Would you like to be able to run climbing in your group, or get a refresher if you already hold a permit? Then read on!
From 8th November the County Climbing Team will be running a series of training sessions for people wanting to work towards a permit for running climbing on artificial walls. This will run every Wednesday from 8th November to 6th December, and then on a different week-night in the new year for those who can’t make Wednesdays.
Sessions will typically run from 19:00 for around 2 hours (feel free to stay for some personal climbing afterwards) and cost £5 per session, paid directly to The Warehouse on the night. For the first session, I’ll be in the cafe downstairs from 18:30 to talk through current experience and what you’re hoping to get out of the sessions, so if you can make it anytime before 19:00 that would be helpful. We’ll be up in the wall from 19:00 for some practical work, so bring any kit you have.
You don’t have to commit to every week, although you will need to be comfortable with the material we’ll cover before arranging an assessment. If you miss a session or two before Christmas then we can cover those bits again in the new year.
To sign up, or for more details, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org letting us know which of the sessions you think you can attend and if you have your own harness and helmet. If you’re after a refresher of any specific skills then let us know that as well. Please note, this set of sessions is for those aged 18 or over.
Please pass on to anyone else who might be interested.
Unfortunately due to ill health Andy and Mairead have resigned as Centre Managers and have moved back to Devon: we wish Andy a full recovery.
We are delighted to welcome Ruth Rickman-Williams and Calvin (Cal) Williams as the new joint managers: they started on Monday. Their career has been working with young people and volunteers and they bring with them a wealth of experience and enthusiasm to this demanding role. Ruth and Cal live locally and will be commuting.
Ruth and Cal are keen to hold an open day/evening in the near future – this will give you an opportunity to meet them and view the new caving complex!
The Scout Association with the support of funders including the Pears Foundation are offering 4 Internships to grow and develop Scouting in the following areas: 4 Gloucestershire, 2 x Avon and Somerset. This exciting new role will work along side an existing team supported by staff and volunteers to being positive youth activities to new area, allowing even more people experience the everyday adventure of Scouting.
Does your group/unit/district/scout event have a website Or do you want to get a website?
County already helps 40 scouting websites in Gloucestershire save the cost of hosting. We also have the buying power to purchase domains at a better rate that most individuals. Along with this, we can help you get a basic WordPress site up and running. And finally, we have a new theme which is currently in final testing over at Stroud and Tetburys stscouts.org.uk
The Pears project team working in Gloucestershire currently consists of Ben Powlesland – Project Manager, Coralie Thompson – Senior intern, Becky Thorpe and Chris Padgett interns.
Becky was supporting the Prestbury Scout group in Cheltenham where a new Beaver colony is now open and some support was given to help split the existing Cub Pack in two to allow for future growth. The new sections are between 13 and 16 in number so they have the potential to grow to allow even more young people to be able to access Scouting.
Coralie has been supporting the new Coopers Edge Beaver Colony that is part of 1st Upton St Leonards Scout group in Gloucester. The 8 new Beavers and 7 new adults are all invested with the group now providing support to the new sections.
Currently all of the active projects are in Cheltenham:
Waddon Scout Group – The team are working with the Cornerstone Centre to open Scouting in Waddon. We held a good open evening before February half term attracting about 20 young people and some initial interest in volunteering. We are supporting some taster evenings with a growing number of Beaver and Cub aged children attend each week. A suitable experienced Scout Leader has been identified to run the Troop and a School assembly has helped to swell numbers.
1st Warden Hill – We are supporting the Scout Leadership team to alter the programme now we have increased the number of young people following some successful school assembles and an open night. We think we have found a new volunteer to give a third adult at the Scout Section.
49th Cheltenham – We are helping grow and split the sections. We have given some support to the group and visited the sections. There are school assembles planned over the next few weeks. The Beavers and Cubs will continue to use the same time slot but meet in separate spaces with different leadership teams and programmes.
The next phase of projects now starting are in the Forest of Dean:
Newent – Support to the existing sections in the group to find leaders and young people and new sections.
Aylburton and Lydney – Recruitment of leaders in Beavers, Cubs and Scouts – Recruitment of young people, particularly girls, in Beavers and Cubs
There have been a lot of changes to International Scouting and the Global programme in the last couple of years. As well as programme changes, we now have a new team responsible for supporting International and Global activities in Gloucestershire. Chris Langham, Ben Klinkenburg and Dave L’oste Brown have formed the new team and are looking at ways they can help support your international programme. They have a wealth of experience and enthusiasm and between them have visited a plethora of countries with Scouting.
The evening will include presentations on some new Awards, hints and resources of how to include Global activities into Section Programmes (there will be something for everyone, from Beavers to Network), and a chance to meet the new team.
