County Scout Team

I am pleased to announce that over the last few months we have increased the County Scout section leadership team, Jon Borzacchiello, Helen and And Hickinbotham have all agreed to come on board to help lead and support the Scout section throughout the County.

We will be focusing on offering a number of County events throughout the year, holding regular County Scout forums, supporting District events, and getting out to visit as many troops throughout the county as possible.

Jon, Helen and Andy all offer a wealth of knowledge and experience and a very diverse scouting skill set, I am very pleased to welcome them on board and with their help I am sure that we will see the County scout section go from strength to strength !!

 Yours Jonny Kitching. A.C.C.(scouts)




National Awards for five of our adults

Every year the Scout Association honours the hard work and dedication of its volunteers with St George’s Day Awards. This year 5 Adult Leaders from across the County have been awarded these prestigious awards.

Each award recipient receives a special invitation to attend a service at St George’s Chapel and to watch the Queen Scout Review at Windsor Castle for the annual “Day of Celebration and Achievement”. This is the Scout Associations largest annual event and is the National St George’s Day Parade.

We managed to catch up with three of them to find out about their scouting experiences and what their awards mean to them.

Tony Hurst: Silver Acorn
Cub Scout Leader (Akela) 41st St James the greater & 112th – Little Hill

“It was really a surprise, a good surprise – it did take me back a little. I won’t be attending Windsor as I have to work that weekend. But other people have told me it is such a fantastic celebration. I have been a Cub Scout Leader for 25 years and an Adult in Scouting for 27 years, but I started as a Cub myself. For me I’m only putting back what someone put into me… my leader in Northampton gave Scouting to me, so I am passing it onto the next generation. For me the greatest award is watching the young people grow up and aid their society”


Phil Reed: Silver Acorn
Group Scout Leader –  Great Glen Scout Group

“It was a delightful surprise to receive my letter, I really wasn’t expecting it. I have never been to Windsor for the Celebration of Achievement, so I don’t know what to expect. But I am looking forward to it! I started as a Scout Leader in 1984 and since then I have seen 305 young people move through the Scout Section at Great Glen. I’m still involved in the section now. In 30 years as a leader it is really hard to choose my favourite moments, there really are too many to choose from, but I have been lucky enough to attend not one but two World Scout Jamborees and seeing all the hard work and fund-raising rebuild our Scout HQ in Great Glen.”


Richard Coppock: Silver Acorn
Assistant County Commissioner International

“I was very surprised to receive my award. I’m not going to Windsor as I’m not around for it but I’m looking forward to it being presented locally. I started as a cub leader when I was 16 or 17 just helping out before becoming a Scout Leader. I was with Blaby for about 5 years before moving to the 102nd Aylestone where I started a Scout section. Most recently I have been involved in the sale of the Blaby Scout HQ site and the purchase of the New County Centre at LE3. In the past 8 months I’ve been involved in together one of the largest Leicestershire contingents to attend the World Scout Jamboree in 2015. I’ve been lucky enough to attend a World Jamboree as a participant and as an Adult. The favourite one for me was the World Scout Jamboree in 2007. I designed, and with the team built and ran, challenge valley which was well regarded as one of the best activities on the Jamboree. We had such fantastic team multinational. It was a massive achievement for everyone involved”

Also, congratulations to

Paul Adams – Assistant Group Scout Leader and Cub Scout Leader 2nd Hinckley
Silver Acorn
Laura Baines – Group Scout Leader Barwell
Silver Acorn

These awards are national awards and you can nominate deserving leaders for their time. If you would like to know more please take a look on the Scout Association website: http://members.scouts.org.uk/supportresources/search/?cat=56,230




High Adventure 2014

Looking for an adventurous weekend? Then look no further than High Adventure. Held every year in March, this mystery location weekend has Explorer’s and Network members alike wondering what the weekend has in store.

Three members of Leicestershire Scouts Young Media Team took part in this year’s event as members of their Units. Rebecca Illife, Daisy Harris (both Explorers) and Erin Billington, (a Network member) all from Market Harborough, share their experience of the weekend.

