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Annual Report - 1st Caterham 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.

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 Sussex County campsite at Broadstone Warren near Forest Row. The cubs and scouts arrived on the Friday evening and we left at the Sunday lunchtime. For their summer camp, the scouts returned to  Derbyshire where they participated in Peak 2015, which is an international camp held in the grounds of Chatsworth House.  

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 Georges 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, sung Christmas carols in Church Walk and have helped with the PHAB walk in Hyde Park.

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. 1st Caterham is lucky to have the Young Leader coordinator as an assistant scout leader – Steve Wingrave. 1st Caterham (St Mary’s) Scout Group is flourishing and, subject to enough adults coming forward to help in a variety of capacities, will continue to provide scouting challenges and enjoyment to the children of Caterham on the Hill for many years to come.

As reported last year, our hut is getting quite old with the maintenance problems that entails, in particular, we are facing roof repairs and a need to replace our central heating system which, at the moment, is beyond our financial resources. We are, therefore, looking round for alternative sponsorship or fund raising schemes. Any help or suggestions from the St Mary’s community would be welcome.

At Christmas 2014, we trialled the introduction of the ‘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. Our post boxes were limited to the scout hut and St Mary’s Church. It proved a success, so we decided to expand our post box collection last Christmas and, placed 14 boxes around the area. It again was very successful; with the help of parents delivering cards we raised well over £900 towards our Group funds. At Christmas 2016 we will repeat the scout Christmas post, which we see as being a community service as well as a major fund raising venture. Please look out for our posters and boxes in the late Autumn.

Alan Day

Group Scout Leader

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