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Scouting in Royal Berkshire

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File:Uk-scouts-county-badge-berks.jpg
County badge as worn on the uniform of Scouting members in Royal berkshire
Map of England highlighting the location of Royal Berkshire

Royal Berkshire is a Scout County and part of the Scout Association of the United Kingdom. It is concurrent with the ceremonial county of Berkshire, and provides Scouting opportunities for 7,500 young people and adults in the area.

Organisation

The County is currently divided into eleven Scout Districts. The divisions within the County are reviewed periodically, with the aim of improving the organisation and provision of Scouting in the region. This has sometimes involved the creation or dissolution of Scout Districts, or simply the redrawing of boundaries. For example, the last revision included the dissolution of East Reading and the reassignment of its member groups to neighbouring Loddon and Reading Central.

The Districts combine to provide 120 Scout Groups and Explorer Scout Units, providing Scouting for young people from the age of 6 and up. The County also manages the Scout Network, which is the programme section for 18-25 year olds in Berkshire. The County Scout Network consists of a number of Local Scout Networks which currently cover the more populous areas of Berkshire, such as Reading, Slough, and Maidenhead. Other Local Networks are created as and when there is demand for them.

Some aspects of Scouting are run cross-District, for example, Pang Valley and Reading Central have been running a shared Young Leader programme since late 2005, and the Explorer Scout Units have been running joint activities and events, too.

Kennet District

Scout Groups

Explorer Scout Units

  • Phoenix Explorer Scout Unit
  • Pegasus Explorer Scout Unit
  • Kennet District Young Leader Unit

Loddon District[1]

File:Uk-scouts-district-badge-loddon.jpg
District badge as worn on the uniform of Scouting members

Loddon District own and maintain a small campsite and hut at Paddick's Patch, just outside of Woodley. This site is also used as the District Headquarters.

Scout Groups

  • 1st Woodley
  • 2nd Woodley
  • 3rd Woodley
  • 5th Woodley
  • 1st Wargrave
  • 1st Twyford
  • 1st Sonning
  • 1st Hurst
  • 31st Reading (1st Earley) Sea Scouts
  • 84th Reading (St Nicholas)
  • 99th Reading (2nd Lower Earley)

Explorer Scout Units None at present.

Maidenhead District[2]

Maidenhead is the largest Scout District in the Royal County of Berkshire with 11 Scout Groups and 1051 members (as at Jan 2007). Most Groups have Beaver Scouts, Cub Scouts, and Scouts. The District also has six Explorer Scout Units, including a Young Leader's Unit. The Scout Fellowship, whose members are usually ex-Scouters or retired Scouters who wish to continue their association with Scouting.

The District covers Bray, Holyport, Furze Platt, Pinkneys Green, Cox Green, central Maidenhead, Woodlands Park, White Waltham, Hurley and Cookham. Many of the Groups use the river and camping facilities at Longridge during the year.

Scout Groups

Explorer Scout Units

Pang Valley District

Pang Valley covers portions of Reading to the west, and a number of villages in West Berkshire, including Pangbourne, Purley, Burghfield, and Sulhampstead.

The District runs a Scoutlink Unit which provides a Scouting programme for disabled young people across the County.

Scout Groups

  • 1st Burghfield
  • 1st Pangbourne
  • 1st Purley-on-Thames
  • 63rd Reading (St Michael's)
  • 79th Reading
  • 80th Reading (2nd Tilehurst)
  • 95th Reading
  • 97th Reading (LDS)
  • 1st Sulhampstead & Ufton Nervet
  • 1st Theale and Calcot

Explorer Scout Units

Reading Central District

File:Uk-scouts-district-badge-reading-central.gif
District badge as worn on the uniform of Scouting members
Reading Central Explorer Scouts climbing at Stanage Edge, Yorkshire

This District was formed in 1991 from part of the old District of Thameside.

It currently covers most of the town of Reading and some of its suburbs, including Whitley, Caversham, and parts of Tilehurst. The villages of Shinfield and Spencers Wood are also included to the south.

