The Troop has shrunk a little since last year, with 27 Scouts currently on the books. 6 new Scouts have joined the Troop from the Cub Pack in the last year, and one Scout has joined externally. Our leadership team of Karen, Andy, Tony, Anne-Marie and myself has been enhanced this year with Conor Moran returning to the Troop as a Young Leader. Conor has made the jump from Scout to Young Leader exceptionally well, and is fitting in with the team nicely. Whilst our leadership team is as strong as ever, we are always looking for willing volunteers to join in, be it every week, or for special events and one-off programmes. Please let us know if you can offer anything at all!
The Troop has enjoyed a successful 12 months since the last AGM. A select few enjoyed being part of our ‘mixed’ Dragon Boat team at Longridge. All our teams performed very well in the District Patrol Quiz, with our highest placed team finishing second by only a very slim margin. We also had another good performance in the District Archery Competition, taking first place in both the Individual Junior and Individual Senior categories.
The Troop has been very active ‘under canvas’ in the last 12 months. First up was Group Camp where many Scouts and Leaders enjoyed the opportunity to take part in activities with other members of the Group, and their parents as well! The senior members of the Troop were invited to take part in a ‘Survival Weekend’ where we camped for one night without tents, using minimal equipment. Andy may well rethink his hammock next time around, having woken up the following morning with a bruised… ego…! A Summer Camp in Warwickshire with good weather was enjoyed by 15 Scouts, where there was a range of activities, some exciting trips, and the inevitable hike! During the Autumn term, Scouts took part in 2 District hiking weekends, first was the Pathfinder Weekend, aimed at younger Scouts and as a build up to the District Adventure Weekend (DAW). A small group meant we took part in this only as a day event rather than the whole weekend, and we enjoyed a wonderfully sunny October day in the Chilterns. The DAW came next, aimed at the older Scouts, was based in the Brecon Beacons in Wales in more advanced terrain. A fantastic experience for everyone involved in what proved to be very challenging weather. In the last term we have had 2 camping weekends, with an indoor experience at Tolmers in January followed by a weekend under canvas at Gilwell Park at the end of term.
Friday night programmes have been varied, and have maintained a focus on the Challenge badges. Most of the Troop have now completed their Creative and Promise Challenge Badges, and as part of the Creative Challenge Badge the Troop have created their own News videos, which can be seen on our YouTube page! We also enjoyed an evening of bowling at Hollywood Bowl, Watford, in February.
I wouldn’t be able to complete this report without mentioning the Royal Visit to the Borough of Harrow in March. I was both delighted and proud to see so many Scouts turn up in smart uniform for this event, which may well be one of those once in a lifetime opportunities. It is certainly worth mentioning that while there were a number of Scout and Guide Groups at this event, none were as well presented in both number and appearance as the 6th Harrow were!
At the last AGM we were able to present a number of Scouts with their Chief Scout’s Gold award, and by the end of the Summer Term a total of 8 Scouts had received the award. The enthusiasm the whole Troop is showing to achieve such awards is a testament to the young people we have in the Troop at the moment, and it really shows that the Scouts are all motivated to challenge themselves and work together to achieve. This motivation and team ethic has carried on throughout this year, and makes Friday nights something to look forward to for all the Leadership team, whose continued support I am ever grateful for.