1st Wash Common Scout Group AGM

Saturday 16th June 2018

Venue: Youlbury Scout Activity Centre

In Attendance

Mike Goddard (Chair), Rob Daniels (Group Scout Leader), Helen Strutt (Treasurer), Vikki Goldsmith (minutes), Paul Fisher (ADC Scouts) , Rachel Fisher (ADC Beavers), Matt Doran, Jill Povall, Alex Brooks, Rich Tiley, Rich Kirby, Diana Wheatley (Kennet District Appointments Secretary) and Mo Osborne (ADC Cubs).

1) Welcome by Chair

Mike introduced himself and welcomed everyone to the AGM. He thanked the outgoing executive committee members and the existing members, the camp organisers (especially Sue Etheridge and Rachel Fisher), Rob Daniels, Paul Fisher, Eugene Futcher, Matt Doran, Louise Clarkson and family, the Fundraising Committee (including people involved in the recent 3 Peaks Challenge), Andy Strutt, James Fisher, Caroline Jackson, Rich Kirby, Wai Thomas, Phil Davey, Dave Manton (Quartermaster). He thanked Marion and David Fenn (the outgoing Mayor of Newbury) for their support in the last year, as well as Marsh Fuels, the Co-op, Newbury Freemasons, the Greenham Common Trust and Clarke & Son Solicitors.

2) Address by Diana Wheatley

Diana thanked the executive committee members, section leaders and assistant leaders for all their work which makes scouting possible. In the last year the district has opened a new scout group in Woolton Hill and Dave Elliot has taken over the role of District Commissioner. In the coming year the district hopes to appoint an Assistant District Commissioner. The district is also preparing for the upcoming international jamboree.

3) Committee Changes

Helen Strutt nominated Mike Goddard to become Chair, Carolyn Bullen seconded this. Andy Strutt nominated Rob Daniels to become Group Scout Leader, Fran Goddard seconded this. Both positions were unanimously agreed.

Mike reported that Helen is stepping down as Treasurer this year and therefore the group is looking for a new Treasurer as well as Secretary.

4) Group Scout Leader (GSL) Report

Rob introduced himself and thanked the outgoing GSL. In the last few months there has been much focus on hut maintenance. Rob thanked Matt Doran and also Environmental Waste Management Solutions for their support in developing the recycling system in the hut. Gas bottles are now stored outside the hut, the rotten boards on the front have been replaced and broadband has been installed. The hut is now cleaned by cleaners on a weekly basis and has 4 regular rental bookings. The group is at capacity and therefore the opening of the Woolton Hill section should help reduce the waiting list.

5) Hut Project

Mike provided an update on the Hut Project. The next fundraising event is on 22 September: Race to Space. Young people in the scout group will share the target of running/walking 800 laps of the recreation ground next to the hut which is the equivalent of the distance between the International Space Station and Earth (400km). People will be needed to help on the day.

The group have now entered into a formal agreement to purchase land at Falkland Cricket Club (FCC), with encouragement and support from the Greenham Common Trust. FCC are building a new pavilion in September and the hut will be in the land adjacent to this. The existing hut and plot will be sold. The purchase of the new plot of land and construction of a new hut will be funded by proceeds from the sale, grants, fundraising events and matched funding. The move to the new site is expected to happen within 2 to 3 years.

6) Treasurer’s Report

Helen reported that as at 31 March 2018 the main account had £22k and the fundraising account had £50k approximately. The increase on last year was mainly due to fundraising activities. Helen reported that the accounts required an independent review which could cost £300. She welcomed suggestions for less expensive alternatives.

7) Section Reports

Beavers – Rich Kirby and beavers reported on the activites in the last year, which included badges and biscuits, exploring events (visits to The Chase, Beacon Hill and Snelsmore as well as a night hike), an Adventure Day, volunteering (County Show, coffee morning and Xmas Fayre), visits (to Metro Bank, Living Rainforest, Yew Tree Garden Centre, Pets at Home, Laser Quest), the Remembrance and St George’s Day parades, sleepover and sledging.

Dalby activities in the last year include: hikes, cooking, laser tag, trampolining, bowling, camping, fire lighting, 1st Aid training and badges.

Cromwell Troop did a summer camp in Torquay and a weekend in London. 65 badges have been achieved.

Falkland Troop activities include a Troops Night, paddleboarding, circus skills, TVP Armed Response Unit, hiking, fish and chip survey, walks, Brexit Night, treasure hunt and camping.

8) AOB

Mike clarified the funding plan for the Hut Project.

