Basingstoke Scout Leader supports the Queen's lying-in-state

We are very proud of Enver Eng, GSL and Cub leader at Hatch Warren Scout Group, who was selected as one of 120 Scouts to support the Queen's lying-in-state.

BBC News interviewed Enver and Scouts CEO Matt Hyde after he lead the queue to Westminster Hall.

You can see the full article on the BBC News website or watch the interview with BBC Breakfast

Squirrels join the Scouts family

On the 9th of September, the Scouts unveiled our brand new section for 4 and 5 year olds. The introduction of Squirrels follows on from the hugely successful Early Years pilot. Just like our other sections, they are guided through a programme of activities to help them gain those vital skills needed for the rest of their lives. They will have the opportunity to make friends, have fun outdoors, and learn new things.

Each group of Squirrels are known as Dreys. There are already groups across Hampshire with Squirrel Dreys up and running and many more are opening across the country.

Squirrels in uniform playing outside
Squirrels in uniform playing outside
Squirrels jumper and some of the badges and awards they can achieve
Squirrels uniform with badges

Squirrels have a diverse programme with the ability to earn:

  • 12 Activity Badges
  • 4 Challenge Awards
  • a Top Award
  • a Membership Award
  • a Joining In Award
  • a Moving On Award
  • Existing Staged Activity Badges

At the moment, Basingstoke West does not have any Squirrel Dreys. We are investigating how we can bring this exciting new section to our groups. We will update our website with the latest information as we begin the rollout. For more information about this section, please visit the Scout website.

Our plan to #BounceBack from the past year

As Scouts we've been prepared for more than 100 years for whatever life throws at us, ready with a plan B.

Last weekend, Hampshire Scouts looked to the future and unveiled our plan to recover from the impacts of the pandemic. We want to continue to give as many young people skills for life as possible and to do that we need to make sure our local volunteers are supported to do this.

How was Hampshire Scouts impacted by the pandemic?

A year ago, Scouts up and down the county had to leave the great outdoors behind and began Scouting indoors to keep each other safe. They couldn't see their friends and some couldn't access Scout activities because of a lack of digital devices.

For nearly all of our volunteers, they faced new uncertainty with their jobs or their lives. Many carried on delivering activities and trying all they could. Plenty were working as key heroes and saw their hours increase dramatically - Scouting took a back seat.

Many had to stop Scouting for the time being. Newer Beaver Scouts, who would be raring to start learning new skills and making new friends at age 6, couldn't start or wanted to wait until life returned to normal. As a result, we lost about 3,200 Scouts and 900 adults, around 15% of our members.

What we're going to do about it.

We're doing all we can to get all of our Scout groups back to face-to-face activities as quickly as possible. We've made a resource for Scout leaders to help them do this, we're mobilising our reserves to support groups locally and we're trying new things like continuing the pilot Scouts for 4 and 5 year olds.

We're supporting our volunteer leaders directly through new digital tools, training online to help them do their role well and exploring new ways to develop our local trustees. Our local managers are key to this so we're launching a Step Up campaign to fill any vacancies and amalgamating smaller districts so local volunteers are part of larger, well resourced teams.

We can't do this alone, so we're also going to create links with Hampshire County Council, Portsmouth City Council and Southampton City Council to forge connections across the youth sector where we live.

We're determined to grow back to where we were. Thousands of parents have been able to experience first hand what Scouting activities look like; we're sure many will want to help us to keep giving those experiences. Just as many girls and boys are eager to join us again and our team are doing all they can to create as many spaces for them as possible.

We're ready and have got the vision but do you? We've all learned again the importance of being outside so get involved to help our young people appreciate it themselves. Find out about joining or volunteering with us.

This article was written by Hampshire Scouts, to view this article click here.

Experience the best selling variety show around

With a production of classic to contemporary performances brought alive by more than 70 people in this highly entertaining show, the audience can expect to be delighted by magnificent live music and the very best comedy.

Basingstoke Gang Show is recognised as the best-selling and longest running ‘family variety show’ in our region showcasing an extremely talented cast.

The 11 performances, many over February half term week, will entertain audiences as you laugh out loud, tap your toes and sing along to the songs that you love.

This best-selling amateur production is not to be missed, as showcases the very best of local talent in the Scouts and Girlguiding Movements.

Intrigued? Book your tickets early for your family and friends to experience this feel good family show at The Haymarket.

Dates are Thursday 13th to Saturday 22nd February 2020, excluding Sunday 16th.

Matinee performances are also on Saturday 15th and 22nd February.

This article was written by Hampshire Scouts, to view this article click here.