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Scouts – The Troop (10½ – 14)

Scouts are the third section of the Scouting movement. From the first
experimental camp for 20 boys in 1907, the movement now has an estimated 28
million members worldwide, and in the UK alone there are over 499,000 boys and
girls involved in Scouting. An increase in adult volunteers means that more and
more young people are now able to take part in their own big adventure.

Troop Report – March to September 2018

Apologies for not getting a report in for the summer edition but we were so busy that I just didn’t have time to compile it all at the right moment.  So, brace yourselves, here is what we have been doing since Easter :

Comings and Goings

Sol has been invested.  Keira C has been persuaded by various Troop members, despite her brother Leo being a stalwart of 1st Tolworth, to come and join us. Thomas and Lucie are currently “On Link” from Everest but we hope that a few more will appear who have now left our Cub Pack.  It is difficult, especially during that busy “end of summer term-time” to manage Cubs and Scouts in one week!  They are welcome when we are back in September.

Jayden and Anna have both progressed to Explorers during the spring – Surbiton South and Sea Lion respectively.  We know that they will enjoy their Scouting there.

Nadine is now a Young Leader with Thames Colony and Thomas H a Young Leader with Everest Pack.  Keira P is now back with the Troop as a Young Leader.

We have lost a few of our older members at the end of the summer term.  Luke W is going to concentrate on his music with the Royal British Legion Boys Band. I’m sure we will see him on occasions. Maisie is going to be concentrating on her singing and is learning how to play the harp. She hasn’t got time for everything.  We will miss her lovely voice and her sense of humour.  Mark has gone as he has another Club to go to on a Friday.  We wish him all the best for the future.

With all this movement, we have appointed new Patrol Leaders and APLs.  Our current PLs are Evie, Libbie, Eliza, Giacomo, Jess and Wiki.

The other change was that, because Graham was ill, he couldn’t be with us during the summer term. Stuart and Michael have stepped up and we have managed to cope, although I cannot say that I haven’t missed Graham.  However, all is good news and it looks like he will  be with us after the summer break.  Welcome back!

Friday Evenings

We finished off Emergency Aid Badge with nearly all the Troop completing up to Stage 3.

We have done some work on Pioneer Badge, which was started at Pioneering Camp in May, including Knots and Lashings and making Ballistas. We still have a few bits of that to complete, including some whipping! We’ve also made progress with some maps and Navigator Badge.  This is another staged badge and I would love to get them all through up to Stage 3 on that one too. Keeps me busy, if no-one else!

Map and Compass and Route Planning came into preparing for the Expedition, as did a cooking evening using Trangia stoves. We were trying out possible Expedition foods and rating them for ease of carrying, storage and preparation as well as what they tasted like.

Stuart has been running some evenings on Local Community as well as Beliefs, Attitudes and Scouting Values.  He needs to do these things towards his Queen’s Scout, but they come in handy for World Challenge as well. We did an International Issues evening as well.

It all sounds a bit like hard work but we did find time for some walks to Alexandra Rec. for sports as well as a trip to Coral Reef (Water Park) in Bracknell.  And there was the Pringle Challenge as well – build a standing circle out of the Pringles.  Not the most successful because Caroline had declined to buy “real” Pringles, settling for cheaper but flatter alternatives, making the task close to impossible. Ah well, I tried!

Chief Scout’s Gold Award

As many of you will know, to achieve the highest award at Scout level takes a lot of hard work from the individual Scouts, lots of backing from parents and maybe a little pressure from yours truly.  This spring, we presented this prestigious award to five members of 1st.Tolworth Troop : Thomas H, Nadine, Keira, Jayden and Anna.  Many congratulations to all of you!

St. George’s Day

It was good to see so many of the Troop (but maybe not so many as in the last few years?) looking smart for our annual Church Service and Scout of the Year Presentations.  Marcelina was awarded Scout of the Year with Nadine and Isabella runner-up and third respectively. Annoushka was Best Newcomer.  Marcelina was on her feet again to receive Troop’s Choice Scout of the Year as well. Patrol of the Year was Eagle. Lex received DAT’s trophy for this year.  Congratulations to you all!

