2nd Didsbury (88th Manchester) Scout Group AGM 13-6-13

Annual Report

Chairmans Report

The  Scout Group has had another successful year and has maintained full numbers in Beavers, Cubs and Scouts.  It was another action packed year for the Group with many camps and trips in addition to the weekly activities held in the Scout Hut.

Our main fund raising event of the year was a barbecue at the Didsbury festival and this year we broke all previous records for income. The sunshine helped, but I would particularly like to thank the parents that helped me meet what seemed an insatiable demand for burgers, hot dogs, drinks and cakes. Thank you to all the cake makers as well – we sold out of everything. The parental help meant many of our leaders could run a wonderful Scout-branded climbing wall that helped to show the fun and excitement children can get from the Scouting movement. As one teenager was heard to say – ‘it shows that the Scouts are cool”

I would like to thank all the Leaders, Assistant Leaders and the Executive members for all their valuable work throughout the year. 

Become involved

This Scout Group is run by volunteers and it’s success is totally dependent on volunteers. If you have a bit of time to help out there are various ways you can do so. We have a great demand to join and we need leaders and assistants to help meet this demand.

If you have any great ideas, or know anyone with particular talents, that would make for a great session for the Beavers, Cubs or Scouts we would love to hear from you.  If you would like to help out on the occasional session do let a Leader know.


The subscriptions you pay and the fund raising activities we do, have ensured another stable year from a financial view point. Subscriptions have remained at £7 per month per child - which I think we can all agree is very good value. 

These subscriptions pay for the equipment and resources used, plus the rent and other bills.  A proportion also goes to the national Scout Association which helps pay for the resources they provide, including the fantastic camp facilities.

Chris Pearse

Treasures report

Key points to note for the last financial year:

1.    The group is growing, hence more subs and membership fees;

2.    We got a gift aid claim through for £2127 – thanks to all the parents who have signed up for the scheme;

3.    We had a good Didsbury festival and made £1477 in 2012;

4.    The rotary club kindly donated £100 to us when they wound up operations in August last year;

5.    One for this year’s books Keith & Helen's wedding anniversary guests very kindly donated £405 to us in April of this year.  Thank you!

I propose that we hold subs at their current level for the year 2013 – 2014. 

Matthew Rushton

GSL’s report

We have had another good year and our numbers have continued to grow to such an extent that we are looking to open a second cub pack after the summer holidays. This will be dependent on enlarging the leadership team which we are expecting to be able to do. It is important that we can open a second pack because if we can't it will mean that we might not be able to let Beavers move into the pack when they are 8, we are trying our utmost to ensure this does not happen but it is all down to having enough leaders. This issue is explained in more detail in the cub report.

It is also expected that we will have to open a second scout troop in the new year.

We have a plan drawn up to make these additions and you will be advised when they are to be implemented. Monday Beavers will be moving to Tuesday and the new cub pack will be on Monday. The second scouts will move to Wednesday after Beavers and the Explorer unit will move to Thursday after Cubs which will start earlier.

The Metro link is now open and we are thankful to them for providing a new fence and car park.

There have been some personnel changes, Dawn has moved from the Explorer unit to the troop and Lizzie Munro has taken over as unit leader from Dawn. There has also been movement in most other section too.

We have introduced a new look website for the group. If you have not yet seen it please take a look www.didsburyscouts.org.uk

Keith Hampson
(Group scout leader)

Beaver Report

Beavers continue to have a long waiting list even though we have two colonies, if we had another cub pack I would be able to take in more children. Our current leaders on a Monday are Megan and Claire, on a Wednesday we have Pam and Laura. We have two young leaders who are James and Tom and they are doing their service for their D of E award. Sue is with us when she is in this country. We have a parent rota for both nights. Thanks go to all my helpers.

This year we have concentrated on the challenge badges, which has resulted in most of the beavers gaining their Bronze Chief Scout Award before they head off to cubs. To gain the bronze award beavers need to gain 6 challenge badges, which is creative, promise, global, fitness, outdoor and friendship so we cover a lot of information and activities.

