Marking a decade of success

Added 17/08/2012 test

Explorer Scouts and Scout Network recently held a huge beach party to celebrate their tenth anniversary. Nearly two hundred of them took to the beach at Uphills near Weston-Super-Mare for an afternoon and evening packed full of fun. 

They competed to win the sandcastle competition, played beach games and tug of war and wore fancy dress; there were live bands, a mocktail bar and a barbeque.  The day was topped off with a spectacular firework display.  Those who took part in the event were impressed at just how quickly the dedicated team of volunteers had managed to plan it and were grateful for their support. 

For all those involved it was a unique, fun and memorable day and a great way to celebrate this special milestone.  They joined Scouts of the same ages all over the Country in marking this further important juncture in the 105 year old organisation's history.  

Explorer Scouting for 14-18 year olds and Scout Network for 18-25 year olds were introduced in 2002 as part of a major refresh of The Scout Association's youth programme that also saw changes to the uniform and brand. Since then the Explorer Scout Section in particular has soared in popularity, with more teenagers than ever joining the Movement in recent years. 

This resurgence is linked to the exciting, relevant and modern programme, the growing emphasis placed on adventure and the support of high profile celebrities such as Chief Scout, Bear Grylls.  Avon Scout's very own ambassador and County President, TV adventurer Ed Coats joined some of the Explorer Scouts at their activity centre before the beach party.  The Explorers talked with Ed about his recent expeditions to the North and South Poles and more recently Tanzinia and their own aspirations and future Scouting goals.

During a fun filled morning of activities that included abseiling, rifle shooting, camp cooking and pioneering, Ed joined the Scouts and filmed recorded messages to encourage even more volunteers to get involved.  Scouting in Avon has over 1,000 young people registered on its waiting lists as wanting to join but there are not yet enough volunteers to meet demand.  This picture is reflected nationally with other 40,000 young people waiting to join, despite the fact that volunteer membership continues to grow and the volunteer experience is more exciting than ever.

Each year nearly a thousand 14-18 year olds take part in challenges and adventures across Avon Scout County which covers Bath, Bristol, North and North East Somerset and South Gloucestershire.  They learn leadership skills and take part in volunteering projects.  Many of them travel abroad and achieve their Duke of Edinburgh's and Queen's Scout Awards.  They make friends and try hundreds of new activities. Research has recently shown that Scouts do far better than their peers for employability because employers recognise the valuable skills and qualities they gain through Scouting.  Why not join them and become part of the action? Or, if you are an adult and interested in volunteering, find out more and help us inspring even more young people to do great things.

See more photos in the events gallery.