REPORT TO THE AGM 06 JUNE 2016
from the (Acting) Group Scout Leaders
If you’re reading this at the AGM, then welcome – and thanks for coming along. We’re pleased to report that 2015-2016 has been a brilliant year for the Scout Group.
We have a dedicated leadership team who provide great opportunities for our young people to enjoy new adventures; to experience the outdoors; interact with others, gain confidence and have the opportunity to reach their full potential. The team continue to do training to help them do the job effectively, and many of them, as well as attending for evening courses, had a great time on the District Training weekend in February. The team are: Anne, Scott and Tilly leading the Beaver Section; Isobel, Daniel, Adam and Andrew leading the Cub Section; Chas, Paul, Carrie, Katy, Derek, Roy and Grant doing Scouts; and Stuart leading Explorers. We are delighted to welcome Jennifer who has now started out as Assistant Explorer Scout Leader. We are also pleased to have Peter, Tia, Sophie and Euan as Young Leaders. All the new leaders are taking their training so that they can play a full part in the in providing great Scouting to around 60 young people in the Group.
We are still on the lookout for someone to take over the key role of Group Scout Leader – in the meantime Isobel (Akela) and Chas are holding the fort as Acting GSLs.
Finally, on behalf of all the leaders we’d like to express our grateful thanks to all the adult team ‘behind the scenes’ – Andy the Group Chairman, Cliff the Hut Caretaker, Anna the Treasurer and other parents and committee members.
We have 17 Beavers at the moment. A few members transferred to Cubs in January and several more will be ‘pulled up’ tonight.
As always, the Beavers have had a very varied weekly programme since last August. This included themes such as Space, Chocolate, Science, Trains and France. In January we had a Burns Night and learned about Tam O’Shanter then we played a game to catch Meg’s tail. We have also had several themes, each covering several nights for Explorers, Inventors and learning about Beaver Scouts in other countries. In May we rehearsed and acted out “The Enormous Turnip” using a range of costumes and props and all in the space of an hour. There may be some future stars in our midst.
We have had a hat trick of great weather for our 3 outdoor activities:
• The woodland walk in April was great fun and all of the “eye-spy” clues were spotted – even the zebra in the zoo. We had hot dog rolls and juice at the summit.
• In May we had a boating night at Granton Harbour. Beavers and their parents had a trip out around the harbour in Sparkie – some groups managed to spot a seal sunbathing on the raft.
• As usual our annual picnic to North Berwick was a great success on Saturday 28th May. We took the train and then walked to the play park for a picnic. Later we moved down to the beach where we played in the sand and paddled.
One of our highlights was our sponsored handyman night. In one hour, each Beaver successfully had a shot at 10 different DIY skills ranging from putting in nails to drilling, sawing, wallpapering, painting and tiling. Our Beavers raised over £300, which we have used to pay for the North Berwick picnic and will use to buy a range of new games and activity equipment for the Group. Many thanks to the parents for getting the sponsorships.
Our last Beaver night of the session will be the usual BBQ and sports night in our grounds and we hope the sun shines for us then as it did last year.
We have help every Tuesday from Tilly (who has just been awarded her Scout Leaders warrant) and also from our Young Leaders Tia and Sophie from our Explorer Scouts. Thanks also to all other leaders and adults who have helped out on various occasions over the last year and of course to all parents for their continued support and encouragement.
Anne, Scott, Tilly, Tia and Sophie.
87th Beaver Leaders
Cubs started the autumn term by having a camp at Bonaly. Theme for the weekend was Native Americans and the Cubs they tried their hands at archery and something called the Mohawk Walk which was traversing low ropes. They made totem poles, dream catchers and wristbands and sang at a campfire.
In December we went bowling for a Christmas night out with pizza and juice. 2016 is a very special time for Cubs as they are 100 years old and some of us to part in a District camp with 300 other people at Bonaly where the boys camped out. We took part in a competition to design a new badge for this year for Cubs in the district and our cubs won! Something from a few entries were used and also we were the only pack to enter so we all won!
At the moment we are thinking about a winter (Halloween) camp indoors at Bonaly, but we will have to see if we can get booked.
There are more events for the birthday coming up and the celebrations end on December 16th at an event where we will all take our Promise again.
Thanks to the Group Executive, parents and my Young Leaders and Chas for all your support.
What can we get up to next year?
Last years AGM input from the Scouts ended with us getting ready for summer camp. As normal, camp went ahead on ‘Sandy Island’ at Loch Tay after a couple of prep nights including tent pitching and an information night for parents. We all had an excellent time, even if the weather was a little bleak! We had 16 Scouts earning their Outdoor and Adventure Challenge badges.
Over the year, Troop numbers have dropped a little bit, though they still remain strong at around 20. Our male/female ratio has changed a bit, with us only having one girl in the troop at the moment.
It’s been a busy year with the program, teaching skills such as: firelighting; map reading; compass work; safety on the hills; first aid; and backwoods cooking.
Activities wise, we have been: Canoeing on the canal; making survival bands from paracord, we had our own version of ‘The Cube’ at the hut, played wide games at Silverknowes, climbed the High Ropes course at Bonaly, and had a hike in The Pentlands with 15 Scouts gaining their Hike stage 1, Navigator stage 3 and Emergency Aid stage 3 activity badges in the process!!
Troop nights inside the hut have consisted of: a Halloween night, a Burns Supper, Pancake night and enroling some of our newer members.
We also had a change to our Christmas event, and instead of going for a night hike, we had a 3-course meal at Mackenzies Restaurant in D-Mains.
So to finish where we started, the rest of this term is mostly about getting ready for camp, where we’ll be heading back to ‘Sandy Island’, in hope for better weather!
Paul Gunderson, Assistant Scout Leader
The last year has been very successful where Explorers Unit has continued to grow to around 12 regular members from the previous year.
Due to issues with hall availability we are sharing our meetings between the Scout Hall and Granton Church.
Over the last year we have taken part in the following activities : Navigation (Mapping Compass), Canoeing, Kayaking, Swimming, Trampolining, Firestation Visit, Fire Lighting, Ten-Pin bowling, Cooking The Cube.
Some activities are being restricted due to a shortage of leaders.
Last year, there were two Summer Camps on offer, one to the Netherlands with Explorers in another District, and the other to Killin with the Scouts.
This Summer the Explorer Camp will take place again at Killin. It is hoped to be able to offer the option of a camp abroad next year.
The money from the Startup Grant was spent on camping equipment in time for use at Summer Camp 2015. We also received lightweight camping equipment when the Craigalmond Duke of Edinburgh Award Group ceased running.