The County water activities team recently launched their new look brand and were looking ahead to what promises to be an exciting year. With more water based permits in the County and new advisers, they are looking at needing more space to dry out wet kit! Activities from kayaking and sailing to the more unusual bell boating and scuba are all available to young people in the County.
The new logo brings together the team under a common brand. A new water activities micro-site has also been launched. It aims to bring you the information you need to take everyone from Beavers to Network and Active Support out on the water.
While at the launch they celebrated the 40th anniversary of “Spade” Gardner teaching scouts water activities in Gloucestershire. This is a fantastic achievement and he’s introduced many thousands of Scouts to activities on the water. They did wonder if he’d started to grow webbed feet!
Are you interested in leading water activities for your section? Contact Shelley Wright for more information.
We’re really excited to let you know that Strategy is now over 50% full. Don’t forget to make sure your Scouts are booked on before the price increase on the 30th April. Last year over 600 Scouts, Explorers and Network members from Gloucestershire attended over the two weekends, fully catered and now on a site even closer to the forest why not come and join the adventure? Book now at s-e.org.uk
Strategy is a challenge event for Scouts that lets them loose in our 3,000 acre ‘Play Area’. The multi-activity challenge hike has over 30 bases scattered across our woodland site, which our Strategists get points for completing. You’ll have to plan your own route to make best use of the allocated time!
Last year bases included everything from Pioneering to Supermarket-Sweep, Climbing to Caving and even Nail-Painting and Custard Jumping! Who knows what this year will hold but trust us – all your physical stamina, mental prowess and Scouting & Guiding skills will be tested!
Evolution decided to throwaway the challenge event rule book, why have the same challenge every year? So year on year we provide you with a new challenge (and ultimately a new challenge for ourselves too!). So what can you expect from the main event? The main event always tries to challenge your scouting teamwork and skills with either physical bases or more mental challenges. So far we’ve had assault courses, inflatables, air rifles, a cave bus, and even scrabble. So come join the fun and see what is in store for you this year!
It’s been a busy few months across the County with lots of activities and events taking place from the Chief Scout Awards held at Head 4 Heights to the 44th Cotswold Marathon that took place at the start of the month.
It has also been a very busy time for changes with District and County leadership teams, and some other exciting developments across the County. So it would be good to update you about all that has been going on!
Liz Hodge stepped down as Deputy County Commissioner (DCC) Programme at the end of 2016 – although Liz isn’t running away from the County (as if we would let her!) I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Liz for all her hard work over the years and for the support Liz gave me (and continues to give) since I became Acting County Commissioner (CC) in May 2016.
Mick Seamarks stepped down as Assistant County Commissioner (ACC) Beavers at the end of 2016 – again Mick isn’t running away but deserves a big thank you for all his support to the Beaver section and the events he has gotten involved with over the years!
Chris Meadows has taken on the role of DCC Scouting Operations – which means he has a responsibility for managing the team that supports Programme across the County. Chris will be building a few teams to support sections, activities, events and such like. Chris can be emailed at email@example.com
Chris Langham and Ben Klinkenberg (Benk) have both taken on the role of ACC International, with Chris leading on the global programme and Benk focussing on trips abroad. Dave L’Oste Brown who has held the post of ACC International for a number of years will gradually handover as the team becomes more comfortable with the administration. They can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bruce Warden stepped down as District Commissioner (DC) for Gloucester District on the 31 December. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Bruce for his hard work in developing Gloucester during the 2 years he was in post. Michelle Vaughan has been appointed as Acting DC, and Barry Smith is leading the Search Team for a new DC.
We welcome Tony Dale as the new DC for North Cotswold when he takes over on 1 March 2017, I’d like to thank all those involved in the Search process but particularly Chris Langham for leading the Team. With a new DC coming in I need to say a big thank you to Stephen Perry who has led the North Cotswold District for almost 10 years now, especially given the warm welcome and words of advice he gave me when I took on my Acting role!
A number of Districts have recently appointed Youth Commissioners, and they will have been very busy working over the last few weeks as February is #YouShape! Alex Jenkins was appointed as District Youth Commissioner (DYC) for Cotswold Vale in November. Jordan Randall was appointed in January as DYC for Cheltenham and Matt Dann has been appointed as Deputy DYC for Cheltenham.
Around the County
Gloucestershire has been selected as a beacon County for the relaunch of the Scouts of the World Award (SOWA); this is an WOSM (World Organisation of Scout Movements) award that is Network age range only. This is a really exciting development for the County and will give our members first access to the really rare award. Chris Meadows and Benk attended the training course a few weekends ago so expect a few announcements soon!
Cranham Scout Centre continues to flourish under Andy and Mairead who have recently accepted a permanent contract as the joint centre managers. Tom Harding has taken over as Chairman of the Cranham Management Sub-Committee from Dave Hall.
With all the exciting things happening and enthusiastic people I’ve met over the last few months 2017 will be a fantastic year for Scouting in Gloucestershire!