November started with a bang as our annual fireworks display exploded onto the scene and it was not just the bonfire that was a roaring success. Thank you to all the volunteers that made the event possible with special thanks to James Keighley and James Davitt who took on most of the organisational work. Check out the profile of James below that gives an insight into what it takes to organise events for Berrylands Scout Group.

Berrylands Scout Group has reached the big five-o…(I know, we don’t look a day over 49 do we!). To celebrate we are planning a series of events in 2024 to celebrate. The first of these will be a Birthday Party on Saturday 2nd March…save the date!

Volunteers Needed!

Don’t worry, we aren’t trying to drag you all in to being leaders this time. There are many different roles that need to be filled by volunteers in the Scout group and they don’t all involve being mobbed by young people every week. Please let your section leader know if you are interested filling in either of the roles below.

1. Social Event Organiser

This year we have had two very successful events for the public with the Summer Festival and Fireworks. We now want to have an internal social event that gives us the chance to have some fun ourselves and celebrate the great work we have done. This does not need to be a big event, it will just be a chance for adults rather than young people in the group to come together. What we are looking for is someone with an idea for a social event. Full support of the executive committee will be given in organising. The event could be at the hall or elsewhere. What we really need here is someone with a fresh exciting idea! Things that have been done in the past are quiz nights, board game evenings, dinners and race nights but don’t let these past events stifle creativity for what we could do next!

2. Berrylands Buzz Editor

Our newsletter is a fairly new thing for the group and is currently put out by the leaders. We are now looking for someone who would be interested in taking it forward by pulling together future contributions and combining it into an interesting read. If you are already a gifted writer or want to try and flex your creative muscles, please do consider this role. The newsletter is now published via the website (using wordpress) for which full training can be given.

Meet the volunteers…

Some volunteers at the Scout group are more visible than others and while everyone knows the leaders well, there are many other people who work behind the scenes to allow us to keep the group running. One such volunteer is James Keighley. It is this time of year that we are particularly grateful to James as he masterminds our firework display. We caught up with James to find out more about what he does to organise events for the group…

How did you first get involved with Berrylands Scout Group?
My eldest son joined Berrylands Beavers (and subsequently went into Cubs), and I took part in some Beaver sessions as a parent helper.

When the call went out for volunteers for the annual fireworks display I signed up to be part of the display team, as I have loved fireworks from an early age. Being part of the volunteer group introduced me to other parents and Scout leaders and we started to discuss the idea of further fundraising to help with the Scout Hall renovations.

What does organising the fireworks display involve?

The fireworks night is a huge team effort – we are extremely fortunate in the group to have some very dedicated members & helpers.

To plan the display, I choose the ones that I feel will work best or have the greatest impact having watched many videos of the individual fireworks. I create a “long-list” and then whittle it down to create a display that lasts about 15 minutes, meets the budget, and has a combination of effects, pace and colours. Each year I like to try to include something different that will have the “wow” factor. 

There is also a lot of planning involved with the overall event, for risk and event management; doing publicity; plus a group of Scout leaders and helpers plan and organise licenses, tickets, sponsorship, prizes for the raffle, volunteer signups, the food and drink, games and entertainment etc.

We know your talents are not just limited to fireworks as you are also a key member of the Berrylands Summer Festival team. What would you like to see at the festival next year?
We are always looking at ways to expand the festival to broaden its community appeal.

It would be great if we could have some bigger games, but often this depends on sponsorship / funding. One year we had a climbing wall, which was extremely popular. Some other ideas could include zorb balls or axe-throwing. So if anybody reading this would like to sponsor the event or has experience with fundraising please get in touch.

What advice would you give to others interested in getting involved with the events at Berrylands Scout Group?
I encourage anyone who would like to help with the Scouts or the events team to let us know. We always welcome new ideas and interests, and we are a friendly, social bunch.

Beaver Colony Report

We have been busy Beavers again! Some evidence of this has been on view in the Scout Hut with our Bug Hotel in the garden and the photo gallery that was temporarily on display in the hall. Well done to Rupert, Kayleigh and Eric who won our summer photography competition!

There has been lots of walking so far in November. 11 Beavers attended the Remembrance parade and then we had the whole colony out for a night hike around the green spaces of Berrylands. We had lots of fun with glow sticks and hot chocolate to keep us warm.

Cub Pack Report

Hey, there! October went by super fast, and I hope you and your cub had a blast during the half-term break.

We did a whole bunch of cool stuff, and it was all thanks to the parents helping out. We got all revved up for Fireworks Night on November 4th, and that meant going pumpkin-picking from our patch. We also added some pumpkins from the shops so every cub got their very own pumpkin to carve and take home for Halloween. It was epic, right? And, if you were part of the patch last year, you scored a gardening badge. Way to go, green thumbs!

Right now, we’re in the middle of this community involvement badge. It’s all about getting ready for the big fireworks show and teaching us about leadership and being good community members. It was pretty cool hearing all the cubs talk about being elected to school councils, being team captains, and just being all-around helpful and awesome citizens. That’s exactly what Scouting is all about, spreading good vibes and learning cool stuff!

And guess what? We’ve got some big news to share – our Oscar, one of the young leaders, just got made deputy head boy at his school. High-fives and congrats to him!

Looking forward to November, we’ve got a bunch of exciting stuff lined up. We’re diving into National Parliament Week with loads of games and activities. Plus, our visit from the Berrylands local councillors, which we had to wait a bit for, is finally happening. After that, we’re teaming up with a super cool charity to learn all about the awesome stuff they do and pitch in as volunteers.

So, here’s to more adventures, learning new things, and just having a blast like the awesome scouts we are! 🚀🎃👏

Scout Troop Report

Hi everyone.

The district air rifle competition was on Sunday 24th September but I did not get the results in time for the last report. I am happy to say one of the Scouts came first in the over 13 age group. To al that took part well dune and thank you for representing Berrylands Scout Troop.

Unfortunately, the turn out for the Scouts summer camp presentation on the 13th October was not very good but I think the Scouts did a very good presentation. As this was the second time two of the Scouts had done a presentation, they got their entertainer’s badge.

We have spent most of October working on the first aid badge and the cooking comp. We have now started on the fire safety badge.

We had 10 Scouts helping set up in the morning for the firework night on Saturday 4th November and 21 helping with things / stalls in the evening. A big thankyou and well dune to all that helped.

We have 3 teams taking part in the County Cooking Comp on Sunday 19th November (good luck).

We have are annual Christmas party on 15th December with the Scout and patrol of the year presentation.

Please register on OSM if your Scout is going to attend.

Thanks Eric Banks (SL)