Appendix

Section reports in full

Beavers

Beavers report: B - is for Badges and Biscuits. We've awarded 552 badges and eaten a whopping 1440 biscuits in the last year. I thought I might get people to guess these for fun E- Exploring - We've been to The Chase, up Beacon Hill, Den building at Snelsmore and had a night hike A- Adventure Day we attend the first Beavers adventure V - Volunteering the beavers have helped out at the county fair, Xmas fair, major tea party Visits - We've visited or been visited by Metro Bank, The Living rainforest, Yew tree garden centre, Pets at home, Razzamataz, Circus skills, Laser quest. E - Events beaver attended St Georges Day and Remembrance Sunday R - Riding bikes and recycling junk S - Sleep over at the museum and Sledging in Gold acre park

Since last year’s AGM Holborne colony has had some leadership changes. Dormouse’s full time job changed meaning that she is not working locally therefore unable to get to Beavers each week. She has managed to come and help out at a couple of activities over the year and still plans to help where possible. Last August I had a baby and since have not been able to return to leading Holborne Colony. The running of the colony from week to week has been done by Dragonfly and Nightjar supported by our section assistants and young leaders. They have done a fantastic job and I am very grateful to them all. To keep myself involved I have continued to do all of the admin for both colonies and I hope to return to Monday evenings in the near future, but just need to work out childcare logistics. We do need to recruit more leaders for Holborne colony as we will be losing Dragonfly and Hedgehog over the summer, and if I am unable to attend each week it will have a detrimental effect on the colony being able to run. Stuart colony has remained steadier with leadership, however it would be great if we could recruit another section assistant so that we have an extra pair of hands, as Robin is no longer able to help at Beavers, but has remained involved in the group by joining our fund raising committee. I would like to take the opportunity to say a huge thank you to all of the Beaver leaders, section assistants and young leaders who give up their time to make the running of the two colonies possible, especially this past year where I have not been able to be of much help. Scouting in Wash Common is still just as popular and we currently have over 65 names on the waiting list of which nearly half are aged 6 and over and therefore missing out on Scouting. However, some of these live in Woolton Hill where the District are trying to open a group at Thorngrove School. Some taster sessions were run before Easter and currently they are in the process of sorting paperwork and training for the adults that have come forward, with the view to open later this year. If this successfully goes ahead a group of youngsters from our list will transfer to Thorngrove which will then give more opportunity to those living in Wash Common to get spaces. We strive to deliver a balanced program of activities to the Beavers to enable them to achieve their badges while having fun and gaining new experiences. Over the past year the youngsters have been involved in a number of activities and I have listed some of them in this report, but the Beavers would like to tell you this themselves.

Squirrel

Dalby

Over the course of the last 12 months Dalby Cub pack have done many exciting and skill based activities. We currently have 23 Cubs in the pack, with three leaders and good support from parent helpers, although we always welcome more!!! In the last 12 months Dalby Cubs have been out and about on some fantastic hikes (one each ½ term) that included den building at Pen Wood and a night hike with wide games at Greenham. The Cubs have also been to laser tag, trampolining and bowling. We like to make sure the Cubs have plenty of opportunity to achieve badges and have done activities towards their Pioneer, Chef, First Aid level 1, Home Help, Physical Recreation and the Adventure and Personal challenge badges this year. Our May Camp at Youlbury was a particular success. We defeated the May showers and the attending Cubs had a great time working towards their Outdoor challenge badge, backwoods cooking and Entertainers badges. The fire lighting and campfire cooking were particular favourites and the campfire entertainment and songs the Cubs put on we something not to be missed.

Cavalier

Cavalier pack update

Cub pack has seen continuing high numbers of members, with on Average 30 cubs for each meeting. We finished off the 2017 Summer term with some outdoors swimming at Northcroft Lido and slap-up McDonalds Dinner During the Autumn term we fished for Crayfish (but put them back and didn't eat them!), we got exceedingly messy for Halloween, made some fantastic Christmas decorations for our Christmas Fayre and had a great Nike Hike at Snelsmore Common We started off the new year with some Bike Maintenance and road safety (and Egg safety!), which we followed on with Navigation, Map Reading, and Direction Finding.

We built a fantastic Pioneering Chariot for the St George's day parade - which was a problem when we found it was bigger than the hut doors, and then we had to get it onto my roofrack and down into town! We finished off spring term with a bouncing evening at Basingstoke Jump Factory trampoline centre (no injuries!) This term we have been looking at Reycling, reusing and nature. We are growing Sunflowers (mine isn't growing so well!). We have looked at alternate energy sources, and built some water and air powered rockets. We've made bowls out of recycled paper, flour and water. and finally we have spent an evening at the Chase looking for river creatures and assessing the amazing recovery of nature after the pollution incident 2 years ago. The Cubs are earning many badges through the programme of events, and by also demonstrating their own knowledge and skills in cub led meetings and presentations.

Chris.

Cromwell

Dear scouts ,Parents and family,

Cromwell has now 18 scouts and 5 leaders working together and providing a mixed program. We have very pleased to have welcome Nick you was a scout then a young leader who went to university and came back to join us last October. We have achieved 65 badges from 14 June 2017 to 2018. Last year ‘s trip to Torquay had it’s highlight from spending the day on the water, canoeing and paddle boarding with a seal swimming alongside us. We camp in November and the children learn and dig a “pit” hole to empty their personal waste. I took them a few hours sharing tools and sweat. But the best was definitely when it came to who was going to carry the buckets and which gender was going to splash less!!!!! London monopoly weekend was exciting with lots of walking, sightseeing and slightly snowing weather. The night walk to see London lights show was rewarded with a see-saw ride and pizza in Leicester’s square. We gain new badges this year and we muddle through the new scheme as it is challenging for all, scouts and leaders to achieve time and activities for the scout chief gold award. John has done our first aid stage badges provided the lastest equipment for demonstration and will continue to help us built our understanding of life saving skills. Daniel after 20 years of service has always the latest gadget to help us with activities such has sword fighting using balloon “yes, we ended next to his camper van blowing balloons from his new pomp!” On a more serious matter, We are very lucky to have such volunteers who give us the opportunity to learn and develop new skills and grow as responsible, caring young people. We also would like to “Thank” the parents for supporting us and helping a hand when needed. Cromwell Scouts

Falkland

1st Wash Common Falkland Troop

Falkland troop is currently running with 21 Scouts and we have a leadership team of 4 appointed leaders and one young leader.

