Christmas greetings and review of the year

Firstly, I’d like to wish everyone involved with the Group a very Merry Christmas and a fantastically Happy New Year. It’s time for a break from Scouting; time for our fantastic leaders to recharge their batteries; time to plan for the New Year. What possibilities await around the corner? A new programme will be revealed soon; new badges and challenges, providing the chance for new ideas and fresh activities. Times like this allow for us to refresh our offering; we’re lucky to be able to offer great activities for our young people but I like to challenge our leaders to come up with different ways to entertain the kids. Let’s see what they come up with in 2015.

2014 was another great year for the Group. We continue to grow – we now have over 250 members! We have our new Active Support Unit up and running and making a great difference to the Group. They’ve helped at meetings, run badges, run fundraising events, helped at camps and are even planning the leader’s Christmas Do!! They are always looking for new members.

In April Matthew Rodaway, after recieving his Queen’s Scout Award, attended the St George’s Parade at Windsor Castle. Congratulations to Matthew on this fantastic achievement.

Our Beavers have continued to offer a great programme and as a result we have so many young people wanting to join! We need to thank all the Beaver Leaders for their hard work but most of all we must thank Jude Partridge who has run two colonies for the best part of the year. Jude’s efforts were recognised at the Group AGM when she was presented with the Award for Merit. It was much deserved.

The highlight for Cubs was the opening of our Pegasus Pack, our third and the first section to meet away from the Church. Thanks to all involved in getting it off the ground. The Cubs have enjoyed some great activities including County Camp at Pateley Bridge, a trip to Chester Zoo and numerous District events. Congratulations are due to Charlotte McCarthy who was awarded the Silver Acorn in the St George’s Day Awards. Another much-deserved award.

Scouts have been very active with lots of outdoor activities, expeditions and camps. Climbing has been an important activity this year with several trips to Brimham Rocks and Almscliffe Crags. We know have lots of climbing equipment and six adults qualified to run climbing activities. We lost one of our Scout Leaders this year when Stu Jones moved to Germany, he is much-missed but the other leaders have stepped up and continued his great work. We have two new Scout Leaders in Chris Rodaway and Emily Segaran and they’ve made a great start in their role and I wish them all the best for the years to come.

September was a difficult month for the Group, when two of our Scout Leaders Mike Richardson and Matthew Rodaway were involved in a road traffic collision during a Scout Meeting. Both were seriously injured but thankfully are on the road to recovery. Matthew was back at University with a few scars and bruises within a couple of weeks, the hairline fracture of his pelvis healing well. Mike was more seriously injured and as I type he’s getting ready to get back on his feet after months in a wheelchair. Both have displayed great courage throughout their difficulties. I know they’re extremely appreciative of the support they received on the night from their fellow Scout Leaders who helped them at the scene, calling the emergency services, delivering first aid and providing continued support to them and their families. I am truly proud of how both the two guys and their fellow Scout Leaders have conducted themselves throughout. They have ALL set fantastic personal examples to the Scouts!

The Chief Scout’s Award presentations took place in early November. As ever we had a good representation from all sections. We had 36 Beavers, 9 Cubs and 6 Scouts gain the top award in their Sections.

Later in November we had eight of our members take part in the York Scout and Guide Gang Show – Daniel Blair, Rowan Taylor, Callum Williams, Olivia Macnab, Megan Cunniff, Phoebe Howlett, Ruby McCarthy and Poppy McCarthy. Chris Rodaway also joined the band for the Show! The cast attended rehearsals twice a week from June. The show was great and really showcased some fantastic talent!

So to round off – we’ve had a fantastic year, our young people have achieved great things, our leaders have shown great commitment and determination and we’ve all had great fun! Here’s to more of the same in 2015.

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