Activities day helped Gainsborough Sea Scouts learn new skills

A great day was had by members of 6th Gainsborough Sea Scouts as they got to grips with new skills at their water activities event.

Surprise presentations were made to a number of the Scout leaders during the event

The event was held at Girton Sailing Club on Saturday, September 11, and the group was also joined by Coun Jessie Milne and Bill Hurst, deputy district commissioner.

Coun Milne saw the Beavers and Cubs go out in kayaks, where they were gaining new skills and confidence on the water, while the Scouts were busy building rafts in readiness for a race during the afternoon.

She also had the opportunity to check out the equipment they have been able to buy thanks to money provided from her councillor initiative fund – and to have a trip out in the safety boat to see the action up close.

Jonathan Swatton, group Scout leader, said: “While Jessie and Bill were with us, we took the opportunity to make some surprise presentations to a number of our leaders.”

All leaders are required to undertake training for their roles and on completion they are awarded a set of wooden beads.

Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of Scouting, spent a lot of his army career in Africa and returned home with a large necklace of wooden beads worn by Chief Dinizulu.

Mr Swatton said: “In 1919 when Baden-Powell was looking for something appropriate to award to Scoutmasters, he decided to use a leather lace with a wooden bead from Dinizulu’s necklace.

“In addition, recipients were given a small piece of hornbeam from a tree in Gilwell Park, from which they were expected to make a copy of the original bead and to wear both around their neck while in uniform.

“Bill presented the beads to Pat Willcox and Becca Wilson as leaders with the Cubs and Beavers respectively.

“And during the Covid pandemic, Adam Middleton, our Scout leader, devoted a lot of additional time to ensure that the group continued to offer meetings, using Zoom, and took on the role of assistant group Scout leader.

“Having completed his training, he was presented with his wood badge certificate.”

Coun Milne took the opportunity to thank the leaders for all the hard work they put into Scouting and said she could see the enjoyment that all the Beavers, Cubs and Scouts were having on the water.

Mr Swatton said: “This was especially evident during the afternoon raft race where all the Scouts slipped off their raft at some stage during the event and spent a lot of time safely splashing their opponents to slow their progress.”

Coun Milne then went on to present the Chief Scout’s Commendation to Pat for her work over the years with the Beavers and Cubs, and the Commissioner’s Commendation to both Becca and John Wilson for the impact that they have made on the group in a very short space oftime.

Mr Swatton said: “Nowadays Scouting is about providing ‘skills for life’, especially resilience and responding to challenges.

“It is also a great opportunity to have fun and share in the growth and development of young people in our town and, if you were a Scout and enjoyed it, an opportunity to put something back into Scouting.”