Southampton City Scouts News

Canoe Club: BCU Courses in 2017

Posted on Tuesday, May 9th, 2017

The Southampton City District Canoe Club is offering a selection of different courses, including:

  • Paddle Power Start: For beginners who wish to try the sport in one session
  • 1 star Paddlepower passport (Beginners): The basic skills of kayaking and a short evening trip
  • 2 star Paddlepower discovery (Intermediate): Paddle skill elements for both kayak and canoe
  • 3 star (Advanced): Advanced skills to handle a kayak or a canoe

The weekly fee for each session on all the above courses are just £3.50 for those in member groups, or £7 for non-member groups. The weekend course fees are just £12 for member groups or £24 for non-member groups.

Find out more about the courses available this year!

Southampton Queen Scouts Celebrate at Windsor

Posted on Sunday, April 30th, 2017

Last weekend, 250 Scouts who had recently achieved their Queen Scout Award, the highest youth award in Scouting, came together to parade at Windsor in celebration of St Georges Day.

The Queen’s Scout award involves Scouts taking on and committing to a new skill, physical activity and volunteering service for a year or more, undertaking a self-sustained expedition and complete a residential project as well as working on various topics within the areas of international, community and values.

Four of these Queen’s Scouts, Ben, Tom, Henry and Oli, were from Southampton and have written a little about what their Queen Scout Award means to them.

Ben McDonagh

Taking part in the St Georges Day parade at Windsor was the culmination of a six year journey which has seen me mature and develop. The time I spent on Dartmoor for my expedition challenged me both physically and mentally, particularly when the fog and rain closed in, however the sense of isolation while walking in the middle of the moor with just a few friends is something I will cherish for a long time.

While most people will tell you that their expedition was the most challenging part of their Queens Scout Award, for me it was my residential; I spent several weeks volunteering at an orphanage (Open Arms) in Malawi. As a 19 year old, seeing the very different realities of life in places that I’d previously seen only in documentaries was a perspective changing experience that made me place far more value on the simple things in life that we often take for granted in the UK.

Having started my QSA as a fresh faced Assistant Beaver Scout Leader I’ve made use of the opportunities presented by Scouting, taking on new roles, developing skills, gaining permits and most importantly growing as a person as I’ve seen the impact that I’ve been able to have on those young people around me – the smile of a six-year old who has learnt to tie a knot with strawberry laces is priceless!

All these experiences and challenges were topped off by the St Georges day parade at Windsor, this was a chance to meet other members of the select group of Queens Scout who have achieved the highest badge available in Scouting. Seeing the diversity of people and uniforms (whether the blue of the sea and air scouts or the tartan of the Scot’s kilts) made me so proud of positivity of those in the Scout Movement, with so many enthusiastic people from across to country (and world) taking the opportunity to step up, get involved and take a hand in providing the chance for those in our communities to fulfil their potential.

Tom Candy

As part of the QSA service in St George’s Chapel all scouts present renewed our promise.

On my honour I promise that I will do my best – throughout the whole process each of the requirements have required me to do my best, and to push my boundaries.

To do my duty to God – for the values section of the award I was involved in my church and grew in my relationship with God.
And to the Queen – Not only do I feel an immense sense of pride in completing the Queen Scout Award and being invited to receive it at Windsor Castle, but the combined efforts of the 253 recipients in the Environment section will have a positive impact on our country and the global climate.

To help other people – Through volunteering and service. Many have done this alongside helping the next generation of scouting.

And to keep the Scout Law – A combination of everything that has contributed to this award has helped me develop in all areas of the Scout Law. Whether it be camping, travelling abroad or writing a report the activities have refined me towards the role model a Scout is intended to be.

Henry Hick

Participating in the St Georges day parade at Windsor castle this year was a great experience as I thought it was a culmination of the hard work I put into my Queens Scout Award and the many years I have been in scouting.

Out of all the experiences I had during my Queens Scout Award the defining was when I undertook my explorer belt expedition in Poland which I found fun but also challenging.

