4th Boxmoor

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/

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.

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.

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.

Wheelie Bin Racing 2011If you spotted hundreds of torches and high vis vests shining around Nash Mills, Kings Langley, Leverstock Green or Bedmond, you will have witnessed the Hertfordshire County Cubs’ Night Hike!

809 Cubs and Leaders from across Hertfordshire descended on Hobbs Hill Wood School, where they staked their place for their bed on the floor with a sleeping bag and roll mat, before being fed and watered and shipped out by coach to take part in one of the biggest adventures in the Hertfordshire Scouting calendar.

In groups of 4-8 led by adults, the Cubs used maps and directions to negotiate the 8.1-mile route along the canal, through fields and lanes, stopping off at activity bases along the way to complete tasks supervised by 70 Scouts. The bases were themed on the Cubs’ Map Reader badge, and mostly related to their understanding of how to use a map, including identifying map symbols, building a model hill using contour lines, a treasure hunt using a Silva compass and answering questions on a map. In addition, the hugely popular activities of Wheelie Bin Racing (using grid references) and a BBQ were on offer. The total distance walked by the teams is equal to walking from Hemel Hempstead to Honolulu or Jakarta!

2100 sausages, 150 tins of spaghetti, 150 tins of beans, 50 loaves of bread, 800 burgers, 800 rolls, 800 Mars bars, over 300 packets of biscuits… and that’s before we even think about breakfast!

The last teams arrived back at Hobbs Hill at 1am and 950 weary bodies settled down to hot chocolate and biscuits before they found their ‘bed’ on the floor, leaving barely a spare inch of carpet visible across the school!

After a short night’s sleep, the hubbub started again, with everyone needing to be fed breakfast of cereals and toast, before the entire group gathered to receive their awards.

4th Boxmoor Scouts celebrated their 50th year with a party, a cake and a Papal blessing! The Scout Group was started in 1963, and Peggy West, one of the original team still dedicates three evenings every week to the Group.

During the evening, members and leaders from the 60s right through to current youth members watched a presentation of films and photos, and swapped stories. Having recently held a competition to design a celebratory badge, the winning entry was also used to decorate the 50th Anniversary cake.

The highlight of the year for 4th Boxmoor, the only Roman Catholic Scout Group in Hemel Hempstead, is the Papal blessing that was received to commemorate this milestone in the history of the Group. This was organised by friends of the Group as a surprise for Peggy West.

Elsewhere this weekend, at Lees Wood local Scouts went back to basics for a weekend of bushcraft. Instead of tents, they erected bivouac shelters to sleep in and cooked on open fires. This was a great opportunity to put into practice the true Scouting skills that they had learned throughout the year on their Bushcraft course.

Natural shelters were built, crayfish were cooked for lunch and chickens were roasted for dinner. Bushcraft is a really fantastic opportunity for the young members to learn basic survival skills and enjoy the countryside.

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.

photoThanks to everyone who made our new style and Promise Renewal and St. George’s Day celebration event such a fantastic success – over 300 youngsters enjoyed the afternoon’s presentation and activities, with hundreds of parents and leaders also joining in.

A selection of photographs from the day are available below.

Our innovative new format also led to the Hemel Hemepstead Gazette running a full-page article on Wednesday 1st May, easily the largest and most eye-catching piece about Scouting for many years!

One parent, newly recruited as a Beaver Scout Leader said:

“It made me feel great to be part of something that i forgot was so big, and see how i could build relationships between local groups to be able to share experiences for my colony.”

Here are the results from last night’s Swimming Gala.