Tag Archives: group

Review 2017-18: Chairman’s Note

Andrew Sturmer

One of the things I have had reinforced from being involved with 1st Hinchley Wood Scouts is that “things don’t just happen”. In order for our children to enjoy all the activities that they do in Scouts takes a lot of effort, planning and support. We are very fortunate at 1st Hinchley Wood we have a great set of Leaders and a great set of parents to support them. Over the last few years the Executive have put a lot of effort into identifying the activities we need to run to support the Group. This ranges from all our fundraising activities, help at camps and scouting events and supporting our weekly meetings. We have developed a strong Parent Rep structure which has really benefited the group in communication and organisation. We have improved the identification of the tasks we require help with and significantly improved the planning of them all including the ability to sign-up to activities on-line. Over the course of the year we have so far identified approximately 1500 man hours of activity that is required from Parents in order to run all of our events. This works out to be between 20 and 30 hours per family per year. This is not much for each family per year when you consider all the fantastic activities that the Leaders arrange for our children.

This year I would like to make a particular mention of our May Fair. This is because two people who have lead the organisation of the May Fair for the last few years are stepping down and I would like to acknowledge their significant contribution to its success. Rachel Branney and Fiona Cory have done a fantastic job leading the May Fair organisation and have doubled its profitability over that time. The May Fair continues to be a really enjoyable and significant community event for Hinchley Wood as well as a significant fundraiser for the Group.

Of course we wouldn’t have any Scouts for our children if we didn’t have any Leaders. I am really pleased that over the course of the last year we have added to our numbers of leaders in both Cubs and Scouts. On behalf of the Executive and the parents I would like to thank the Leaders for all the efforts they put in throughout the year.

I know this is supposed to be a review of the previous year; however a significant change is about to occur that cannot go unmentioned. Adrian Ducker & Peter Hanna have announced their intention to hang up their scarves and move away from the area. Peter first took on the Scout Leader role in 1982 while Adrian, after doing many varied roles, took the troop leader role in 2003 alongside the Group Scout Leader role he held since 1992. A simple thank you is in no way adequate and I am sure there will be more to say on this in the coming months but suffice to say Hinchley Wood Scouts will never be the same and Peter and Adrian will be sorely missed. In the meantime we have plenty of work to do to extract that vast amount of knowledge so
we can have a smooth transition into a future.

Membership as at 31 March 2017

Beaver Scouts 24
Cub Scouts 35
Scouts 34
Explorer Scouts 15
Total Youth Members 108
Scout Network 2
Leaders & Assistants 39
Total Membership (Group & Explorer/Network Unit) 149

Review 2017-18: Group Scout Leader

Group Scout Leader Adrian Ducker

Scouting’s upward progress both national and local continues. Membership is up and the movement continues to generate much interest and considerable respect – and long waiting lists!
Group events including participation in the May Fair, St Georges Day Parade (hosted by us at St Christopher’s) and the Open Day were successful and much enjoyed by young people, our supporters and the local community – as appropriate!

Group collective achievements include full and successful participation in District and County events, active programmes for all the sections and the Scout Active Support (SAS) unit, and all the other activities detailed in the section reports that follow. I also congratulate all beaver scouts, cub scouts, scouts, explorer and network scouts who have had fun gaining badges and taking part in camps, activities and competitions during the year. We do not forget our Promise to help others either, see the section reports. Well done to you all!

1st Hinchley Wood is the fourth largest Group in Esher District and the second largest with one section of each age range. The beaver, cub and scout sections remain full with waiting lists. The lack of meeting slots in our joint headquarters prevents more expansion of Group numbers.

As our Chairman has pointed out, all this activity and success does not just happen; it is the result of an enormous amount of hard work by the leaders and assistants who are the backbone of the group, supported by Scout Active Support and backed up by the Group Executive. I would like to express my thanks and I am sure that of all parents to all the volunteer leaders and assistants, past and present, who put so much time and energy into 1st Hinchley Wood.

Chief Scout Bear Grylls makes awards to leaders and other adults for their service. I’m very pleased to say that the Award of Merit has been awarded to Ian Broderick, John Daoud and Theresa
Platt – three such awards in one year must be a record for us.

