Everyone is Berrylands is Buzzing this month after a hugely successful group camp. 60 young people and 30 adults enjoyed a fabulous weekend camping at Bentley Copse in Surrey. Thank you to everyone that contributed to making this event a success. We could not have done it without the fabulous adults that helped out.

Berrylands Festival – Sunday 2nd July

The Berrylands Festival is a free to enter village fete-style event hosted by the Scout group for the local community. This is a key fundraising event for the group and we rely of volunteers to make it a success.

Please sign up to volunteer here.

With only a few days left before the event, it is not too late to volunteer. It will be a busy weekend, first getting everything ready on Saturday followed by a lot of work to setup, run the event and tidy up again on Sunday. Wherever you are available to help we will be extremely grateful so if you have not already done so, please do sign up to help.

Also, crucially, please don’t forget to encourage friends and families to come to the event. We have some fliers in the Scout Hall that we will be asking people to take with them and distribute. Word of mouth is key though so please encourage anyone you meet to come and support our group by joining in with the event.

Group Camp

Despite a shaky start (with cancelled food orders and no running water on the first night) our group camp at Bentley Copse on 16th-18th June was very successful. We all demonstrated true Scout spirit to work together and overcome the initial challenges with multiple parents sent to do a quick “supermarket sweep” (huge thanks to all that did this). Fortunately the Cubs and Scouts were far too engaged with Eric’s wide games to even notice anything was amiss.

Run under the theme of Spies, we were training our young people with various skills in our spy school. They created secret identities, decoded messages, wrote with invisible ink and set out laser obstacle courses. With these skills in hand they were able to tackle the Safe Cracker game where they had to gather clues from around the camp to be able to open the safe and locate the missing pieces of the puzzle to win the game.

Thank you to the leaders Eric, James D, James R, Ken, Ben and Rich for organising the camp. They could not have done it without the many adults that either camped with us or came for a some part of the weekend (particular thanks to David W for erecting many tents and even more cooking). We were happy to provide an event that everyone that attended thoroughly enjoyed and will remember for many years to come.


All the Beavers achieved their “Explore” badge this month. The first week we planned an expedition around the local area, drawing maps and starting to learn about the directions on a compass. The following week we then used our maps to complete a treasure hunt which lead us back to a stash of badges!

We are continuing to work on a variety of different activities as some of our older Beavers who have transferred in from other groups aim to achieve their “Chief Scout Bronze Award” which is the highest award available in Beavers.


Hi everyone.
On Saturday 27th May to Sunday 28th we had 6 Scouts take part in are 2-day hike, first time since 2019. The 6 Scouts spent over 8 hours learning all about the 2-day hike. Lucky the Werther was good and after 2 days and 27km the hike was completed. I hope all of you enjoyed it and help you if you do your DOE.

Some of the Scouts, parents and myself spent two Sundays sort out the tent stores and the tents for Group Camp. Thanks to all that helped.

We had a few Scouts take part in the district riffle competition with one of our Scouts getting joint first in the 13 – 14 age group.

Two times a year we have a Nerf war evening. With help from Kris ( an ex ASL), on Friday 9th June we had our first one with 25 Scouts taking part.

On Friday 16th we had 17 Scouts attending the Group camp. For the Scouts this was the 3rd camp of the year. This years Group camp was at Bentley Copse and had the theme of spies. I am sure all the Scouts had a good time as I had sleeping ones in the back of my car on the way home. I hope the Cubs and Beavers had a good time (I am sure they did).

Wednesday 21st was Kayaking on the Thames. We had 19 Scout on the water and from the comment’s I have seen all had a good time, including the first timers. We have 12 Scouts signed up for the 6-week Kayaking course (good luck).

The main events we have over the next month are:

  • Friday 23rd June prestation of the air riffle course and competition + investing 2 new Scouts.
  • Sunday 2nd Berrylands Summer Festival (we still need help, please sign up).
  • Friday 21st July parents and Scots summer camp meeting with our annual barbecue.


Eric Banks (SL)

Volunteer Profile – Rich Kirk – Beaver Leader

Hi Rich! You are very new to the group, how did you end up here?
There was no Beaver Colony at Berrylands when my son was due to start in July 2022. Instead I signed him up for Beavers at 7th Malden (just across the Hogsmill). To get a place I was required to volunteer regularly which I was very happy to do. The volunteering I did there showed me what was involved and led me to offer to restart the Beaver Colony in Berrylands. I knew there were a lot of young people who wanted a colony in Berrylands instead of having to travel out to neighbouring Scout groups. As you can imagine, the group were all too happy to accept my offer so between January and March this year, we managed to get the Beaver Colony back up and running and now have 24 Beavers attending each week.

What inspired you to volunteer as a Beaver Leader?
When I was in Beavers, my mum volunteered as a Beaver Leader. I always had a great time at the meetings she organised and wanted other children to have the same opportunity to have fun with their friends as I did as a child.

What do you do outside the group?
I work as a lead software developer for a small FinTech developing products for Prime Brokerage and the equity markets. We are a small company who meet up in the office infrequently so I work from home nearly all the time. Helping at Beavers gives me the chance to do something totally different and interact with lots of people instead of sitting alone in my home office all day.

How do you find the time to fit it all in?
That is a good question, not sleeping much helps! I couldn’t do any of it without the help of my very understanding wife Vicki. Her patience is tested at times when I go off to do Beaver activities, particularly as we have our 8 week old daughter Maddie at home.

What has been your favourite part of volunteering so far?
It has to be the group camp we just had at Bentley Copse. Being part of the leadership team that delivered such a great event was incredibly rewarding. It was fabulous to see so many young people enjoying themselves as well as many of the Beaver parents getting involved with the activities. The whole event showed what we can achieve when we work together as a community.

We keep hearing Beavers calling you Brown Beaver, what is that about?
In the same way that many cub packs take their names from characters in the Jungle Book, (Akela, Baloo etc), many Beaver colonies use names from a story called “Friends of the forest”. My son, Alex, is in the Beaver Colony and Teddy will join soon, I did not want them calling me “Dad” at meetings. As such I decided to go with the name Brown Beaver…

“The Great Brown Beaver had a very important announcement to make. He swam to the middle of the pond and slapped his tail. Smack, smack, smack, on the water, three times. All of the other beavers in the pond heard the signal and hurried over to the beaver dam built by the Brown Beavers, where they knew the Meeting would be held.”

Photos: Then and now – Rich (left) as a Beaver sometime around 1989 and now in leader uniform with son Alex (wearing his old 7th Malden scarf).