July 14, 2018 17:27 |
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
- 4th Frodsham
- 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!
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)
June 5, 2018 13:55 |
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
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
February 25, 2018 15:21 |
District Youth Commissioner, Hannah Deakin, “it’s a great demonstration of the District Team’s and Executive’s active commitment and support for You Shaped Scouting in the District to hold the Youth Forum as part of the 2018 National Your Shaped month”. The Forum workshop day took place at the District Scout Centre on the 24th February.
Jeff Shaw, District Executive Chairman, welcomed the Scout Troop and Explorer Unit Representatives stating “The District Youth forum have an important voice in helping the District Executive to decide on the priorities for investing in District Facilities and how they should be improved to meet the expectations of our current and future Youth Members”.
Colin Chambers, District Deputy Commissioner, stated “This relaunch of our Youth Forum in its new format and composition has produced a greater wider representation of Troops and Explorer Units across the District compared to the old format. We had a great spread of ages participating, from Scouts as young as 11 through to Explorers just about to move onto to Network at 18 years old. We also had over 50% of the District represented and there was an awesome level of participation from our Scouts and explorers over the whole day, I feel the workshop was a great success not just on the level of representation but also the sheer number of ideas that were put forward by them.”
Over the course of the day, all the Youth members took part in discussions sessions on:
- What improvements and facilities they would like to see in the District Scout Centre that would benefit their their Groups and Units
- What they liked about Queen Charlottes Wood Activity Centre and what might be nice to change, keep the same and any new activities.
- Activities for the 2019 District Camp
- How You Shaped Scouting can be further expanded in the District
- Open ideas session in which they traded ides for milkshake ingredients which were then made by our own “Mocktail-ologists” for them.
- Throughout the day, there was a”cool wall” on which they ranked a wide range of activities and events
from “Seriously Un-cool” to “Sub-Zero”. This was then re-visted at the end of the day when everyone had the opportunity to put forward a case to move items up or down the range before everyone then voted on the final rankings.
Hannah was overwhelmed by the response ” its give me a great platform going forward, I have lots of youth members here today asking if I can come to their Troops and Units to run “You Shaped in a box” night and or supporting even greater You Shaped Scouting with their Troops and units”.
Richard Hamilton, leading organiser for 2019 District Camp, told us “I now have a wealth of tremendous ideas from today on what our Youth Members would like to see as activities at the District Camp, they clearly want new adventurous experiences which reflect the higher expectations of their age group these days. There were also some of the more regular favourites.”
Oliver Chambers who takes over the District Commissioner role at the end of March, took the opportunity to participate by running a workshop, encouraging participation throughout the day and getting hands-on in a number of the games. “I’m really excited by many of their ideas and comments from today. I’m inspired by the depth and quality of the discussions which took place and just how much thought they put into their ideas.”
All the feedback from the forum is being collated and analysed after which the District Youth Commissioner will present it to the District Executive so that it can be taken into account in their decisions.
February 20, 2018 18:03 |
Hannah will be making contact with the Leaders of those Troops and Units whose representatives asked for her to attend and run “You Shaped night in a box”.
The next Youth Forum is planned for September/October 2018, the format will be a weekend event involving a night way so that those participating having the opportunity to socialise, get to know on another and also here about what is going on in the other Troops and Units in the District”
Graham Phillips, Cheshire County Commissioner, announced today that the process to find the next DC for Mersey Weaver District has now been completed and Oliver Chambers has been appointed to the role of DC Mersey Weaver District with effect from Mon 26 March when the current DC, Owen Campbell, will stand down.
October 1, 2017 12:45 |
Oliver is currently ADC Adventure in the District and the Scout Leader at 4th Frodsham Scout Group. Graham stated “He brings a fresh approach to the role of DC combined with enthusiasm and a passion for delivering Scouting to young people that is driven by young people themselves. He is keen to engage with Leaders and supporters across the District to find ways of working together to support young people in all sections of Scouting in the District”.
Graham also stated “I am grateful for the time and commitment Owen has put into Mersey Weaver and his cooperation in working on an effective handover of the District .”
After a intensive section event involving interviews along with team working and problem solving activities; we are delighted to announce that 10 Scouts have been selected to represent Mersey Weaver at the World Scout Jamboree in West Virginia, USA.
Aaron Bennion, Beacon Explorer Scout Unit
Ella Pickstock, 4th Frodsham Scout Group
Gemma Eager, Aquila Explorer Scout Unit
Grace Wheeler, 1st Newton and Kingsley Scout Group
Katy Wakeman, 1st Helsby Scout Group
Lewis Gale, 8th Widnes Scout Group
?Louie Bostock, 4th Frodsham Scout Group
Melodie Buckley, 12th Widnes Scout Group
Ollie Lavery, 1st Moore Scout Group
Tara Jennings, Beacon Explorer Scout Unit
We are sure you will join the District Team in wishing them the very best in the challenge ahead and offer as much support as possible to both the contingent members and our two adult leaders, Matt Marnell (4th Runcorn, ASL) and Oliver Chambers (ADC Adventure & 4th Frodsham Scout Leader) who are going as part of the Cheshire contingent leadership team.
