Category Archives: Scouts

Esher Scouts win the SN Junior Orienteering League, again!

Esher Scouts Orienteering Club has won the 2016-17 Southern Navigators Saturday Series trophy, for the second year in a row. There were some great individual performances with four scouts – two from Hinchley Wood – finishing first and second in two of the age groups.

Team result

The scout team scored 64 points from a maximum possible 66, with five event victories and one second place. Second place St Andrews School scored 54 and Tomlinscote had 50 in third.

Individual results

  • In B7 and under, Idris Wills came first and William Emmerson came second, both from 1st Hinchley Wood.
  • In B8-9, Benedict Davidson took first place and Thomas Arnison came second, both from 1st Oxshott.

Also in the B7 age group and in their first season of orienteering, Alex Dall came ninth on the back of four runs, and Jamie Bingham came 15th with only three runs and a great result at the penultimate competitive event – both from 1st Claygate – showing great improvement over the series.

Great start to the orienteering season for Esher Scouts

Esher Scouts Orienteering Club (ESOC) has had a great start to the orienteering season, winning the first two events in the Southern Navigators’ Saturday Series. This gives the club 22 points, six points clear of St Andrew’s School and Tomlinscote in joint second place.

At the first event of the season – Frith Hill near Camberley – ESOC runners Thomas Arnison, Idris Wills and William Emmerson took third, fourth and sixth places on orange. On yellow, newcomers Sophie Hutchison & Lucie Tinkler took 9th place and Christian Nicholson 14th.

bramshill-punchingThe club had strong results at the second event at Bramshill in Berkshire. On the yellow course, pairs of scouts secured tightly-contested third, fourth and fifth places with less than 20 seconds between them. On the longer and harder orange course, individual runners William Emmerson, Benedict Davidson and Idris Wills were placed second, third and fifth respectively. Individual runners and those running without adult support score higher points in the competition.

The third event of the Saturday Series takes place on Saturday 12 November at Eagle House School, between Sandhurst and Crowthorne near Bracknell. This is a change from the previously advertised location (Ash South).

bramshill-finishESOC is an informal orienteering club affiliated to South London Orienteers which draws its members from the ten scout troops in the Esher District. Recently the most active troops have been Claygate, Hinchley Wood, the Molesey troops and Oxshott. The club won the 2015-16 Saturday Series and the 2016 Surrey Schools & Youth O-Festival.

Review 2015-16: Scouts

Adrian Ducker

The Scouts have had another exciting year. Here’s a sampler of troop night activities over the past 12 months: pioneering, Airhop at Guildford, canoeing and kayaking on the River Thames and elsewhere, swimming at New Malden, jumble collecting, archery, swimming activity badges at Hampton outdoor pool, rafting at Bowers Lock (River Wey), orienteering around Hinchley Wood streets, camp skills, Guy making (followed by a Guy Fawkes bonfire & fireworks), orienteering at Morden Hall Park, shooting, scavenger hunts, survival night, Ready Steady Cook night, a Day Hike at night, night hikes, a ‘flying night’ and pancakes for Shrove Tuesday.

And that’s not all. A busy evening was spent at Polyapes Campsite clearing scrub, brambles, nettles and moving the woodpile back to where it should have been to improve the site and work toward the outdoor challenge. We enjoyed an exhilarating June evening cable boarding at JB Waterski. In December, we re-enacted the WW2 Operation Musketoon (the Edges were scaled with the aid of ropes and the heavy water plant was suitably destroyed) and visited the outdoor ice rink at Hampton Court Palace. Much use has been made of the shooting and climbing wall facilities in the Chris Platt Centre, including for the District Postal Shooting Competition. Our Jamboree participants entertained us with a presentation on their experiences in Japan.

In addition, we held training and badge nights – map and compass, knots and lashings, first aid (everyone resuscitated Annie!). As a result many scouts attained the various challenge badges and emergency aid, swimming and other activity badges. Special congratulations are due to Stewart Ashwell, Sebastian Collins, Matthew Nair and Thomas Sturmer on gaining the Chief Scout’s Gold Award .

We have had a busy year not only with our troop nights but with District and County activities too. Here are the results of the District & County activities in 2015-16:

MONTH EVENT POSITION
May 2015 County Expedition Gold
June Archery Comp Fourth
September Fishing Comp Third
October Cooking Comp First
October Night Hike First
November Five-A-Side Plate (runners up)
Year 2015 Top Troop Trophy First
Year 2015 Postal Shooting Comp First
February 2016 Scouting Skills & First Aid Third
March Shooting Comp First
March Cross Country Seventh
March Day Hike Fourth

For the sixth year running we won the coveted Esher District Top Troop Trophy.

Golden woggles were gained by Thomas Sturmer, Matthew Nair and Nisan Kotik. These are awarded to leaders of competition winning teams.

Very well done to the many Scouts who supported District events.

The troop offers opportunities to try new activities that members might not even think of doing until someone says ‘you’ve not tried it, why not give it a go?’ The fishing competition is a good example; orienteering is another. Hinchley Wood Scouts took part in the Esher Scouts Orienteering Club (ESOC) team in the Southern Navigators Junior League Orienteering on Saturday mornings last winter. Largely thanks to Angus Lund’s leadership Esher Scouts won the Junior League and Idris Wills won the ‘most improved junior’ Trophy. Orienteering is a very inclusive sport, everyone is welcome at whatever level they take part and it is an excellent way of gaining navigational skills.

