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Welcome to Ripon and District Scouts

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Ripon and District Scouts Newsboard

We know so many of you are keen to get back to face to face meetings and activities. No matter how good our Zoom calls may be, we know that so many young people are missing meeting up in person and taking part in outdoor activities – especially in these summer months. However, we have a duty to manage this in a responsible way, following Government advice in each nation or jurisdiction.  

The good news is that a framework is now approved by our safety committee that outlines our approach. All decisions about the return to face to face Scouts will be taken within this framework. We’re working with the National Youth Agency to make sure our advice is consistent with others in the sector. There are four states of readiness that determine what activities we can and cannot do. At the moment the majority of England (including Ripon & District) is in state AMBER

To provide further support, alongside the framework, we’ve created some guidelines for volunteers across a range of roles, issues and scenarios from speaking with parents, to hiring out our premises and safe travel to Scout activities.

Please take some time to look at the framework and read the advice relevant to you. You can then begin to make a plan locally and start your written risk assessments. However you may only begin socially-distanced activities outside now because we are at AMBER.

Even when conditions are met and all relevant checks and written risk assessments are complete, we stress that any return to face to face activities must be voluntary. Volunteers, parents, young people all need to feel comfortable about returning, and we must all continue to be prepared to respond quickly and change our approach if restrictions are reinstated locally or nationally.

Lockdown, what lockdown? says Alexander.  

While coronavirus might be making 2020 memorable for all the wrong reasons, however, this hasn't stopped all the activities and all the fun.

One 13-year-old Scout in our District who is a Ripon Grammar School student has taken on a number of long-distance challenges, including joining in the  "collective" 240,000 mile Hike to the Moon (which is supported by Chief Scout Bear Grylls and Astronaut Tim Peake) - but he still finds time to regularly mow his elderly neighbour's lawn

Alexander Pickering has been enjoying a range of ambitious walking, cycling and orienteering challenges throughout lockdown.

This energetic young person has also kept himself busy designing fire escape plans for his family home and setting up a campsite in his back garden, where he sleeps out under canvas and cooks his own breakfast.

During this time, the 13-year-old Scout, who hopes for a career in medicine or engineering, also finds time amongst all his activities to mow his 92-year-old neighbour’s lawn.

As a member of the 6th Ripon Scout Group, Alexander has joined the 'Scout Hike to the Moon Challenge', with a target of collectively walking the 240,000-mile approximate distance from the Earth to the Moon. So far, he has clocked up an impressive 272 miles. He has also undertaken cycling and walking orienteering challenges, involving distances of up to 30 miles.

Alexander said: “Doing these challenges, which will go towards my Chief Scout Gold Award, has helped me keep fit during lockdown. I have also explored various parts of Ripon and the surrounding villages, some of which I have never been to before. It’s given me the opportunity to see lots of wildlife too, including red kites, hares, dragonflies and kestrels.”

His advice to others is: “Enjoy getting outdoors and exploring new places and keep yourself going with lots of determination, resilience and drinks and snacks!”

COUNTY COMPETITIONS – all details on the County Website ( or on our County Facebook page.
(please let your leaders know if you enter as they may go towards badges):

Photography Theme ‘Making the Ordinary Extraordinary!’ – runs every month until 31st October and you can enter one photo a month if you wish.

Gardening ‘Fabulous Flowers? Vicious Veg’ runs until 30th September 2020.

Campfire 'Singalong' Competition- open to ALL - runs until 31st July 2020

Bear Grylls recently paid a tribute to our remarkable volunteers and agrees to extend as Chief Scout, renewing his commitment to volunteer and inspire our movement. He’ll now stay on as Chief Scout until at least 2023.

"I really am just so amazed by every one of our volunteers,’ he said. They’ve continued to provide Scouts online, helping nearly half a million young people to step up, speak up and play their part in this crisis. I want to thank every adult in Scouts for their commitment, their courage and most of all their kindness.

In Scouts, we’ve not been able to meet face to face to keep people safe. But that’s not stopped our volunteers. Over 80% have carried on delivering sessions online, helping our young people get through this crisis. They’ve helped young people continue to gain skills for life, provide a sense of normality and a chance to connect with their friends.

Not only that, Scouts hiked 440,000 miles and raised £348,000 for BBC Children in Need and Comic Relief – helping those who need it most in the crisis. Scouts also rose to the challenge, offering free activities for families at home.

What you have shown is called 'Scout Spirit,’ says Bear, and it’s in moments of turmoil that it often shines the brightest. Its been incredible to see our volunteers’ response and their ability to adapt, and to keep innovating – you are all such our shining lights.

For me personally I could not be more proud to carry on as Chief Scout for at least the next three years, and my hope is that together we can steer and carry Scouting through this tough time and out the other side as a force for good across the whole nation."

Bear was appointed UK Chief Scout in 2009, and has seen the movement grow by over 100,000 members since then. He’s visited Scouts in every part of the UK and inspired tens of thousands of young people to gain skills by their earning their Chief Scout’s Awards.

At a recent meeting of the District Executive Committee (on-line) on Wednesday 13th May, the Executive decided to put the scheduled District AGM (scheduled for 1st June 2020) on hold due to the present World Pandemic of Covid-19 (Coronavirus) that is disrupting all face-to-face meetings in the UK at the present time.

The NEW date is to be Wednesday 16th September 2020 when, hopefully, things may have got a little better and a face-to-face AGM might be possible.

Please change this date in your Diaries and we look forward to seeing you all there. More details to follow - keep your eyes on this Website..

The Creative Activities Team is running another photographic competition for all members of Scouting and Guiding within North Yorkshire.

As we are currently living in extraordinary times the theme of this year’s competition is Making the Ordinary Extraordinary! This can be interpreted in many ways; ordinary objects or scenes or events photographed in an extraordinary way, used for extraordinary purposes, from unusual angles or just plain odd!

Entries will be judged in the various sections from Rainbows and Beavers through to Leaders and Active Support/Trefoil Guild.

As a change from previous years we will be happy to receive entries each month (with the first entries at the end of May), we will publish the best from each month on the relevant County website and then hold them over for eventual winners in October. Each person may enter one photograph per month, which must have been taken by the entrant, to the competition. Submissions must be in digital jpg format, entries taken on camera phones will be accepted.

All photographs must be submitted with the name of the photographer, section (Beaver, Brownie etc), Scout or Guide Group, District plus Guide County details, an email or postal contact and confirmation that the photograph is all the entrant’s own work. 

The entries will be judged in the appropriate section, all judging will be anonymous and the decisions of the judges will be final.

The competition will be open for submission between 1 May 2020 and 31 October 2020. Any entries after this date will not be judged. Photographs must be submitted to the following email address only:

Any photographs submitted to the competition may be used by the Scout or Guide Counties for any Scouting or Guiding purposes. All other rights are retained by the photographer

Find out all you need to know about Scouting
in North Yorkshire on the County Website

Did You Know?

Ripon and District Scouts operate NINE scout groups around the district:
  • ONE in Bishop Monkton
  • ONE in Boroughbridge
  • ONE in Masham
  • ONE in Knayton
  • ONE in Sowerby
  • ONE in Thirsk
  • ONE in Topcliffe
  • TWO in Ripon City itself
  • PLUS THREE District Explorer Units
  • PLUS a District Active Support Unit


THE SCOUT ASSOCIATION offers adventure and activity to almost 400,000 young people across the UK.

THE MOVEMENT is the largest co-educational youth organisation in the world, with over 28 million Members in 216 countries and territories.

Scouting has opportunities for almost ALL age ranges

Ripon and District Scouts 2020