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Mersey Weaver Exec Newsletter Winter 2019

February 5, 2019 20:49 | Posted by |

The Executive Committee has recently given much thought as to how we can improve the ways in which we communicate with our members across the Mersey Weaver Scouting community. At the suggestion of one our leaders, we have decided to put together a newsletter with the key points from the minutes of the Executive meeting. We will make this available widely within the district to create a greater insight into what we discussed and how we operate. We hope you think this is a good idea and hope it will provide a greater transparency of how the Executive Committee makes decisions and undertakes its governance duties to ensure that resources are available to safely deliver the best possible quality Scouting.

On behalf of Mersey Weaver District Executive Committee please find attached a link to the third edition of the Mersey Weaver District Newsletter

Pat Moran awarded Silver Acorn

January 25, 2019 01:21 | Posted by |

I am incredibly proud to announce that Pat Moran of Cestrian Explorer Scout Unit and our Clogwyn Activity Centre has been awarded the Silver Acorn. I would like to personally extend my thanks and gratitude to Pat for his incredible and continued contribution he makes in Mersey Weaver.

Since receiving the Medal of Merit in 1999, Pat has continued to be a valuable and dedicated volunteer. 

Pat has been a leader with Cestrian Explorer Scouts in Mersey Weaver for over 25 years prior to which he was both Scout and Venture Leader in Warrington.  Pat’s enthusiasm for the outdoors has been key to providing many adventures and incredible experiences for so many young people during this time. Mountaineering, rock climbing and canoeing are just some of the activities that Pat is not only very experienced in but also professionally qualified. Pat has always been very happy to pass on his passion and knowledge to leaders and young people, maintaining an astonishing number of permits for different activities. As a County Assessor for no less than six disciplines, Pat has enabled many others in the District and County to provide adventurous activities. On top of this, Pat also runs first response courses for leaders in the District.

Pat has been involved with many expeditions with Cestrian and other units both in the UK and abroad, including personal exploits to the Alps and climbing of Kilimanjaro in Africa for charity. He is also very keen on bush craft, providing many hours of Instruction for the Survival base at Cheshire’s International Scout Camp known as “Chamboree”.

Pat was also part of the original team to establish the Clogwyn centre in Bangor, North Wales which started off little more than an old shed for processing slates. The centre is now a jewel in the crown for the district and provides an extremely comfortable and well-loved retreat for Scouts to have nights away experiences. Pat continues to be actively involved and now looks after the bookings, finance as well as bits of building maintenance with the help of his wife Eileen. It is not unlike Pat to also give groups using the Centre requiring help to support with catering as well as outdoor activities and instruction. If you visit Clogwyn at a weekend, you will find Pat with a paint brush in hand, washing out the showers or repairing the 36 bunks.

Despite still working as a freelance out door instructor/DofE assessor on top of being an active Explorer Leader, Scout Activity Assessor, Bookings Secretary and First Aid instructor; Pat still finds time to go Horse riding and is currently learning to play the Ukulele together with looking after grandchildren and his wife Eileen.

Outside of Scouting Pat spends a considerable time working with Schools and Youth Clubs providing leadership training and assessment for the Duke of Edinburgh’s award scheme on a variety of activities. He also enjoys assisting groups with disabilities providing support with both Horse riding and Canal boat trips. 

Pats utilisation of time, enthusiasm, and commitment to Scouting is remarkable and he is more than deserving of the award of the Silver Acorn.

Celebrating Success 2018

January 1, 2019 19:14 | Posted by |

Congratulations to all the Scouts and Explorers who received their Chief Scout Gold, Platinum, Diamond and Queen Scout Awards.

Remembrance 2018

November 13, 2018 16:38 | Posted by |

Remembrance Day events have always been important to the Scout Association and I would encourage you to read about the contribution the Scouts made during both World Wars here. This year was extremely poignant being the Centenary of the end of WWI and it was pleasing to see the district out in force.

It was also fantastic to see groups organising  a number of engaging activities explaining the importance and symbolism behind remembrance to our young people as part of the programme. We were also probably the largest youth organisation participating in remembrance with groups attending services in Widnes, Runcorn, Halton Village, Moore, Frodsham, Helsby, Elton, Kingsley and Norley.