Twenty Scouts went flying with the Surrey Scout Flying Club at Redhill Aerodrome, a great experience.

Group Camp took place at Walton Firs. Twenty-one Scouts in four patrols spent Saturday enjoying a day of kayaking/canoeing and swimming off-site. The paddling took place on the River Wey and we paddled through Guildford, stopping to ‘play’ in the weir and behind Spectrum for lunch. On the Sunday the group formed up in teams for on-site activities including adventure course, maze, caving, games, team building and branding. Later we had a camp fire and wide games. In between all this camp skills were practised to gain the outdoor challenge badge. On Monday everything got packed away in time for crate stacking and climbing sessions. Finally we presented 12 Chief Scout’s Gold Award Badges.

After last year’s trip to the Lake District, it was off to Snowdonia for Summer Camp. The site at Nantmor south of Snowdon is set in a gently sloping field with views across the valley. The site, as usual for a summer camp, was totally ‘green field’ (ie no facilities!). The campers, 28 scouts and explorers in six patrols had a great time. The weather was challenging with long periods of rain & wind but the camp spirit stayed high. Camp highlights were sea kayaking, coasteering, building bivouacs and spending nights in them and of course hill walking – everyone got up Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales. Older scouts went on overnight expeditions, whilst younger scouts completed a day walk on the local very boggy hill!

“For the sixth year running we won the coveted Esher District Top Troop Trophy.”

Paddlesport activities are an ever-popular part of scouting at Hinchley Wood and our fleet of kayaks and open canoes were well used. Besides river sessions on summer evenings, we had swimming pool sessions at Guildford Lido which were ideal for practising in comfort those ‘wet strokes’ that are meant to help keep you dry, but so often result in capsizing.

Rounding off the river and pool sessions, we ran our paddling weekend on the River Wye at Symonds Yat. Several scouts gained their One Star awards and others are working on Two and Three Star.

Whilst this may seem like hard work there is time for fun and games and everyone who has taken part in these courses has enjoyed them. A particularly pleasing aspect is the enthusiasm of those who have already completed awards in helping others gain theirs. Thanks are due to Chris Beaney, John Daoud, John Trott and Emma Beaney.

This year troop numbers have remained high (with a waiting list) which means a good deal of work for our enthusiastic and dedicated Troop leadership team. Fabio Randolfi has transferred to Explorers, we said goodbye to both Jon Berg and John Trott and welcomed Gill Wills and Jeff Almond to join the established team of Adrian Ducker, Peter Hanna, Harvey Panesar, and Tom Sharman.

Adrian Ducker has been very grateful for the considerable support from them and also from Fiona Smales, Chris Beaney and other group leaders and parents, headed up by our parent reps, without whom the level of activities could not have been maintained. An especially big thank you goes to all those who have helped over the year.

Additional regular help is always needed – four leaders at every meeting is the minimum to run an active programme for a troop of 30-plus scouts.

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Esher Scouts win the Surrey Schools & Youth O-Festival

Esher Scouts Orienteering Club has continued its run of form in 2016 by winning the Surrey Schools & Youth O-Festival. The competition was organised by Mole Valley Orienteering Club and held on Monday 27 June in Norbury Park, across the River Mole from Box Hill south of Leatherhead.

The two courses – Yellow and Orange – were more challenging than the team were used to and vegetation was particularly high after the recent rain. However that didn’t hold the team back.

William from Hinchley Wood won the Yellow course by 40 seconds, with Idris also from Hinchley Wood, in fourth place. Their younger siblings Cai & Bronwen and Harry & Nicholas finished as pairs in eighth and ninth place.

Oxshott Scouts Thomas, Benedict and Sofié secured fifth, sixth and eleventh places on Orange respectively.

Despite fielding a relatively small turnout, and with everyone still in their first year of orienteering, Esher Scouts took first place with 72 points ahead of George Abbott School with 65 points and Tormead and Boxgrove in joint third with 63.

Saturday Series orienteering dates for 2016-17

Dates have been announced for the 2016–17 Saturday Series of orienteering competitions organised by Southern Navigators. Esher Scouts orienteering club won the 2015–16 Saturday Series, and so we hope to have another great turnout in the coming season.

The events take place on Saturday mornings, and scouts from the Esher District usually meet at Hinchley Wood scout hut at 9am to travel down together. Return is usually at 12:30–1pm, but depends on how far away the event is.

Date Location
17 September 2016 Frith Hill, Camberley
15 October 2016 Bramshill, Wokingham
(changed from Velmead)
19 November 2016 Eagle House School, Bracknell
(changed from Alice Holt)
3 December 2016 Esher Common
(changed from Ash South)
14 January 2017 Wisley (TBC)
(changed from Windmill Hill)
4 February 2017 Pyestock, Farnborough
4 March 2017 Bagshot
25 March 2017 Frensham Heights, Farnham

These dates and locations are correct at the time of writing. Please check on the Southern Navigators’ event calendar for the definitive list.

If you enjoy these events, there are plenty of other opportunities to get involved in orienteering during the year. If you are interested in finding out more, please contact Angus Lund at .