Review 2017-18: SAS Unit

Chris Beaney

No, we’re not an elite team of crack scouts taking on the toughest challenges that Scouting has to offer, but almost as exciting! SAS stands for Scout Active Support (SAS) and our aim is to provide great support to local Scouting.

1st Hinchley Wood SAS Unit is here to help the Leaders deliver an outstanding level of Scouting to all members of 1st Hinchley Wood as well as Groups within Esher District. Key activities that we help with are: weekly meetings, various camps, kayaking and canoeing, District activities such as Leader training, the Scout Day and Night Hikes, Fundraising activities (especially our Christmas tree deliveries) and keeping our equipment and stores in good order (thanks Richard).

Not only do we help with the planning and running of activities (more than 20 major events last year as well as helping out with section meetings) but we also get to take part in various Scouting activities for our own enjoyment.

Aside from helping with the catering at District Cub camp the highlight last year was the building of a large trebuchet for District Cub Camp. Given the very warm weather on the camp water balloons were fired rather than bean bags, proving it to be one of the most popular activities for the Cubs who enjoyed being drenched.

For the really adventurous one of our biggest challenges each year is the Four Inns Walk in the Peak District. There are now 2 competitions; a 65K (40+ mile) hike for the older members and a 35K (23 mile) hike for Explorers aged under 18. These are tough challenges which require a lot of stamina as well as excellent navigational skills to navigate across some of the toughest terrain in the UK whilst carrying kit and to complete it within 24hrs. As well as organising the entries and transport for our Explorers a few foolhardy members of the SAS also take part! Earlier this year the Group entered 3 teams in the 65K competition as well as a team of younger Explorers in the 35K competition. Despite some stiff competition from 1st Claygate Scout Group who entered 2 teams in the 65K and 4 in the 35K, 1st Hinchley Wood came back with both Esher District trophies as well as 2nd place overall in the Novice team category and 2nd and 3rd places in the category where all members are under 25. This is a fantastic achievement and a real demonstration of the excellent navigational skills that our Explorers have developed throughout their time in 1st Hinchley Wood Scout Group especially as they are competing against teams from across the UK and also abroad.

If you would like to become a member of 1st Hinchley Wood SAS Unit whether it is to join in with some of the social activities, to learn to build a monkey bridge or a trebuchet, to help cook at camp or just to have a great talking point on your CV then please contact our SAS Unit leader Chris Beaney.