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ycles ok to their bic to t a th rs re lo exp allenge the scouts and untain bike ch o m ty n u co e for th

PLUS..u. ever been sailing? Have yo

leaders, unities for rt o p p o g in es. g fun besid offers learn ing centre ty of sailin il n le sa p t u d o n a sc Somerset’s ung people ater for yo w e th n o s day You scout es from around the ori All your st port from uding a re cl in day. county road safety t rs fi ’s ty n the cou

s elebration Birthday c tinues with its year n Somerset co s 25th. for Beaver’ g in y rt a p f o

challenge Taking the and leaders ple y. Young peo bration da le

t ce awarded a

dress... our new web aed .uk/scoutout rg .o ts u co ts rs e m o .s www and share w o n t u tO u o Sc rk a m k boo ook with friends via Faceb

c s you District and County news Send us yours

outs. scoutout@somersetsc

WSJ Big Breakfast

Driving Skills


xplorers selected for the World Scout Jamboree held a fundraising big breakfast in Yeovil in March. St Andrews Scout Group HQ was decked out like a café and it was soon filled with hungry supporters. Leaders and parents helped prepare, cook and serve the breakfasts the explorers carried off the fundraiser with great success raising £269.54 in profit. The money goes towards covering the cost of visiting this year’s World Scout Jamboree which the young people going have had to fund-raise all themselves.

r u o T e n i g n E ! e r i F


rinity Beavers enjoyed a tour of Taunton’s fire station back in February. The station’s White Watch showed the beavers around all of the fire engines, let the youngsters spray water from the engine’s hoses and led the group on a tour around the fire house. And, as if spraying a fireman’s hose wasn’t enough excitement, the Beavers found the automatic ejection of the charging lead from the fire engines to be brilliant! With thanks to Matthew Franks.


oung people in Somerset were given the chance to get behind the wheel of a 52 seat coach, driving school cars and even an articulated HGV in March as forty two scouts spent a day learning about road safety and awareness. “This was the young people’s idea,” said event coordinator Stuart Talbott. “We’ve had some really positive feedback from parents telling us the young people went home after the event full of ideas about how to make their experiences on the county’s roads safer ones.” The Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service also bought along their driving simulator to the road safety and awareness event. The simulator gave young people the chance to experience what drunk and drugged driving is like as well as how difficult it can be to stop a vehicle if someone walks out into the road unexpectedly.

Fun c i s s a r u J Vargflock, Vargflock, S Vargflock (Swedish).


rome cubs held a Swedish night in April with a WSJ Sweden theme. The cubs from 10th Frome dressed up in blue and yellow clothing and played ‘Kubb’ – a kind of team skittles game. They also tried some real Swedish foods including roll mop herrings, crispbreads, chocolate oatcakes, raspberry desserts and ginger biscuits. The cubs even found some time to make Viking helmets and did their grand howl in Swedish. Vargflock, vargflock, vargflock: Pack, pack, pack.

omerton Scout Group went to adventure camp PGL Osmington Bay in April. Both cubs and scouts stayed at the park just outside of Weymouth on the Jurassic Coast. Everyone had a go at the ‘Jacob’s Ladder’ climbing activity, the zip wire and the archery. Afterwards the scouts raced around on quad bikes and the cubs went and played on the park’s big swings. Everyone had such a great time some of the cubs and scouts didn’t want to leave!

k u . g r o . s t u o c s www.somerset

. . . t cou A Capitol Time


ubs from Yeovil visited the Palace of Westminster in March. 27 youngsters and their seven leaders made the journey to London after being invited by MP David Laws. The group were treated to a tour of the House of Commons during which the cubs were delighted with stories about Henry the VIII and Guy Fawkes. The group then went to Westminster Abbey where they held a scouts own at the memorial to Lord and Lady Baden Powell. During the ceremony Nathan Bowden-Hoyland and Kieran Saywell were presented with their Chief Scout’s Silver Awards for which they had to complete six challenge badges over two years.


nd Central Scouts completed their expedition challenge badge by also taking a trip to London for a weekend in March. They travelled by train and while in the city visited the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum before popping into Baden Powell House for hot chocolate. The scouts also had a tour of Tower Bridge and vsited The Monument. The Monument is a monument built in memory of the Great Fire of London of 1666. All nine scouts on the expedition made it up 311 steps to the top where they were treated to some fantastic views of London.

t i s i V g n i t e e l F A


eavers from 1st Wellington in Taunton Deane visited the Fleet Air Arm Museum in March. The beavers toured the museum’s collections before playing games, having dinner and watching Toy Story 3. The youngsters then enjoyed a sleepover at the group’s HQ.

