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Southampton City Scouts News
Posted on Monday, December 26th, 2011
As a unit we participated in all of our usual things during December. We helped out in a packed St. James Church for the Beaver Christingle service and again at a packed St. Andrews Church for the Cub Carol service. The 13th. did a great job with their Seniors party. All of our members who attended had a great time. Well done to Lee and Sue, especially as it was the day of their 40th Wedding Anniversary, and their team. There’s dedication for you!! Congratulations to you both. Finally on the 21st December, we held our own Christmas Party. It was great to see so many friends and Scouters from around the District joining us for the evening. I hope you all enjoyed it.
Before I close I would like to thank all of my team in The Active Support Unit for their support during the past year. No matter what I ask of them, even at short notice, they are always there. Thank you all.
A Happy New Year to everyone in Southampton City District.
PS. I have just been notified by The Southampton Branch of The Royal British Legion that members of The Active Support Unit who collected at both local branches of Sainsburys,for The Poppy Appeal collected £692.36.This is a fantastic amount thank you and well done to those of my members who were involved.
Posted on Monday, December 26th, 2011
The show was compared by Andy Clasby, Floor manager Rob Greenaway and the expert panel of judges where Colin Floyd, Stuart Ganney, Denise Clasby and Sarah Durham.
The four Patrols put a lot of effort into their costumes and thoroughly enjoyed preparing for and taking part in the show.
Following the show Stuart Ganney presented Rozy Toomer and Jacob Lovegrove with their Chief Scout Gold Awards. From all the young people and all the Leaders of the 9th group Congratulations to them on this achievement.
The meeting finished with refreshments.
I wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy 2012
Posted on Monday, December 26th, 2011
In November, we held our annual Quiz Night. A fantastic time was had by all and Andrew and Louise’s team were the winners! Between these two events we raised over £500.
We wish everyone in the District a Happy Christmas, and best wishes for 2012.
Posted on Thursday, December 22nd, 2011
After our District Development Day it was obvious that we need to support you and your Groups far better. The District Team and I have been working on how we can do that. In the last six months, since I was appointed. we have made some changes to the way we support all of you and hopefully in 2012 we will see those changes making an impact.
We have now launched a far better District Web Site which is now live and if you have not already looked at it please do so. The address is www.southamptoncityscouts.co.uk
I would encourage you to register yourself individually, as a member of the District, on the site so that you can look in the member’s area. You can do that by registering at the bottom of the home page here.
Nico Chart and Sam Chapman now head up the Leader Training Team and we are on the lookout for many more Training Advisers. We have a substantial amount of adults in Leadership roles that require training and support. We will be actively doing just that in 2012.
We have a new Appointments Secretary in Lyn Westerman. She has made a great start with the help of Mike Jackson and Graham Meering to take on that role. This will enable us to carry out the appointment procedures and just as importantly the reviewing of our appointments far easier in the future.
Graham and I are looking at additional ways that we can bring more adults from all sections of the community into Scouting. We have far too many vacancies at some very key positions which we need to resolve that in 2012.
Thelma is now the Group Support for all Groups. This is a new appointment in our District but one that is desperately needed. We have three Groups that do not, currently, have a GSL. Thelma is helping support those Groups until a person can be appointed. When that happens she will be able to develop her Group Support role much more to support all the Groups throughout the District, not just two or three.
We are now looking at ways in which we can improve Wilverley, District Camp Site. We have recently improved the sleeping arrangements by purchasing £3,500 of new mattresses and we are now looking to raise sufficient funds to enable us to have an electrical supply at the site and to do away with the need for the generator. This fund raising campaign will start soon .If anyone has any good ideas of where funding may be available please contact me. Peter Hull is the main contact for booking the site and facilities but Richard Cook is now helping him by taking on the finances of the hiring’s. I have had an introductory meeting with Mark Street of the Forestry Commission and we have started some initial discussions about our need to secure a long term licence for the use of Wilverley. I am pleased to say Mark has now written to me to confirm they are willing to offer us a long term licence for an additional 21 years. This of course will need to be formally agreed between us and the Forestry and the Scout Trust Corporation. Further details on Wilverley and its availability are now on the new website.
In May we have our District camp at Fernycroft and I for one look forward to that weekend. It will be a great opportunity for us all to get together and have fun. The planning for that Camp has already started. We have arranged a meeting at Fernycroft on the 15th January at 10.45am to discuss with you all about what you would like. I have also invited a small working party to help us make sure this is the best District Camp yet. Please do not forget to design your Camp badge and bring them with you on the 15th.
