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Surrey Scouts’ Annual Review 2015-2016

St Nicolas 9th Guildford Visit Kandersteg

St Nicolas 9th Guildford have just returned from having a great time on the high ropes at Interlaaken, the tobogganing course at Oeschinensee and all the other activities of Kandersteg in Switzerland.  11 Explorers, 1 Scout and 3 Leaders from St Nicolas 9th Guildford spent a brilliant week at Kandersteg in July.  The group take up the tale, “We crossed a real glacier, and all of us climbed the narrow paths and rocky outcrops to stay overnight at a remote alpine hut.  We managed to get onto the summits of the Bunderspitz (2,546m) and the Hockenhorn (3,293m), where the views were fantastic and we were amazed to have got over 10,000 feet.

Alongside this high adventure we paddled up to our knees in a glacial lake, rowed boats under ice-cold waterfalls, and sampled genuine Swiss cheese made before our eyes in a real mountain top cheesery.  Of course, we also shopped till we dropped in Kandersteg village, mainly for Swiss Army knives.

We got to develop skills, like walking on snow and using ice axes, which are not normally possible in the UK.  We saw the most amazing and varied flowers and insects as we trekked through Alpine meadows.  We found the peace and stunning views in the mountains unlike anything we’d experienced before.

Most of all, we learned that wherever they’re from Scouts from other countries are much the same as us.  They love adventure outdoors, campfires, joining in games of football and ultimate Frisbee, and doing crazy things.  It was a privilege to be in their company: we hope they felt the same about us.”

If you’re considering going to Kandersteg, the group are happy to share their experiences.  For Explorers and Leaders organising a trip, it’s easier and cheaper than you might think.  The programme section of the website is an inspirational place to start.   

Woking Aviators’ Explorer Belt Expedition

Congratulations to 6 Woking Aviators Network Scout members. Will, Ben, Freddie, Henry, Frazer and Charlie (aged between 20 and 24) planned and embarked on a two-week expedition across Norway in August. Their expedition encompassed a short stay in Oslo followed by a strenuous trek across the Hardangervidda National Park and then a canoe expedition down the 105Km Telemark canal, crossing lakes and through locks while camping en route. They felt as though they had completed 2 Queen’s Scout expeditions in a single trip and returned exhausted, excited and ready for their next adventure.

They completed a major project that was to look at the development of industry in Norway from a wood and pulp based economy through the production of heavy water during the war and ending up becoming a world leading chemical producing society. Their route was determined by a number of historical locations.

They also completed a number of mini projects including searching for a local delicacy, enacting a Roald Dahl book, climbing a lighthouse and a Diceman challenge (asking local people for 6 options, throwing a dice and undertaking the challenge indicated by number on the dice!)

On their way they sampled local food, saw stunning views, paddled in complete silence, met local people, got cold, got wet, saw snow, basked in sunshine.  They borrowed canoes and accommodation from local Scout groups and met local Scouts. They wore their scarves the entire time, and were surprised to be greeted by many people who offered their left hand and the Scout sign (despite not speaking English)!

The team kept the world up to date with news of their travels via Facebook and Twitter where even Tim Kidd (UK Chief Commissioner) commented on their tweets.

The six Aviators delivered their initial presentation to County and District representatives as well as their fellow unit members, who agreed that they should be awarded their Explorer belt. They kept a video diary of their travels and will be producing some short films to inspire others to undertake a similar journey.

Banstead Explorers Visit Poland for the Central European Jamboree

The Central European Jamboree was a worldwide gathering of Explorer Scouts mainly from Europe, in Wroclaw, Poland. From Banstead 14 Banstead District Explorers and 2 Tadworth District Explorers went. They spent 8 nights on camp.  Adam Heard-White takes up the story.

“On the first day we set up camp and had pizza. Some of the Banstead girls sung “Cha Cha Slide” for karaoke, and the rest of BDE joined in by dancing (and getting a lot of funny looks). The morning after we all embarrassed ourselves we travelled into the city. As the senior scout I navigated all 16 Explorer through Wroclaw. We watched a wonderful fire show before the red festival in which we sang the CEJ song for the first time.

The next day we tie-dyed t-shirts and wax painted on bags. By day four we played “The Lost Painter”, which was a game that involved doing different tasks in international groups of ten Explorers. The following day we got a two-hour train to the Polish mountains before BDE showed the landscape who was boss. We ascended the height with some friendly Egyptians. We did some proper rock climbing (we still had harnesses), before sharing a camp fire with the Egyptians then all of BDE staying in one room in a lovely youth hostel. The next day we came back to camp before learning some traditional Lebanese dances that night.

For international day there were many different stalls, which we could do to collect stickers from. All the GB units teamed up to run a football shootout, cheese tasting, and a Countdown based game. Banstead and Tadworth performed the (now famous) penguin song on the main stage. In the evening we had a paint party, involving throwing powered paint. This was to show that although we are all different, all Scouts combine to be part of one great power. I most enjoyed our final night as we stayed up all night, in our sleeping bags stargazing and talking, only to get up at 3:00 am to leave camp. After I spent 60% of my Polish money in the duty free, I slept for the whole plane journey – I don’t remember take-off or landing. “


Esher District - World Record Holders!

Esher District Cub Scouts have taken on and achieved a Guinness World Record, the Largest Human Image of a Badge!

A total of 312 Cubs and Adult Volunteers formed an image of the World Membership Badge measuring 10.0m x 11.5m.  This attempt is one a series of events being organised to celebrate 100 years of Cub Scouts.   Cubs in Esher District wanted to take part in a challenge to promote the values of Scouting and also to encourage other groups of Cub Scouts in any part of the world to take up the challenge!

The attempt took place on Sunday 26th June 2016 at Walton Firs Activity Centre and the

record confirmed at the end of September.

Oscar, 10, a Cub Scout from Molesey, said “I’ve tried lots of new things whilst being a Cub Scout but this was the best yet. I’ve loved being part of this special world record to remember 100 years of Cubs!”

A huge thanks go to everyone who was involved in the organisation of this special event.

Our year infographic


As part of the CUBS100 celebrations, Sixers and Seconders from 5th Guildford ‘Lions’ attended a special day at Chessington World of Adventures.

SSWAC on The Usk

In mid October, 36 Scouts, Explorers, Leaders & Active Support members met in South Wales for Surrey Scouts Water Activity Club (SSWAC) annual trip to paddle the River Usk.

This river offers a great chance for those who have reached a competent 2 star level to be introduced to moving water (white water for the more dramatic!) paddling. For those with more experience, this river offers a chance to hone their skills.

Off the water, the group stayed at the Llangorse centre. A base crew (CSL, Cub & Beaver!) provided dinner on Saturday night as well as supporting full Welsh breakfasts cooked in the bunkhouses.

Over the weekend, the participants paddled in either open canoes or kayaks and took in 2 different sections of the river. Due to a lack of rain (yes - we really were in Wales!), the river was quite low - making for some challenging features and testing the paddlers skills.

From time on the water badges, through valuable experience to 3 star awards; the group all did really well. Like most SSWAC trips, whilst the majority of participants were from Surrey, we also had fellow leaders from West Sussex & London Counties join us.

A short highlights video can be seen here:

SSWAC is the County SASU supporting water activities. It offers a great range of activities from taster sessions to trips. The program and brilliant resources can be found in

Surrey Scouts


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