2nd† Didsbury (88th Manchester) SCOUT GROUP AGM 17/5/06
Chairmanís review of the year
1. This year numbers in all of the sections have held steady or have increased. This is a very encouraging trend which I hope will continue.
2. Last November we had a very successful bonfire and firework display at Toc H Rugby Club. I think everyone agreed that it was the best display we have ever put on. Again the crowd control† arrangement with the stalls at the far end of the car park worked very well, spreading out the spectators. The increased marshalling helped greatly. The sound system added to the enjoyment. We are, as always, most grateful to our very skilled pyrotechnic team led by Roger Short and Ernie Hill. The clear-up the following morning went well and quickly with a good number involved. I hope this will continue again this year.
3. This year we have had some changes in personnel. Evan Roberts and Rowena Kidd have become leaders in the Scout section. We still do not have a Group Secretary. The job is not very onerous, being basically minute taking at meetings of the executive committee. All of you who are frustrated group secretaries now have your chance of office.
4. The Gift Aid scheme is operational and working well. This makes it simpler for the Group to reclaim the income tax which you have already paid on the subscription. The Treasurer can give you more details if you wish. For convenience records are held on a computer. There is no problem with the Data Protection Act, but we do need your permission to hold such records and have prepared a consent form accordingly. The amount recovered from the Inland Revenue venue from your Gift Aid subscriptions makes a very useful increase to subscription income. Please continue to do this.
5. Some maintenance work has been undertaken on the lodge. We also had an interesting break-in. A squirrel got under the roof and burrowed through the ceiling into the building.
6. The website continues to flourish. It is a useful source of information on Group activities. The URL is now www.didsburyscouts.org.uk. The Explorers now have their own website and are publishing an electronic newsletter. The second issue has recently been released.
7. After a year the negotiations over the rent increase have just been concluded and the situation is much better than appeared possible a year ago. Acting for the Group, one of our parents, Ian Braithwaite, has managed to reduce the demand from £1,500 per year backdated to 1999 to £350 per year backdated to 2005. This is a great outcome and we are very much in his debt. We shall, however, face another review in 2009.
8. The grass outside the Lodge has been improved to facilitate vehicular access and reduce damage to the grass. A working party removed the turf, laid plastic mesh and replaced the turf. Thanks to everyone, including Explorers, who helped.
9. Last summer the Group went on its quinquennial camp to the international campsite at Kandersteg in the Bernese Oberland in Switzerland. An enjoyable, if wet and muddy, time was had.
10. Finally, I would like to thank, on your behalf, all of the leaders who give so much of their time for the Group. I must also thank the other members of the Executive Committee for all their work throughout the year. The Whist Drives continue, now under new management. These have given enjoyment to many people and provide welcome income for the Group. This year we have had a greater input from families and section members which spreads the workload. Please keep it up and continue to help.
Firstly, thanks to leaders and exec for another successful year for the group, without their dedication the group could not exist.
The group along with Didsbudy Viking Explorers had a very successful 2 week camp last August despite the weather and site facilities. At the International scout centre at Kandersteg in Switzerland.
I am please to welcome Evan Roberts and Rowena Kid formally as warranted leaders of the scout section. Along with Martin Miller and Mike Ney we now have a strong team running the scout section and they are going† from strength to strength.
The Explorer unit also has two new assistant leaders Tom and Chris.
So at long last I can concentrate on being GSL and not have to be an assistant leader at scouts and explorers.
The group attended the Remembrance service at the war memorial in November.
I am please to announce that 4 of the Explorers have been selected to go to the world jamboree next year. They are Ben Bowen, David Knowles, Tom Taylor and Josh Golding. They will be needing to raise a lot of money so I hope when the time comes you will do all you can to† help.
Keith Hampson (Group Scout Leader)
Once again the beaver colony has had an action packed year. We have been following a full and varied programme, along side the Cub Scout section, which has seen the beavers being invited to Cub camp at Bowley to join in the activities for the day, attending the Remembrance Day parade, and taking part in a county event at Abney hall.†
A number of badges have been awarded including 2 bronze awards, well done to all the beavers!!
Our colony numbers remain at around 20 and the leaders, Helen Hampson and Sue Sunderland have been joined by Josh, one of our explorer scouts, as a helper. Kevin Lowe has moved onto Cubs and Alan Robinson, although still with beavers is busier than ever as he has now rejoined cubs.
We have a very short waiting list and are actively seeking boys for the colony
Sue Sunderland† (Beaver scout leader)
Cub Scouts Report.
