A wet weekend in Hampshire
Wayne escaped the snow blizzards that closed Guernsey for three days and after meetings at Gilwell, he spent a 'typical Scouting weekend' in Hampshire, joining Sea Scout Leaders at their conference.
Making the most of water activities
After fleeing the snow blizzards and attending meetings at Gilwell, I drove to Thames Ditton, Surrey, to catch up with recently appointed Specialist Adviser in Sea Scouting, Pete Wadsworth. We discussed our development plans to provide Sea Scouting and water activities generally. On Saturday morning I opened a conference for one hundred Sea Scout Leaders from Southern England.
More than six years after their headquarters had been destroyed by arson, I was privileged to join members of 1st Wickham Scout Group to open their rebuilt and relocated building. Despite several false starts, worries and frustrations, the Group has continued to grow, delivering great Scouting while fundraising and supporting development; a great credit to Barrie, Chris, Ash and the rest of the rest of the team.
Appointing the night people
I travelled to Ferny Croft Scout Activity Centre in the New Forest to say hello to participants and assessors running Hampshire’s 2015 Jamboree contingent team selection weekend.
Hampshire has a strong youth involvement culture and so it was no surprise to see participants from the last Jamboree and from Thailand playing key roles in the selection. They were constantly put through their paces; we joined them as they were lighting alter fires to cook dinner in the midst of thunder storms.
A great Centre
It's been three years since I was last at Ferny Croft and it was great to stroll around the facilities and see how successfully the Centre has been developed, within tight-planning constraints and with an emphasis on sustainable resources.
For a wet March weekend, the Centre was busy with Winchester Explore Scouts, several school DoE parties and Jamboree leader selection participants. The Centre emphasises providing great experiences and opportunities.
Great training of volunteers, as well as understanding the experiences of new volunteers, are keys to our success, so it was a good opportunity to join 30 participants and trainers for dinner during a residential course.
I learnt a lot – but will save that for later in the week.
Sadly, the County Cub football final fell afoul of heavy rain and was postponed, so we travelled directly on to join 50 Hampshire Scouts taking part in the County Rifle Club's Field Sport competition in a very wet and muddy field.
Hampshire has a strong tradition in rifle shooting, introducing a number of young people to the sport who go on to compete nationally and internationally.
Two such rising stars, Annabel and Olly, were given the task of coaching myself and CC, Adam Jollans, for a 'snooker shoot' challenge. Modesty prevents me reporting the winner by two points, but we were both grateful for the skills of our coaches!
All in all a great 'typical weekend' of Scouting in a County.