I was particularly impressed with 4th Widnes’ efforts and their spectacular installation they made on the side of their HQ which combined the recycling of waste plastics with a stunning tribute . Equally 1st Newton & Kingsley’s display of  artefacts on loan from the Imperial War Museum North which they used to engage with the rest of the community was also very impressive.

The young and old. Jack and Rachel from Aquila.

Mersey Weaver Exec Newsletter Autumn 2018

November 8, 2018 14:37 | Posted by |

The Executive Committee has recently given much thought as to how we can improve the ways in which we communicate with our members across the Mersey Weaver Scouting community. At the suggestion of one our leaders, we have decided to put together a newsletter with the key points from the minutes of the Executive meeting. We will make this available widely within the district to create a greater insight into what we discussed and how we operate. We hope you think this is a good idea and hope it will provide a greater transparency of how the Executive Committee makes decisions and undertakes its governance duties to ensure that resources are available to safely deliver the best possible quality Scouting.

On behalf of Mersey Weaver District Executive Committee please find attached a link to the first edition of the Mersey Weaver District Newsletter.

 

October Youth Forum

October 8, 2018 00:17 | Posted by |

At the beginning of October, Mersey Weaver held a Youth Forum camp at Clogwyn, Bangor. Over the weekend most Scout groups and Explorer units were represented. 

Throughout the weekend the youth forum had a mix of activities and youth forum meetings. The young people were split into two groups on the Saturday; one went on a local area hill walk in the morning and the other stayed at the centre and tackled a few topics for discussion and then swapped after lunch. 

There were several key topics discussed by the young people:

  • how would you spend £40,000 in the district,
  • what do you consider the barriers in the transition from Scouts to Explorers;
  • and how could you promote Mersey Weaver Scouting in your areas?

Below are some key points from the discussions.

How would you spend £40,000 in the district?

  • There was a lot of emphasis on spending the money at the district HQ
    • The YP suggested improvements could be made in the following areas: roof, kitchen, heating, bathrooms, a new sign on the building, storage fro groups with no storage, a climbing wall on the side of the building.
    • The benefits the YP predicted from these improvements were: a neutral space for the district, it would get used more frequently, ability to hire out the building to groups/non-scouters, we could hold more district events at the venue. 
  • QCW
    • Painting the buildings, new curtains, update the décor, improve/expand the archery range 
    • Benefits of doing this: more groups from the district would visit QCW, more archery events could be held at QCW

What do you consider the barriers in the transition from Scouts to Explorers? 

  • ‘It’s just new’- YP said it’s a new place, new leaders, new people which can all be very scary to some people. It was suggested that we could have a district newsletter to share what Explorers are doing/have done so Scouts aren’t as scared. 
  • Joint events- events for Scouts to visit their nearest Explorer group and see what is happening or district explorer events that Scouts can visit. 
  • Promote explorers via social media-can the YP have a social media take over when on events? 
  • Having a session that can be taken to Scout groups that Explorers can lead will give Scouts the opportunity to meet Explorers and their leaders and have a better understanding of what Explorers are. 
  • Having a buddy-system will help Scouts feel welcome and give them someone to talk to in their first few weeks. 
  • Having transition times at set periods throughout the year so Scouts can move up with their friends. 

How could you promote Mersey Weaver Scouting in your areas?

  • District clothing
  • Have events where we can show people that Scouting isn’t boring
  • Celebrate a certain day by wearing our uniform or casual Scout clothing to school
  • Talk about what we do more on social media

In addition to the youth forum discussions the young people were able to try out the new district land yachts. These were a great success and it was a good way to end the weekend!

Mersey Weaver Inter-Troop Shooting Competition 2018 Results

October 7, 2018 17:42 | Posted by |

The scores have been counted and checked for our first ever Mersey Weaver District Inter-Troop shooting competition.  Read on to find out the results.