Scout Groups

  • 1st Reading (YMCA) Sea Scouts
The 1st Reading Scout Group is one of the founding troops of 1908.[3]
  • 2nd Reading Sea Scouts
  • 3rd Reading (St Peter's)
  • 22nd Reading (St John's, Caversham)
  • 32nd Reading (St George's)
  • 47th Reading (Whitley Wood)
  • 52nd Reading
  • 58th Reading (St Mary's)
  • 69th Reading (1st Caversham Heights)
  • 71st Reading (Anderson) Sea Scouts
  • 72nd Reading (St Mark's) Sea Scouts
  • 73rd Reading (Park)
  • 89th Reading (Milestone Wood)
  • 93rd Reading (English Martyrs)
  • 102nd Reading (Muslim) - Started in 2006
  • 1st Shinfield (St Mary's)

Explorer Scout Units

Slough District[4]

Scout Groups

  • 1st Britwell
  • 1st Cippenham
  • 2nd Cippenham
  • 1st Langley
  • 4th Langley
  • 3rd Upton
  • 1st Slough

South Berkshire District[5]

South-East Berkshire District

South East Berks covers Ascot, Binfield, Bullbrook, Harmanswater, North Bracknell (Warfield), Priestwood, and Sunningdale. (The other estates in Bracknell - Birch Hill, Easthampstead, Great Hollands and Wildridings are in the South Berks District).

Groups

  • 2nd Bracknell - Bullbrook and Warfield
  • 4th Bracknell - Priestwood
  • 6th Bracknell - Garth
  • 1st Binfield
  • 1st Ascot (All Saints)
  • 1st South Ascot
  • 1st Sunningdale

Taceham Hundred District[6]

File:Uk-scouts-district-badge-taceham-hundred.gif
District badge as worn on the uniform of Scouting members

Taceham Hundred District is a Scout District that geographically covers the Thatcham locality, extending northwards to include the downland areas around Compton. Taceham is the historical name for the settlement of Thatcham.

The District's badge features a hot air balloon (the area saw pioneering hot air ballooning), an oak leaf (from the forests at Bucklebury) and an old cross (from a memorial in Thatcham). The District also has an active Scout Fellowship.

Scout Groups

Explorer Scout Units

Windsor and Eton District[7]

Wokingham District[8]

Scout Groups

Explorer Scout Units

  • Eagle Explorer Scout Unit
  • Phoenix Explorer Scout Unit

County Administration and Facilities

Some of the Districts within the County maintain small campsites which can be used by any Scout Group or Scout within the Organisation.

Campsites

There are three campsites within the County. Earleywood is the largest facility, while the other two (Paddicks Patch, based in Loddon District and just outside of the town of Woodley, and the 1st Burghfield Scout HQ, in the town of Burghfield and part of Pang Valley District) offer a single pitch with a fire-circle and a nearby hut.

All three campsites are available to all members of the Scout Association for activities.

Events and Activities

WINGS

WINGS is a major event which is open to all Scouts and Guides aged 10 to 25 in all parts of the world, and is normally held every 5 years in the County. It is a collaboration with Royal Berkshire Scouts and Girlguiding Royal Berkshire. Participants camp in Windsor Great Park, where many of the activities also take place. Other nearby sites are also made use of, such as Dorneywood Scout Camp and Wraysbury Lake.

The next event will take place in 2009 starting 1 August and provides an international experience with seven days of adventure, challenge and fun with opportunities to work with others from across the world and build new and lasting friendships. This a year later than normal due to the World Scout Jamboree taking place in 2007.[9]

Members of Royal Berkshire resting whilst walking in Slovenia

Three Towers Hike

Organised by Reading Central District Scouts, the Three Towers Hike is a competition hike held around easter following routes through West Berkshire and South Oxfordshire. The Hike is comprised of 3 events suitable for Scouts, Explorers and Adult walkers.

International Expeditions

The County has a tradition of International Expeditions, where Scouting members from the age of 14 are able to experience and participate in activities outside of the UK.

  • 2004 - Slovenia - a multi-activity camp in the former Yugoslav republic
  • 2005 - Slovenia - a return to the Eastern European country, but specifically for completion of the Explorer Belt
  • 2006 - Spain - a multi-activity camp

There will be no expedition in 2007, because of the World Scout and Guide Jamboree.

World Scout Jamboree 2007

Royal Berkshire has been a long-standing participant of World Scout Jamborees and has sent 72 young people to the World Jamboree which was held in July/August 2007. The [[21st World Scout Jamboree][ took place at Hylands Park in Essex. The two Units (Blue Troop and Purple Troop) went to The Netherlands for a post-Jamboree expedition in October 2007.[10]

South East Berkshire Gang Show

The South East Berkshire Scout District began performing their Gang Show in a local school hall in 1970. It grew larger and after a couple of years moved to Camberley Civic Hall where it stayed for many years until moving to its current venue of the Wilde Theatre, South Hill Park, Bracknell. They produce a show every year which takes place in February, their work beginning in September. The Gang consists of around 180 people every year.

References

External links