All of Queen’s Scout Award was great fun and has given me new experiences and skills which I would have never done if I didn’t complete it.

Oli Bills

Attending Windsor as a Queen Scout really hit home the importance of Scouting in my life, what it means to me, and just what a family Scouting is. Everyone came together as one, with a day of marching in the sun and celebrating our own journeys and challenges, along with a service reinforcing the importance of bringing communities together, kindness to others, friendship and the true meaning of Scouting and a chance to renew the Scout Promise: On my honour, I promise that I will do my best, to do my duty to God and to the Queen, to help other people and to keep the Scout Law.

Before getting involved in Scouting, I didn’t have much confidence or courage, I let most opportunities pass straight by me, I just went where life took me and did what I thought was needed. Since finding Scouting through the Student Scout and Guide Organisation at university and getting involved with a newly starting Network in Southampton and embarking on my QSA, it’s fair to say it has completely changed my life. I now spend more time outdoors and camping than in, I’ve pushed myself in every area, and I’ve had more experiences, learn more things and met more amazing people in the past few years in undertaking my award than I had for the rest of my life before, so both Scouting and the QSA itself mean a lot to me.

My award for me was my first steps into that new life, those first set of new challenges to take. I undertook hiking expeditions in both Dartmoor and Brecon, going through the whole process of learning how to put up a tent and read a map and navigate through to pushing myself to new heights (figuratively and literally) and camping for the first time! I continued this through my physical skill, in getting involved with the university Hillwalking club taking me to Yorkshire, Cornwall, the Peaks, the Lakes or even just to the Isle of Wight for challenging but always incredibly enjoyable walks – always trying to push myself that one step further on the more technical walks, learning to scramble, bog hop and handle the ice without going for a slide! With my new found and growing confidence and skills, for my volunteering, I took up a student representation role, representing the students in my faculty at university to the staff and for my skill taking up a role in organising and planning events for freshers who weren’t living in halls. For my residential, I pushed my limits on going and helping out on a SSAGO international trip to Slovenia, my first proper trip out of the country and learning and discovering a new culture, but also how to run an international camp, a skill I’ve since put to use in now running a similar camp myself to Switzerland. For my international, I put my technical and computer skills to use in helping with the Essex International Jamboree as the Web Team lead.

All together, it’s impossible to put into words how much this pursuit changed my life and opened up new possibilities beyond anything I ever imagined. Scouting now fills every moment I’m not studying or working and I love every minute of it and cannot thank Scouting enough for the opportunities, the people I’ve made friends with and who have supported me or how it’s changed me as a person from a quiet, shy person passing by life, to the person who can organise and run events, seize every opportunity and actually try to make a difference in the world.

You could be next

Don’t forget, if you are aged between 18 and 25 and are currently involved in Scouting, you can be working towards your Queen’s Scout Award. You can find out more and register within minutes online at

Southampton SSAGO and Network Winter Camp

Posted on Saturday, March 18th, 2017

Our Winter camp this year would be our first joint weekend away with Network. All 24 of us set off from Southampton with a trailer full of kit, a minibus and car full of people ready for a weekend spent exploring the Peak District. After a bit of a shaky start with the keys for the Scout & Guide centre not appearing for a while, soon the food shopping was done and it wasn’t long before the minibus arrived. After a long journey we set up our beds (as we were staying inside) and enjoyed soup as our supper before getting a good rest ready to walk up Kinder Scout the next day.

Saturday morning was an early start but it was well worth it with the day ahead that we had planned. Most of us walked up Kinder Scout but a few opted for a day trip to Manchester, spending lots of time on the trams! Those of us going to Kinder Scout walked to Jacobs’s ladder where Tom and Ben were both presented with their Queen Scout awards by Mark Terry (Deputy UK Scout Commissioner).