Thirty seven scouts in ten teams from 7 different Troops from across the District participated in the competition which was organised and run by the Mersey Weaver Target Sports Scout Active Support Unit (TSASU). “As an ASU, we were pleased that we could put on this event for Scouts across the District and even more pleased with the very positive feedback from the Scouts who took part” said Paul Cummings, TSASU member who helped run the competition.  “We have a great pool of talent to move forward in selecting a team to represent Mersey Weaver at the Cheshire County Inter-District shooting competition to be held in November” commented Colin Chambers, District Shooting Advisor, who organised the competition. “Also by taking part, the Scouts achieved part of the requirement for their Master-at-Arms badge and for some it also counted towards their Personal Challenge badge on their way to achieve the Chief Scout Gold Award”.

Each Scout had to shoot two different types of air rifle twice at 5 bull targets from a distance of 6 yards. The highest 3 scores of each rifle type from each team were used to calculate the team’s score.

And the Team winners were:

4th Frodsham “Team A”. The runners-up were 1st Moore “Team A”:

Winners: 4th Frodsham “A”: Daniel, Erin and Kian with Assistant Scout Leader Chris.

Runner-up: 1st Moore A: Oliver, Lucas and Matthew with Scout Leader Andy.

Individual Winners

The Under 12 age group top scorer was Daniel from 4th Frodsham with a score of 80.  Runner-up was Toby (4th Frodsham) with a score of 76.

The 12 to 141/2 age range top scorer was Oliver from 1st Moore Scout Group with a score of 74. Runner-up was Ben (1st Newton & Kingsley) with a score of 72.

Under 12 age range 12 – 14/1/2 age range

Under 12 winner: Daniel (4th Frodsham) with Paul (TSASU) and Chris Assistant Scout Leader

Winner 12 to 14.5 year age range: Ben (1st Newton & Kingsley) with Colin (TSASU) and Endil (Scout Leader)

Team Leaderboard

Position Team Score
1 4th Frodsham A 211
2 1st Moore A 199
3 1st Newton & Kingsley A 189
4 41st Newton & Kinglsey B 187
5 4th Frodsham B 184
6 1st Moore B 183
7 3rd Frodsham Sea Scouts 155
8 1st Helsby 149
9 4th Widnes 131
10 4th Runcorn 112

Mersey Weaver Exec Newsletter Spring/Summer 2018

August 23, 2018 09:23 | Posted by |

The Executive Committee has recently given much thought as to how we can improve the ways in which we communicate with our members across the Mersey Weaver Scouting community. At the suggestion of one our leaders, we have decided to put together a newsletter with the key points from the minutes of the Executive meeting. We will make this available widely within the district to create a greater insight into what we discussed and how we operate. We hope you think this is a good idea and hope it will provide a greater transparency of how the Executive Committee makes decisions and undertakes its governance duties to ensure that resources are available to safely deliver the best possible quality Scouting.

On behalf of Mersey Weaver District Executive Committee please find attached a link to the first edition of the Mersey Weaver District Newsletter.

The Newsletter

 

DC Blog: Group Scout Leaders in Mersey Weaver

July 14, 2018 17:27 | Posted by |

In the last few weeks we have been extremely proud to welcome two new GSLs and an AGSL to the District Team!

Lisa Cubbin assumes the role of GSL at 1st Weston & Weston Point

Callum Linger assumes the role of GSL at 1st Ince & Elton

Linda McKay assumes the role of AGSL at 1st Ince & Elton

My personal gratitude goes to the all three of these volunteers for their willingness to accept the role of Group Scout Leader in Mersey Weaver and I am sure we shall see great things from you all!

So what is a Group Scout Leader?

The Group Scout Leader role is essential to ensuring every group in the District runs smoothly and every adult leader has a district representative local to them that they can go to for support.  They offer encouragement and deliver positive and constructive feedback to leaders. With the support of the executive committee they also ensure the group understands the policy, organisation and rules of the Scout Association so Scouting at the group can thrive! They are often instrumental in the growth of the group, recruiting new adults to the movement which in turn allows us to accept even more young people on our long waiting lists. All in all they are important role and with out them we’d be lost!

So where do we now stand in Mersey Weaver?

