Review of the Year

It’s been another busy year for the beavers, cubs, scouts and leaders at 1st St Helens. As well as the regular meetings a number of camps and outings have been held over the year. The first camp of the year was a revival of an old classic. Camp Frosty which is held in the Upper Weardale in February is a camp which is not for the fainthearted. Held in a field with no running water or facilities, it is a camp which attracts a special (or perhaps stupid) sort of person. The camp has now been running for 21 years and for the first time in several years was re-opened as a district event organised by 1st St Helens leaders. Groups from Barnard Castle and Bishop Auckland took part in the camp which was agreed to be a success.

At Easter, cubs and scouts took part in a camp at Raywell, near Hull over the bank holiday weekend. Again, this was another success and the boys took part in a number of activities. Despite being a bank holiday, the weather held firm and the only time the boys got wet was in a water fight with the leaders.

In June, there was another cause for celebration with the wedding of scout leader Gareth Jacobs to cub leader Jane Bellis. A number of beavers, cubs and scouts gathered outside St Helens church to give the couple a guard of honour. One noticeable thing about the wedding and reception (apart from the amount of beer drunk) was the number of people at the wedding who have been, or still are, involved with the scout movement, proving that the friends made in scouts very often do last a lifetime.

The following month, another effort to raise money for a new minibus was held. After what seemed like years of planning, leaders, young leaders and friends of 1st St Helens took part in the Three Peaks Challenge, climbing the three highest peaks of Great Britain, Ben Nevis, Snowdon and Scafell Pike, consecutively.

Other events included a survival camp at Lartington, near Barnard Castle, where Scouts built and slept in shelters and cooked food over open fires. Cubs also took part in the district cub camp at West Hall, near Sunderland.

Days out included a trip to the Forbidden Corner for cubs and scouts, a visit to the Aerial Extreme rope course in North Yorkshire for Scouts and cub orienteering in Hamsterley Forest. Congratulations should also be given to David Morrell, who managed to achieve his Chief Scouts Gold award, the top award a scout can receive.

The success of this year’s programme however, is not solely down to the boys or the leaders, but also to the parents and the small army of helpers and supporters that 1st St Helens scouts are lucky to have. Special thanks should also be given to Peter and Cheryl and the regulars at the Eden Arms who have not failed in their generosity to the group. Thanks to their help we are getting ever nearer to the total need to buy the group’s minibus. Many thanks to all of you.

1st St Helens Scout Group.