I am pleased to say we are alive and well – but earlier this year it was very much ‘touch and go’.
At the end of 2018 our numbers in the Beavers & Cubs had plummeted – you could count them on the fingers of one hand, also we did not have any Scouts – and worse than that 4 of our younger leaders (those under 50!) became ‘non active’ – two had moved away, one was concentrating on setting up their own business and the other decided to pursue other interests.
The Scout Group in its present form can trace its roots back to 1955 at the Grove Road Baptist Church when the 92nd North London Group was formed – this became the 18th Southgate Group in 1968 in the reorganisation of the movement. Fast forward to 1980 Fr Guy Pope started the 25th Southgate Scout Group at St Paul’s. Two Scout Groups within 50 yards of each other did not seem viable so in 1985 they combined to form the current 24th Southgate Scout Group.
Anyway, faced with the dilemma of few leaders and fewer members - what should we do – should we give up – or try and carry on.
In March 2019 I wrote to the heads of local primary schools – St Paul’s, Holly Park & Garfield – the aim being to make an interactive presentation about Beavers & Cubs during an assembly and then give out information about an open evening on the 9th May.
Sadly, no response from Garfield, but we did an assembly at St Paul’s and two (infant & junior) at Holly Park. I had great support from Scouting colleagues in Southgate District and these presentations went down well.
At the open evening 9th May we had about 25 children along with their parents – nearly all from Holly Park (apparently St Paul’s did not send out the leaflets after the assembly – but we are going to try again soon).
Encouraged by this we continued with our Thursday meetings – combining Beavers & Cubs for the time being and at the end of the summer term in July we invested 3 new Beavers and 8 Cubs into the Group – all in uniform – also 5 parents regularly helping us.
Now in September ’19 we did not lose anyone over the summer break and now have 15 Beavers & Cubs still with 5 parents giving some support and have a very active autumn programme, including:-
District Beaver Sports Day - 22 September - thanks to our star Beaver – Shae – we came joint first.
District Cub 5 a side football – 29 September – this was a washout – the finals were rained off late in the afternoon – but we did well to come 6th out of 11 teams.
District Cub Trek – 8km hike – 13th October.
District Cub bowling competition– 7th November.
This term we are looking at the environment and will be building bug boxes and hotels – which you may soon see in the grounds of St Paul’s.
At the moment we have not started up the Scout Troop although we have had a lot of interest – because we do not have the leader resources (4 of the active leaders are over 60 – and are not as energetic as we used to be).
We are in great need of young(er) leaders – you do not need to be a super hero or have any experience, there is lots of training available (and its free) it also looks good on a CV.
So, if you can help us in any way – come and join the adventure and develop skills for life - contact me and let’s have a chat
Francis W Mudford Group Scout Leader – 24th Southgate