1st Bennetts End


We’ve had a rather chilly start to the Summer term, but still plenty of our young people are getting out and about enjoying activities.

1st Bennetts End Scouts renewed their promise on St George’s Day whilst at Camp.

Explorers have been training for their Duke of Edinburgh expeditions, canoeing for Bronze level and hiking for Silver.

A great day was had by all on the Power Boat course at Bury Lake – in the words of Scouts, “It was sooooooooooooooooooooooooo good!” and they are desperate to do it all again!

1st Hemel Hempstead scouts enjoyed a fun-filled caving camp in the Forest of Dean.

International News

  • Attached is the April 2016 “International Matters” newsletter from Hertfordshire Scouts.

Forthcoming dates:

Happy Scouting!





Last night we celebrated our success over the last year at our District AGM… check out our annual report video showing all the fun and adventure enjoyed members of the district over the past 12 months.

In May, June and July 2014, all Scouts (10-14 year olds) had the chance to participate in a district rifle shooting competition during a normal troop evening. We arranged for each troop to spend one evening (more for larger troops) using the range at Phasels Wood and kept track of the scores to announce the winning troop (with scores averaged) as well as top three 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14 year olds.

In total 228 Scouts from all 13 troops took part.

Click here to download the results of the 2014 Rifle Shooting Competition.

Thanks to Jason, Sarah, Georgia, Chris and Vince for running the sessions over the last 3 months!

The results can alos be seen at: www.hemel-scouts.co.uk/activities/rifle-shooting/

Click here to download the results of this year’s Nimrod Challenge.

Thank you to Katie-Anne, Jason and Kieran for their efforts organising the event and to the Explorer Scouts who helped man the bases.

I am delighted to announce that the Chief Scout has awarded the following individuals with the Chief Scout’s Commendation for Good Service. These awards recognise individuals who go “over and above” what’s expected of them in their Scouting role.

Full citations will be read when the awards are presented, but below gives you a flavour of why each of them was nominated by someone else in the district.

  • Vince Allen – for supporting two sections each week at 1st Leverstock Green, Bushcraft and always being willing to help with practical repairs and making new activities.
  • Sean d’Arcy – for consistent reliability at 1st Leverstock Green Scout Troop (both on Friday evenings and with other tasks) plus support at many district events, particularly co-ordinating the district’s bases at Green Beret.
  • Christine Dickens – for her help with numerous district activities, both on the day and “behind-the-scenes”.
  • Lina Dyble – for her role as assistant treasurer at 1st Leverstock Green, helping at the scout shop, district events and to recognise her previous efforts supporting the district with admin tasks.
  • Jason Farmer – for efforts as Scout Leader at 1st Bennetts End, the district Bushcraft activity as well as helping St. Albans at Lochearnhead and with their gang show for the past few years.
  • Andy Glass – for continuing to give 1st Bennetts End stable leadership over the last 5 years plus supporting the organisation many districts activities and a pivotal role in Cubjam 2013.
  • Jo Hirons – for co-ordinating the Young Leader scheme and being part of the District’s appointments advisory committee on top of supporting weekly Explorer meetings and weekend events.
  • Alan Oxtoby – for supporting the Explorer section as ESL in addition to his role as ASL at 1st Leverstock Green and support at many district activities.
  • Kerry Sayers – for supporting 1st Gadebridge as well as Beaver Colonies and Cub Packs at 1st Apsley and numerous district activities.
  • Maureen Shelley – for many hours spent administering district activities in addition to her tireless work as District Explorer Scout Administrator.
  • Robin Smith – for his support with the district sailing activity evenings and being AESL in St. Albans, as well as being an ESL in Hemel Hempstead.

Nominations for awards can be made at any time during the – individuals being put forward for awards must have at least been involved with Scouting as an adult for at least 5 years (unless in very exceptional circumstances) and have completed the training required for their current role(s).

If you wish to nominate someone, please email awards[@]hemel-scouts.co.uk

Scouts from across the district partied the night away last Friday, having hiked from their usual meeting place to Phasels Wood where a disco and party food had been laid on.

A Chief Scout Gold award was presented during the evening, as was the inaugural “Dave Barnes Memorial Trophy” – to 1st Kings Langley who had the highest place training team in July’s Nimrod Challenge.