The cub pack remains strong and active with 25 invested cubs on the role. They have taken part in a number of activities this year including the annual camp. This was held at Bowley Scout Camp site last May and had a theme of Space Cadets. The boys enjoyed a number of exciting outdoor activities including launching rockets, creating junk space rovers and the usual wide games and campfire.
Another outdoor activity was the Euro cub day for all East Manchester County cubs. This was held at the County camp site, Linnet Clough. The sun shone and everyone had a great day trying all the different bases, the day finished with a huge campfire.
The cubs also took part in a district orienteering day at Chorlton Water Park, a visit to the pantomime in Stockport at Christmas and an evening of wide games at Abney Hall.
Regular evening meetings were very well attended and during the year a large number of boys have gained activity badges as well as the pack challenge badges worked for at our regular meetings.† Recent evening themes have included a fantastic science evening, writing and performing shadow puppet pantomimes, rope making and making volcanoes.†
I would like to thank all the leaders who have contributed their time and effort to ensuring that the boys have had an exciting and fun year.
Susan Bulleid Assistant Cub Scout Leader.
Scout Section Report 2006
Scout numbers have been rising steadily over the year and there are now 26 lads on the books, with weekly attendance at a healthy, high percentage of this. Tuesday night activities have included a number of food related evenings; Burnís night and Shrove Tuesday were both celebrated in the classic tradition; talks from the local Fire and Police Forces and the usual assortment of physical and creative challenges from shelter building to indoor climbing and canoeing.
The troop has attended a number of camps over the winter period since Kanderstag. Technology camp at Linnet Clough in October saw a number of badges being gained, whilst a November frostbite camp, also at Linnet Clough, resulted in 18 of the troop being awarded a polar bear award for enduring temperatures of -5 degrees.
Further a field, the troop visited Drum hill in Derbyshire for two nights, again in freezing temperatures the lads performed bravely on a variety of assault courses and backwoods challenges. Most recently the senior troop members held a training camp in Rochdale designed to build their self sufficiency skills to help in their leadership of their patrols.
Summer camp is a mere two weeks away and at least 15 of the troop have confirmed they will attend Ė the balance for the camp is now due. Activities planned will include archery, climbing, sailing, canoeing, raft building and survival challenges. The camp will be held at Hawkhirst Scout Campsite by Kielder Water and midges permitting will be an excellent week away for the troop.
Since the New Year the programme has been aimed at getting the troop to strengthen its patrol system. There are at present four patrols; Vipers, Panthers, Raptors and Sabres and the ladís team work is improving.
The leader situation has been in fine fettle all year with Edwin joining to assist Martin, Rowena and Evan with the troop, and Keith and Mike being ever available to fill the gaps and provide expert advice. However, Martin and Edwin will both be leaving for university in the summer Ė Leicester and Edinburgh respectively, and whilst we wish them well, we wish they werenít. We are keen to bring in at least one more leader to replace them.
Evan Roberts (SL)
Didsbury Vikings Explorer Scout Unit Annual Report 2006
The Didsbury Viking Explorer Scout Unit was opened just over two years ago and provides scouting for young people aged 14 to 18 years in the South Manchester area.† Our members join from the 8 scout groups across the Manchester South Scout District that have active scout troops as well as people completely new to Scouting.
We are based at 2/88th Scout Headquarters and meet on a Wednesday night from 8pm until 9.30pm. The unit has grown from 7 members two years ago to 18 young people of whom there are 5 girls.
The unit has had active year with expeditions to North Wales and has taken part in the county technology camp at Linnet Clough.† The highlight of last year was undoubtedly the summer trip with 2/88th Scout Group to the Kandersteg International Scout Campsite in Switzerland.†† Wednesday evenings remain diverse and amongst many others have involved discussions about fair trade and environmental issues.† Light hearted evenings have included a burns supper, trips to the cinema, laser quest and our annual Christmas meal.†
Our summer trip this year is to the Lake District for a week of outdoor activities including sailing, kayaking, Mountain Biking and climbing.
The unit is expanding in numbers rapidly at the moment with members joining from across the district. This is great to see and it can only be good for all our members to experience the variety of scouting traditions that members bring from their original groups.
The unit is extremely fortunate to have recently recruited the help of two new leaders, Tom Chambers and Chris Ashford, to act as Assistant District Explorer Scout Leaders.† Both Tom and Chris are new to the district but bring with them many years of scouting experience.† The unit will benefit both from their enthusiasm and fresh ideas.
Explorer Scout Leader