1st Warners End

Over the last 18 months, members of the district team have been working with the leaders at 1st Warners End to support them following Bruce’s departure as Group Scout Leader. A new GSL has not been found and we have considered a number of options.

1st Warners End to become “dormant”

The decision we have taken jointly with the leadership team is that they will be best supported by joining 3rd Boxmoor and making 1st Warners End “dormant”. We have agreed this will take effect officially from 1st September 2015 although some joint activities will take place during July.

The existing beaver colony will merge into 3rd Boxmoor’s existing colony, further strengthening the leader team – with a view to potentially opening a second colony at some point next year.

The Cub Pack led by Jane Wyton will change it’s meeting to 6.00pm – 7.30pm on Tuesday evenings so the group will operate two cub packs (no change to the Thursday pack).

As with any group closing/becoming dormant, the buildings, equipment, finances and ongoing business of the charity become the responsibility of the district (managed by the district executive). Careful consideration will be given to ensuring we use these to best support the operation of Scouting locally.

Closing a group, whether a permanent or temporary decision, is not ideal but in this case everyone agreed that it is the best way to continue to support the adults to provide the best opportunities to young people in the local area.


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/

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.

84 Scouts, 2 veterans, serving troops, leaders, ambassadors and an MP… armed with shoe boxes and heaps of goodies, and a gift from a new supermarket.

8th November was all about packing boxes for our brave troops in Afghanistan. In less than 20 minutes our fantastic team cleared this room and packed 306 shoeboxes which were then transported to Mike Penning’s office to be sealed and sent directly to the troops in time for Christmas.

We would like to thank Aldi who provided a whole pile of goodies even before they open their new store, all our visitors, leaders and young people for the most fantastic team effort, WELL DONE!

Mark Mitchell, CEO of Community Action Dacorum and Local Ambassador for Hemel Hempstead District Scouts said: “Thanks for inviting me to be part of last night. It was super to see 100+ scouts and leaders getting so involved and with such enthusiasm”

Hundreds of Beavers, Cubs, Scouts, Leaders, families and friends from across Hemel Hempstead District wended their way to Phasels Wood on 13th October to find themselves face to face with a Bear!

With a promise of traffic chaos many of our young people hiked to the event from points across the west side of Hemel, with an army of leaders and parents to escort them. As always, everything was organised so well that there was no queue to be seen on the A41 after all.

The GR8 BIG B@SH was the biggest party the campsite has seen since Sunrise back in 2007 when several thousand members camped overnight and renewed their promise to commemorate 100 years of Scouting.

This time the celebration was due to Hertfordshire Scouts having recently announced that membership of Scouting in the county is now at its highest ever, with 16463 members across all ages.

The party was also part of ‘Bear in the Air’. Bear Grylls, our Chief Scout, has taken to the skies recently to visit as many major Scouting events as possible, and even the cold, wet weather didn’t keep him away. With his helicopter grounded due to low cloud, he arrived by car to a crowd of 3,500 and a carnival atmosphere.

With just a few words on stage to thank the young people and adult volunteers, Bear’s message that we need more helpers to fulfil the Scouting programme was loud and clear. Then he waded his way through the crowds of young people to see first hand some of the fantastic activities that are available at our local Scout site.

The cloud lifted, the helicopter arrived and whisked Bear off to his next adventure; but not before he had signed scarves, ‘high fived’ hundreds and been snapped thousands of times! Our Explorers from HHEX escorted their hero throughout and were feeling very pleased with themselves after he had gone.

Over 400 members of Scouting in Hemel Hempstead, their leaders and parents descended on Phasels Wood for our end-of-year cooking and campfire event.

Youngsters had the chance to cook sausages in foil, make popcorn on stoves, bake pizzas on embers, fry apples in batter, toast marshmallows and cook dough twists.

The evening ended with a campfire – with 1,000 voices joining in… check out the video on our Facebook page.

This weekend over 90 Scouts took part in the annual Nimrod Challenge – a test of teamwork and navigation as teams worked their way through 6 activity bases dotted around the countryside surrounding Phasels Wood.

Congratulations to 1st Kings Langley who took home the winners trophy and also achieved highest placed training team.

Nimrod 2013 Results

Thanks to the Explorer Scouts for organising this activity, with support from Frank (Explorer Leader) and members of the Scout Network and district Scout Active Support Unit for driving minibuses.