The Young Engineers Project close was in March and the robots have all been quiet while Graham has been away from us.  Many members of the Troop, and some Mums and Dads, have enjoyed their Saturday afternoons. What next, I wonder?

Activities with Others

We try to visit our Cub Pack and Beaver Colony every Term, but we don’t always manage it.

Since the last edition, we have talked about the Mashed Potato Collection and the Food Bank  with Thames Colony and also helped them make Lizards and Snakes out of Lolly Sticks.

We made more snakes, this time out of paracord with Everest Cubs.

Some of our Young Leaders ran an evening making Paracord bracelets for Chessington Troop.

Quite a gang of us spent a fun afternoon at the Home of Compassion in Thames Ditton, making Easter cards with the residents.

Fund-Raising for the World Scout Jamboree and Sweden in 2019

There has been quite a lot of fund-raising going on in the summer towards international trips happening next year.  I am not sure of everything that our Jamboree contingent (Jayden, Anna, Briony and Ben) has been doing but a lot of people enjoyed their successful Quiz Night at Sparks Hall.  Those of us going to Sweden next year (Stuart and I, Nadine, Marcelina, Isabella, Luke M, Giacomo and Thomas W) have been involved in the Easter Egg Hunt and the Big Picnic, both at Kings Park Field and John and I were busy doing some Archery at Green Lane School one very hot July day. All in a good cause!

Polyapes Wardens in March

The whole Troop was invited for Friday evening and the PLs and APLs stayed for the rest of the weekend.

Lex has written the following account of events :

Sometime, on Friday evening, the Scouts started to arrive at Polyapes. By the time everyone was sorted it was dark and Caroline mysteriously disappeared, leaving Michael and Stuart in charge.  We got all the Scouts together and divided them up into two groups. One group of people who had not done fire lighting and the other lot who went off to play Wide Games.  Peter, the arsonist, and Michael, the blade lover, were in charge of the fire lighting and managed not to allow anyone to die from poking the campfire.   When the fire died down, into the embers, we herded all the Scouts back and sat around it.  By that time Caroline reappeared with the marshmallows and cookies. A few of us hand out the skewers and marshmallows and roast them into half marshmallow and half volcano.  Caroline then handing out the cookies and we made “Smore”s and everyone tucked in.  Then the parents reluctantly picked up their Scouts, leaving the APLs and PLs.  Then we went to sleep, with no talking and no racket and didn’t play cards, until John came in.

On Saturday, we did badge work with free time. There was also a Troop Leadership Forum to sort out the Patrols.  On Saturday night we all went to bed and we were so quiet that John had to come in and check if we were still alive and didn’t have to tell us to shut up and send us to where the Beavers sleep.

On Sunday we had to cut a tree down to clear it, as it was unsafe and to cut branches off some other trees.  We moved the wood to the campfire to make a fire.  Michael and Stuart were teaching the young APLs and PLs axe, knife and saw work.  By the end, the mountain of branches were gone and there was a bunch of tiny twigs left.  So Peter, just to torture us, made us pick them up. We then went down to the campfire to help, but Michael sent us back as there were too many people.  We packed up our stuff and cleaned up the hut a bit.  Once everyone finished with the fire we had to do the cleaning.  We did the toilets and I thought it just needed a quick wipe but Michael, seriously had other plans. He made us clean it until you couldn’t go in there without sunglasses. Caroline told us to unpack the pallets and then went and played in the woods. The rest of the parents, reluctantly, came to collect the Scouts, their peace and quiet over.

Myself, John and Michael together with Stuart for part of the time, plus Peter, were there with 13 of our PLs and APLs.  We were looking after the Campsite for the weekend – our annual duty for 1st.Tolworth.

Pioneering Camp

We were intending to do our Pioneering Camp at Buckmore Park, near Maidstone, Kent.  However, without a second minibus driver, we changed the venue to Bentley Copse.

