Normally our section reports would be delivered verbally at our AGM, and there would be a report for each Troop. Because of the impact of COVID-19, and the AGM being run via Zoom this year we have produced this joint report. It only touches on the activities of each Troop. If you would like to find out more then you should consider joining our leadership team. It is fun – just ask any of the leaders and could be an opportunity for you to contribute as part of a fantastic leader team.
Both Troops have had a really busy and successful year providing fantastic activities for their girls and boys. Redlands (Thursday) have four leaders, down on last year as two leaders moved away from Highworth during the year. Due to this, they have struggled to get leader consistency during the second half of the year. They ended the year with 26 Scouts. Northview (Friday) have six leaders and 19 Scouts. A change is coming for Northview as Emily, who is the main leader, is going on maternity leave. We hope she will be back in a couple of terms time, but this obviously leaves a vacancy.
Scouts like nothing more than getting out and about, and this year we have done just that. We got our bikes out and hit the Mountain bike Trail in Croft and also did the Highworth/Windmills and Coleshill route on another evening. We had a couple of evenings kayaking and raft building at the lake and have been on several hikes, played rounders and enjoyed a barbeque.
In the Hut
We learnt all about last year’s World Scout Jamboree and some of our Scouts talked us through the activities they pursue outside of Scouts.
Northview went camping to a rather soggy Youlbury last November (which the children loved!) and had a fabulous ‘camp’ at Boomerang Soft Play Centre. Redlands Scouts had their first experience of Strategy camp and thoroughly enjoyed it, as did the leaders! They even managed to squeeze in a thoroughly enjoyable wet and muddy basics ‘survival’ camp at Cranham Scout Centre before the lockdown curtailed our Scouting plans.
We practised our archery skills, brushed up on our first aid, learned the basics of camp preparation, cooked a 2-course meal (with ingredients in unmarked tin cans!), and in expedition prep sessions we learnt the basics of map reading, taking bearings, making route cards and how to pack your rucksack correctly! Equally importantly, bearing in mind the current lockdown, we had a good evening teaching internet use and safety on the computers in Highworth Library.
We’ve done a variety of fun trips out including trampolining, visiting Warhammer and making models, laser quest, rock climbing and a rather eventful trip to the fire station which we had to leave early as all the crews were called out! Although it was very cool to see the guys in action and the blue lights and sirens, we would recommend that other units try not to visit on Valentine’s day, romantic candlelit dinners are quite the fire risk it seems!
Alongside all the activities already mentioned the Scouts have undertaken a wide variety of badge work this year covering everything from Archery to Snowsports and including the Expedition, Skills and Teamwork Challenge badges. Working towards these badges included a pancake night (in which leaders were not allowed to speak!)
Lockdown came just as Northview were planning on doing an expedition to Cranham. This is just one of the activities that have been postponed until after the pandemic. One Scout is within touching distance of receiving her Chief Scout’s Gold Award and we hope very much to retain her long enough for her to complete the expedition and gain her award! We can’t wait to get back to Scouting when all returns to “normal”.
As always the Section Leaders would like to thank their teams without whom it wouldn’t be possible to run the Troops. Thanks also to Steve Treadwell for his cameo at the Cranham camp, and the parents and most importantly to the young people for entering into the spirit of the game we call Scouting.
The Redlands and Northview Scout Troop Leader Teams.