Since the last AGM we have taken part in a number of activities including St George’s day, Sailing and Paddle boarding, multiple cooking opportunities, a weekend camp, chip shop challenge, backwoods cooking at Angel’s corner and pioneering to name a few. We also had the Thames Valley Armed Response police come along to an evening to show off all their “cool” equipment and very nice car. The Scouts also had a very informative walk around Wash Common where Dave Stubbs (local Bobby when I was growing up) provided them information about the history of Wash Common including the mounds on the common and also the Battle of Newbury site in the field off Essex Street.

On the remaining evenings of this term we will be learning navigation skills to go towards the Expedition Challenge and also having an end of term BBQ at Snelsmore common.

The Scouts have also continued to make progress with their challenge awards with this year our focus being on the Personal, World and Skills challenge. We hope to complete two of these challenges in the near future.

In October we will be taking part in the District Archery competition and in November we will be involved in Remembrance parade and the District Alamo competition.

Looking forward we will continue to work on the challenge awards in an aim for more Scouts to achieve the Chief Scout Gold Award. Also we hope to be able organise more nights away as this year due to leader’s work and personal commitments we haven’t been able to offer a full summer camp, however we are looking at having a long weekend in late August early September.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the leaders and the parents for their continued support.

The Leaders of Falkland Troop

GSL Report

For those that don’t know me, I’m Rob Daniels – I’m a Leader of Falkland Scouts – I have been on and off since 1998 or something like that and I’m now the Group Scout Leader. My job is to support the Leaders of the Beavers, Cubs and Scouts at Wash Common and generally make sure the Scouty Stuff happens. Firstly, I’d like to thank our outgoing chair and GSL - Rich and Phil, for their work over the past few years and for making the transition to Myself and Mike so very smooth and easy.

My Second thanks is to the Leaders, assistants and helpers of the sections. You will see from the reports, the amazing amount of hard work and effort that goes into providing a huge range of activities these volunteers provide. These are not paid employees. They are giving up several hours of their week to put on an incredible programme for our young people. Scouting has just rebranded and has a tag line is “Skills for Life” and it couldn’t be put better. So my biggest thank you is to them. Over the past few months we’ve made some changes to the hut, to make it safer and easier to find stuff. We had a brilliant ‘spring clean’ in the snow and binned a huge amount of junk. We even found a canoe! Thank you to all those that helped! • We’ve improved the recycling facilities. Thanks to Environmental Waste Management Services for upgrading our Recycling free of charge. • Moved the Gas bottles to an external store. Thanks to Marsh Fuels in Ball Hill for providing us free Gas bottles for the year! • Installed a loft ladder • Made some minor safety changes to the electrics • Replaced some of the rotten boards on the front of the building. • Installed broadband • Employed weekly cleaners – so the toilets no longer smell quite so bad! • We now have 4 regular hut bookings bringing in some extra income We are doing the bare minimum now to maintain the hut now that we have cemented our plans for the future of 1st Wash Common. The Scout Group remains at capacity and we have a huge and growing waiting list. We get around dozen requests to join each month. We are hoping to reduce the waiting list with the opening of a new Scout Group at Thorngrove School in Woolton Hill.

Fund raising Christmas Fayre £5,000 This year Wills Scheme – £3,500 – thanks to Nia at Clarke and Sons 3 peaks challenge - £9,000 – and counting Mayors Benevolent fund and coffee mornings and Quiz £2,000 Free masons - £1,000 Coming up – we’ve been invited back to the Royal Berkshire Show on the same pitch as last year Announcing the Race to Space - on 22nd September – its 400 KM from earth to space station. Sponsored Walk, run, cycle, hop, whatever, laps of the park. There will be music and BBQ and fireworks! More details to come – it should be an amazing event for everyone.

And Christmas fayre - in December – Thank you all so much for your support with these events. They are making a huge difference to our fundraising account – we have around £61,000 in there now after just two years of effort. We pledged to raise £125k over 5 years and we are already over half way in just two years which is incredible.

Finally – we have some incredibly exciting news – we are entering into an agreement to purchase a triangle of land at Falkland Cricket Club to build our new headquarters. We will sell our existing site at battery end for residential development and use the proceeds to fund the new development along with some fund matching and other grants. We will share their car park and maybe even their heating. This is will give us a plot about 10 times the size of our exiting site with some woods, a camping area and use of the Cricket club out field for games. If you have any questions or comments please contact Group Scout Leader