Today, 50 Scouts from 10 Groups competed in the 21st HHDS Pinewood Derby.

Over the last few weeks, they had all built and decorated their own cars from a kit – each entrant starts with a block of wood, 4 wheels, 4 nails and 4 axles. From this starting point they design their car keeping within a set of rules. This was the day when their cars were put through their paces.

The cars were raced in 2 groups, on a double elimination method (each car has to lose to 2 others to go out), with the fastest cars going through to a Grand Final.

Prizes of vouchers and goodies were donated by Cotswold Outdoors, and were awarded to the best three decorated cars and the fastest three cars.

Well done to John Larkin and his team of helpers for organising another hugely successful event, and thank you to Cotswold for their generosity in donating the prizes.

Scouts from five Groups across Hemel Hempstead teamed up at Ashridge on Saturday to help the National Tree Council plant a new orchard, on the first day of National Tree Week.

Led by 1st Warners End Scouts leader Matt Smith, a gardener at Ashridge House, 17 Scouts replanted a total of 33 apple, pear and cherry trees, to reinstate an orchard that was on the same site in the mid 1800s, at the rear of the main house, and adjoining the stunning gardens. Four members of Ashridge staff also joined the team to guide the scouts through the task. This exercise counts towards the Community Challenge Badge.

This is part of a greater project to restore the gardens at Ashridge to their former beauty, and as always, Hemel Hempstead District Scouts were happy to lend a hand. During the afternoon, the team learned how to plant the trees, why they are planted in a certain way, and discovered a little about the history of the orchard and Ashridge House.

This is the 40th anniversary of active tree planting nationally, since the ‘Plant a Tree in 73’ campaign was launched.

There is a great need nowadays to counterbalance the declining tree population caused by ash dieback, chestnut leaf miner and other diseases; the National Tree Council sponsored some of the trees.

A total of 130 cubs from 10 Hemel Hempstead scout groups have been working to achieve their Astronomers’ Badge.

To help them reach their target, 14 bases were set up at Hobbs Hill Wood School including: Design Our Own Constellation; Eclipses; Quizzes, Building Solar System Models; Building Rockets, IT Research and more.

This is the start of a three-year cycle that will see set days for cubs to work together in order to gain activity badges, such as Artist, Scientist and Astronomer, on a rotational basis.

9 teams from Hemel Hempstead District Scouts this weekend competed in Green Beret, the biggest, toughest countywide annual Scouting challenge. The weekend consisted of sleeping in sub zero temperatures and completing various optional activities, and a compulsory assault course and orienteering task. 117 teams in total took part in the competition and a further 29 training teams joined in the fun, camping at Gilwell Park, the ‘home’ of Scouting in the UK.

Teams of 6 Scouts entered the competition which was broken into three sections on Saturday: morning, afternoon and evening, with activity bases opening at 8am and closing at 11pm. Together they completed as many bases as possible, and they were marked on various criteria. Each team’s 10 highest scores were added to their mark for the assault course and orienteering challenge, and counted towards the total.

Activity bases varied in nature between physical and intellectual challenges.  Examples of bases included a cannon run, an over-the-scout-van-climb, a giant hoopla, a pole climb, karaoke, world flag quiz, geography quiz, puzzles, music and listening challenges, 4-in-a-row, card games,  crossing a minefield, and many others.

Hemel Hempstead Scout Groups joined together opting for a central District catering facility, and Leaders cooked a hearty three course meal of roast beef and all the trimmings to ensure our Scouts were well fed and warm before starting the evening’s activities. Kings Langley Scouts serenaded the cooks to a rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody while they waited to be fed. With temperatures overnight plummeting to -4’C everyone woke to a beautiful frost trimmed view of Gilwell’s Tent City on Sunday morning!

The highest placed teams from Hemel Hempstead District Scouts overall were 1st Leverstock Green B and A, who finished in 9th and 10th places respectively. 1st Leverstock Green B were placed 3rd in the activity bases, while Leverstock Green A came 2nd in the assault course, with 1st Apsley Geese close behind in 4th. All the teams from Hemel Hempstead gave 100% effort and the Leaders across the District are very proud of their achievements.