While it is definitely cause for celebration that we have found two new GSLs; of our 17 groups in the District, 5 still have a vacant Group Scout Leader. Only two of our groups have Assistant GSLs who we see as a just as vital role. In groups with out GSLs, a lot of this responsibility falls to Sections Leaders who already give up so much of their time planning fantastic programmes that provide our young people with skills for life. I’m in awe of them really, how they manage to do so much is beyond me and this why we need more adults willing to put themselves forward for the GSL and AGSL roles.

It is has been mine, Laura’s and Derek’s mission since we took our own roles four months ago that we put in place an infrastructure of support in the District so leaders feel valued and are properly equipped with the tools for the job. Part of this strategy has been to recruit people with good line management qualities or the potential to develop, to fill empty GSL posts and while it feels like a big step to have found two new adults to take on this role we obviously have more work to do!

In order to help us to do this Derek has formed a GSL search group made up of current Group Scout Leaders. Who better to help us identify the right people for the roles than the very people who do it week in, week out?! The purpose of the search group will be to work with groups to look internally for potential talent as well as reach out to the local community and businesses. The team will help us interview and run exercises with groups to find the best fit. Perhaps even identifying leaders in groups who’ve never considered a role like that before. They will also help with finding AGSLs so that going forward it all doesn’t come down to just one person and hopefully provide some succession when people inevitably move on.

Groups we a looking for a Group Scout Leader include
  • 1st Newton & Kingsley
  • 3rd & 9th Runcorn
  • 6th Runcorn
  • 8th Widnes
We are also on the look out for one or more Assistant Group Scout Leaders for all of our groups!
Update: Since this post we a pleased to have filled the GSL post at 4th Frodsham. We welcome Richard Smith to the role! And John Nicholson has taken an AGSL post at 1st Halton. We are excited about how both Richard and John will support our leaders in Frodsham and Runcorn.

Could you or someone you know be a Group Scout Leader too?

Are you new to Scouting or an existing leader? Maybe you are a parent just looking to help out in a way that doesn’t cramp your Scout’s style? Maybe you are looking to give something back to your community?  Perhaps you’re ready to try something new on your Scouting journey to keep things fresh!? We’re looking for lots of different leadership styles that may suit different groups so please reach out to us if you are interested in being part of a dynamic and innovative team of volunteer managers.
I was recently speaking to one of our Group Scout Leaders Emma, and I asked her what the best thing about being a GSL was and after a little think she replied,
“Helping to provide new opportunities and experiences for not only the young people but the adults too. It’s so rewarding seeing everybody young and old, grow, develop, learn new skills and form new friendships as a result of scouting.”
Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?
There are a whole host of other reasons and benefits to a Group Scout Leader or Assistant Group Scout Leader Role which include:
  • Enabling more young people to enjoy and gain skills for life from Scouting.
  • Use existing or develop new management experience to give back to Scouting as well as help you develop in your career.
  • Meet dynamic individuals from a diverse range of backgrounds, make new friends and do things and projects that you’d never get the opportunity to do elsewhere.
  • Solve problems and become a figurehead in your community.
  • Gain satisfaction from being a part of someone else’s personal development. You become more than a volunteer, you become somebody’s mentor.
  • Adopt a new family that never stops extending and accept you for the real you!
  • When you don’t feel like you’re good enough, there are always lots of small people who look up to you who think you’re the best!
  • Empower leaders to do more with their sections. You could be the catalyst that takes a group who’s nights just revolving around playing indoor games to getting out and doing some truly amazing life changing things.
  • Innovate, pioneer change and leave a lasting legacy.
  • Join a dynamic group of volunteer managers who share a passion about the development of people.

Being a Group Scout Leader in Mersey Weaver comes with a package of support both locally and nationally.

If any of this resonates, you could be the next GSL we announce!
Thanks for listening!
Oli (District Commissioner)

District AGM

June 5, 2018 13:55 | Posted by |

The District AGM will be held on Monday 25th June from 7.00 pm, at the Heath Conference Centre in Runcorn

Below are links to the official documents for the 2018 District AGM

AGM Agenda

2017 Annual Trustees report

2017 Final signed accounts

2017 Independent Examiners report

Proposed update to District Constitution

limited copies for reference will be made available at the AGM but if you want your own copy please download from the links