1st Caterham (St Mary’s) Scout Group continues to be an active scout group, although numbers of young people and particularly of adults willing to volunteer their time is falling. We play an active role as one of the scout groups in the Caterham District with approximately 13 Beaver Scouts (aged between 5¾ and 8 years old), 10 Cub Scouts (8 to 10 ½ years old) and 6 Scouts (10½ to 14½ years old) and are fortunate to own our own headquarters.
We do have a dedicate band of adult leaders who provide a challenging and varied programme which is fun for all ages of our young people. If anyone would like to come and help us, we would love to hear from you. Beavers run on Thursdays 6:15 to 7:15, Cubs on Thursdays from 7:30 to 8:30 and Scouts on Fridays from 7:30 to 9:00. Given our leadership position, we have just moved cubs onto the same night as beavers so that the adult leaders have more support.
The group, in common with many voluntary organisations, is hugely dependant on our adult volunteers, and we are grateful for the time that many people give to the group, both as uniformed leaders and as members of the group executive, who also act as charity trustees for the group. I would like to express my thanks to the uniformed leaders and to the group executive.
All adults involved with the group have been through appropriate DBS check and have completed the mandatory training in Safeguarding, Safe Scouting, First Aid and GDPR.
All three sections have enjoyed indoor and returning to outdoor activities over the last year, some specifically geared towards gaining their activity badges, others just towards having a good time. The beavers have been on walks locally in Caterham, had visitors to talk about a variety of topics, and made loads of things of a craft(y) nature! Cubs have cooked, ridden bikes, walked, swum, boated and celebrated. The scouts have done a lot of cooking, played games, studied the world, and participated in loads of outdoor activities such as walking, camping, sailing, climbing and more camping. We are keen to further strengthen the links between the Church and the Scout Group, by agreeing a programme of parade services that are engaging for the young people.
When the young people move on from scouts and want to stay within the scouting family, they have the option to join the Caterham explorer unit or to just stay with the scouts as Young Leaders (officially as explorers) to gain their Duke of Edinburgh bronze and silver awards. The explorer unit is run centrally by Caterham scouts but, again, is often hampered by a lack of adult leaders.
1st Caterham participated in the Remembrance Day parade in Caterham on the Hill and the annual St Georges Day parade and many other events, such as, the Dene fireworks, the Bunny fun run, and the Scouts Christmas card post service. Several of these events are significant fund raisers for the Group which has meant that we have not had to increase the subscriptions that our young people pay, which is particularly important in the current financial climate.
The link to our sponsor, St Mary’s Church Caterham, has been limited, we were in Church for the Scouts Christingle service however, other church parades haven’t been possible. I hope that we can recommence these in the not-too-distant future.
We reported last year, our hut is getting quite old with the maintenance problems that entails are increasing; we own our own building, which is in the grounds of Hillcroft school. The roof has now been replaced, the heating and electrics checked and where necessary upgraded and the boiler serviced, and we are seeking funding for the replacement of the windows.
Scouts, as an organisation, have proved resilient with so many other activities available for young people nowadays. We allow the children to experience many activities which they would not otherwise be able to do. We are only limited the availability of adults to help, if you would like to help the group in anyway, particular in the areas detailed above, please contact me on email@example.com, it really is great fun!
This will be my final annual report as Group Scout Leader as I am moving to another (voluntary) role within Scouting. This means that the group is looking for a new GSL.
Andrew Brownless – Group Scout Leader