Scouts Rea Valley
Annual Report 2018
361 volunteers supporting 1,241 young people RESILIENCE
It has been a full and adventurous year in Rea Valley. Beavers, Cubs, Scouts, Explorers and Network have experienced fun and adventure here in Birmingham, around the country and abroad. The volunteers who make it all happen are building a strong community in Rea Valley by supporting young people to build their confidence, as leaders introduce them to new adventures week on week. I know I keep saying it, butâ€Ś Scouting is remarkable and Scout volunteers are remarkable, for your enthusiasm, your energy, your willingness to learn and share new skills and the sheer quantity and quality of your service to your local community through serving the young people who thrive in Rea Valley Scouting. Thank you for a wonderful year. Abigail McMillan District Chair
Since taking on the role of District Commissioner in July, I have been amazed by the impact our amazing volunteers have on so many young people’s lives. I’ll always enjoy celebrating the big moments, and we have had many of these in Rea Valley in 2018, but I can’t help but smile when seeing the real impact of the ‘small things’ we do. Hearing a Beaver Scout half way through camp state his highlight not as toasting marshmallows like his friends had said, but as learning to wash up, reading on Facebook about the journey of one young person from major heart surgery to a three-night camp, and finding out that Scouts from St. David’s had begun playing volleyball with Scouts from Victoria School and instinctively chose to change the game to sitting volleyball to match physical abilities – there are so many moments to cherish in what we do as Scouts, sometimes we just need the opportunity to sit back and reflect on them! Rachel Wallace District Commissioner
From learning to steer a canal boat, to jumping off walls in parkour, mountain biking at night, to sorting shoe donations for refugees â€“ the activities in Rea Valley have been many and varied in 2018. Over 150 Beavers camped at Rea Away the first nights under canvas for many of these. Beavers have also been exploring their communities by visiting fire stations and hiking in the local countryside amongst many other activities. The 2018 TK Trophy saw Cubs competing at Laser Quest and Cubsâ€™ skills were once again put to the test in the Brockhouse Challenge - focusing on both bushcraft skills and teamwork. Forward was once again a huge success for the Scout section with more than 100 Scouts learning different skills with the support of both adult volunteers and Young Leaders. Backwoods is also now becoming a well-established event for Scouts to push themselves to learn survival skills in a friendly and supportive environment. Explorers took part in the London Monopoly Run in April (which Tenacious leaders beat 240 other teams to win) and the summer saw many Explorer Scouts completing their Duke of Edinburgh expeditions.
Rea Valley Network continues to grow and is seeing a growing emphasis on working towards top awards. The perseverance, determination and hard work shown by Network members was truly inspirational in 2018 - not even a broken collar bone was enough to stop one Network member completing her gold Duke of Edinburgh expedition!
137 young people have gained the top award in their Sections.
61 Chief Scout’s Bronze Awards 49 Chief Scout’s Silver Awards
17 Chief Scout’s Gold Awards 6 Chief Scout’s Platinum Awards 4 Chief Scout’s Diamond Awards 5 Young Leader Belts 6 Queen’s Scout Awards
Congratulations to all the volunteers who have been recognised with long service and good service awards this year. Sonia Payne’s specially distinguished service as Group Scout Leader was recognised through the award of the Silver Acorn. Sonia has been instrumental in the growth of Victoria Scout Group, enabling hundreds of young people with a range of special needs to benefit from Scouting. Brian Lewis also received the Silver Acorn for his specially distinguished service in a wide range of roles, organising and supporting large events, running weekly meetings and supporting other leaders in their development. The Silver Wolf, the highest adult award in The Scouts, was presented to Roger Morcom during Rea Away. A former DC and Chair of Rea Valley, Roger has now ‘gone home’, but his enthusiasm, passion and commitment to Scouting live on in the many people he inspired in Rea Valley and throughout Birmingham County.
Roger Morcorm at Ariel Group Camp 2017 - leading a campfire song
July saw 964 Beavers, Cubs, Scouts, Explorers and adult volunteers descend on Blackwell Court for Rea Away 3. In blistering sunshine, the beach-themed programme saw young people from every Group in the District learning new skills and enjoying spending time with friends old and new. In the Castaway Zone, participants learned to use different tools safely, lit fires, made crafts with paracord, completed tent-pitching challenges and cooked on open fires. A â€˜pierâ€™ took over a large proportion of the site, where young people built sandcastles, played a range of sports, had a go at juggling, went caving and tackled the inflatable obstacle course. Young people also soared through the sky in the high-ropes course, splashed around in the swimming pool, sung together around the campfires, and competed in an unforgettable soap-box derby. Feedback from young people and parents was overwhelmingly positive thanks to the hard work and dedication of Young Leaders and adult volunteers from throughout the District and further afield.
Our young people have continued to explore the world with trips to Iceland and France this year, where they have taken part in water sports, been whale watching and visited famous landmarks such as the blue lagoon. Our World Scout Jamboree participants have also been busy fundraising and preparing for their adventure in North America in July and August 2019. With the support of their families, the 9 Explorer Scouts have been packing bags, baking cakes and organising social events to reach their fundraising target.
Our total youth membership has seen a slight decline in 2018, but we have seen Beacon Scout Group successfully reopen their Scout section and we have plans to bring Scouting to more young people in our communities in 2019 and beyond. This year has seen the early preparations across Birmingham for our partnership with The PEARS Foundation as well as a trial with the Regional Services Team of supporting smaller existing sections to grow. Working together with PEARS and the RST, we have ambitious plans to involve more young people in Scouting and increase the positive impact we have.
Draft Report of Rea Valley District Annual Report