Once all of the compulsory group and award holder photos had been taken we continued to the summit of Kinder scout. At the top there were numerous selfies and standing on trig points as well as enjoying well deserved lunch break before heading on along the ridge and past the waterfall. It was fairly uneventful up until we reached the stream where some ended up having laughing fits from falling in the rather deep mud. We also came across a Christmas tree alongside the river where we found the perfect opportunity to sing ‘All I want for Christmas’ and there were plenty of songs to be sung along the route. Further along our way we met a lady who looked a little lost in a bog and so we happily assisted her back. All in all it was a fantastic walk up and down Kinder Scout! There was even more excitement to enjoy back at base with jigsaw puzzles, board games and a visit from other SSAGO clubs!

Sunday began with a full English breakfast and for some this included a custard cream! Sadly it was some time to pack up and begin to head back. But before we did, we stopped off in a small village in the Peak District, which was hit by the plague. Some of us opted to go for another walk, whereas others visited Eyam Hall (a National Trust site). Then it was time to head back to Southampton after a lovely weekend!

Lauren Whittaker
Social Secretary
Southampton SSAGO

Kinder Scout Queen’s Scout Award Presentation for Network Members

Posted on Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

Congratulations to Tom and Ben from Southampton City Network for completing and receiving some of the top awards within Scouting. Tom was presented with his Chief Scout’s Diamond Award and Queen’s Scout Award, with Ben receiving his Duke of Edinburgh Gold and Queen’s Scout Award.

Presented at the start of their climb of Kinder Scout in the Peak District at the start of their Wintercamp, they were joined by Mark Tarry, Deputy UK Chief Commisioner, who presented their awards. “It is really great to be presenting these top awards to Ben and Tom, Network members, who are experiencing fun, adventure and friendship with Southampton”.

As with Hampshire tradition, both Tom and Ben had the chance to wear the Silver Elephant, the highest award in Indian Scouting and was presented to Earl Mountbatten whilst he was Viceroy of India.

Joined by their friends from Southampton City Network, Southampton SSAGO and Solent SSAGO, they then set off for the top of Kinder Scout (and made it back down safely, Silver Elephant in tow).

11th Southampton Annual Quiz: 31st March 2017

Posted on Tuesday, March 7th, 2017

The 11th Southampton are hosting their Annual Quiz Night on the 31st March 2017, at 7pm at their HQ. Teams will be made up of around 8 people, with refreshments available.

The cost is £2 for adults and 50p for kids, with tea, Coffee, soft drinks Cakes, pastries, and biscuits available to purchase.

You are welcome to bring your own beverages and nibbles, and please do bring prizes for the raffle.

Contact Kris to sign up before 24 March on 07512 034 855.


29th Immaculata Scout Group Celebrates it’s 50th Birthday

Posted on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017

On Monday the 19th of December 2016, the 29th Immaculata Scout Group based in Portswood Southampton celebrated being open and still going strong for 50 years to the day from when it was formed. Originally opening up in the local Church Hall of the Immaculate Conception Church on the 19th of December 1966, before moving to its current Scout Hut near Portswood School.

During the evening of celebrations, we were joined by some Scouting VIP’s. We had Tim Kidd join us, who is the UK Chief Commissioner, and Tim kindly presented a 29th Scout with a prize for winning our Neckerchief Badge Design, which now all members involved with the 29th Group will wear. Well Done to Chloe for designing the winning badge.

We also had Adam Jollans kindly attend too, the Hampshire Scout County Commissioner. Adam also did a couple of presentations for us – presentations for 25 years Services to our in coming District Commissioner David Bowers and 50 years Services to our Group President Graham Meering (although not all of Graham’s 50 years have been involved with the 29th Scout Group).

Over the evening, we were also joined by past and present leaders and exec members that can be traced right back to when we started in 1966. 39 Adults kindly attended to reminisce about their time spent at the 29th and how the hut had changed from when they were involved, or being shown around as they assisted when the group was in the Church Hall. We almost had all the Scout Leaders present, with 4 of the main 5 in attendance and were able to cover 45 of our 50 years!

40 of our current section members also spent the evening playing party games and meeting the adults who, without them starting up the group (before they were born!), would not be involved with in their local Scout Group today.

Here’s to another 50 years of fun and adventure at the 29th Immaculata Scout Group.