High Adventure is a hiking, orienteering competition set in mountainous terrain with a mystery location. Every year, Explorer Scouts and Scout Network members compete in orienteering hikes and challenges over a weekend, carrying all their food and camping equipment on their backs.  The object of High Adventure is to find your way from base camp to top camp whilst collecting points at different check points. This year saw 17 teams competed against each other. A couple of teams got lost whilst others made time to roll down mountains

Rebecca explained that her unit Dragon ESU entered for the first time this year. “No one in our unit had ever done anything like it before and it really was a fantastic- if exhausting – experience”

On Friday the 14th of March young people from across Leicestershire boarded two coaches with anticipation. Not knowing how long the journey was going to be or in fact where they were headed, the 17 different teams composed of Explorer Scouts and  Scout Network members set off to the base camp of High Adventure 2014. There was a lot of excitement circling the coaches as the participants readied themselves for the two day hiking competition that was taking place in an unknown location.

The final location? North Wales at Lake Vyrnwy.

Following a short night’s sleep the participants set off  across the Welsh country side.

“The hiking was difficult. We crossed paths with many other teams on our trek and faced many challenges along the way: we waded through boggy patches full of frogspawn and we had to battle our way through massive pine trees that had overturned into our path. But still, it was rewarding.” Said Rebecca.

After a full day walking, collecting as many check points as possible the teams headed to ‘top camp’ exhausted and ready to sleep.

The following morning, with renewed enthusiasm, everyone set out once again into the Welsh countryside and almost immediately were confronted with the first challenge: to complete level three of the Bleep Test complete with rucksacks on their backs. Other challenges included: firing paintballs at a board being held by a fellow team member; dragging a jeep up a hill with a pulley system; putting out a candle using a water balloon; throwing axes at a wooden target. Each one was thrilling and extremely fun to participate in, making the hike back seem less hard and more exciting.

After the presentation of certificates and awards to the teams who collected the most points from the challenges and checkpoints over the weekend, the group of exhausted Explorer Scouts and Scout Network members piled all their kit and equipment back onto the coaches and settled down for the well-earned rest on the way home.

Speaking of their weekend Daisy said ““High Adventure is a huge challenge which tests Explorers to their mental and physical limits… But with mountains of fun! It was really hard work, but filled us with confidence for future Dof E expeditions” While Rebecca felt it was “exciting, exhilarating event even if it was absolutely exhausting and it was one that I’m sure none of us will forget in a hurry.”

As one of the older competitors Erin has competed in other High Advenure competitions over the years. “As a die-hard High Adventurer, I felt like a veteran over the weekend; it’s fantastic to see so many teams competing and the competition still going strong. A massive thank you to all the adults that made the weekend happen for us – without your time, effort and dedication,”

To read Erin’s full account, please visit the Network website here

The Winners:

Challenge Team Winner:
Omega (Inclined) [Market Harborough]

Explorer Teams:
1- Alpha (Inclined) (358 Points) [Market Harborough]
2 – Omega (Inclined) (297 Points) [Market Harborough]
3 – Dench Henceman (Chomolungma) (250 Points) [North East]

Mixed Age Teams:
1 Pr0Team (Xtreme ESU) (493 Points) [Loughborough]

Network Teams:
1 Mm Tea (Harborough Network) (427 Points)


BCU Foundation Safety and Rescue



Moira Canal – cost £30

Plus Certificate

B.C.U Member £ 5 Non-member £ 10


This award has two purposes. Firstly to provide a paddler with the necessary safety awareness which will enable them to ensure the safety of themselves and others. Secondly to provide a paddler with rescue skills witch can be used to help themselves and others in difficulty.

Pre-requisites are two star minimum ability

Boats available


Peter A Harrison

                                          21 Pretoria Road, Ibstock, Leicestershire, LE67 6LP


Home 01530 481864

Mobile. 07803122946

E-mail. paharrison@talk21.com



BCU No: 070352/F


THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING!…. hints and tips….

Why is it that the thought of the AGM fills many of us with dread?

It doesn’t have to be like that……

With ample planning and some thought we can use the AGM as a great PR exercise and social activity as well as complying with the legal requirements.



Use these tips to help.

Set the date

Get the date in the diary well in advance and publicise it well. Think about when you are having it. It has to be within six months of the end of financial year depending on when yours is. With a March year end, would a mid-September AGM be a great welcome back for the term? If the year end is December how about a late May barbecue or family camp with the AGM thrown in? Set the date to suit you; don’t be afraid to change it.


Notify the District and County, they may like to send someone along. As soon as the date is set, invite local officials, the Mayor , local councillors and the MPs. Have you got any celebrities living locally? They may get hundreds of invitations to things, but they may just turn up if you ask them. Nearer the time formally invite the Group Scout Council. How about running a competition within the Group to design the invitation? There are probably older Scouts or Explorers who would do a great job of getting something printable for you from the efforts of the younger members. Do any of your sections meet in a school? Invite the Head Teacher and the caretaker; they will be the ones tidying up after you! The local faith leaders and head of other youth groups may be good people to invite, telling the community about the good activities you are doing is an important aspect of the AGM.