In addition Long Service awards have been made to the following Group members:

  • Clive Thorogood – 30 years
  • Andy Fletcher – 15 years
  • Billy Platt – 15 years
  • John Daoud – 10 years
  • Simon Heather – 10 years
  • Phil Cooper – 5 years
  • Emma Kingsley – 5 years

There have been a number of changes in the Group’s leadership team during the year, with a good number of new appointments as listed in the section reports that follow. We thank those who have left us for their help. We welcome all who have joined our team during the year. This is all excellent but yet more volunteers are needed to take the responsibilities of leadership throughout the Group. This is a continuing group objective for the year ahead.

Thanks to an excellent leader training programme, there is no pre-requisite in expertise or experience. All leaders undertake to complete their initial leader training within five months of appointment and their full training within five years. They then undergo ongoing training throughout their service, keeping them up to date in such areas as safety, safeguarding and first aid. Those becoming leaders and taking on certain other roles may bypass the considerable waiting lists for membership of the sections for their children.

A continuing challenge for the volunteer leader team is delivering ever more sophisticated programmes requiring specialised training and qualifications such as archery, shooting and water and mountain-based activities. It is good to report that many of our leaders and instructors have undertaken training in specialist areas such as navigation, mountain walking, advanced first aid, shooting, Duke of Edinburgh Award, archery, water activities as well as their mainstream Scout adult leader training. Developing personal skills and then passing them on to young people is a very rewarding aspect of a leader’s role.

Our water activities team is strengthened by the addition of explorers and network scouts joining the coaching team. It is fantastic to see young people making use of the knowledge and experience gained through Scouting by putting something back into the movement.

As Chairman Andrew has said, “Things don’t just happen/”

Richard Beaney, our Group Quartermaster, continues to make a very positive contribution. With the ever-increasing amount of expensive equipment needed to support our level of activity his methodical and practical approach is much appreciated by the leaders. He is steadily continuing to improve our storage facilities with new racking to increase the effective space and make it easier to access the equipment. Richard is not alone in being grateful to the (unknowing?) support given by leading supermarkets in the provision of storage containers!!

Our ‘fleet’ of two minibuses remains unchanged and is much used. We have funding in place and are on the lookout for a replacement for the older, smaller (blue) bus (yes, you’ve heard that before!).

We have purchased a replacement large mess tent and some super new heavy duty gazebos which look very good when the Group is on show at Fairs etc.

The Chris Platt Activity Centre continues to make a major contribution to the life of the Group. Besides housing the minibuses, canoes and kayaks on their trailer, fair stalls, archery and other equipment, the air rifle range and the climbing/traverse wall have been well used – a real multi-activity building.

The Group welcomes joint initiatives with other local organisations, notably St Christopher’s Church and Girlguiding Hinchley Wood, to promote the community of Hinchley Wood. We thank our local supporters including our hard working councillors. One very visible result of this is the Hinchley Wood Community Magazine. This magazine, published by the Church and contributed to and sometimes distributed by 1st Hinchley Wood, helps to increase local awareness of just how much goes on in scouting and guiding in Hinchley Wood. Many thanks to Chris Beaney who coordinates our contributions.

Closely supporting the uniformed team is the Group Executive, the lay team whose function is to support the Group in its work. The greatest part of this involves fundraising and our financial report shows just how important the fundraising effort is to our overall income. My thanks go to our Chairman Andrew Sturmer, Secretary Amanda Moylan-Jones, Treasurer Laurence Tanner and all Group Exec members and parents who have helped in this and other vital functions.

The widened parent support base including our parent reps has been a real success story. Well done to everyone involved. Our future objectives are to attract more leaders, to train more in specialist roles and to encourage more parents to get involved in managing the Group and the joint headquarters. As Chairman Andrew has said, ‘“things don’t just happen” so please look at the many ways in which you can help. Whilst many of these roles involve evening and weekend participation there are a number (record keeping or website development for example) which are not time or space dependent and thus practical for those who cannot easily manage to get to the HQ.

We hope you enjoy this Annual Review. I am grateful to all the contributors and to Peter Hanna for their help in producing this year’s edition.

Review 2017-18: Beavers

Ian Broderick

At this time of the year as I’m asked to provide brief details for the Review of our activities for the year I think of the Life of Brian sketch.

So what has Beavers ever done for our children?

