We are truly blessed to have some very talented leaders, including the one and only Andy Byham (also known as Colonel Hathi from his Cub leader days). Andy showed us how to make camp stools on Sunday, so we made some and left them around the campfire at Camelsdale for the Beavers, Cubs and Scouts to use.
Well we waited one heck of a long time for this - over a year in fact due to the pandemic. But finally we made it out for expeditions at the end of May. Four teams, bronze and silver level, 19 young people, 3 days of walking, over 60km hiked, one investiture (well make that two if you include Eira, our hiking hound) and lots of lovely bacon. Sadly no nights away yet but it's surely only a matter of time ...
We're extremely fortunate to have access to the Godalming and District Scout Canoe Club and it's now traditional for us to include a couple of evenings kayaking in our programme. And what a great opportunity to invest some of our new members. There's nothing quite like messing about on the water (hang on, didn't someone else say that???)
We've so, so missed doing our expeditions. It was very exciting to be getting back to planning again. Not long to wait now...
We just had to slip this one in. When the news came that we were allowed to meet face-to-face again (but it wasn't until after the end of term), we snuck in a campfire. It was brilliant to see everyone, especially our new members who joined in January but we'd only met online up til then.
You might want to leave on a jet plane, but the best we could offer on Monday was how to pack your bags and get set for DofE expeditions.
Couple of useful resources we shared on the screen:
Thanks all for attending ... yet again a fantastic turn out of you young 'uns.
Still locked down ... so we had another Art Club on the 8th Feb. Our model this time was bang up to date - not just a public figure but also the subject matter for many a meme (ohh, get us, down with the kids). We'll leave it up to you to figure out who it is ...
We've recently been asked by the District Commissioner to report on what we've been up to over the past year-and-a-bit ahead of the district annual general meeting (AGM). It made us step back a bit as we realised just how much we've got up to. Here's some of the highlights
Activities have included
May 2019 CS Platinum / Bronze DofE practice expedition in South Downs
CS Diamond / Silver DofE (team 1) qualifying expedition in Black Mountains
Kayaking at Godalming
Jul 2019 CS Platinum / Bronze DofE qualifying expedition in North Downs
Visit to Sayers Croft
Aug 2019 CS Diamond / Silver DofE (team 2) qualifying expedition in New Forest
Sep 2019 Took part in Scoutshoot ’19 at Bisley
Nov 2019 Survival camp
Pine Pull at Farnham Heath Reserve
Jan 2020 Night hike
Feb 2020 Survival camp
From March to end of July 2020 we went online, meeting every week. During this time we did a number of quizzes, had a wild food/foraging evening, had three virtual campouts in our back gardens, met online twice with an Explorer Scout Unit from Switzerland, had an Art Club, heard from two guest speakers (a BBC journalist and someone who had taken part in the Marathon Des Sables), invested new members, awarded DofE and Chief Scout certificates and the Explorers also ran several sessions on an international theme to work towards their Chief Scout awards and built their own websites as part of their digital citizen badge. We have had so much good feedback and gratitude from parents for keeping going throughout the summer, many saying that it was the highlight of their son/daughter’s week.
Aug 2020 Started back with face to face meetings, with two campfires a local walk and two kayaking sessions at Godalming
Badges & awards given
DofE bronze award x 2
DofE silver award x 1
DofE gold award x 2
Chief Scout Platinum award x 3
Other badges awarded included: survival skills, hill walking, hikes away, nights away, paddle sports and time on the water
We also ran 2 Sunday morning sessions opened up to young people across the district and covered more of the modules for Draca Explorers. 5 Draca Explorers received their Young Leaders module A badge.
We are very chuffed that we’ve been able to achieve so much for the young people.
A huge thank you to all our lovely Explorers who got stuck in and helped paint the fence at the Haslemere Youth Hub on Monday evening. The fence was painted in no time at all, many hands making light of the work. And it was surprisingly sociable (even with distancing) too, who'd have thought it?!
Thank goodness for technology, it was fantastic for Draca Explorers to be able to meet online while the lockdown restrictions were in place, but my weren't we ready for ditching the screens and seeing each other again. During August we were able to put together a risk assessment to account for new measures relating to Covid-19 and once this was passed we started meeting together again in smaller groups. A couple of campfires, kayaking sessions and local walks and gradually a sense of normality begins to return.
For all young people aged 14-18 years with a sense of fun and adventure