World Scout Jamboree – Leaders Information Evening

Join us on the 5th June for more information about the 24th World Scout Jamboree to North America and how you can apply to be a leader or support your Scouts through the application process.

Free Scout Web Hosting… Yes Free!

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

So why what get in contact at or fill out the form

Pears Project Update

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

Meet the new International Team

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.

To help get you are up to speed with recent changes they are hosting a Global Refresh evening on Wednesday 3rd May at Cranham, particularly aimed at Leaders who completed their Wood badge training or Module 19 more than two years ago.

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.

Water Activities 2017

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.

Strategy & Evolution Update

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

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!

County Update – February 2017

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!

County Personnel

  • 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
  • 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
  • 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!

As always if you have any questions or comments please get in touch with me

Development Opportunity

We have teamed up with the Pears Project and The Scout Association and are excited to announce some paid intern opportunities for the coming year. This is a unique opportunity to gain experience and develop skills whilst leading part of a project team. The project aims to open new Scouting provisions across Gloucestershire Scout County (youth sections for young people aged 6-18yrs). The development interns will be lead by a project manager and will work with local volunteers to provide hands on practical support engaging with schools, the community, partnership organisations and parents of the new youth members. The project aims to enable and deliver the recruitment of adults and young people and to open new sustainable Scout provisions in Gloucestershire initially focusing around Cheltenham.

Interested? Have a look at the advert

Why Am I here?

For many of us the first few weeks of September signify the start of the Scouting year, it’s also typically the time to hold our County AGM and the County Commissioners chance to give a report on what has happened in Gloucestershire in the last 12 months.

It was with much trepidation I stood up in front of 40 or so Scouters to tell them what had gone on in Gloucestershire, but before I launched into my report I asked a question. Pause, for a second, and ponder this…

Why are you here?

…So why am I here? Why am I the Acting County Commissioner? Why do I Scout?

I am here because back in May 2016 I said ‘Yes’ to Hamish Stout, our Regional Commissioner, when asked if I would be prepared to become the Acting County Commissioner.

I am here because, as many of my friends will tell you, I have an inability to say ‘No’. In fact I’ve got a message on my phone from one Scouting friend who I asked advice from when deciding whether I should take on the acting role. They said, I shouldn’t take it on, and then finished their message with ‘You are mad, completely bonkers, I’ll support you all the way’.

But why am I really here?

I’m here because 22 years ago, as a quivering 6 year old, my mother held my hand and walked me through the door of Selsley Scout Hut, in Stroud and Tetbury, for my first night of Beavers and what was to become the start of my Scouting adventure. I remember the night vividly, there was a charity sale going on, I begged my mum for some money and bought a toy tractor in blue and grey. I made new friends, we did Beavery stuff, we went outside and jumped off the bank into a big pile of fresh grass cuttings. (Which in hindsight was a bad idea – 1. My mum was not amused over the grass stains in my lovely grey uniform. 2. Someone had spent a long time making the pile of grass cuttings which we destroyed in minutes!)

I’m here because for 22 years volunteers have given their free time, invested their free time in me. I’ve been helped to grab opportunities that I wouldn’t have had; I’ve met and made life long friends I wouldn’t have known; and I’ve learnt things about myself that I wouldn’t have learnt.

For 22 years volunteers with a passion for Scouting have given their time to me, and it’s a passion I’ve now got. A passion and a belief in Scouting and what it offers to young people. A passion that each, and every volunteer in our movement shares. A passion that means we deliver high quality programmes to young people week in week out. A passion that has helped us grow Scouting in Gloucestershire again.

In the 2016 census our we had 71 new young people join the movement, and I strongly suspect we will see a further increase in the number of Cubs due to the fantastic events and activities that have been going on for Cubs 100. We also had a 175 increase in the number of adults – I’ll let you decide if that is connected in anyway to the removal of membership fees for adults.

It’s fair to say there have been a number of challenges in our County (and indeed nationally) in the last 12 months:

  • Compass – it’s been a difficult journey the last 12 months, and some would say we did loose our way (the puns don’t get any better). But things are much better now and we are moving in the right direction. We need to say a particular big thank you to all the managers, district secretaries and compass champions who’ve had to pick up the pieces, thank you for perservering.
  • DofE – as a County we were not operating at an acceptable standard, and through a committed effort from DofE Leaders, DofE Advisors and leaders we are now working to high standards.
  • Pete Richardsons recent departure from Cranham, where he was centre manager for 5 years. The Executive have commissioned a report into Cranham so they can better understand the centre, how it’s run and all the other pieces involved with it. I would like to thank the Cranham Management Committee for their continued hard work, especially in the last few weeks where they have been busy trying to recruit temporary cover to March next year.
  • Paul Trott’s announcement at the AGM last year that he was looking to step down, and the subsequent search for the next County Commissioner.

But…its been a great year too

  • Tom Harding, our County Trainer Manager, has been successful in recruiting Local Training Managers to cover all Districts.
  • 81 Scouts achieved their Chief Scout Award
  • 80 Young People achieved their Platinum and Diamond Awards, Young Leader Buckles, DofE Bronze and Silver Awards.
  • We’ve had every section offered the opportunity to camp in the last 12 months – 172 Beavers at County Camp, 650 Cubs at the Cubs100 Camp at Rhydd Covert (where your’s truly was conned into being Alex the Lion! I must say I feel emmense pride in the roaring success this camp was, and the team behind it should remember that despite all the heartache, blood, sweat and tears the maine thing was the Cubs all had an amazing time!) As well 89 Explorers at Beast last year.
  • The Strategy and Evolution events were successful yet again with 1,250 Scouts and Guides at Strategy; and 360 Explorers, Network members and Rangers at Evolution.

So what does the future hold?

  • I’m looking at the County structure and how best to rebuild the County team so as to offer better support to Districts, Groups and Leaders.
  • Lauren Greening is forging ahead with reminding people across the County that Youth Shaped Scouting should be at the heart of what we do.
  • There’s going to be another year of fantastic County events – Beast, S&E and a refreshed Chief Scout Awards.
  • We have been chosen to be the second County to get the support offered by the Pears Project, which will help us develop Scouting across Gloucestershire.

I’ll leave you with one final thought that was put to me while dealing with a difficult issue earlier this year, something I think all leaders think when the going is hard. Only one person has a right to Scout – that is a young person aged 6 to 25; for everyone else being able to Scout is a privilege. A privilege I’m proud to say I have.


Intern Opportunities

We have teamed up with the Pears Project and The Scout Association and are excited to announce some paid intern opportunities for the coming year. This is a unique opportunity to gain experience and develop skills whilst leading part of a project team. The project aims to open new Scouting provisions across Gloucestershire Scout County (youth sections for young people aged 6-18yrs). The development interns will be lead by a project manager and will work with local volunteers to provide hands on practical support engaging with schools, the community, partnership organisations and parents of the new youth members. The project aims to enable and deliver the recruitment of adults and young people and to open new sustainable Scout provisions in Gloucestershire initially focusing around Cheltenham.

Interested? Have a look at the adverts below

Advert Interns
Advert Senior Interns

A4 Detailed Development Intern
A4 Detailed Senior Development Intern