Scouting Times - September 2017



                                                                                                                                                 September 2017

Welcome to the September 2017 edition of Scouting Times.
You can either skip through the pages listed below or view the complete Scouting Times as a single PDF file (2Mb) by clicking here.  
Enjoy and find out about forthcomming events and what has been happening in your County over the last few months.
All past and future County events (and known details about them) are listed on the County Website ( and included in the County Calendar on the website. If you have any updates, please e-mail them to

As you'll see lots has been going on across the County recently and there are lots more activities planned for the coming months. Use the opportunities and get involved.

The next Scouting Times is planned for publication early January 2018, so if you have anything to contribute, please send it to by the end of December 2017 (or earlier).



There are so many elements to Scouting. Everyone has their own version, albeit to the same programme - we all work together for the right reasons. The other day I was talking to a Cub Leader who was most annoyed about how his Cubs couldn’t get any further than the current scheme for swimmer stages, so he created his own. This made me smile inwards, not because of the cheekiness at creating new badges or thinking those cubs can swim better than me - it was the dynamic thinking and creation of meeting the needs of the young people that was inspiring!

Everyone I have spoken to in my first few months are so passionate about why they do Scouting. They are so involved. Change is coming with the new vision and shortly we will be talking to as many people as we can to get their feedback. The way the County operates towards supporting you will change. We are looking at how we can best support you as leaders. Change won’t happen overnight nor will it for its own-sake.

The training programme is set for the next 12 months but it is being reviewed and different ideas are coming out. The 14+ team is growing and we now have a County Media Development Manager who will be in touch to understand how we can communicate ideas, programmes and events more effectively.

Some good news is around the corner. As a County, we will be purchasing OSM (Online Scout Manager) for all Groups to use. The details are still being finalised but it will work like a voucher system. Those who already have it will get their codes as their current subscription ends. Those who are new can crack on straight away! Look out soon for these details.

Our Roverway Patrol for 2018 has been selected and our 2019 World Scout Jamboree unit is being formed with the selection days at the end of September. We are working on the initial details for our County Camp in 2019. Moreover, a strategic overview is being worked of the County and how it operates in terms of supporting adults and the growth of youth membership.

You may know I am amalgamating Severn and Teme District with Kidderminster District and Worcester District. Not a light decision, but one that will benefit everyone. If you are a member in Severn and Teme District I hope after the transfer phase you will notice a difference.

As ever, I offer an open-door policy and happy to talk to anyone. If you have ideas get in-touch. If you are on social media, check out our Facebook pages and like us. If you fancy finding more information at being a part of the changes or events coming please email me.

We are the look-out for Scouting Skills trainers, programme advisors, expedition and camp planners and also anyone that would like to become a Group Scout Leader opening new groups in their District or may be out of District!

Robert Sidley, County Commissioner


Archery Assessments

Hereford and Worcester Scouts are pleased to offer the following activity permit assessment in Archery, to be held on Sunday 1st October from 10am until 3pm at Rhydd Covert Campsite.

This is open to any scout member who feels that they can meet all of the criteria in the archery assessment checklist. Further information is available here:

On the day, we will be making a judgement on your ability to run a fun yet safe archery session. Parts of the day will be helping you to fill any gaps that you may have in your knowledge, even giving you further skills to improve your own personal archery.

There is a maximum of 12 people that can be assessed on the day and these will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

There is a cost of £10-00 on the day to cover the assessor costs.

If you would like to apply for a place on the day then please fill in a permit application form.  

We are also looking to run a training course for Archery in February, dates and venue to be confirmed, please register your interest at the email address below.

If you would like more information or further advice please contact us;

County Archery Advisor Activate Logo
Tim Scott    


Mountain Walking Weekends

Scouts & Explorers Walking Weekend 2015Mountain walking weekends in Snowdonia open to Scouts and Explorer Scouts with their Leaders.

Who are the weekends for?
The event is open to all Scouts or Explorer Scouts but they must be accompanied by their own leader(s). The weekend is pitched at those who have at least some experience of hiking and / or hill walking.

Time and Dates
The weekends will run from the evening of Friday 22nd to Sunday 24th September and Friday 6th to Sunday 8th October.  Please note that on both Saturday and Sunday a full day of walking is planned so return time on the Sunday will not be until mid-evening at the best given the length of journey home.

Activate Logo

For full details, application forms and flyers please click on the links below:


Operation Bald Eagle

Scout and Explorer air rifle shooting sessions

In January this year I started teaching Scouts and Explorers air rifle safety and shooting on a Saturday morning at Ledbury Rifle Club’s indoor range.

A number of Malvern District Groups have taken me up on this training to great success. I wish to now, open this up to Scout Troops and Explorer Units across Hereford & Worcester.

