Category: Scouts

County Cyclocross 2018

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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

County Hiking Challenge 2014

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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 Activity Badges

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Ahead of the launch of the revised programme in 2015, the Scout Association has launched a range of new activity for the Beaver, Cub, Scout and Explorer sections.

Some of the New Activity Badges

Some of the New Activity Badges

For further information on any of the new badges, use the links below:

Beaver Scout Activity Badges

Camp Craft 
Disability Awareness

Cub Scout Activity Badges

Backwoods Cooking
Fire Safety
Disability Awareness

Scout Activity Badges


Explorer Scout Activity Badges

Survival Skills

Staged Activity Badge for all sections

Time on the Water

District Night Hike

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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)

2011 World Scout Jamboree

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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

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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.

District Scout Night Hike 2011

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On March 25th fifty-one scouts from all scout troops in the District took part in the district night hike from 5th Guildford HQ to Normandy HQ for an overnight camp. Six of the eleven teams walked without adults and the other five walked with leaders or parents. Points were awarded for how quickly the teams completed the hike; for kit at the check in; and for attitude, teamwork, and success in the activities at the bases.

All teams deserve congratulations for walking the whole route, for learning and improving skills, and for remaining cheerful when they were tired or were put back on route after getting lost. In the scouting spirit of helping others, leaders and scouts helped to put up the tents for the final two teams who finished at 1.30 Saturday morning.

Of the competition teams, 2nd Guildford A was the fastest and scored the highest competition team result on bases. St Nicolas A came second and scored maximum points at check in where they were judged the most polite.

St Nicholas B scored the highest points on bases and Stoughton B was the fastest of the training teams.

Thank you to the supporting team of 35 – leaders, adult helpers, young leaders and explorers – who helped to run the event.

Competition teams

Team Walking score Base score Total
A 2nd Guildford A 138 212.50 774.50
E St Nicolas A 153 194.70 741.70
B Stoughton A 171 207.25 736.25
J Normandy C 192 208.58 716.58
F 2nd Guildford B 280 106.00 526.00
C Rydes Hill A 306 100.00 494.00

Training teams

Team Walking score Base score Total
I St Nicolas B 127 205.75 778.75
H Stoughton B 123 187.70 764.70
G Normandy B 131 190.70 759.70
D Normandy A 145 195.79 750.79
K Stoughton C 140 174.83 734.83

2nd Guildford Scouts Ski Trip 2011

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Networking is one of the many advantages of taking part in County-organised events and at Cyclo-Cross 2010, a chance remark led to 3 older scouts and a leader from 2nd Guildford taking up spare places on a ski trip with Phoenix Explorer Unit. Tom, Matt, Oliver and Liz Pritchard spent half term skiing on the Italian/Slovenian border.

The coach drivers kept us entertained on our coach trip through France, Belgium, Luxembourg, German, Austria, Slovenia and Italy, which we shared with a school party from Solihull. Reclining seats, DVDs and frequent stops at service stations across Europe helped to make the journey bearable.

The journey was worthwhile because the snow conditions were excellent in both Sella Nevea, the resort where we were staying, and in Tarvisio, which we visited for a day. Everyone had 6 days of ski lessons in both the morning and afternoon over so most of those who had previous lessons on dry ski slopes as well as some complete beginners quickly advanced from snow ploughing to parallel turns.

We were in rooms on the same floor as the school group so soon got to know them well and a corridor culture developed with more and more furniture (sofas and chairs) finding its way from stairways to the top floor.

After skiing each day we retired to our favourite restaurant where scouts enjoyed coke and chips and more discerning leaders drank hot chocolate with cream. Après-ski time was spent ice-skating at Pontebbe, sledging, karaoke, quiz night and a disco on the final night.

Surrey Frost Camp 2011

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Surrey Scouts Frost Camp was a great success with approximately 400 Scouts, Explorer Scouts and Leaders enduring the wet and windy conditions at Bentley Copse Scout Camp Site, Shere.

Scouts from Guildford, Godalming, Dorking, Farnham, Woking, Reigate as well as other areas in Surrey, Kent, London and Hampshire camped over and participated in over 50 activities.

The Scouts enjoyed Archery, Air rifle shooting, Climbing, Abseiling, Go Karting, Ariel Runway, Adventure Course, skittle alley, circus skills, backwoods cooking, pool, table tennis, campfire, a big wide game and much more with evening entertainment.

District Scouts Activity Camp 2010

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Over 60 Scouts, from all of the District’s Scout troops, enjoyed this year’s activity camp at Bentley Copse.

On Saturday the scouts were kept busy with pioneering, climbing, archery, air rifle shooting, frisbee golf, lighting fires, a wide game and a campfire.

Leaders from the District ran all of the activities. Mouse and Tim helped Paul who supervised the climbing in spite of a bad back. Jonathan led the pioneering activity constructing a circular obstacle course from A-frames, ladders, beams and ropes, Chris and Kevin ran the shooting, and Neil the archery. Quentin and Charlie taught fire lighting ready for the cooking competition on Sunday. Craig and the 2 Rydes Hill young leaders, David and Stephen, organized the Frisbee golf.

On Sunday, nine teams entered the backwoods cooking competition, which was judged by Kevin from the Bentley Copse service team and won by a team from Stoughton. A Scout from Stoughton also gained his master at arms badge over the week-end.

Thank you to the 20 leaders and other adults, who helped at various times from 9 am Friday to 6pm Sunday, particularly Richard Cant and Mouse who complained that it was still dark when asked to help with breakfast. They both helped with transporting the mess kit and the shopping (including 160 eggs, 160 sausages, 8.5 kg of chicken, 24 loaves of bread, 32 litres of UHT milk, 24 litres of milk) that we managed to squeeze into Richards pick-up. Amazingly there was little left after Richard and various leaders had fed everyone.