Review of the Year 2005

A lot has been happening at 1st Helens Scout Group over the last 12 months.

The group now has approximately 50 members ranging from six-year-old Beavers to Young Leaders aged 14-plus. The leaders have tried to work hard to ensure there has been a full programme of activities for the boys in each section.

Perhaps the biggest venture this year, has been a week-long summer camp held in the Yorkshire Dales at Brighouse in August. This is the first time in over five years the group has been on a proper summer camp and none of the boys attending had experienced one before. The camp was organised by leaders from 1st St Helens and approximately 40 Cubs and Scouts from groups around the district attended.

Activities included archery, dry-slope skiing, a two-day hike for older Scouts, orienteering, a trip to the National Coal Mining Museum and a trip to Magna. It was generally agreed by everyone who attended that the camp was a great success and it is hoped a similar trip can be organised for next summer.

As well as the Summer Camp the scouts have taken part in a variety of activities. Once again a patrol was entered at the annual winter camp at Camp Frosty, at White Kirkley, near Frosterley in February. Scouts had to complete a variety of tests and challenges on a nine mile hike over the moors at Weardale and for the first time in several years experienced snow on the Sunday morning. Not a camp for the faint-hearted! This was also organised by 1st St Helens and is quickly becoming a popular event on the district programme.

A survival camp at Lartington was also organised where Scouts had to construct their own shelters and learned different methods of cooking and preparing food in the outdoors. Throughout the year, the Scouts have also taken part in sleep-overs, skiing, a two-day hike in Upper Teesdale and a 1st St Helens team finished third in district five-a-side competition.

Cubs have also had a fun-packed year. As well as summer camp, they also attended the county Cuboree camp at Moor House near Durham. Here they mixed with hundreds of Cubs from all over the county taking part in a wide variety of activities. They also recently attended a district camp at Windlestone where activities included archery, a trip to Hardwick Hall, crafts and cooking on open fires.

Pack nights have included trips to see the workshops at M and M Plasline, Bishop Auckland Fire Station and Bishop’s Park. The Cubs also took part in the district Welly Walk and competed in the cross country, five-a-side and swimming gala.

For the first time ever, members of 1st St Helens Beaver Colony were able to work towards their first nights-away badge as a Beaver Sleepover was held at the Scout Hall. Although at the end of the sleepover it was hard to tell who was more tired the beavers or the leaders!

Other activities have included a trip to Seaton Carew, a Beaver Chill-Out Day and Beaver Discovery Day.

The Beavers are also proving that the future looks bright for the whole group in sporting contests in years to come. Not only did 1st Helens Beavers win the district cross-country competition, but a Beaver competed on the Scout team in the relay event in the district swimming gala.

Finally, it should be noted that the other major event to affect the group has been the purchase of the minibus.
It was agreed last October that whatever was in the pot after this year’s race night at the Eden Arms we would spend on a new minibus.

Even then, we did not expect to have raised as much as we did in such a short time. Following a lot of hard work by the PCC secretary, Alyson Smith, several large grants were received and we were able to buy a brand new 17-seater minibus, something we never dreamed of being able to do when we first set out fund-raising.

As thanks for her hard work Alyson was presented with a special Scout thank-you brooch at the group’s AGM. She also had the pleasure of having the minibus named after her (albeit spelt incorrectly). We have been warned that there are to be no jokes about looking like the back end of a bus!

Now that the minibus has been bought, the work will still go on by the group raising funds for its running costs.

However, while a lot of the total did come from grants, the group would never have been able to access those grants were it not for the initial sums raised through sponsorship and fund-raising events and we would like to thank everybody who has supported the group over the last year.


1st Helens Scout Group.


2004 Review