A summary of the arrangements:

  • £5 per Scout / Explorer per session (9:30am – 12:30pm).
  • Minimum of 5, Maximum of 12 per session. There must have at least 1 adult (over 21 years) to stay to supervise those not on the range at any one time.
  • Adults get to shoot to, time permitting and are welcome to wait and watch.
  • All training is within the National Small-bore Rifle Association’s Youth Proficiency Scheme and run by me (NSRA YPS Tutor number 19016) in accordance with POR section 9.37 and Ledbury Rifle Pistol Clubs range rules.

Shooting PictureThe Scouts / Explorers gain:

  •     Air rifle and range safety knowledge
  •     Shooting proficiency
  •     Their Master at Arms badge if they complete 6 sessions and show improvement.
  •     Certificate of achievement
  •     Troop/Unit shooting competition on the last session (if at least 4 sessions booked)
  •     1st, 2nd & 3rd place medals for troop/unit competition £30 extra unless you have 6 sessions with at least 10 per session then these are free.

Paul Bennett
GSL 1st Ledbury Scout Group

Trek 2017


Click here or on the image above for further details.  

ACC Top Awards 14+

I'm Aaron Pinder and I have recently been appointed Assistant County Commissioner Top Awards 14+ for Hereford and Worcester. In my new role I will be working with the 14+ team and leaders to achieve and deliver the top award to the Explorers and Network members. 


I'm an Explorer Scout leader form Redditch District. I have great fun running and achieving the Duke of Edinburgh and Top Awards for our Explorers. I look forward to working with the County to help deliver these awards. I have completed my Gold Duke of Edinburgh and Queen's Scout Awards. I know how valuable and rewarding these awards are, also the once in a life time opportunity they created. 

The Scouting Top Awards are; The Chief Scout's Platinum and Diamond Award, The Queen's Scout Award (which all tie in to the Duke of Edinburgh award), the Explorer Belt and the Scout of the World Award (sotwa). 


There are some useful booklets if you would like to know more about (click on the images alongside or follow the links below): 

If you would like to contact me about the top award.




Young People's Top Awards Day

16th July 2017 – our generous hosts, Worcester Bosch, were again the setting for Hereford & Worcester Scout County’s Young Peoples Top Awards day.

A total of 96 guests, which included 33 award achievers, their families, members of the Queen Scout Working Party and our special guest, UK Chief Commissioner, Tim Kidd, were welcomed and entertained by  members of the county team.

Light refreshments were enjoyed before the guests took their places in the conference centre for the award ceremony. We were welcomed to Bosch by their Chief Executive, Tim Davies, before the awards were presented: 

  • Chief Scout Gold Award to 17 Scouts
  • Chief Scout Diamond and Platinum awards to 3 Explorer Scouts
  • Young Leader Belts to 6 Young Leaders
  • Duke of Edinburgh Bronze awards to 8 members
  • Culminating with Tim Kidd presenting  Queens Scout awards to Natalie Willetts and Alex Wells. 

All then tucked into a strawberry tea, followed by many photographs and lots of networking.

Robert Sidley, County Commissioner for Hereford and Worcester, said: "This was a truly inspiring event seeing how hard these young people have worked in their community, had many adventures and learnt skills for life. "Whilst 50 attended the celebration there are many more young people out there who also have achieved though couldn’t make it - I say well done to them too."

Our congratulations go to Robert Williams who masterminded this event.

The event this year included Scouts for the first time, and was designed with the objective of encouraging members of the Scout section to continue their Scouting after age 14, by displaying to them and their families the exploits and achievements of the Explorer Scout and Network sections.


Aviva Community Fund

Aviva are delighted to tell you their Community Fund is back this year to give more local projects the chance to win funding.

With funding from £1,000 up to £25,000 available, local projects of all sizes could win enough money to change lives for the better within their community.

Since it started in the UK, the
Aviva Community Fund has given money to 877 projects. Could yours be one of the lucky ones this year? Submissions close on the 10th October 2017. To find out more, please click here.

Woodstock Outdoors

Welcome to Woodstock Outdoors…..

I am a Scout leader at 1st Prestbury, Cheltenham,  part of the Gloucestershire Water Activities team, plus sometime helper at Bob’s Dinosaurs Explorer unit.  I would like to announce that I have finally taken the plunge and decided to open my version of an outdoor equipment shop.

It’s early days yet, and I have some lovely items in stock already, Woodstock Outdoors will become the place to come for all your outdoor adventure equipment, from lightweight hiking and camping through to base camp solutions and full on cast iron bushcraft cookware.

Our brands include Scout shops, Thermarest, Vango, MSR, Light My Fire, Expedition Foods, Wayfarer foods, Trangia. Petromax, Bushcraft and a few specialist suppliers of those hard to find items such as genuine MOD stoves and fuel blocks.

The Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme is something we’re very keen to support, having helped so many young people in Explorer Scouts and Schools gain their awards You know we can supply the best equipment to help you achieve yours, we have a range of DofE approved equipment from Vango and Trangia plus help and advice to equip you with everything you will need for your adventure.

Woodstock will be ordering the full range of Scout Association uniform and accessories – If we don’t have what you want, ask and we’ll do our best to provide it…………always looking for inspiration..

Pop in for a chat and see what we’re all about, share your experiences or just for some advice, we’ll be opening Mon to Fri 10am to 5pm, Sat 10am to 2pm & some evenings to suit local needs………

Yours in Scouting
Phil Dell-Smith, Woodstock Outdoors
Cadbury Courtyard, Blackminster Business Park, Blackminster, Evesham, WR11 7RE.
Tel: 01386 244060. e-mail:  Website:  

Astwood Bank Scouts Celebrate Their Centenary


Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Leaders from Astwood Bank, Redditch celebrated 100 years of Scouting by holding a Group Centenary Camp at Pikes Pool, near Bromsgrove in May. Almost 50 young people and 10 leaders attended the weekend camp which was supported by a Big Lottery Grant.

Astwood Bank is the oldest Scout Group in Redditch. In true youth-shaped tradition, Scouts were asked how they thought the Centenary year should be celebrated. They decided they wanted a camp that involved both traditional and adventurous activities and that would bring all sections of the Group (Beavers, Cubs and Scouts) together. They also wanted a celebration cake!  Leaders worked hard to put their ideas into practice, arranging a weekend camp that included activities such as crate-stacking, archery, rocket launching, light lighting, team challenges and an inflatable gladiator game.

Sally Payne, Group Scout Leader said “During the camp Beavers, Cubs and Scouts worked in mixed teams which is something that young people rarely have the opportunity to experience outside Scouting. It was great to see the older Scouts helping the Beavers and Cubs. This was the first camp for many of our younger members and it was a great introduction to the fun and adventure that Scouting has to offer”.

Deb Lennox, Assistant Cub Scout Leader said “It was a great camp and a fantastic experience for all the different sections to get together. It was so good to see them all helping each other and working together.  We have some fantastic kids and I was really proud of them all!”

Working with younger children was something that Scout Jake (aged 12) particularly enjoyed: “I liked getting to know the Cubs and Beavers and teaching them something new”. Young people also enjoyed the activities, especially crate stacking and fire lighting. The food also received favourable comments – especially the pizza that was delivered on Friday evening (this was a special camp after all!) and the Bolognese that was prepared by Redditch Scout Active Support Unit on Saturday night.

Although the camp was organised for current members of the Scout Group one or two special visitors were invited, including Sid the new County Commissioner who got stuck into a game of giant Jenga (but successfully avoided the water-based team challenges!)

Leaders hope that the Centenary Camp is something that Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and adult volunteers will remember and talk about for many years to come. Scout Kieran (aged 11) agrees and said “I really enjoyed this camp, especially the crate stacking and fire lighting.

For my first Scout camp it was EPIC!” Cub Scout Rufus (aged 8) also agrees, saying “I loved the camp. Thank you to all the leaders – it was so much fun!”

A short film of the Group’s camping adventures can be seen on YouTube at link:


Sally Payne, Group Scout Leader

Brownsea Island



Many Scout Troops have been away camping over the summer.

Two young people from the 4th Hereford Troop have had an even more amazing experience by making their promise and being invested on Brownsea Island, in Poole Harbour  where the first Scout camp was held by Baden-Powell from 1st to 8th August 1907. Well done and what an experience!

Co-op Support Scouting

Over the summer, 22nd Hereford Scout Group were presented with a cheque for £200 towards purchasing much needed equipment their Group.

The cheque was kindly given to the Group by their local Co-Operative store on Holme Lacy Road, Hereford as part of the stores reopening and rebranding after a refurbishment. A number of representaives from the Group went along to collect the cheque. 

22nd Hereford would like to thank the Co-op for their generosity and for thinking of the Group as part of their local community that they wished to donate to.

District Photographer in National Competition

A budding amateur photographer has won a national competition after his image was praised for highlighting the dangers to railway workers. He is pictured with his photo at the Focus: on safety at work exhibition at People's History Museum in Manchester.

Network Rail signal and telecoms technician Christopher Draper, from Hereford, took the picture outside the city's railway station before entering it into a competition focusing on health and safety in the workplace.

Christopher beat over 50 other budding photographers to secure first place in the ‘Focus: on safety at work’ competition. He received the largest share of the prize money and his winning entry was showcased at the People’s History Museum in Manchester between August 31 and September 4. 