Exec Training Opportunity


e’re holding a workshop for Exec Committee members in October. I know it seems like a long way off but what better time to get it in your diary! We will be covering subjects such as GSL-Chair partnerships, adult recruitment, effective SAS support, network, explorers, sub committees, budget setting and agenda ideas. It’s a great opportunity to meet other Exec Members, network, share ideas and be inspired in your role. Tangier Scout Centre, Taunton. RSVP Claire Chick.

Census Summary


or the first time ever more girls joined the scouts nationwide than boys. 4330 girls and 3796 boys became members between January 2010 and January 2011 and overall membership is up by 14% from 444,059 in 2005 to 507,867 in 2011. This last year saw a rise in female membership of 6.9% and it’s up 88% on 2005. 66,576 girls now enjoy scouting in the UK while the nation’s waiting lists remain high at over 33,000 names. In Somerset we grew by 2.8% on 2009 recruiting 131 people across the county and our total membership rose to 4803. This accounts for 9.5% of the South West’s membership of 50,556 which in itself is up by 2.5% on 2009/2010. In total Somerset is home to 748 girl scouts, 3,093 boy scouts, 749 leaders and 213 in organisational support.

Contacting us

W Hiking Champs


eating 21 teams to come in first place, the Great Lyde Comanche Cubs triumphed at the Yeovil District hiking competition in March. Teams orienteered their way around a six km course taking part in a series of challenges on their way including a scavenger hunt. The winning group were then presented with the rather shiny Centaur Hike Trophy.

ith the launch of our brand new county website last month the media team has also been busy setting up easily recognisable and memorable email addresses for contacts at county. County Commissioner Shaun Dale, for example, can now be contacted via And because our new email addresses are role not name specific (in most cases) you no longer need to change your address book every time an appointment changes within the county management. You can find a full list of current county contacts at Getting your message to the right person has never been easier!

website ty n u o c w e n r u o t check ou


1 1 0 2 N I A T N U O M BIKE E G N E L L A H C

e at this year’s cycle Competition was fierc pedal-off to decide cross with a dramatic ce and for all. the county champs on


ust as everyone thought the racing was over, six of the highest scoring competitors had to cycle the course ers. once more to decide this year’s winn as on d looke rers Sixty scouts and explo rs chee the and ded soun was the start horn s erupted. Hoards of eager spectator grouped around vantage points to catch they a glimpse of the passing cyclists as leader cycled for their final positions on the . races board after a day of

Deputy County This year’s County Mountain Bike Commissioner Pete Divall Some Challenge was bathed in sunshine. was at the event to present s other would say conditions were perfect, the winning cyclists with their mud! would say there wasn’t nearly enough certificates. He said: “The event Whatever your opinion on the weather was superb, the weather was one the event was a real treat for every marvellous and the young people ury taking part. The route around Tedb all thoroughly enjoyed themselves. s, Camp took in grassy plains, sharp bend so It’s an event that can be enjoyed by steep inclines, devious bicycle slaloms, and ss fitne the in s bring it use many beca paths steep down hills, jumps, and narrow well as the as ents elem s enes etitiv comp g it in through the woods. Each scout takin get usual fun and enjoyment that we all e. The turns to join races around the cours ting.” scou from as one youngsters lined up at the start line er anoth s wood the into off d darte group race. was ready and waiting for their next much so – elling comp was The excitement to took even rs leade fitter the of some so e. cours the nd their wheels for a sprint arou every day the of most for on Races went and in fifteen minutes from 10am until 2pm were e Ther part. each race ten scouts took – 12 11, – 10 ps, grou age four competing t 13, 14 – 15 and 16 – 17 and each cyclis in the was awarded points for their position were s total g racin the of end race. At the this Pictured: calculated and rankings awarded but ed in decid be to had Ewan Meagher, year the final positions Ben Shattock, a dramatic decider.

Edward Francis, Matthew Bracher, Nathan Peeler, Will Iredale, David Middleton, Ben Rigg, Chris Fone, Reuben Whitcombe

We made a video! check it out online...


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lick the video box or visit / media/pictures/


County Champs

1st Place Winners t Watchet 10-11 Ewan Meagher, 1s her, 12-13 1st Matthew Brac West Coker 1st Watchet 14-15 David Middleton, be 16-17 Reuben Whitcom Centrum Explorers



e r u t n e Adv ht level at the rig

Three new hill walkers, a fleet of canoes and a whole scout sailing centre: it’s adventures for all, and that includes the grown-ups.