We are currently concentrating on the outdoors, learning basic map reading, putting it into practice, the country code and conservation. They will all be put into use when we attend cub camp at the end of the month.

I am still looking for people who will become assistant leaders, as I would like to be able to have the occasional night off!

Thank you to all who assist me

Helen Hampson
Beaver Leader

Cub report

I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to all the leaders and assistants who have helped in the running of the cub pack this year. Without their continued support the pack would not be the success that it currently is.

 The leaders are:-

Alan Robinson – Assistant District Commissioner and Assistant Cub scout leader

Richard Moss – Sectional assistant

Michael Lowe – Young explorer scout leader

Claire Wynne– Assistant scout leader

Fran Bray – Assistant Cub scout leader

Joanne Harvey – Sectional assistant

The fact that all these helpers are able to give up their time on a regular basis despite their own personal commitments to family, work and studies says a great deal about the type of people they are, and I feel privileged to have worked with them all. However it is with a certain degree of sadness that we must say farewell to Fran (hopefully only for a brief period) who is leaving us to have a fun filled adventure of her own.

The Cub pack currently a membership of 34 cubs which is proofing very challenging to manage on a Thursday evening and have moved the pack meeting to the park to give us a little more room to spread out, during the summer months.

The pack is currently closed to any entry from outside the group; however this does not appear to dissuade people from still wanting to join the growing waiting list (now at 50+). The crunch point for the cub pack will come in Dec 2013 when the pack numbers will exceed 44 children. The maximum number allowed in the pack is 36, so a second cub pack must be in place prior to December in order to cope with the increase in numbers. We require a Cub Scout leader and 2 assistant Cub Scout leaders for this to happen otherwise children moving up from Beavers to Cubs will either have to join another group or queue in an additional waiting list for the Cub section.

The annual cub camp for 2012 was held at Dunham Massey and the theme was Indian Braves. The cubs experienced archery, shooting, making and painting tepee’s as well as fire lighting and camp cooking. The camp was well attended and despite the wet weather in the weeks leading upto the camp the weekend of the camp was “relatively” good.

The Cub pack entered 2 teams again this year into the Pike View Hike Challenge (Bolton), which is a difficult and demanding challenge for the older cubs (also for the adult walkers). However they manage to accomplish it with a very respectable placing of 5th and 7th out of a total of 35 teams that participated. Well done!

Plans for the future rather depend on whether or not we can get enough volunteer helpers to become leaders. I would like to be able to take the cubs on trips to the national space centre,  Jorvik, Chester Zoo, Warwick Castle and even Catalyst in Liverpool (just to mention a few ideas and not all at once). It would also be nice to take the older cubs on a cheaper and more basic camp during the autumn months (early November). However we will have to wait and see if we can persuade anyone to come along and have as much fun as the children seem to have.

Kind Regards  Kevin Lowe
(Cub Scout Leader)

Scout report

Scouts have been very busy since last Summer with troop nights including indoor climbing, sensational (and rather disgusting) smoothies, a debate night and canoeing on the Mersey.

We’ve taken the scouts on a number of camps, from climbing camp last June and winter camp at Cox Wood in January this year. Winter camp was especially memorable as it was our first camp in proper snow in years (enough to destroy one of our favourite tents!) The scouts also sent 1 team to Pike View Hike 2013, placing about middle of the results table, as well as a number of scouts who performed exceptionally at the Swimming Gala, although an unfortunate disqualification meant the results didn’t quite show how amazing the scouts’ performance was.

The leaders would like to thank all the parents and scouts who volunteered at Didsbury Festival 2013. Star scouts on the day were Martins, Sam M and Will who worked really hard all day to raise funds for the group.

As a troop we are using online and mobile tools to keep in touch with parents. We hope you’ll agree this is working very effectively. Over the coming year we will need more help than ever as we work towards setting up a second troop and will be using online tools to share more of what we get up to.

Watch this space!

Finally, I’d like to thank all the scout leaders, Brian, Dawn, Claire, Lucy and all our occasional helpers over the year. The massive rise in numbers at our troop really reflects how much work we’ve all put in.

Thank you!

Simon Jermy
(Assistant scout leader)