earlier this year. ‘Our scout HQ was condemned,’ Matthew said. ‘We’re not allowed to use it anymore.’

While it has undergone remedial repairs, the building will need to be completely rebuilt to ensure Scouts’ enjoyment for many years to come. The new facility will be more environmentally friendly and offer improved facilities for those with additional needs. The rebuild is at an estimated cost of £114,000 and the group hope to return to their HQ in 2013.

Find out more
For more information about 2nd Guildford and their plans for a new HQ, please visit their website where you can also find out how to donate.

2011 World Scout Jamboree

   |   By


Across the planet Scouts, from nearly every country and territory attended the 22nd World Scout Jamboree. Amongst them are 81 Scouts from Surrey who have spent over 12 months planning, raising funds and training to take part in the greatest adventure of their lifetime, the World Scout Jamboree which took place in Kristianstad, Sweden.

The opening ceremony was on Thursday 28th July and was opened by Bear Grylls Chief Scout, Bear said: “While lots of people know that Scouting is all about adventure, they often don’t realise that adult volunteers get to do just as much as our young members through their involvement. The World Scout Jamboree is a great example of this. Over the course of the Jamboree Scouts will be able to meet people from around the world, take part in amazing adventures and experiences and be challenged to think about global issues in a new light. That is why Scouting is one of the greatest youth movement on earth and why I am so proud to be part of it.”

During the Jamboree King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden who is also the Chief Scout for Sweden visited the site and participated with the activities. The World Scout Jamboree ran until 7th August. The Scouts from Surrey are then visiting the homes of other Scouts in Switzerland and Finland before returning to the UK. Before the event the UK contingent visited Copenhagen to see the sites and across Sweden there was coverage in the local and National Papers. There were also several webcams covering the Jamboree Site throughout the event.

Scoutabout 2011

   |   By


The Event

What do you get if you put over 200 activities, approx 7,000 Scouts, Guides, Explorers and Leaders and approx. 1,750 tents? You get Scoutabout, a fun-filled activity weekend held at the South of England Showground in Ardingly.

Scoutabout runs every three years and this year was the tenth to be held at Ardingly. The event, which took place from Friday, June 24 until Sunday, June 26 was organised and attended by Surrey Scouts, Girlguiding Surrey East and Girlguiding Surrey West.


There were more than 200 activities at Scoutabout ranging from parascending to abseiling and from wood-turning to cooking. At Scoutabout, Scouts and Guides have the chance to try new and adventurous activities they would not be able to try at a local level, such as quad biking, car driving, assault courses, archery, abseiling, climbing and caving (The Black Hole) to name but a few. There were also lots of unusual activities such as slate-cleaning, wood-turning, custard-walking and a rock music school. Traditional activities and crafts also had their place such as knotting, branding, cooking and catapults.

Over the weekend the equivalent of 14 Ben Nevis’s were abseiled down, 6,000 young people went through the black hole and 20,000 pellets were shot at targets.

All of these activities were either brought in, run by Surrey Scouts activity clubs or organised by districts to enable the event to be such a success. At every Scoutabout new activities are introduced to keep it fresh and interesting, this year’s highlights included brush boarding and zorbing. All the activities are designed to be fun but some have an educational/serious message to them such as the science bases, graffiti wall and a game brought in by the RNLI.


An event like this doesn’t run its self and it takes more than 18 months of organisation to ensure the weekend is a success. There are many people who are involved who thoroughly enjoy themselves too, but there are five main teams that are core to the weekend:-

Admin – responsible for sending out all the paperwork beforehand, collecting monies from participants/groups and managing the online booking system. At the event the team sorts out the registration of people onsite and collate the large amount of lost property left behind.

Activities – this team sources and organises all the 200 plus activities on and off site, ensuring they are fun, exciting, new, unusual and overall safe.

Site Services – responsible for all the services from cleaning toilets to laying out the camping and activity areas and from putting up tents to litter picking. Stewarding, are responsible for the safety and security of those on site, the first aid and fire teams who look after everyone’s welfare.

Media team – responsible for Scoutabout FM, which apart from providing presenters, prizes and music for the weekend also sorted out the licences to make it possible. There were also a team of photographers who took more than 5,000 pictures over the weekend.


This is the fourth Scoutabout that a radio station has been present on an FM frequency. This year the station broadcasted from Friday lunchtime to Sunday evening on 101.4fm. Competitions were held throughout the weekend with 17 prizes given out from the following sponsors:- Guildford Spectrum, Guildford Flames, Madame Tussauds, Surrey Sports Park, Brooklands Museum, Spirit Healthclub, England Ladies Football Team, Bentley Copse Scout Campsite, University of Surrey, GB Ladies Basketball Team, The Big Apple, Pizza Express, England Ladies Rugby Team, University of Surrey Bookshop and the Guildford School of Acting.

On the Saturday night three bands played on stage, Eighth Time Luckie, The Sanctions and FiguresandBoxes. All were received with enthusiasm and energy with the crowds dancing and cheering. Over the weekend, a mile of sausages were eaten, 6,000 pints of milk were drunk and four-and-half tonnes of pasta was consumed.

It wouldn’t be a Scout/Guide camp without rain and on Friday night it came down but it didn’t stay for long and even though it was foggy on the Saturday morning, by the evening it was glorious sunshine, which stayed for the rest of the weekend. On the Sunday, Meridian TV visited site and filmed a piece for their evening news broadcast, which was showing on the Sunday news highlighting all the fun the Scouts and Guides were having.

The closing ceremony concluded the weekend, which was spectacular to see, with everyone together. It showed how big this event is. At the next Scoutabout we will have a new County Commissioner, as this was Richard Shortman’s last County event before he stands down in the autumn. So see you all at the next Scoutabout in 2014.