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Skips Annual Report 2014

Ruckinge & Hamstreet Scout Troop
Annual Report 2014
The Scout section remained buoyant in numbers throughout the year (around 24 Scouts in the Troop). Regularly having about 20 Scouts at Friday evening meetings meant we could run some challenging Patrol activities to teach team working and also add a bit of competitive spirit into the mix. At the time of writing (September 2014), we have 28 Scouts on our books, including two female Scouts.
The autumn 2013 term started with electing Patrol Leaders and arranging the patrols. In the first half of the term we spent 3 evenings out hiking, playing wide games and an overnight camp out. As the nights became longer and colder we spent more time indoors learning Scouting skills, cooking and playing games. A representative from the Kent Air Ambulance attended one evening to give a talk on the exciting and crucial work they do across the South East. The autumn term concluded with 2 trips, firstly to the Stour Centre where many gained one of the graded Swimmers badges and then to Battlezone.
The spring term (optimistic name for the January to Easter session!) was rather spoilt by very wet weather and ground conditions preventing us from getting out and doing some of the planned activities. Several rearranged meetings and prolonged periods stuck indoors did not help with; (1) the behaviour of some of the Scouts who needed to let off steam and (2) the morale of the leaders as we sometimes struggled to keep all of the Scouts engaged. This is always a challenge when trying to deliver a “Balanced Programme” to Scouts of differing ages, interests and abilities.
The summer term heralded better conditions for outdoor adventure. The Troop attended the District Camp at Godinton Park to celebrate 100 years of Scouting within the Ashford District. It was not only an excellent opportunity to mix with the other Troops in the District, but also to camp as a Group (Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Leaders from each section).
During the rest of the term, the Scouts enjoyed a mix of indoor activities e.g. camp preparation and an “international” evening, as well as the usual outdoor experiences both on the water (canoeing and rafting) and on dry land (hiking, orienteering and cooking).
Summer camp near Throwley Forstal – a new site for all but the very aged amongst the Scouter and Guider team! Nineteen Scouts camped (alongside the Guides) in a picturesque spot nestled in the rolling Kent countryside. As is normal for a camp, it took a while for the Scouts to get into the routine of wood collecting, fire lighting, food preparation and clearing up. For some it was a bit of a shock to the system.
At summer camp the Scouts learnt to canoe, build an aerial runway, fend for themselves, have fun, sing lots of campfire songs and, above all, realised that hard work, perseverance and a bit of elbow grease is sometimes what is required to get the job done. During the camp, we invested Harry and Ewan on the aerial runway. Ryan and Amberley showed our older Scouts how to navigate properly by successfully completing a practice “24-hour” hike whilst the more “experienced” Scouts managed to walk for several hours before ending up at the opposite end of the camp field from where they had started! Thanks to Peter Post (PP) who came out of retirement to assist at camp and demonstrate his potato peeling skills.
Lowlights – discipline has been a concern over the year. As a team of Leaders, we try and run a range of activities to teach the Scouts new skills and have fun. To deliver the more adventurous activities, we have to trust the Scouts that they will behave and do as they are asked, just as the parents have to trust us to look after their charges.
Unfortunately, due to a career move, Tom Whateley was unavailable to help as a leader during the summer term. His shift patterns will mean he is now restricted on the nights he can help us.
Highlights – we were very lucky this year to have the assistance of three Young leaders, Tim Whorlow, Edward Knight and Wes O’Callaghan. Seeing them mature and grow in confidence as they organised activities, ran games and mentored the younger ones makes me very proud to be part of the Scouting community.
In summary, the Scout Troop continues to deliver a programme of activities that the young people enjoy. Additional adult help/leaders would be appreciated to enable us to share the workload and add to the variety of things on offer.
Dave "DB" Beeching
Scout Leader
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