Chris has recently become the South Marches District photographer for events and is a parent helper at one of the Groups in the District. South Marches District would like to say a massive congratulations to Chris on his success in the competition.

First term for 1st Weobley Beavers

In July 1st Weobley Beavers completed their first term since being formed. It has been an amazing first term for all of them. The new Leaders and Beavers have accomplished so much in a short space of time.

The new Leaders we are immensely proud of their new Colony and how well it has all gone. They are also very proud of their Beavers; so much so that they spoke to the headmaster (Mr Warrell) of their school to inform him of their journey. Mr Warrell was excited to hear all about what the Beavers had done and what they have been up to and wanted to share it with the whole school in their Golden Assembly.

1st Weobley Beavers proudly wore their uniforms, displaying their badges, in front of the whole school and parents. Mr Warrell can't wait to hear all about what they will be doing next term and encourages them all to bring their badges in to show everyone. 

Matchborough Scouts Awards Evening

Local dignitaries gathered to celebrate the achievement of one Scout Group in Redditch on Tuesday, 18th July 2017. 

Hereford and Worcester County Scout Commissioner Robert Sidley (Sid), Redditch Scouts District Commissioner Mike McAuliffe, Redditch Mayor Jenny Wheeler, Worcestershire County Councillor Pattie Hill, Redditch Police Inspector Darren Webster and Linda Trevethick, a Trustee for The Sir John Middlemore Trust, all learned about a very successful year for 1st Matchborough Scout Group. Around 50 young people, aged from 6 to 14, listened attentively at the Abbeydale Community Club as awards were handed out to some of the Beavers, Cubs and Scouts for outstanding achievement.

Picture shows (front left to right): 

  • Oliver Evetts (9) - Cub Scout of the Year
  • Callum Beech (12) - Scout of the Year
  • Jacob Evans (7) - Beaver Scout of the Year.

and shows (back left to right):

  • Darren Webster - Redditch Police Inspector
  • Mike McAuliffe - Redditch District Commissioner
  • Jenny Wheeler - Mayor of Redditch

The audience, which included a host of parents, heard about an exciting programme of events that had been laid on for their children, two of the highlights involving taking part in the BrumJam Jamboree and winning best float at the recent Astwood Bank Carnival.

Group Scout Leader Debbie Mills said: “We are very popular with 80 young people and a waiting list. We always try to put on an exciting and varied programme for the Beavers, Cubs and Scouts and I suppose that is why we are so thriving. I congratulate all those who achieved awards tonight, from the Scouts to the volunteers, because without them we couldn’t achieve what we do.”

Team Zulu

Mark Strain, District Commissioner Worcester is pictured with members of Team Zulu after completing the St Richards Hospice Worcestershire Way Walk on 23 June.  Completing 34 miles in a day Mark would like to thank all those who sponsored him, the total raised for the hospice by the team to date is well over £2,600.  


Team Zulu photo at the end of the walk at the base of Sugar Loaf on the Malvern Hills

You can watch their promo video on YouTube at link:
Two recent online articles in local newspapers:

If you'd like to contribute, their Just Giving Page is

The Royal Three Counties Show

Once again this year we ran the Royal Three Counties Show occasional badge in conjunction with the Three Counties Agricultural Society. The Royal Three Counties Show ran from the 16-18th June 2017 at the Three Counties Showground in Malvern. This year the opportunity to take part was open to all sections in Scouting, as well as being open to the Girl Guiding community for the first time. Participation in the free badge included pre-booked free admission to the show, with a discounted ticket available to parents/guardians.

We had 670 young people and their Leaders attend this year (almost twice the number in 2016), with over 150 of the Guiding community also taking up the opportunity! Consequently there were lots of Scout uniforms visible on the Saturday and Sunday at the show.

All the feedback has been very positive, with the young people typically seeing (and sometimes participating in) aspects of the life of the countryside that they did not normally see - whilst also having a great time.

Our thanks go to the Royal Three Counties Show for making this great opportunity available to our members.

Worcester District Camp

Some photographs from the Worcester District Camp tt Blackwell Court in July 2017





Worcester Explorers

This summer Worcester Explorer Unit invited their equivalent scouts from the Worcester Twinned French community of Le Vesinet. Thirty-five Pioneers and Caravelles headed to Worcester.

They spent the first week camping at a farm just outside Worcester: visiting Worcester; Walking on The Malvern Hills; an evening on the river with North Unit thanks to 5th Worcester Sea Scouts and spending time with Explorers.


Then we all headed to Cornwall for a great week at Nine Ashes Campsite near Wadebridge during a packed week of activities the Worcester Explorers were invested into the French Scoots (that’s how they say it) whilst we invested them into the unit. Traditions were shared including Sunday Roast and English Breakfast!

It looks like this is the start of a friendship and already plans are forming to head over the channel.