Over the next 20 months, the participants will have to work very hard as a team to fundraise the approximate £51,000 to attend the once in a lifetime experience. In addition, they will go through an intensive training programme that will ensure they make the most of their time away and set them up with many competencies that will be useful in future careers. While at the Jamboree, they will spend 12 days of international cooperation on the Summit Betchell
Reserve with 40,000 other Scouts from over 150 different countries. They will learn and gain an understanding of different cultures, languages and religions. Either side of the Jamboree, participants will be pushed out of their comfort zone and stay with a host family either in the United States or Canada.
We would like to thank and recognise those Scouts and Explorers who were not among those selected. Every single one of you are to be commended for having the motivation to put an application forward and for your hard work and effort at the selection event. As we explained on the day, the competition was very fierce with over 30 applications for just 10 places. You were a great credit to yourselves, your Units/Groups and Mersey Weaver Scout District. We would encourage you not to be in any way disheartened and to apply for the next international opportunity.
September 22, 2017 23:02 |
We have subsequently gained an extra place and pleased to announce that Brendan Edwards of Cestrian Explorer Scout Unit will also be joining the contingent.
Due to personal circumstances, both Gemma Eager and Melody Buckley regretfully have decided to withdraw from the contingent however we are also pleased to announce that Jess McKay of Beacon Explorer Unit and Jared Hodgkinson of Aquila Explorer Scout Unit have joined the unit. We wish Gemma and Melody all the best with all their other Scouting endeavours.
Our Norwegian friendship group
September 16, 2017 16:55 |
Going to Norway for the world’s northernmost jamboree with a knee injury was not what I had intended after eight months of hard work fundraising and preparation. But, I was grateful that I was still able to go with the Mersey Weaver District contingent and promised to make the best of it. I knew the planned overnight hike and high ropes were definitely out for me, and I just had to see how I could manage with everything else, but at least I was going to be involved in some way (and as I had told my Scout leader that had to be better than being in school)!
To get to Bodo we had 24 hours of travelling with three plane journeys and an overnight layover in Oslo airport. After we arrived at the Jamboree site we met up with our Norwegian friendship group from 1st Fagerstrand Scouts, who had kindly loaned us some tents and had set them up for us.
I quickly became friends with a girl called Amalie- It worked out really well as the two groups were doing some different activities at different times, there were occasions when I was unable to join my group activities and instead joined in with the Norwegian camp based activities. I cooked, played card games, and learnt pioneering and improved my fire lighting and knife skills – they were great at lighting and cooking on open fires. Most of the Norwegian group could speak really good English which was a massive help, having put my wrist band on too tight Amalie was able help me translate to get a new one.
After the jamboree was over we headed South of Oslo to Nesoddento stay in a lakeside log cabin which belonged to our friendship group from Fagerstrand. Fagerstrand is a small area in the district of Høvik, across the fjord from Nesodden. One evening we cooked a traditional English roast dinner for our Norwegian friends so they could sample one of our favourite meals.
One of my favourite days was the day the Mersey Weaver contingent went to do the high ropes course, and I because I couldn’t go I was invited to spend the day at Amalie’s house and go to the Fagerstrand beach known as “Beauty Beach” with Amalie and her family for the day. I met Amalie’s school friends and spent the day swimming and diving in the sea. Later on for our final evening in Norway we were joined by the Mersey Weaver Scouts and the 1stFagerstrand group. We all had a lovely barbeque of reindeer and hotdogs on the beach and said our goodbyes to each other, all promising to meet up in the summer of 2018 at the Cheshire Jamboree known as Chamboree.
Spending time with Amalie, I was surprised to learn that many Norwegians have two kitchens and living areas to make the most of the seasons,large outdoor rooms for the summer months and a smaller inside rooms, which are easier to keep warm, with big fires for the cold winter months. The houses are so very different to here in England, mostly wooden and painted in brightly colours, with very steep roofs to help the snow slide off in winter. It was interesting to learn that all Norwegian houses must have external lights and in the winter these must be on constantly for safety reasons because it is always so dark.
My first international experience was not what I thought it was going to be, but in some ways I think because of the situation with my knee I enjoyed a greater sense of Norwegian hospitality and international friendship. I’m now looking forward to Amalie coming over to England for Chamboree in July 2018, and to her and her family hopefully staying with us next summer. Fingers crossed there will be other international opportunities I can take part in, but this time without any injuries. One of the biggest things I learnt was that international scouting gives you so many amazing experiences that don’t just end when the expedition ends.
We are pleased to announce that Hannah Deakin has been appointed as our first District Youth Commissioner. Hannah is an Assistant Beaver Scout Leader at 1st Halton and Scout Network Member.
Hannah is looking forward to championing, encouraging and leading the work towards the Youth Shaped 2018 strategic objective. Hannah will be an enabler and champion for the Youth Shaped work across the District in partnership with the District Commissioner and Chairperson of the District Executive Committee
The role is to ensure that young people from 6 – 25 years are involved and engaged in every decision that shapes their Scouting experience locally and to empower young people to share their ideas and have a meaningful voice in planning, implementing and reviewing their programme and opportunities. To that aim Hannah will be in her first year
- Taking the lead on the District Youth Forum and encourage greater participation in meaningful Youth Forums; and
- Ensuring that recommendations from the Youth Forum to the District Executive Committee and District Team are considered and appropriately implemented and that an effective method to provide feedback on outcomes to the Youth Forum is in place.
