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Annual Report - 1st Caterham (St. Mary’s) Scouts

1st Caterham continues to be a thriving scout group in the Caterham District with approximately 24 Beavers (6 to 8 yrs old), 15 cubs (8 to 10.5 yrs old) and 15 scouts (10.5 to 14.5 yrs old). We, in common with most voluntary organisations, are really only limited by the lack of adults who are willing to put themselves forward to help, a fact which has been highlighted in the press recently.

We do have a fantastic band of adult leaders who are dedicated to providing a challenging and varied programme which is fun for all ages of our children. If anyone would like to come and help us, we would love to hear from you. Beavers run on Thursdays 6.15 to 7.15, Cubs on Tuesdays from 6.30 to 8.00 and Scouts on Fridays from 7.30 to 9.30.

All three sections have enjoyed indoor and outdoor activities over the last year, some specifically geared towards gaining their activity badges, others just towards having a good time. The beavers have been on walks locally in Caterham, had visitors to talk about a variety of topics, and made loads of things of a craft(y) nature! Cubs have cooked, ridden bikes, walked, swum, boated and celebrated. The scouts have done a lot of cooking, played games, studied the world and participated in loads of outdoor activities such as walking, camping, sailing, climbing and more camping.

The Group held its traditional annual camp over the May Day bank holiday; this time we went to the local District campsite at Roverdene. The cubs and scouts arrived on the Friday evening and we left at the Sunday lunchtime. For their weeklong summer camp, the scouts went to ‘Charnwood 2016’. This was a large camp near Loughborough attended by some 6,000 scouts, guides and their leaders from many countries.  

1st Caterham has also supported the local community by taking part in the Remembrance Day parade in Caterham on the Hill, we also take part in the St. George’s Day parade in Caterham valley which involves all of the groups in the district. We have also supported the Caterham Festival and Carnival, the Dene fireworks, the Bunny fun run and have sung Christmas carols in Church Walk.

When the children move on from scouts and want to stay within the scouting family, they have the option to join the Caterham explorer unit or to just stay with the scouts as Young Leaders (officially as explorers) to gain their Duke of Edinburgh bronze and silver awards. The explorer unit is run centrally by Caterham scouts but, again, is often hampered by a lack of adult leaders.

As reported last year, our hut is getting quite old with the maintenance problems that entails. We have just replaced our boiler as we were getting quite cold at times; we even had to resort to long trousers! Our next major task is repairing our hut roof. We have been fund raising for a while but will need to find an organisation or individuals with grant funds available to complete this task. Any help or suggestions from the St. Mary’s community would be welcome.

Over the past couple of Christmases we have run our ‘Scout Christmas Post’ as a fund raising venture. For the grand sum of 30p per card, we delivered cards within the CR3 area just before Christmas. We placed 14 boxes around the area. It has proved to be successful again and we will continue with the venture at Christmas 2017, which we see as being a community service as well as a major fund raising venture; with the help of parents delivering cards we raised well over £900 towards our Group funds. Please look out for our posters and boxes in the late Autumn.    

Scouts, as an organisation, have proved resilient with so many other activities available for children nowadays. We allow the children to experience many activities which they would not otherwise be able to do. We are only limited by a lack of adults to help.

Alan Day

Group Scout Leader

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