Please note we have a District Team / GSL’s next meeting on the 11th January at the 7th HQ at 7.45pm. Those of you that are in the District Team or are GSL’s please put this meeting in your diaries or give me your apologies.
It is important that we celebrate with all the young people when they are awarded their various Bronze, Silver, Gold and On-Going Awards. We need to make sure that they are on the Roll of Honour within Hampshire Scouting News. All the other Districts in the County are good at publicising these achievements but we are not. In future could the details of all Awards be sent to me. I will make sure they are published.
The District agreed to purchase, for each of the Section Leaders, a Diamond Jubilee badge. I have distributed most of them but if any Leader has not got one please tell me as I have some left.
The District Executive, last July, gave each group £1,000. If you have not already informed Richard Cook, the District Secretary, what you have decided to use this money for could you please do so and a letter of thanks would be appreciated…
I continue to get out and about and attend as many events as I can, especially those that I am very kindly invited too.
I was invited to the Cub and Beaver Pantomime which this year was The Borrowers. It is a story all about little people who live under your floors and borrow things. I have not slept well since, thinking of these little people under the floor boards. Perhaps that is where all the additional volunteers are kept!!
I was also very pleased to visit the 1st to say ‘Goodbye’ to Carol Gilbert, the Cub Leader. She is moving to Manchester to be nearer her family. I have many pleasant memories of good summer days going out with her and her Cubs for a day trip. She will be very much missed in Southampton Scouting.
I spent a Saturday evening at the Explorer Christmas Camp at Wilverley. This was very well attended by all of the Units in the District. They had a huge hog roast in the evening but by the time I arrived most of that had gone! They had a great time and well done to Dave & Ian and the Explorer Leaders for organising the camp.
If you ever want to get into the spirit of Christmas I suggest that you start by attending the Beaver Christingle Service which this year was held at St James Church. It is always a lovely occasion and all the Beaver sections take part in the Service. It was lovely when the lights went down and every young person had a lit Christingle, a very special event. Well done to everyone who took part and to Lin and her team for organising it.
I was invited, after the Christingle service, to visit the 13th Sea Scout Group Senior Citizens Party. This is an annual event that has been traditionally organised for over forty years. The young people participated in a show which was well received by those that attended; also the carols and food were delightful. Again this event is a good way to involve Scouting better in the community which is wonderful.
I was very pleased to attend the presentation evening for three new Queen Scout Award Winners. Many congratulations go to Jen Oates, Lisa Munday and Michael Freeman who were presented with their Awards by Adam Jollans, the County Commissioner. Well done and congratulations to them all.
I had the pleasure of joining the Cub Carol Service. It was very well presented by Laura and the 13th Cubs and Chris Davis our District Chaplain. As usual the service was fun and great entertainment especially the shepherds who were, I thought, just great!!
I was also invited to the 25th Cub Sleepover in Braishfield Village Hall. The Cubs were there for the weekend and I called in on the Saturday evening, which was great. They were having a good time having made excellent igloos. I left just before they were supposed to go to sleep!!
I was kindly invited to the 9th Beavers Pirate Evening. Great fun was had by all. All the Beavers dressed up as pirates and were having a great time. Once again the food was great!
I have also had the pleasure to attend the 25th Sea Scout Royal Navel Inspection. This was carried out by Lieutenant Commander Royal Navy K A Cahill. The Inspection was very well attended by the Group and the young people made the Group proud. These inspections take place every eighteen months, one in the winter and the other in the summer. Well done to Clive and his Team of Leaders and also to everyone connected to the Group for being recognised once again by the Royal Navy. This is no mean feat as nationally there are three hundred and fifty Sea Scout Groups with only one hundred and one groups having recognition in this way.
Andy Clasby invited me to judge at the 9th Scouts Fashion Show. This was a fun evening with parents and the families of the young people in attendance. The Scouts joined in with the spirit of the evening and clearly they had a great time. Those of you that know how I approach volunteering to be a Scout Leader will be able to tell you I am up for the young people having fun. It is that which must be at the core of everything that we do.
My final invite, for the month, was to join the Active Support Group in their American Supper held at the 11th HQ. That was a lovely evening and it gave us some time to relax and really start to enjoy our Christmas. Thank you for inviting me.
That is all the main events. I have attended numerous Scouting meetings but I won’t bore you with those.
Please don’t forget if you need to speak to me with anything your concerned about just give me a call and I am sure I can help you.