omerset took over ownership of the scout sailing centre at Sutton Bingham this year. With its cupboard full of kit and three Comet Trio sailing boats the Somerset Scout Sailing Centre is primed and ready for a summer of sailing fun. In March Russ Witcher, water activities permit assessor, and the Sutton Bingham team held two sailing experience days. Both leaders with sailing knowledge and leaders without tried their sea legs on the waters of Sutton Bingham

reservoir near Yeovil. Permits were recommended, spinnakers were hoisted and some leaders were inspired to stick around and gain experience and qualifications. In fact the sailing centre now offers the opportunity for leaders to gain sailing and motor boat qualifications in return for offering your services and skills at a few sailing weekends during the year. It’s a great way to learn if you’ve never been on the water before and because you’re helping us out with leadership for the young people we help you out with the cost of learning. The sailing centre is booked up throughout the summer so there is no lack of opportunity to get out sailing and enjoying yourself. Groups in Somerset are also invited to book sailing experience days up at Sutton Bingham. All kit is provided, all you need are a bunch of enthusiastic young people!

t s 1 2 Y MA

Next try out sailing day:

Contacts: Chris Jones (Chairman) 01935 474212 Paul Holbrook (Bookings and Helms) 01935 851239

Jake and Becca celebrate being back on the water


both March and April aking to the water in ed using their four the Levels Scouts enjoy es. The group were brand new open cano pft and associated equi able to purchase the cra erset of £3,500 from the Som ment with a donation e th n plus £500 from Community Foundatio . Langport Rotary Club er Parrett for two Riv e th They paddled on

for their first day trip evenings in preparation Both g the Easter holidays. which took place durin Becky ully clear and explorer tif au be re we gs in en ev ter.” t to be back on the wa Owen said, "It was grea the Oa nt from Langport to The canoe day trip we ning Explorers are now plan ls ve Le e th of Six . ck Lo noe E Gold Expedition by ca to complete their D of in the summer of 2012.

And bring a pair of good sturdy boots...


ide open spaces, big skies and an endless stream of grid referencing opportunities. Just a few of the joys of Dartmoor! And it’s where 21 Somerset leaders spent the weekend in March hiking. It was a training weekend led by Hill Walking Advisor Tony Dyson that tested both practical and technical skills. The group stayed in simple lodgings just south of Princetown on the moor in bunk bed dormitories. There was plenty of micro-navigating to and fro very specific points covering about 15km over the day. Three of the leaders on the trip were recommended for their hill walking permits while the remainder are continuing their training. “Gaining the permit means I can now deliver hikes away from home (i.e. on open moorland type areas) with more confidence, now that my abilities have been tested, and for parents I think it gives them peace of mind knowing that I have been assessed for leading groups on wilder terrain. In the process I learnt many new techniques which are really useful to have,” said Renira Rutherford (scout leader at South Petherton). The permits awarded allow leaders to accompany young people up to 800m above sea level which covers most of southern

Britain and a large portion of northern Britain. “I feel a responsibility to learn and gain qualifications when I can in order to be able offer more skills and adventure to my scouts. And I enjoy it - the learning is as much for my own interest too. It’s a fantastic opportunity for leaders,” said Renira, “I only wish I had a careers advisor who could have told me about scouting before. It was not available to me as a teenager so I never considered scouting as a voluntary leader until I started looking and I then realised that scouting offered me all the opportunities to continue all that I enjoy at the same time as helping others gain new skills and confidence. I’d love to look into a crystal ball and see what the scouts may remember and use in life.” If you would like to improve your hill walking skills or gain a permit in something adventurous such as sailing or canoeing, drop us an email and we can put you in touch with the right people.

couts scoutout@somersets



elebrations continue around Somerset to mark the 25th anniversary of beaver scouting. In Wellington, during March, beavers held a district birthday party for Taunton Deane at Wellington Junior School. Over 100 youngsters turned out for a day of games and disco dancing. Even the limbo set was dug out adding a certain spice of challenge to the festivities and pass the parcel went down very well with the beavers as it so often does. “I think it was something to do with all the sweets that were available every time the music stopped!” said Jacqui Hopkins - ADC Beavers Taunton. But the fun doesn’t stop there. The big beaver party is this September at Merryfield Airfield near Ilton. The Beaver 25 Fun Day looks set to be a corker with a climbing wall, assault course, a craft tent and not just one but several bouncy castles! This takes place on Sunday September 18th 10am – 4.30pm and details can be found on the county diary.

Beavers are also being given the chance to design a celebratory badge for the 25th anniversary. The competition is to design a two part badge, 4 inches in diameter, for your camp blankets and there is a prize for the winning design. In order to earn the badge beavers are invited to embark on their Beaver Challenge and attend the fun Click day in September. Closing date for design entries is d fin here to July 31st and for more information about the details of badge competition, September’s Beaver requirements for ty earning the badge and un co r ou on Fun Day the fun day contact diary: Tricia Sedgebeer: accoperations@


