ASJ Scout Group is calling for the support of the local community to help win funding as part of the Aviva Community Fund 2017.
We're relying on votes to increase our chances of winning funding of up to £1,000 which we hope will enable us to purchase much-needed camping equipment. Only projects with the most votes will become finalists, so additional support is vital.
Some eight years ago Anderton St Joseph’s Scout Group was slipping into oblivion. We had very few young people attending, only six Beavers, six Cubs and no Scout section. The Group was in a dire financial state with virtually no money and if not for the Leaders donating their own money the Group would have gone out of existence. They had little or no equipment and what they had was old, worn out and almost totally useless.
However the introduction of a new Leadership team at that time and with help from some willing parent volunteers we have managed to turn the Group around and we have grown so much that we now cater for around 70 young people every week. The Beavers and Cub sections are full to bursting and we now have a successful Scout section.
This transformation has not been easy and only achieved through long hours of work from the dedicated Leaders and parent Executive team who have put together exciting and fun programmes and raised funds to allow us to deliver these programmes. We have also received excellent help and support from our local Parish Council for the work we have been doing for the youth of the village and surrounding area.
Between us we have begged and borrowed equipment cajoled and persuaded people to help to get us through but we now need to move the Group forward. We need to be able to offer more activities and especially residential and outdoor activities. To do this we need to purchase some good quality camping and outdoor equipment to reduce our reliance on others.
Residential activities are an essential part of the development of young people; they provide the opportunity to learn many of the life skills they will need in future life in a safe and fun environment. They give the young people a “peg up” in life so that they are not solely reliant on other people to get by. We start with simple things like looking after their belongings, personal hygiene and develop this for the older ones to budgeting for and cooking nutritional meals and developing their ability to look after and care for themselves and others. The activities are designed to build self-confidence and self-esteem, teaching them about working together, to take responsibility for their own actions, to look after others, to respect people and property and enhance their overall well-being.
Most children these days live relatively sedentary lives and the residential experiences get them out undertaking physical activities. We design the activities to challenge them whilst being achievable and most importantly fun. This helps improve both their physical and mental well-being; they develop positive attitudes and the ability to take on life’s challenges. It also has a spin off by teaching them about nature, their environment and the different ways of life and the importance of preserving these.
It is essential that we begin planning the next phase in the Groups development now so that come spring and summer we have the additional equipment to allow us to get the youngsters out and about and enjoying the activities. We are a progressive modern group offering a 21st century programme that we believe meets the needs of the young people . We try hard to develop every young persons potential by using structured activities, in many cases individually tailored to their needs. It is clear that we are doing something right by the number of youngsters who regularly attend and seeing the huge development of individuals and the Group as a whole. This is also reflected in the confidence shown by the parents in letting us work with their young people .
Phil Fairclough, ASJ Scouts Group Scout Leader, says:
"We are now in a position where a little more help will see a big change to the dynamics of the programme and enable us to ensure that we can carry on developing fun programmes for the young people. Your vote will really help"
Congratulations to Ben Smith and Alex Bentham on achieving the Chief Scout's Gold Award! They received their awards last night after four years' of hard work and dedication.
This weekend ten of the scouts joined up with 2nd Wakefield (Crofton) Scout Group to hire the "Jubilee Venture" and "Scouting Venture" Narrowboats. Both boats were moored by the Navigation public house on the outskirts of Wakefield and Friday evening was spent getting to know both the boats and our new scout friends!
Saturday was an early 07:00 start in order to get on our way along the Calder and Hebble Navigation Waterway to Huddersfield - an all day journey and we needed to get there before dark. Unfortunately the River Calder was particularly swollen so we had to turn around at Mirfield and head back to Wakefield, but that didn't disappoint the Scouts who were having a great time steering the boat and working the locks in crews - volunteering to help other Narrowboaters in real Scouting style!
We made it back to Wakefield just as it was beginning to go dark and we had a slap-up meal on board the Scouting Challenge together before turning in at an early 10.30pm. We broke a Scouting weekend record as everyone was asleep (even the leaders) for 11pm and we all had a solid NINE hours' sleep through to 8am the next morning - working the locks and fresh air are a powerful sedative!
On the Sunday we explored the opposite side of the Wakefield canal and practiced manoeuvres in the River Calder, before servicing the boats at Horbury Basin and heading back to The Navigation, where we'd left the Scout minibus.
All the Scouts agreed that they'd had an amazing weekend and we can't wait to hire the boats again next year!