Sue Baker, a Beaver Scout leader and Michele Grattidge, Scout and Explorer Scout leader were presented with awards in December for their dedication and support to scouting in Stoke Gifford.
Michele started as a parent helper at 1 st Stoke Gifford Beavers in 1997, when her son Chris joined the colony.
She soon went into uniform as an Assistant Beaver Leader and from there has been a Cub Leader and then on to be a Scout Leader with the 1 st Stoke Gifford School Scouts, based at St Michaels Primary School.
In addition, she was a founding member of the Solar Explorer unit in 2007 and was an Assistant Explorer Leader until 2020.
She is a trained Duke of Edinburgh assessor and played a leading role in many Solar D of E expeditions and camps as well as supporting other groups with their assessments. She has been on more camps than she can remember and played a part in the growth and development of so many young people over the years.
She is the first person to be a leader at all our units, i.e. Beavers, Cubs, Scout and Explorers. Chris has gone on to be a Scout and Explorer Scout Leader himself, keeping up the family tradition.
Michele was given an ‘Award for Merit’. This award is given for outstanding service of not less than 12 years. It rewards keen, conscientious, imaginative and dedicated service over a sustained period.
Sue was a founder member of the 1st Stoke Gifford Beavers in 1993 and is the longest continuing serving member, having done all of her 27 years’ service with the Group. She still loves the interaction with the children and cannot remember how many sleepovers and camps she has done, though she does say not much sleep was had on any of them! Her husband Lee has been a Cub and Scout Leader and as a result her children Lauren and Daniel have spent more nights under canvas than most children! In fact she jokes than Daniel probably had his “Nights Away 50” badge before he even joined Beavers, aged 6! Sue says that she sometimes thinks of retirement from Scouting, but would miss the friendship and the camping too much.
Sue was awarded the ‘Award for Merit’ in 2015 and this year was presented with the ‘Bar to the Award for Merit’. This was awarded in recognition of her further years of outstanding service.
We are very proud of and grateful to both Sue and Michele for their many years of service to the 1st Stoke Gifford Scout Group and delighted that this has been recognised accordingly.
Add 6pm the new students arrived for their camp at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Walking through the magic portal at Platform 9 3/4 the Beavers entered the main hall where they were sorted into the 4 Houses.
Once unpacked we went for a magic camp fire and hot dogs.
The next morning we went for a walk in the forbidden forest before a hearty breakfast.
We designed our own House Crests played Quiditch and eat soooo much food.
On Friday both Beaver Colonies met up at Olveston Scout Hall for our Autumn sleep over. 28 young people arrived and begun to set up their beds.
The hall very quickly began to feel very small with 28 sleeping bags and other kit spread our around the edge, so we knew we were going to be nice and snug, even with the predicted wind an rain.
James bravely volunteered to try and get the camp fire going with the meagre log pile that was left for us. Success.
The Beavers seemed to enjoy watching the leaders lead a camp fire sing song and even joined in with some of the songs - especially Father Abraham.
After toasting marshmallows it was time of the Beavers to get into their sleep clothing, snuggle down and watch cloudy with a chance of meatballs. The sound of 28 young people giggling is rather wonderful.
Lights out was about 10pm and the final Beaver was asleep by about 11.
Saturday morning and we gave up trying to get the Beavers back to sleep at 6am. By 7 we were ready to go out for our hike to earn our breakfast. We walked for about an hour, by which point everyone was more than ready to tuck into bacon, eggy bread and beans.
We spend the morning working on the first aid badge and studying kitchen safety.
After a break it was time of the Beavers to work towards their Cooks badge.
We made fruit cocktails, Armpit fudge and 'bum sandwiches' - Don't worry, we gave them a proper lunch afterwards.
We also had lots of fun running around, being loud, chasing each other and burning of lots of energy
OSR Scout Troop having spent a couple of weeks writing prayers and choosing hymns with Karen put it all together today at St. Michaels Church for all the other uniform groups from Stoke Gifford. Scouts read, sang, collected donations, flags, helped people to their seats, gave out harvest bread and much more.
The service was fab with lots of food donations collected for Filton Food Bank with cheerful harvest hymns, thought provoking readings and thoughtful prayers. Thank you for all putting in so much effort, proud of you all.