How about camping and fire lighting? Well they’re part of the Scouting organisation so of course they’re going to do camping, fire lighting, setting up a tent and hiking – everyone knows that.

They did learn a lot about safety – in the home, on the water, fire safety, green cross code, stranger danger – that’s quite important.

Obviously we have to look after the children so safety goes without saying.

What about the ‘visits and visitors’ like laser tag, drumming, Bazzaz, Group camp, Shinnyo-en, fire station, food bank, Chelsea FC, tennis and White Spider climbing.

Well of course thanks to all visitors and helpers.

We can’t forget the wonderful time they had at Group camp with zorbing, spoon branding, water rockets, caving, nightline and assault course.

So apart from camping, climbing, fire-lighting Bazzaz, safety, camp, tennis, football, archery, hiking, cycling, catapults, caving, crate-stacking, experiments, visits and visitors, self-confidence, fun, games, friends and badges (including the coveted Chief Scout’s Bronze Award) – what has Beavers ever done for our children?


And I’ve probably missed out as many activities as I’ve mentioned but I was told to keep this short!

None of this could have occurred without the volunteers who make it possible. So big thanks to the Beaver Leader team of Ian Broderick, Heidi Smith, Samantha Emmerson, Wendy Vincze, parent reps Pauline Davies and Emma Willson, not forgetting the ‘DofE’ young leaders, weekly parent helpers and Colony Administrator Sarah Chan.

Who would be a Beaver leader? We can always do with more help – join the fun and remember doing good makes you feel good.

Review 2017-18: Cubs

Theresa Platt

The summer term got off to a good start with Group Camp at Walton Firs, followed soon after with District Camp at Polyapes with a mediaeval theme, so Hinchley Wood built a trebuchet. For some Cubs this would be their first overnight camp gaining them their first Nights Away badge. Camper badges and Outdoor Challenge badges were also gained by many Cubs. These involved putting up tents, playing wide games, backwoods cooking. Other outdoor activities included rounders, night hike, bivouacs, Nerf guns, Go-Ape and a sponsored run around Giggs Hill Green in the dark to raise funds for Children In Need.

Back in the HQ we learnt what makes up our digestive system and how it works and made collages to show this. The Cubs honed their map reading skills and cycling proficiency, made coloured, scented candles and made their own set of juggling balls. They even had a go at movie making to show an audience what goes on at Cub meetings. These movies were strung together and at the end of term we had a very late night Pack meeting where the Cubs snuggled down in their sleeping bags watching their own movies, munching on hot dogs and popcorn, and also watching the Jungle Book movie before going home just before midnight.

Other highlights were a visit from a policeman and a science evening which culminated in making ice cream use liquid nitrogen. That was a really great evening. The Cubs also learnt about hydraulics and each Six built their own hydraulic lift. Lots of fun was had that night.

Cub Pack Highlights

  • Go-Ape
  • Making ice cream using liquid nitrogen
  • Visit by a Policeman
  • Sponsored run for Children in Need
  • Nerf guns
  • We had a couple of cooking sessions making pizzas and shortbread. A team took part in the new District Cooking Competition. Another new event was the District Quiz. Each Pack ran a quiz night using the same questions which were supplied by District, to select a winning team to go forward to the next round. The Hinchley Wood team did us proud and the event was a success. Some Cubs made and shaped wooden cars to take part in the District Pinewood Derby (racing cars down a track).
    The highest award that can be earned as a Cub is the Chief Scout’s Silver Award which was gained by 9 Cubs this year. Well done to Rhys Jones, Lukka Bodinnar, Sam Vincze, Jamie Tebbs, Ashley Wright, Noah Goddard, Matthew Shinn, Thomas Fleming and Alexander Walmsley.
    The Cub Leaders, (that’s Debs Beaney, Chris Beaney, Phil Cooper, David Cruickshank Alex Higgins, Paul Rayner, Theresa Platt and Deepa Solanki) welcomed Nathan Ward and Juliette Smillie to the team and look forward to incorporating their new ideas into the programme. The Leadership team wish to thank parent reps Nicole Murray, Anna McKenna & Laura La Frenais and everyone else who has helped, in any way, to provide such a varied programme. We hope you have found it a fun and very rewarding experience. With your continued support we can keep offering a challenging, fun programme of the highest standard. New programme ideas are always most welcome, especially if you come and help deliver them!