Share it out

Think about the logistics of the evening. Is the access to your headquarters obvious? Often we are tucked round the back of buildings, down footpaths. Whether you are or not, get a couple of people wearing uniform to greet and direct visitors and not sullen Scouts who would rather not. Use people who are keen and enthusiastic, a couple of bouncing Beavers with the appropriate adult supervision would set a great example. Make sure that you have asked someone to provide refreshments and discuss in advance what that will be. Cheese and wine or tea and biscuits? Make sure that there will be plenty of people there before and after to get the chairs out and tidy up afterwards. Share out the responsibilities otherwise you may find that you are trying to do it all.

Format and agenda

There is nothing to say that this has to be a very formal evening. Some of the most successful AGMs are held at camps and barbecues. Make sure that you have enough time though to get through the formal part of the meeting. There are some AGM ideas at the end of this section as well as a possible template for an agenda.


Make sure that you have the minutes from last year’s meeting and enough copies as well as the agenda to give out. You will also need an Annual Report and Accounts pack. This is the requirement to satisfy the Charity Commission that we are administering our charity’s money wisely. You will need signed copies for the District, County, HQ and Charity Commissioners. Have extra copies of the report to hand out and leave locally. How about putting a copy in the doctors’ waiting room, the library, the hairdressers, local churches and schools?

 On the night

Reserve seats at the front for the VIPs. Make sure that everything you need is to hand. Are you presenting prizes or thank you gifts? Are there any long service awards to presented? 

Formal matters

Make sure that the formal parts of the meeting are carried out, and minuted accurately. Follow the agenda. And then relax.

Setting the scene

Why not run a video or slideshow of photos as people are arriving? This will give you a chance to welcome people as they arrive, give them a chance to have a read of the report and see what their young people have been up to over the last year. You would need a laptop, data projector and screen to do this. You may find that someone within the Group has access to this sort of equipment, or ask your District or County if you can borrow theirs. A professional start looks good. District and County may already have DVDs that have been prepared for other events (it’s worth asking). Plan B, make sure that you have covered all eventualities in your planning. Have a contingency plan in case guest speakers are unable to make it at the last minute. Short and sweet, keep the meeting part as short as possible and the social part as long as you need. Make the event a social and sociable one. Make sure that all leaders are present and circulating to chat with parents and VIPs.


Before start: DVD of year’s highlights (photos and video)

Key business

1. Introduction from the Chair of the meeting (Group President or Chairman). Introduce key people, don’t assume everyone knows everyone. Housekeeping arrangements.

2. Agree minutes of previous AGM.

3. Apologies for absence.

4. Receive and adopt the Annual Report for the previous financial year (just ended).

5. Receive and adopt the Financial Statements for the previous financial year (just ended).

Elections and appointments

6. Reappoint or elect key appointments in the Group Scout Council (Presidents, Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, etc).

7. Appoint the Independent Examiner for the coming year.

8. Elect and/or co-opt members to the Executive Committee.

Extras (where applicable)

9. Elect representatives to external organisations.

10. Presentation of awards.

11. Guest Speaker.


12. Vote of thanks.

13. Close of meeting.

Social event


Include the young people

A short presentation by Beavers, Cubs or Scouts is a good thing to include, but keep it short. Don’t allow every Beaver, Cub and Scout to do something; otherwise you will be verging on boring the audience.


Everyone likes to see their son or daughter receive a prize. Approach a local business for a small amount of money to sponsor your annual Group Awards. Think up some snazzy titles or topics for them: most activity badges earned; most nights away in the year; best attendance; most cakes baked. The only limit is your imagination.

Family competition

Hold the AGM before, during or after a quiz night, beetle drive, rounders match, sports day or race evening. Just make sure that there is adequate time to do both.

Barbecue or party

Invite everyone to a social event and throw in the AGM for good measure.

Family camp

Not only is family camp a great adult recruitment tool, you could always slip the AGM in on Sunday morning after breakfast. Everyone has had such a great weekend, they may just volunteer.

Guest speaker

Invite a really inspirational speaker who people would be interested to come and hear.

Ask around

There may be other Groups in your District and County who already have an AGM with a difference. You may be one of those Groups. If so, share the information of what works for you. Ask for an agenda point to be raised at the next District GSLs meeting to share information.

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