Beavers – keeping active through Lockdown

2020 has been a challenge for everyone. Our Beaver colony has done a fantastic job of keeping going with fun activities, using Zoom when necessary. They’ve taken every opportunity to meet in person, in a very carefully managed and safe way, and get out and about while they could. We think all our sections (Beavers, Cubs and Scouts) have set a fantastic example of how the Scout movement can keep going and bring some variety and fun to a difficult time. The Beaver colony is no exception and the whole group is proud of them.

In the easier days before lockdown, the Beavers took part in Challenge Day where all colonies from Winchester come together to compete in activities like geo-compassing, wall climbing, caving, and building a bridge. We also had a trip to Pets at Home with games on how to look after pets and even had guinea pigs and hamsters for the Beavers to hold.

We had a trip to our local fire station where they showed us around the fire engine and even let the Beavers climb inside. We also had a tour of the station and our Scout helper was able to put on all the fire gear they had to wear, to show the Beavers how much they have to put on when attending fires.

2020 started with Space Camp, when we met at the Winchester Science Centre for a sleepover. We were allowed to use all the equipment and had some great presentations in the planetarium – a talk about space and some science experiments, and finally a showing of Wallace and Gromit before bed! In the morning, after breakfast the children had another chance to explore and play.

Our last big event before lock down was in evening of indoor archery run by the the activities team from Pinsent (our local outdoor Scouting centre).

Lockdown was a big challenge for all group activities but at the 12th we were determined to keep going. We hope we set a great example for other groups, too, inventing ways to do scouting remotely with lots of amazing activities.

We had zoom meeting every week with lots of games. We also took part in the world record-breaking Big Camp at Home. The beavers could pitch a tent or build a den in their own homes, sharing the experience over Zoom. We played games, did quizzes, had a singing competition and  a virtual campfire.

We also did a Teddy Bear’s Picnic on zoom, with every Beaver bringing a teddy bear to the virtual picnic.

It was great to come out of lockdown and get some safe but exciting outside activities. We played lots of wide games (active outdoor games): obstacle course, egg and spoon races (with a few hurdles for extra fun), pirate map game and river/road. The Beavers also did a hike at St. Catherine’s hill and did some map reading.

Also when back in HQ (our Scout hut) we played games: Hot Potato, Simon Says, Follow the Leader, Pin the Legs on the Spider and Bash Ball. Finally, at the end the winter term we had a Christmas disco, with Christmas lights, our tree, and lots of fun games too: relay races and the Waddling Duck game.

Spring term news 2019

Spring Clean of the Hall – Weekend of 6/7 April

Our Winnall HQ is looking a little tired and shabby after many years of intensive use. It needs some TLC. It needs YOU !

We’re organising a Spring Clean weekend on 6 and 7 April.  We’d like as many volunteers as possible (adults and accompanied children) to turn up and lend a hand. There’ll be sweeping and cleaning, painting and general DIY, a little light gardening, and a myriad of other jobs to suit all ages and preferences.

Whether you have an hour to spare or a whole day, we’ll welcome you with open arms (and biscuits). Please put the date in your diary and come along to support your child’s Scout Group.  If you have any gardening gloves or tools you think might be useful, chuck them in the car in case they come in handy !

St George’s Day Parade – 28th April 2019

This is an important annual event for all of Winchester’s Scout groups and one that we expect all our young people to attend. Flags aloft, we march through the city centre to the Cathedral, where the event culminates with a short service. If you haven’t seen it before, it’s an impressive spectacle to watch and catch on camera.

Your leaders will give you more details closer to the time, but keep the middle part of that day free !

AGM and BBQ at the Scout Hall – Saturday 18th May 2019

The 12th Winchester Scout Group is a charity. This means we have a legal obligation to hold an Annual General Meeting (AGM) to provide information to you as our members on the financial running of the group and to elect volunteers onto the Executive Committee to act as trustees for the charity.  If you think you might be interested in helping out in one of our committee roles, then do reply to this email before the meeting.

While we really want as many of you as possible to attend, we know that attending the AGM doesn’t always fill everyone’s hearts with gladness. As a result, we usually try to sweeten the occasion with a barbeque, a few drinks and some cake. (Also, we quite like a party.)

Family Camp – 8th June 2019

Fancy a night under canvas?

Before you shudder, huddle under your duvet and close this email, don’t worry – we don’t mean now. We’ll at least wait for the frosts to pass and the heating has been turned off for the Summer !  Please do read on to find out more.

We’re planning another overnight family camp for 2019 – and this year we’d like even more of you to straighten your tent poles, dig out your sleeping bags and join us.  Siblings are welcome too, but all children must bring along a parent or carer to stay with them for this camp, so you’ll need to have completed a DBS check with us but, as the camp isn’t until June, you have plenty of time. Please email us at  about organising your DBS check if you haven’t already done so.

Needless to say, the food last year was excellent, the beer (from the local Red Cat brewery) flowed freely, the camp fire burned well and everyone had a great evening. Around 18 of us stayed overnight to enjoy a night under canvas and, courtesy of Ladybird, a breakfast of eggs and bacon.

We have arranged First Bite to cater the event again this year.