We are delighted to have as part of the team.
August 31, 2017 08:18 |
Welcome, Hannah, and we all look forward to working with you.
Carl Adshead has been appointed as the new Assistant District Commissioner for the Scouts Section.
June 21, 2017 15:59 |
Carl has a wealth of experience from his time with 1st Ince and Elton and from helping to organise numerous events around the District. He’s looking forward to taking on the challenge of leading the Scouts Section within our District and we are delighted to have as part of the team.
Welcome, Carl, and all the best!
In 10 days time, 26 Scouts and Explorers from Mersey Weaver with embark on the adventure of a lifetime by attending the World’s Northernmost Jamboree in Bodø, Norway.
Situated at 67 degrees north, above the Arctic Circle with beautiful mountain views. Bodø is the capital of Nordland county and is surrounded by some of the most pristine wilderness in Norway including 17 Nature Reserves. As well as thousands of Scouts from all across Norway and Scandinavia, participants will be joining contingents from as far away as the USA, Australia, Netherlands and Hong Kong.. They will meet Scouts from other countries and learn about their cultures, make friends and maybe even swap a few badges!
The contingent will spend 10 days of self discovery in Bodø sharing a camp with our new friendship group 1st Fagerstrand. Together they will cook, eat and sleep as well as take part in some incredible activities including a 24 hour expedition, Sea kayaking and learn about the native peoples of Northern Scandinavia – the Sami. After the Jamboree, the contingent will head south by night train to spend four days with our friendship group in Nesodden, a peninsula just south of Oslo meeting their families as well as interacting with Beavers and Cubs. There will be time to explore Oslo and some of its culture including a visit to the Nobel Peace Prize Centre and a ferry trip down the Oslo fjord before returning home.
We hope to reciprocate our hosts hospitality by welcome 1st Fagerstand to the District in 2018.
To get to this point has not been easy and it all started back in October when participants took part in a selection event which included an interview and teamwork activity. Since then not only have the participants been hard at work fundraising the full £38,000 they needed to make the experience possible (a whopping 70+ events were organised over the course of 8 months) but also taking part in a number of preparation and team building activities along the way including:
- Halloween Social
- Two Radio Interviews
- Five Hillwalking Experiences
- A Beaver and Cub Disco
- Skills workshop
- A weekend away at our Clogwyn Activity Centre in North Wales
- A REC Frist Aid Qualification
- Six Hike practices
- A week-long Camp at Great Tower in the Lake District
- Mask Making Day
- Magazine Interview
- Night Nav Experience
- Six Norwegian Lessons in Liverpool
Some Highlights of the Fundraising Events included:
- Nord Battle of the Bands
- Nord Ball
- Nord Helsby Family Funday
A huge thanks should go to Andy, Charlie, Fiona and James for all that you have done to support me making this experience happen for the Young People. Dex for all his support – I wish you and Nicola all the best with your new-born baby. Owen, Colin & Jeff for believing in me and giving me the backing. Cath for being an amazing treasurer and extremely prompt and efficient at making all the payments we’ve needed. As well as all those from the District Team, District ASUs, District ESU’s, District Executive and County Team who have contributed in one way of another to making this experience happen.
June 21, 2017 14:33 |
I would also like to thank all the local organisations, businesses, councillors, leaders, parents and friends of the District who have contributed financially to the project. We have seen great support from Cheshire Scout Council, Halton Borough Council, ETC UK, Frodsham Freemasons, Helsby Town Council, Helsby & Frodsham Lions, Howden’s Joinery, Inovyn Chlor, GMB, Essar Four Villages Half Marathon, Leslie Sell Trust, Frodsham Town Council, Helsby Rugby Club, Frodsham and Helsby Rotary, Soroptimists, Barclays.
And finally a huge B-R-A-V-O to all the parents and participants who have worked tirelessly over the last 8months fundraising.
Make sure you keep your eyes peeled on our Social Media Channels for updates while we are there; as well as our contingent mini site and blog https://nord2017.mwscouts.org
Oliver Chambers (ADC Adventure & Contingent Leader)
On the 9th/10th June, Scouts and Explorers from 11 different Groups and Units took part in an overnight hike which started at Forest Camp and finished on the border of Staffordshire. The Scouts & Explorer hiked through the night, stopping for only a few hours kip in bivi bags – an exciting experience in its self! The Scouts did immensely well braving heavy rain on the Saturday morning and still smiling throughout!
Organisers Richard Hamilton and Oliver Chambers would like to thank all the members of the Hillwalking and Trekking ASU for making the event possible as well as Alec & Mary Wynne for organising the basecamp, Louise, Stephen, Andrew, Dave for Driving the two minibuses as well as Breeda and Dave Worthington for providing First Aid support.