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Scouting like society has faced significant challenges this year and unfortunately these have led to many plans being changed and the disappointment this brings.

We have also seen many of our volunteer members step forward, who under some difficult circumstances ensured new plans were formed allowing the Scouting adventure to continue for our youth members.  I know many of these people will have taken this extra work in their stride but I want to make sure they receive the recognition they deserve.

A range of Good Service Awards are available for adults volunteers who have gone “above and beyond” what is expected of them.  An overview of these awards and an online nomination form is available on our website here.

If you believe somebody is worth of special recognition, please complete the online form, and don’t forget to tell us why they deserve an award.  If you’re not sure if somebody meets the full criteria for the award, please feel free to submit it anyway and we’ll check.

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News & Blogs

Thank You!
26/09/2020 By Mark Hassall

The District has received a certificate from the County Scout Council to recognise our growth in membership during 2019 - overall youth membership grow by 3.3% to 846 according to the January 2020 census.

Thank you to everyone who helped make this possible.

Mark

A&W DC

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POR Rule 9.1b Policy
24/08/2020 By Mark Hassall

All,

POR (rule 9.1b) states that “the District Commissioner is responsible for approving all activities for Beaver Scouts, Cub Scouts, Scouts and Explorer Scouts. This will usually be by means of an informal system agreed between the District Commissioner and each Group Scout Leader or District Explorer Scout Commissioner”.

Following several questions it became clear that different people had different ideas about our informal agreement, so I've written a document to clarify the position which can be accessed here.

I hope this document takes a common sense approach and won’t significantly change how we safely carry out the vast majority of our Scouting activities.

If anybody has any comment or queries, please get in touch with me.

Mark

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All,

Following a meeting of the District Executive last week we can now announce the process of approving Covid-19 risk assessments as detailed in our policy here.

In addition to ensuring the appropriate measures are in place to mitigate Covid-19, Sections will only be allowed to restart face to face Scouting if they have also met the requirements set out in POR relating to Appointments and safety related Training.

The District’s approval panel plans to meet every Tuesday evening from 25th August onwards until further notice.

Groups that have already submitted their Covid risk assessments via Smartsheets will not necessarily need to resubmit them, but may be contacted for additional information prior to them being approved.

The District team is committed to working with Groups to ensure we deliver safe and enjoyable Scouting for all our Members, so please contact myself of the approval team if you have any queries or concerns.

Mark

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Blog | Zoom-ing to Explorers
21/07/2020 By Ben Exton
A&W Explorers Logo_blue
 

     "Oh you'll never go to heaven,

     On the Explorers Zoom,

     Because the Explorers' Zoom

     Is using break-out rooms

 

Since the end of May, Explorers all across the district have joined together in a series of games and debates every fortnight!

 

The initial plan, before the outbreak of a global pandemic, was to host a quiz night at our District campsite, Milton Bryan for all the explorers to attend and have a friendly competition. Unsurprisingly, this plan (along with many other plans) had to be thrown straight into the “2021?” pile following the news that all face-to-face scouting was to be suspended.

 

However, that did not mean the idea of our Pub-less Pub Quiz was going to be forgotten about! Through the wonders of modern technology, and by that I of course mean Zoom and Kahoot!, we ran our first “District Explorers Virtual Pub-less Pub Quiz” (if you hadn’t worked out from our less than catchy title, we’re not great at short and snappy titles). The questions were a random assortment of topics, such as “what is the national animal of Scotland?”, “what is the name of Harry Potter’s pet owl?”, “what is the name of the cat that lives at 10 Downing Street?” along with some Scouting based questions including “why do Scouts shake with their left hand?”, “what year was Ventures re-branded to Explorers?” and “what does the reef knot on the World Scout Badge represent?”. Of course in the end there can only be one winner, alas there were two (classic bit of Scouting “winging it” required here) but a congratulations was in order to Oly and Hannah who won the quiz!

 

At the end of our first quiz, we were asked when the next one was going to be - so after getting suggestions for quiz round topics, it was decided the next one would be two weeks later on Friday 12th July.

 

Our aptly named “District Explorers Virtual Pub-less Pub Quiz Mark II” (if someone is better at quippy names than us then please sign up to volunteer #ShamelessPlug) but the quiz consisted of topics such as Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Brocks ESU have a slight obsession with it), Science, History, Marvel Cinematic Universe and Music. Congratulations to Ben for winning this quiz (not the ADC Ben, that would be cheating given that he wrote it, but one of the many other Bens that seem to be here just to confuse the ADC Ben)!

 

For the next two events, we deviated slightly from the quiz format and hosted a debate night complete with a chair (queue the John Bercow impressions) and multiple sides to the issue. The dilemma was as follows;

6 people are on a boat. There is a hole in the boat. The boat is sinking. If one person is thrown overboard then the hole will be above the water. Who is most valuable? Who should be thrown overboard?

Each person was randomly assigned a character out of Religious Leader, Politician, Builder, Farmer, Scientist, and Teacher. 

Everyone had to argue why they felt their character should remain on the boat along with who they felt should be thrown overboard. Once everyone had had an opportunity to express their opinion, we ran a series of multiple-choice polls to determine who should be thrown overboard. All these polls were completely anonymous and at the end of each poll the characters with the least number of votes were removed. This process repeated until we were down to our final two characters. 33% of responses voted to overthrow the religious leader, however 67% voted to overthrow the politician!

 

Our final District Explorers event was a Room 101 themed evening based off the TV show of the same name. A range of things were argued to be banished to the vault that is Room 101 including;

  • The Frostbite spiders from Skyrim (if you’re reading this late at night maybe don’t Google them)
  • Social Media “influencers” who don’t put any effort in
  • People who drive through puddles past cyclists to get them wet
  • People whose music you can hear even though they’re wearing headphones
  • Littering (spoilers, I didn’t win but it really does infuriate me. I mean how bone-idly lazy do you have to be to…. Ah, there I go again. Better move swiftly on)
  • People who use religious figures to justify their own immoral actions
  • Karens (the stereotype – Look for a definition on Urban Dictionary, at your own peril)
  • Noise cancelling headphones
  • Conspiracy theories (i.e. anti-vaxers, flat-earthers, 5G causing COVID, the moon is a projection etc…)
  • Christmas music outside of December 1st - 25th

Like with the previous debate night, we then ran a series of polls to determine which option should be banished to the room. Congratulations to Tom for getting his choice of “people whose music you can hear even though they’re wearing headphones” was successfully banished to the vault! But seriously, littering, why?! Just why it is absolutely …ah, no, sorry, it just really annoys me.

Following on from this, we played a game of Quiplash, where the aim of the game is to come up with a witty response to a series of prompts – it’s fair to say the Explorers were much better than the Leaders at this. Everyone else then gets a chance to vote of their favourite witty response and the player with the most points at the end wins! Congratulations to Ben S for winning this game (seriously?! Another Ben, it just seems as though you’re trying to confuse me now)!

 

Finally we have reached the Summer Holidays, although given the year we’ve had it sort of doesn’t feel like the holidays yet. 6 weeks of relaxing and  …no, wait, I still have work to do. Well, enjoy your time off Explorers …while it lasts! But hopefully in the near future we’ll be able to run another District Explorers event but this time in person.

 

A seriously big thank you to all those that joined in and had fun and of course to the Leaders that supported this and made it all possible (especially James Britten!).

    - Ben Exton, ADC-Explorers

 

 

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Ampthill & Woburn District Scouts
co Ampthill & Woburn Campsite, Church End, Milton Bryan , Bedford, Bedfordshire, MK17 9HR
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