Bear in the Air t s e W h t Sou


inal preparations are in place and months of planning are at last coming together for the Chief Scout’s visit to Somerset on May 7th. Bear Grylls is visiting two locations in the county as part of his two day tour of the South West by helicopter and hundreds of scouts and leaders have signed up to be at Somerset’s events to see Bear. At Huish Woods near Taunton, the Network scouts spent the Easter weekend building a brand new gateway onto the Beacon field. The old one, made of pioneering poles, was rapidly rotting so with some shiny new poles and a little enthusiasm from the Network scouts a brand new gate was erected just in time for Bear’s visit to the camp site. Further camp site improvements include a new collection of signs and plaques made by joiner Simon Lacey to update and improve old ones. The improvements come not just for Bear’s visit but also for Huish Woods’ 50th anniversary celebrations taking place this September. Simon Lacey also spent the Easter weekend

making up a brand new sign to accompany the Network scout’s gateway from an enormous chunk of Oak that he carved the words ‘Beacon Field’ out of. Around 650 people are expected on site at Huish Woods for Bear’s visit and over at Yeovil youngsters are eagerly awaiting Bear’s visit to the Yeovil District Jamboree. Bear meets scouts in the North Cotswolds, Gloucestershire and Avon before getting to Somerset and after Bear has greeted and met young people in our county he’s off to Cornwall before visiting a further two locations in Devon. Then on day two of the tour Bear flies down to both Jersey and Guernsey before visiting Brownsea Island, Buddens camp site in Dorset and two locations in Wiltshire. You can keep up to date with the tour in Somerset by visiting our Facebook and Twitter pages.

tscouts e rs e m o /s m o c r. te it w www.t ersetscouts m o /s m o .c k o o b e c a .f www

f o y a d A awards A

fter three days of hiking in thick rain and heavy fog the fourth and final day of Gordon Robertson’s Gold DofE hike was bathed in sunshine - a sign, perhaps, to mark the end of Gordon’s three year effort to gain this prestigious award. And in April, alongside 47 other equally as hard working leaders and young people, Gordon was awarded his Gold DofE at the county’s annual presentation day. The celebration, held this year at Queens College Taunton, recognised the scouting achievements of 48 adults and young people. Long service awards of 5 years through to 50 years long service were awarded and both Mike Seagar and Lady Gass were awarded their Silver Acorns - an award for a specially distinguished service for a period of not less than twenty years. Three leaders were also presented with a Chief Scout’s Commendation. A selection of Somerset’s young people were also awarded with Bronze, Silver, Gold, Diamond and Platinum Chief Scouts awards and Gordon Robertson was awarded his Gold DofE as the only young person to have achieved this in time for this year’s presentations. “It’s great satisfaction to complete your DofE. It gives you such a boost – a kind of warm feeling inside that is hard to explain

but you know it is completed,” said Gordon who mowed his local church lawns for 12 months as part of his award. “It took about four hours to mow the lawns in around the graves,” continued Gordon. The determined network scout also learned the guitar for the skill element of the award, played hockey for his recreation and hiked for four days in the Lake District to complete the expedition requirement of the award. “We walked the Scafell Pike Horseshoe in rain and fog. At one point we got lost and ended up scrambling a climbers route along the north face of Scafell.” Gordon is now looking to complete his Queen Scout’s award for which he just needs to complete an environmental project. Gordon hopes to spend a few days clearing weeds from a canal volunteering for the environment agency but for the time being is happy to have achieved his Gold DofE and to have been awarded at this year’s presentation day: “The presentation day was actually better than I expected! My dad loved it and my mum was very proud, as mothers always are! I think my dad was particularly proud to see me presented with my Gold DofE because he never had the chance to do it himself. It was really nice to mark the occasion.”

Long service awards were awarded and both Mike Seagar and Lady Gass were awarded their Silver Acorns

ict as Gordon’s DofE A view of the Lake Distr s enjoyed some preciou Gold expedition team . ke hi ic y of their ep sunshine on the last da


SAT 7/5

FRI 27/5 to MON 30/5

Chief Scout’s Visit to Somerset County Jamboree

Somerset’s annual celebration of celebration. This year the camp takes place at Merryfield Airfield near Ilton.

SUN 29/5

Jamboree Visit Day

FRI 8/7

Network Beach Trip

SAT 16/7

Cub Olympics

WED 27/7 to SUN 7/8

22nd World Scout Jamboree

WED 4/8 to MON 8/8

Network Summer Camp

Cubs aged 9+ invited to spend the day at County Jamboree. 10am - 6pm. £6 per cub. Booking in advance see online diary. Fun and games on the beach at Exmouth followed by a fish and chip supper. Take part in this epic sporting event organised by Camelot district 1 - 4.30pm. See online diary for further information.

Kristianstad, Sweden. Somerset takes part in the world’s largest gathering of scouts.

This long weekend of summer fun takes place at the Blackwell Adventure Centre. Contact Peter Venn for more info.

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8 4

ScoutOut Issue 8  

May's issue of the Somerset Scout Newsletter

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