88th Manchester Scout Group Annual Report 2007.
Chairman’s review of the year
1. With great regret, I must record the untimely death last summer of Ann Lole, our President, after a long and courageous battle with cancer. Ann was associated with the Group for a great many years as parent, committee member, treasurer on several occasions and finally as President. She was awarded the Medal of Merit in recognition of her services to the Group. The funeral on 11th August was well attended by representatives of the Group.
2. 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.
3. 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 despite the poor weather conditions. We are, as always, most grateful to our very skilled pyrotechnic team led by Roger Short and Ernie Hill, who will now have a well-earned retirement. This was the last one to be produced under the current system, although some parents have expressed an interest in taking over the display. It remains to be seen whether this will happen. I would like to thank everyone who, over many years, has helped with the displays. A great deal of money has been raised for Group funds and many people have derived enjoyment from the events.
4. I am very pleased to tell you that, after the last AGM, Heather Davies became Group Secretary and has settled in well.
5. 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.
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 regularly publishing an electronic newsletter.
7. After a gap of quite a few years since the last District St George’s Day Parade, and at the instigation of this group, a local parade was held on 22nd April at St James’ church. The short service, ably led by the Vicar, Revd. Nick Bundock, was well attended and was followed by a wide game in Fletcher Moss park. Members of two other groups also attended. Perhaps this will lead to a revival of the District parade.
8. 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. Christine Taylor, our treasurer for some years, has decided to retire. In particular, I would like to thank her for all the hard work she has put in. 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. I encourage parents and guardians to consider volunteering to be members of the Executive Committee – as section representatives or as officers. The work is not very time-consuming or demanding and it helps to run the Group for the benefit of your children.
16th May 2007.
This year is the 100th year of the scout movement and there are many activities this year to celebrate the event. All sections will be attending our county centenary camp at Linnet Clough at the end of the May.
I am very please to report that during the last 12 months most sections have consolidated their leadership and all section have grown. We welcome to the leadership team, Catriona Nicolson to Beavers and Ben Campbell and Peter Dyer to scouts. Chris Dunn moved back home at Christmas after helping the cub section for the past 3 years as an assistant cubs scout leader. Martin Miller who has been though all sections and a leader with the scouts left to go to university in September Thanks Chris and Martin for all your help and enthusiasm.
Three of our ex-scouts, who are now in the district Explorer unit have been selected to attend the world scout jamboree, being held at Hylands Park, Chelmsford. Well done to Ben Bowen, David Knowles and Josh Golding.
Alan Robinson who is our cub leader has returned to the cub section after helping for a period with the beaver colony. He has recently agreed to take on the roll of Assistant district commissioner for cub scouts and although he will still be helping with our cub section Sue Bullied is the leader in charge of the section now.
A big thank you, to all who have helped and supported the group throughout the year, especially to our leaders who run the sections week in week out.
Once again our beaver colony has had an exciting and eventful year.
During the last 12 months we have welcomed a new beaver leader, Catriona (tic tak) and have said hello and goodbye to our 2 Duke of Edinburgh Award helper Peter and Issy. We also say thank you to Akala for his help in the beaver colony as he has now returned to his cub pack.
We have attended a number of successful district events throughout the year, starting off with a teddy bear picnic and a Halloween party held at Baguley Hall Group. There was a great turnout for the treasure hunt a t Abney Hall and recently we hosted the district art and craft evening. A number of beavers attended the very first cub & beaver district camp fire a couple of weeks ago – it was a great introduction for our boys to the camp fire sing song!!
Our turn out for the St Georges Day service followed by a wide game was sadly a very poor one which was a great pity. After a short service at St James Church everyone had a great time in the wide game searching out “Knights and Dragons”
As a colony we have visited The Museum of Science and Industry, enjoyed a day trip to cub camp and had a great afternoon at the Christmas pantomime in Stockport. All in all we have followed a busy and varied programme with a number of boys attaining their Discovery and Friendship Challenge badges. There a currently 20 boys and we do have a waiting list.
The cub pack is full at present with 27 boys on the roll. During the year 9 boys have moved up to scouts and 12 boys have joined the pack. We have 4 regular leaders plus one helper and this has allowed us to pursue a varied and interesting programme.
We have taken part in several District events, which included 5-a-side football, a visit to the Palace Theatre to see The Jungle Book, the district quiz, and most recently the Beaver and Cub campfire held a few weeks ago.
We had 2 camps last year, our group camp in June at Dunham Massey plus a small number of boys and leaders attended the District Camp at Linnet Clough. This year we held an indoor winter camp at Bibby’s Farm with a detective theme, which was enjoyed by all. Since September we have been following the Centenary programme, which has included creating our own model campsites, paper plane building, a flag night, a visit to St James’s Church and a science evening presented by young scientists from The University of Manchester.
Two cubs, James Monk & Darrel Lowe gained their Silver chief scouts award this year. This is the highest award in cub scouting.
I would like to thank all the leaders for their commitment and work throughout the year to ensure the boys continue to enjoy their Scouting.
Scout numbers have been rising steadily over the year and there are now over 30 scouts on the books, with weekly attendance at a healthy, high percentage of this. We have recently been delighted to recruit our first three girls to the troop. The troop currently has three patrols though we may have to extend this to four should numbers stabilise at around 30 regular attendees.
We expect two scouts to be moving up to explorers before the summer.
Tuesday night activities have included a focused period on animation and construction in order to work towards the lads Creative Challenge badge. We have also visited the climbing wall in Marple, pursued athletics challenges and the usual backwoods cooking tasks.
Summer camp last year, was attended by 15 scouts from the troop. Activities included archery, climbing, sailing, canoeing, raft building and survival challenges. The culmination of these survival challenges was for all the scouts to spend a night in bivouac shelters they had constructed from forest materials.
The troop has attended a number of camps over the winter period since the summer break. In the autumn we visited Sandiway forest camp in Cheshire where questions had to be asked of the boys raft building skills. Despite extensive training and experience of pioneering, no scout remained dry. Technology camp at Linnet Clough in October saw a number of badges being gained, whilst a County frostbite camp in January, also at Linnet Clough, saw a lot more muddy faces than frostbitten fingers.
In the next couple of months the troop is expecting to undertake three further camps. The last weekend of this month sees us join with over 2000 other scouts from the county for the Centenary camp at Linnet Clough. At the end of July the troop will be travelling to London for a week to visit the Jamboree and take in some big city culture. Finally we are expecting to hold a weekend camp towards the end of term to allow some of our new recruits to experience the joy and the graft of 88th Manchester weekend camping.
In the summer of last year we lost two of our leaders to University – Martin to Leicester and Edwin to Edinburgh. However, by a stroke of good fortune we managed to recruit Engineer Ben Campbell and Doctor Peter Dyer to the ranks making four leaders for the troop with regular assistance from David Knowles one of the district explorer scouts and an old boy from our troop.