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This report of the recent challenge is from Roz Bardon:

"Nine Teams took part in the inaugural Ripon & District Chairman’s Challenge Hike. A bright sunny morning with little breeze welcomed the teams to the start at Kirkby Malzeard Primary School for their initial kit check, some last minute map updates and the event official start. Off they headed at 10 minute intervals along the main street and into the field and meadows following footpaths, bridleways and minor roads.

Belford lane on the Ripon Rowel and part of the crackpots trail was the first checkpoint, in amongst an intricate maze of tracks, ford, streams and foot bridges. Here they were met by the cheery reception of Anne Collins and Diana Bishop who checked they were all well, before heading to checkpoint number 2. Once again fields, bridleways and footpaths took them to across Laverton Moor to Sowerby’s encampment at Tom Corner and Checkpoint number 2.

Time for refreshments, hot & cold drinks provided courtesy of Sowerby’s pop up drinks station and for some, a welcome stop for their packed lunch. After a slow start followed a rapid succession of groups gathering at this welcome oasis.  As one group was leaving there was another waiting to use the seats and shelter. (Some even avoided a sudden shower!)

The groups then went across Covill House Moor and to checkpoint number 3 at Bouthwaite a distance of some 6km, taking groups between one and a half hours to 2 hours. For most a breezy crossing, the wind was due to pick up as the day went on – unfortunately a head wind for most!

Chris Heyworth on behalf of Topcliffe Group provided checkpoint number 3, suitably prepared with hot and cold drinks. A stove for a brew and all that was necessary. Only another 5km to go!
Leaving Bouthwaite most groups then headed along part of the Nidderdale Way, on a delightful path that the river valley and meanders along before entering Lofthouse near the Memorial Hall.

In total 45 young people took part, with 6 adult walkers, 9 teams, from 5 Troops, 5 walking unaccompanied and 4 accompanied, with 9 further adults helping on checkpoints. Altogether a very enjoyable and rewarding day was had by all. Many teams having their own little detours and excitement, but all arrived home safely with a sense of achievement, an excellent team spirit and many had also learnt something along the way!"

Thanks to everyone involved who helped to make this a successful event.

Saturday 1st February was cold and windy but fortunately DRY when the District Beavers invaded Flamingoland Zoo for 6 hours of FUN and FROLICS. They used parent's cars and a Minibus to get to the Park and ALL the Beavers were eager to to 'get going' once they arrived. 

Beavers from all over the District came together from the various Colonies at Topcliffe, Sowerby, Boroughbridge, 4th Ripon and 6th Ripon for what was be be a very enjoyable experience. Sixty Six Beavers in total took part in this fantastic day-out.

Everybody did the "Dinosaur Tour" (and Workshop) and the Sea-lion Show and everybody came together for lunch. The rest of the time was spent in smaller groups exploring the Zoo, utilising the play areas and doing some of the rides that were open despite it being early in the season!

This is how SPIKE (a Beaver Leader from Boroughbridge) saw the afternoon - "Our afternoon was all free time, 2 hours of looking around at the animals and going on the rides.

The Hippos were hilarious, their bath (which is far from the correct word) was black, very deep and no doubt very cold but nonetheless obviously the best place in the world to them , they splashed about and threw it everywhere, it really wasn’t pleasant at all and the smell oh dear that’s a different story altogether.

The Giraffe had a completely different view on the world today, they had no intentions at all in coming out, not a chance, no way Jose, forget it we are staying here and we would appreciate it if someone would close the door please, well that’s the impression they gave.

The Baboons seemed to have a similar idea to the Giraffes as there were no Baboons out, we came to the decision that they didn’t fancy coming out as their massive ,bare, pink bottoms would be far to cold, fair enough, a quick look at the Meerkats, they were still fat so we moved on.

The Rhinos had a smart enclosure, there was only one brave enough to come outside, a young male charging around trying to keep warm, you’d think by now someone would of created a gifting page on Facebook (or other similar media platform) to gift warm and woolly clothing for all the animals who don’t have hair or fur at the park, all the other Rhino were safely tucked away in their straw beds, they looked very cosy.

The Sea Lions, what a treat, these guys were the best performers anywhere, what they would do for a few mackerel was incredible, catch hoops, clap, wave, give kisses and do a massive jump and touch the ball hung high in the sky, we were told that Sea Lions can live up to 30 years in captivity and the one we were watching doing the tricks was 29 ☹ 

The Wallabies were cute, some were hopping about looking all cute and cuddly but most just sat there looking, one Beaver suggested they were frozen that’s why they weren’t moving whilst another thought they were stuffed. 

The Penguins, we searched for, but the signs didn’t tell the truth, either there wasn’t any or it was even too cold for them so we gave up the search and headed to the toilet instead, then we spent what seemed to be like 2 hours in the gift shop where many gifts were purchased and I’m sure mum and dad will be thrilled to bits with the choices made, last but not least a go on the helicopter ride, truly awesome unfortunately I was too big to have a go."

At the end of the day, everyone got a Commemorative Badge and a Flamingoland Zoo "Goody Bag" to take home.

Our thanks to Sarah Rands  (and Stephen Spencer - alias Spike)  for all the information about the event and all the pre-work which made the event as memorable as it was. Thanks also must go to all the Leaders and other adults who gave up their day to make it happen.

The next District Beaver Scout event, Sarah tells me, is the Sleepover at "The Deep" on the 18th of July (which is open to both Beavers AND also Cub Scouts.)

