What did Avon Scouts get up to in 2014?

Added 30/12/2014 test

Its never a "quiet" year in Scouting, but 2014 has been a particularly busy year for Avon Scouts. A year of continued growth and development for Scouting across the county, along with a new County Commissioner to end the year!

Early in the year, we held a selection day where we 72 young people, and 8 adults, were selected from across the county to attend the 2015 World Jamboree in Japan. For them, 2014 has been a busy year of fundraising and training events, which will continue into the new year. An additional 24 candidates from Avon were successful in being selected for the International Service Team.

In March, we announced a partnership with the Pears Foundation, which will bring an additional £200,000 investment in growing and developing Scouting locally. The partnership saw the recruitment of a team of interns, who will be helping development across the county. 

In April, a number of long-standing volunteers in Avon were recognised in the annual St Georges Day Awards. These are national awards recognising good service, and special acts of heroism or bravery. The 16 volunteers from across Avon who received awards were recognised at a special reception, hosted by local business Smith and Williamson.  On the subject of awards, in May, Amir Cheema (District Commissioner, Brunel) received a UK "Point of Light" award from the Prime Minister for his outstanding contribution to community life.

As the warmer weather approached, so our outdoor activities increased. May saw six hundred young people from Wansdyke district taking part in WanJam, a bank holiday jamboree at Bath Racecourse. In June, over 100 Scouts and Explorers took part in the County Water Regatta at Bristol Docks

Early June saw young people from across the county taking part in projects as part of Scout Community Week. Beavers, Cubs and Scouts from Weston, Bath, spent a day improving the area around their Scout Hall, while 1st Abbotswood Beavers took part in a litter pick, and 1st Frampton Cotterell Beavers planted flowers at their local church. 

2014 saw the Scout Association change its rules to allow Paintballing as an activity, and in June 140 members of Network and Explorers took part in the "NEX does paintball" event at Hamburger Hill.

On 13th July, volunteers from Avon spent the day at the County Conference, hosted at the City Academy in Bristol. During the day a range of interactive workshops were delivered on subjects as diverse as "growing scouting" and "delivering exciting programmes". The day also included the county AGM and Network Conference.

In September, a new Sea Explorer unit set sail in Bristol Docks. Based at the BP Boathouse, the unit offers a full explorer programme, with an emphasis on water activities, at the heart of Bristol's famous floating harbour. Later in September, over 100 young people took part in the County Shooting Competition at Chelwood, with participants competing in a range of shooting and archery disciplines. 

The weekend of 17th-19th October saw Scouts from around the world communicating with each other as part of the worldwide Jamboree on the Internet and Jamboree on the Air (JOTI/JOTA). A number of groups gathered at 229th Bristol's HQ in Ashton Gate for this year's JOTI Radio event.

As the year drew to a close, our new County Commissioner, Graham Brant, was appointed at the start of November to replace Dan Wood who was appointed International Commissioner for the Scout Association. 

2015 promises to be no quieter, with a range of events already in the diary! And plans are already underway for our 2016 county Jamboree!

Happy New Year everyone!