The plan was to undertake Pioneer Badge for the Scouts and the Young Leaders. We tackled a couple of projects, the best being a swing, master-minded by Peter and Keira. We did some work on learning knots and lashing but it still needs a little to finish off the badge. Working on  it …

Thanks to John and Michael, as well as Peter and Keira, for making the weekend happen.

Archery Nationals

Royal Kingston Scout Archery Club has been to the Scout National Archery competition at Phasel’s Wood in Kings Langley for the past few years.  This year, a number from 1st.Tolworth were part of the team : Thomas and Lily, Marcelina, Giacomo, Keira and Matthew.

We all competed in 20 yard Target Shooting, Field Archery and Clout. As a team, we came home with 5 medals but, unfortunately, none of those were the 1st.Tolworth Team members.

Never mind, Royal Kingston did well, and we have happy memories of taking part, joining in all the other activities available and just being there.


This year’s Expedition started at Witley Station, south of Guildford. The first day’s walking took them west along the Greensand Way and we camped at Garners Field campsite overnight. On the second day, the route went north to meet the North Downs Way, walking east again, finishing under the A3 at Compton.

Camping was in hike tents, cooking on Trangia stoves, planning by the Scouts themselves.

Completion of the Expedition Challenge involved doing a presentation to the rest of the Troop afterwards. Those who achieved that Challenge were Giacomo. Isabella, Mark, Eliza, Evie, Noah, Ben, Luke M, Isaac, Leo and Lily W.  They were joined by Wiki, Maisie, Livvy and Alex.

Support Crew was John, Michael, me and Reg together with Young Leaders Peter, Marcelina, Lex, Keira and Thomas W.


Strategy is a National Event held in Cirencester Park – quite a long journey on a Friday night.

Saturday was a day-long Incident Hike, gaining points for how well you manage the incidents.

Sunday there were team games and sports as well as crafts to join in.

This year, John and I took 14 Scouts – a minibus full!

A really good, if hectic and tiring, weekend.  Thanks John for driving.

Summer Camp

Well, Summer Camp actually happened, even if I had my doubts on many occasions.

It was quite a convoy. John driving one minibus with Michael, Martin driving another and pulling our trailer with Stuart, Eric (Stuart’s Dad) driving a large van plus me in our car.  19 Scouts and seven Young Leaders.

We went to a Scout campsite called Silver Cross, near Swansea, South Wales. Not a large site, just one other camp there, Scouts from Hastings. They were out most of the time but we did invite them to join us in Capture the Flag (organised by Keira).

We did Climbing and Abseiling, Orienteering and “Spiderland” the Adventure Course. This was supposed to be very muddy but, although there were plenty of mud-filled holes, we understood that this was the driest the course had ever been.

We went out Paintballing, we went to the Waterpark in Swansea, we went to Dinefwr Castle – a nice walk uphill and down again, we went to the Red Kite Feeding Station at Rhyader. We had a go at making water bottle covers, but some might need to complete theirs this autumn. The Big Pit was interesting and some of us needed quite a bit of bravery to go down the mine. We tried Tomahawk throwing – a new one for all of us.

While all of you at home were having the hottest temperatures ever, it was rather cooler in South Wales. On Thursday evening, the weather forecast was for a tremendous amount of rain over the next 36 hours. It didn’t quite turn out like the forecast but we had showers on Friday morning and it was terrible overnight including a thunderstorm at 4 am. Saturday morning was wet too. Despite getting 2 Stormhavens and the small Mess Tent down rather damp on Friday, all the rest came down wet. Ah well!  That is only how it usually is!

Credit is due to the Young Leaders, some of whom acted as Agony Aunts for most of the week.

Thanks so much to John, Michael, Stuart and to Eric, who travelled across the country at strange times of the day and night, but especially to Martin, who gave up the week to be with us and make the whole trip possible.

Now … what about the rest of 2018?

Coming up soon

Pre-Sweden Camp September for those who are going


County Night Hike