** Unfortunately June is a very busy month, and we know that our Scouts will be away on District Camp that weekend, but we couldn’t find a weekend to suit everyone this year – so it will just be Beavers and Cubs on the Family Camp this year !

Christmas Carol Service 2017

We will be holding our Carol Service on Tuesday 19th December at 7pm. 

All parents, guardians and families are invited to attend this special event.

Christine Smith the Curate, has kindly invited us to join her at the St John The Baptist Church of England Church, which is in St Johns Street near the Scout Hall.




Remembrance Sunday 2017

Beavers, Cubs and Scouts, we will be joining the veterans again this year at the Kings Royal Rifle’s Company memorial outside the Cathedral on Sunday 12th November.  We will be parading with our flags at 8.45am, and at 9am there will be a short prayer by the army chaplain, followed by a two minutes silence and then an army bugler will play the last post.20161020_121000

A representative from our Beavers, Cubs and Scouts sections will lay a wreath alongside the veterans.  It is a small and moving ceremony, and we are the only Scout Group invited to attend.

As you may be aware, our Scout Group has had a long association with the Green Jackets, going back to the Second World War, when our Scout Troop raised money for the Regimental Prisoners of War Fund.

In recognition of the efforts of our Scouts, towards the end of 1943 our Group was granted an honorary affiliation with the Rifle Depot, and we changed our necker colours and insignia to model those of the Rifle Brigade.   We still use those colours and insignia today, and have continued to proudly turn out to lay a wreath at the war memorial every year since then.

This means a lot to the young people who attend, and the veterans, and it is really important that as many of us attend this as possible to show our respect and to keep this tradition alive, and we look forward to seeing you there.

green jackets scout badge

Pinsent: your help needed!

Most of us know how much our Scouts, Cubs and Beavers value the time they are able to spend up at Pinsent camp. Whether it’s crate-stacking, fire lighting, hiking, camping or some other activity, Pinsent is a marvellous resource. However, like all marvellous resources, it doesn’t run itself.

Winchester District regularly runs working weekends to help maintain the site and ensure it is safe and enjoyable for all its users. The next such weekend is scheduled for the 14th-15th October 2017. The 12th Winchester Scout Group has been allocated the 10am-12 noon slot on Sunday 15th October. We need a minimum of ten adult volunteers to help refurbish the individual camp sites. The work will include removing sycamore seedlings and saplings, clearing logs and returning them to the woodpile, spreading bark chippings over footpaths, and fencing. Children are also welcome, and can be found appropriate tasks to assist…..

Please, please, please don’t leave it up to the leaders! Find some boots, a thick pair of gardening gloves and come and join us for a couple of hours. If you can help, please let your child’s leader know or post on the FB page.

Look forward to seeing you there on the 15th!

Beaver autumn sleepover at the Scout hut

The autumn term programme of events got underway with a swing for our Beavers on Saturday 23rd September. On a day when Winchester was gridlocked, a dozen of the 12th’s youngest members were busy running a sweet stall at the St Bartholomew’s church fete (and, no, they didn’t eat all the produce), visiting the Royal Greenjackets’ museum, enjoying games on St Giles’ Hill and an evening bat watch at Winnall Moors with the Hants Wildlife Trust, before turning in for the night in the Scout hut.

Huge thanks, as ever, to Ladybird and her team of helpers for making the weekend possible.

Ladybird’s advice on how to iron a necker

It’s the Remembrance Day service this Sunday (the 13th) at Winchester Cathedral. We often say how it’s the highlight of our Scouting calendar – and it is. It is a real privilege to stand at the memorial with the Green Jackets and, as such, we need to look the part. This means full uniform for all Beavers, Cubs and Scouts, with ironed neckers.

Here, for avoidance of doubt, is Ladybird’s guide to ironing your necker:

  1. Iron flat
  2. Place triangle on board with point at bottom
  3. Fold over top by 1cm and iron
  4. Continue to fold and iron a 1cm strip until the badge is reached

Properly done, it will take around 15 minutes but should keep the necker in immaculate condition for two years!

On Sunday, please meet outside the West Door of the Cathedral at 8.45am. The ceremony will start at 9am and finish by 9.20am. 

Winchester Network Scouts Need a District Commissioner !

Winchester has a small but thriving Network Scout section (18 to 25 year olds).

They need someone to help co-ordinate their programme of activities and to help grow Network Scouts within our District, so our young people can continue Scouting after they leave Explorers at 18.

If you think that you might be interested in this, then please do let us know, using the contact page !

Summer 2016 Cub camp

cub-camp-brownsea-island    cub-camp-campfire

The sea off Brownsea Island looks Mediterranean blue in the photos. General consensus was that the Cubs’ summer 2016 camp was “scorchio”. The Pack made the most of all that beautiful weather with a hike along the Clarendon Way, their visit to Brownsea Island, crate stacking, cub-dunking (don’t ask), plenty of campfires and, for brief respite from the heat, if not the noise, a trip to Oxygen freejumping in Southampton.

Huge thanks to all the leaders for making the week happen. The Cubs are still talking about it.

What a Cub Mum said…..

‘Everything started, “Mum, the best thing was…..”’

What the Cubs said….

‘I had a plaster but it’s much better and everything was so much fun!’

‘The fish and chips were amazing!’