Yours in Scouting,
Russ Andrews
29th Immaculata Group Scout Leader

29th do Food Collection for the Basic Bank

Posted on Saturday, December 24th, 2016

The 29th Immaculata Scout Group took part in this year’s Basic Bank food collection to help support and make sure that local families who are struggling to put food on their table this Christmas, had enough food for this special festive time. It started with Baloo organising a visit from the Southampton Basic Bank branch, to kindly pop along to Cubs one evening and explain more about what they do and why.

From this, the Cub section decided that they would like to start up their own Food Bank like supermarkets do and make a donation from the 29th Scout Group. The other two sections got on board and a lot of food was kindly donated by the members and parents of the group. These including food for special dietary requirements as well.

Akela kindly offered to drop it around to their warehouse, so it could be distributed in time to the families that were in need for it.

A good job all round and thank you to each and every one of you who supported this cause from the 29th Immaculata Scout Group.

Below is some of our food collection in which we managed to put together in two week!

Russ Andrews.
29th Immaculata Group Scout Leader.

Poppy Selling at Waitrose

Posted on Saturday, December 10th, 2016

I have been informed by the British Legion that our Poppy Selling at Waitrose raised a total of £1,871.95.

Well done to everyone who helped. This was a wonderful effort for a very worthwhile cause. Thank you all for supporting Active Support in this venture.

Happy Christmas everyone,
George Longhurst

Poppies and Cenotaph

Posted on Monday, November 14th, 2016

Poppy Selling

A very big thank you on behalf of The British Legion,to members of Active Support,the 7th,25th and 13th groups for the hours they put in at Waitrose in Portswood selling poppies. Thank you all very much, I will publish the amount collected when I have it.


Well done to everyone who attended the service at the Cenotaph today. You were all very smart and well-behaved and a credit to our District, The Scout Movement and yourselves. A special thank you to Akela, Kate Budd and her two Cubs for laying the wreath on behalf of the Scouts. Give yourselves a pat on the back you all did well. I’m very proud of you.

George Longhurst
District Team

National Scout and Guide Symphony Orchestra 2017 – Applications Open

Posted on Friday, September 23rd, 2016

NSGSO Orchestra and NSGSO Concert Band

The Orchestra is now in its 42nd year, and after the success of forming the Concert Band last year it will again be run alongside the Orchestra. So there is a choice of 2 ensembles to apply for. There is slightly different criteria for each – please see below and also our website for specific information.

The NSGSO Course

The NSGSO meets every year for a fantastic week’s course of music and social activities led by professional tutors and conductors and hosted by 6 staff members. The course will be held in Stourbridge from Sunday 30 July to Sunday 6 August 2017. During the week the Concert Band will perform 2 concerts in the community and also their main Saturday lunch time concert. They will also have the opportunity to take part in the two concerts with the Orchestra as guest artistes. For the Orchestra the week will culminate in two evening concerts in Birmingham on Friday 4th and Saturday 5th August with the Concert Band as guest artists. Both the Orchestra and the Concert Band will also play a joint piece together at the Friday and Saturday evening concerts. Alex Peace Gadsby, England Commissioner is already booked to attend the concert on Saturday evening 5th August.

To see for yourself what the NSGSO course involves watch our short promotional film

To apply for the 2016 NSGSO Course and to find out lots more detail go to

The closing date for applications is midnight on Saturday 10th December.

For the Orchestra all applicants must be:

  • A Member of the The Scout Association or Girlguiding
  • Aged 13-25 by 31 August 2017
  • Proficient player of a least one orchestral instrument (Grade 5 or above)

Please note

  • String players who are Grade 4 may be accepted under certain circumstances.
  • Applicants between the ages of 26-30 will be considered in the event that a section is under-subscribed.

For the Concert Band all applicants must be:

  • A Member of the The Scout Association or Girlguiding.
  • Aged 12-25 by 31 August 2017
  • Proficient player of a least one concert band instrument (Grade 4 or above)

Details of all instruments are on the website at, or read more for further information