Mob Tel 07770364711 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Yours in Scouting
Posted on Tuesday, December 20th, 2011
All sections are represented on the evening from Beavers right through to Explorers and we need to find space to accommodate everybody. It is a great time to get the entire Unit together and allows all sections to see what the other sections do and for leaders and assistants to meet each other.
RN Staff Officer (Sea Scouts), a Lieutenant Commander who works for Flag Officer Sea Training, carries out the inspection. Lt Cdr Karen Cahill has recently taken over this role and this was our first inspection by Lt Cdr Cahill. Tuesday 13th December was the designated date for our inspection.
On Tuesday 13th December 1830 hrs our headquarters, at Crosshouse, was buzzing with activity. Young people arriving, uniforms pressed and shoes polished. Some parents stayed for the evening. County Commissioner Adam Jollens arrived to represent County, District Commissioner Colin Floyd arrived to represent Southampton City District and various other guests arrived. Activities were being set up and getting under way. Lt Cdr Cahill arrived at 1900 hrs and was greeted by Clive Aylet our GSL. The inspection was under way.
Explorers set up in the garage, got a fire under way in the fire pit and demonstrated their cooking skills. Whilst in the hall Beavers, Cubs and Scouts carried out a range of activities demonstrating their skills. Members of the Executive were busy in the kitchen supplying drinks and biscuits. Explorers then moved into the hall with four Explorers and an Assistant Leader demonstrating their musical talents and playing a couple of carols with the rest of Explorers singing.
There then followed a presentation of a Chief Scouts Gold to James Mintoff and investing of Richard Chapman as an Assistant Scout Leader. ESL Dave McKeeman presented a flag to the Enterprise Explorer unit to mark his five years with the section and taking over as ESL in 2011. Enterprise now has its own flag. James Mintoff was invested into Enterprise Explorer unit. Explorers like to invest on the water and this called for a bit of improvisation – James stood in a bowl of water whilst being invested.
Following these presentations, a formal inspection of Scouts and Explorers was carried out by Lt Cdr Cahill. Lt Cdr Cahill then spoke with the unit on completion of her inspection and confirmed that we had retained our RN recognition. The 25th Southampton has been a RN recognised unit for fifty five years. We carry on with the programme and look forward to meeting Lt Cdr Cahill at a time when we can get out on the water and show off our nautical skills.
You might ask “What is a RN recognised Sea Scout unit?” RN recognised Sea Scouts are much more than Scouts with a nautical twist. Of the three hundred and fifty Sea Scout groups in the UK only one hundred and one are officially recognised. In return for maintaining high standards of Scouting programme, water activities, discipline and smartness, they enjoy access to RN facilities and equipment. This entails achieving and maintaining the high standards of the Scout programme, water activities, discipline and smartness, with these being checked at formal inspections held every 18-24 months. Recognised groups work hard to ensure their Scouts continue to meet the criteria laid down by the Senior Service, which opens the door to use of facilities at locations including HMS Bristol in Portsmouth, HMS Raleigh at Torpoint and RN sailing centres. In addition they can access grants from the Admiralty Fund administered by the Scout Association. Their Scouts and Explorers are also eligible to enter the ‘Big Four’ events – the swimming gala at HMS Raleigh early in the year, the week-long summer camp at HMS Bristol in Portsmouth, the Soccer Sixes tournament in late September/early October and the Explorer Camp during the autumn half-term. We now look forward to our next inspection and maintaining our RN recognition.
Dave McKeeman ESL Enterprise
25th Southampton (Northam) Sea Scouts
Posted on Thursday, December 1st, 2011
During the school half term Geoff and Lin Johnson organised yet again the Exbury Gardens Ghost Train. This is the eighth year this event has taken place. It is a fine example of how Scouting can get out into the community and promote Scouting and also have great fun. A special thank you to Lin and Geoff and to all those involved and to Exbury Gardens for their continued support.
Graham and I went along to an open evening at the 26th Scout Group with the aim of inviting some new Cubs to join the pack as the numbers are a bit low at present. We had some success but we have more to do. We are also looking at starting up a new Beaver Colony, when the Leadership team has been identified. If you would like to run your own Beaver Colony I would be interested in talking to you about that. Also if any groups have Cubs on waiting lists that they cannot accommodate could you refer them to me please and I will ask them if they would like to join the 26th Cub pack.