Keep your eyes on this website for more information later in the year.

Nineteen 6th Ripon Scouts, along with Eighteen Cubs and Six Beavers recently attended a Group Weekend at the Watson Scout Centre at Carlton in Cleveland.

On the Saturday, Scouts hiked along the Cleveland Way between Carlton Bank and Cringle Moor, completing a litter pick sponsored by the BMC (British Mountaineering Council) under their "Hills 2 Oceans" campaign. The BMC kindly provided litter pickers and bags – we provided the enthusiasm and Scout Power.

On Saturday evening we had a good big campfire sing-along and on Sunday the Scouts completed their Forestry Badge by planting 100 saplings kindly provided by the Woodland Trust and working in and around the centre to identify trees and other badge requirements.

Another excellent weekend under canvas was enjoyed by all.

The Winter Activity Camp, organised by Harrogate and Nidderdale Scouts each year at their Thornthwaite Activity Centre, is always a popular event for older Scouts. Run in January, it is a good test of how to keep warm and dry, although this year’s weather was relatively fine and mild and, unusually, no snow in sight! The success of last year’s return to an option to camp for two nights was eagerly taken up by some, with the ‘Saturday only’ choice favoured by others.

Three Boroughbridge Scouts decided to pitch camp, overseen by their ASL, with two others joining for the day. Meanwhile, several Boroughbridge Young Leaders / White Horse Explorers pitched nearby with their leader, all of them old hands at this event. 

With all meals provided, campers and day visitors were able to fully enjoy the range of activities on offer.

Woodworking bird boxes and whittling are always popular, with paracording and pyrography also developing craft skills. Outdoor cooking – especially pizzas and parcels - are well supported and this year’s new venture of Laser Tag proved popular too. Crate stacking, axe throwing and traversing and abseiling make good use of the Thornthwaite facilities and both Scouts and Explorers were kept busy all day. 

For those staying over, indoor facilities could be used for films and a silent disco during the evening and of course a Campfire was inevitable!

With over 200 young people from around North Yorkshire, the Winter Activity Camp was as popular as ever, Scouts and Explorers from our District and many other Districts, enjoyed another great opportunity together.

Every Scout Group knows that they need more VOLUNTEERS whether they help the Leaders, be an Administrator, or simply be the sandwich maker, photographer, or mini-bus driver.

Did you know that, in a survey, 27% of Parents and Carers of our young people said they WOULD volunteer....however....49% said that they had never been asked!!

You know what to do!

Scouting is one of the greatest movements the world has ever known. Scouts have walked on the moon, rowed across oceans, scaled the highest mountains. They have been Prime Ministers and Oscar winners, authors and inventors, World Cup heroes and scientists.

Scouting is for everyone, and there are all kinds of famous people who were once Scouts, some of whom might surprise you. Scouts have been presidents, prime ministers, entrepreneurs and pop stars. They have climbed Everest, stood at the South Pole and walked on the moon. Scouts are also teachers, social workers – the people who make society work. They are all united by common values of integrity, respect, trust, cooperation, and their promise to help other people.

Here are just a few examples.

Sir David Attenborough, naturalist
Neil Armstrong, astronaut
Buzz Aldrin, astonaut
David Beckham, footballer
Tony Blair, former prime minister
Russell Brand, comedian
Sir Richard Branson, entrepreneur
Jarvis Cocker, musician
Billy Connolly, comedian
Bill Clinton, former US president
Bill Gates, business magnate
Bear Grylls, survival expert (& Chief Scout)
Richard Hammond, tv presenter
(Note...Richard was once a member of Ripon & District!)
Lucie Jones, singer and actress
John F Kennedy, former US president
John Lennon, singer & songwiter
James Martin, chef
Sir Andrew Murray, tennis player
Sir Paul McCartney, musician
Barack Obama, former US president
Joe Pasquale, comedian
Jeremy Paxman, journalist
Keith Richards, musician
Steven Spielberg, film director
David Walliams, comedian
John Wayne, actor

Keeping young people moving through the sections is key to running a successful Scout Group. As leaders, it’s important that we encourage and support young people to continue their journey in Scouts.

Each section offers new challenges and activities, along with badges and awards to earn. Our programme’s designed to be progressive through the sections, with young people developing their skills as they move on.

Planning ahead can make sure that young people move at the right time for them, and flexibility in the age ranges offers the opportunity for young people to move up with a small group of "friends". It may sometimes be appropriate to make moving from the Beaver, Cub, or Scout sections more flexible for young people with additional needs.

It’s important to establish and maintain links between the sections (in both directions) to give young people the support they need when moving on. For example, the transition between Scouts and Explorers may be more challenging, due to Explorers existing at District level, so it’s really important that Explorer Scouts are visible in the District and visit local Scout Groups.

So try to make the sectional move with "friends". It is hard enough to have our young people change sections, but even harder if you feel ALONE!

Our Founder, Lord Baden Powell once said: THERE IS NO TEACHING TO COMPARE WITH EXAMPLE.

So, in all your Scouting, remember - Actions always speak louder than words... and your attitude is contagious.

Baden-Powell also said, "show me a poorly Uniformed Troop, and I'll show your a poorly Uniformed Leader."  Remember that the way you present and conduct yourself will be reflected by your Scouts (or Beavers, or Cubs or Explorers!)

Let's ALL make 2020 the year that we "lead by example"

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 TWO 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