I attended the Hampshire County Conference at Alton. The main themes for that day was the Scouting Vision to 2018, Younger member involvement and Safeguarding. These topics also sit high up on our priority list. I will be talking soon to the Young Leaders in our District as to how we can get them more heavily involved in all areas of our Scouting and its decision making. The County has a Youth Council and taking that it seems to me that we as a District should also set up such a Council to help me drive Scouting forward in the direction that they would want. For those that need to attend Safeguarding Training and advice this is high on the list of priorities for Nico and his training programme. He will be talking about this further to those requiring this support.
Nico Chart and Sam Chapman have started organising the new Leader Training arrangements, and they, I am sure will be setting up to meet with those of you that have already offered to be a new Training Adviser. If you have not offered to help please contact Nico directly I for one would be very grateful we have far too many leaders requiring advice and help getting fully trained.
Andy Sager, Arthur Ashton and I have met with Zoe Cox the Forest Ranger to discuss the use of the Wilverley Camp Site. We are about to renegotiate the licence agreement for the site and explore with them the arrangements for the site with the aim of gaining a long term licence and security of tenure, which will enable us to seek grant funding for a permanent electrical supply to the buildings. You will be pleased to be told that if you sleep at Wilverley now you will have a really comfortable new mattress to sleep upon. They are lovely!! Please remember that if you wish to book Wilverley Peter Hull is the booking officer and Richard Cook is the new person dealing with all the invoicing and payments.
It was really good to get the District Team and the Group Scout Leaders together for our fist meeting we had lots to talk about hence the meeting finished very late. I will be holding these meeting four times a year instead of three as I really want us to work together more often and discuss how we as a district team can support each and every group. We will need to work much more as a team across all areas of our scouting if we are to deliver better outcomes.
The District Executive has kindly agreed to buy each and every Leader a jubilee badge these will be distributed to you hopefully before Christmas and can be worn right away above your purple badge shirt uniform pocket. If I see any adult without one I will be asking why!! So get sewing and remember the badge needs to be removed on the 31st December 2012 so don’t glue it on.
I attended a BIG SOCIETY event at St Mary’s Football Stadium to meet people from companies in Southampton who are looking to sponsor and support charitable organisations. This is an initiative that we need to explore far more and see what support we can gain from the business world.
On Remembrance Sunday I joined the 29th Scout Group at the Immaculata Church for the service. This was again a great way for Scouting to be seen out in the community and the 29th did Scouting proud. Well done to everyone who attended and again Russ thank you for inviting me and presenting me with your Group badge I will wear it with pride.
I continue to press ahead with my DC training. This training lark is easy if you go for it!! Hopefully I will complete my
training within a few months. Of course the main benefit of attending any training session is it is a really good chance to bounce ideas off other DC’s and share ideas.
I along with Russell Andrews and Neil Webb attended the DC / GSL training weekend at the Swan Hotel, Alresford. It was a great opportunity for me to understand more of the work required now of a GSL and it also gave me another opportunity to meet and spend time with a number of other District Commissioners.It was a very good weekend full of fun but really hard work. Having spoken to Russ and Neil they said that they found it helpful and informative. Next year the County will be holding other training weekends and I would recommend this event to all the other six GSL’s. You would find it very helpful to you in your management role. Some of the key messages from the weekend will be discussed at the District Team / GSL’s next meeting on the 11th January at the 7th HQ at 7.45pm. Those of you that are in the District Team or are GSL’s please put this meeting in your diaries.
Unfortunately because of this training weekend I was unable to attend this years Swimming Gala at the Quays but I hear it was a great success with a great response from groups participating in this district event. Well done to all those that took part and a huge thank you to those that organised the event Doreen, Carol and Graham and Geoff just to name a few.
I visited the 25th Group Executive meeting and spent the evening talking to them about how the want to take the Group forward. They were telling me that if any Group wishes to go onto the water the facilities that they have at the 25th are always available just contact Clive and he will help you. Of course you will need to arrange with him and the District Instructors that you have the suitably qualified Instructors arranged.
It is important that we celebrate with all the Young People when they are awarded their various Bronze, Silver, Gold and ongoing awards. We need to make sure that these are on the roll of honour within Hampshire Scouting News. All the other districts in the County are good at publicising these achievements but we are not. In future could the details of all awards be sent to me and I will make sure they are published.
That will do for this month I am sure that the lead up to Christmas will be just as busy, we have the 9th Fashion Show, Explorer Christmas Camp, Beaver Christingle, Cub Carol Service, and the Beaver Pantomime.
Can I send you all best my wishes for a very Happy Christmas and all the very best for a wonderful 2012.
Please don’t forget if you need to speak to me with anything your concerned about just give me a call and I am sure I can help you.
Yours in Scouting