Our Chil scoops the prize

We’re proud as punch to announce that our very own Chil has been named Melksham’s Person of the Year, 2015 by Melksham News. Of course we all already know how wonderful she is, but now everyone else knows, too! Thank you to everyone who took the time to cast a vote.

Chil, aka Anne Cranham in real life, has been involved with Broughton Gifford and Holt Scouts for the last 37 years, since becoming Chair of the Executive Committee in 1978. She remains our Chair, but is now also Assistant Beaver Leader (since stepping in as a temporary leader in 1999) and wears other hats within the group, not least Chief Cook and Bottle Washer at numerous events, fundraising ventures and camps every year and Hider and Keeper of the lolly sticks for the annual Easter Egg Hunt on the Common. Beyond BG&H she overseas all the district Beaver colonies as ADC – Assistant District Commissioner – organising many joint opportunities for fun for the young people, from the annual New Year Party to the frankly crazy district sleepover at Boomerang. An ADC does not usually also work directly with the young people in a group, but dedicates his or her time to organising larger events within the district. Chil somehow manages to do both.

She has an amazing skill to motivate children and gives them just the help and encouragement they need to do things for themselves, even things that, in every day life, might be considered beyond their ability. She enriches lives and helps children to discover interests and talents that they didn’t know they had. But she is also an amazing support and inspiration to the other leaders in the group, always ready to offer advice to someone when they are daunted by a new challenge.

As well as hut sleepovers, the biennial Beavers expedition to Brownsea Island and our annual Group Camp, Chil is also an invaluable presence at the annual week’s Scout Camp – not a soft option when it’s a greenfield site with no services or facilities in the Brecons in the rain! Her campfires are legendary. Chil knows all the best songs and she can get the shyest child or moodiest teenager involved and singing along – children are still singing the song weeks after a camp.

Of course, there is lots of hard work in the background that makes it possible for us all to have all this fun. The fundraising efforts Chil drives are vital to the group’s financial security and without these extra funds subscriptions would be substantially higher, and potentially out of reach for some families whose children benefit from the activities and experiences offered by the Scout movement.

Whenever something needs repairing, costumes need to be produced for a Christmas show or templates made for a craft session, Chil is there. For more ‘industrial’ jobs, like making a BBQ or repairing the generator, the long-suffering Mr Chil is roped in.

She is that rare mix of dependability, loyalty, dedication and selflessness. And the children respect and love her.

Give us a B … R … A … V … O ……!!

Cooking up a win for BGH Scout Group

Scouts cooking competition winnersA team of BGH Scouts has scooped first prize in the district’s Best of British Cooking Competition.

Dermot, Ellen, William H and William K (right) wowed the judges with their menu of coronation chicken, fish & chips and Eton Mess.

Comments from the judges included that the coronation chicken was “to die for” (let’s hope not!) and they particularly liked William H’s origami table decorations.

Two weeks before the competition, the Scouts held a trial run for the whole troop. Some delicious dishes – as well as some interesting experiments! – emerged. Photos of the night are here.

Scout camp will never be the same…

Hardy woodlanders brave gale-force winds

Jubilee Woods work dayWell done to the dozen brave members and parents who turned up on Saturday for the work day in Jubilee Woods.

Despite horizontal rain and gale-force winds, we managed to clear a good length of ditch, using the hazel we felled as material to build a boundary fence to try and stop the cows munching the trees.

As it turned out, and despite Kaa’s intrepid claims to the contrary, there was such a thing as the wrong weather as proceedings were curtailed early because of the risk of venturing deep into the woods in such high winds. Apologies to anyone who may have turned up in the afternoon to find the site deserted.

Jubilee Woods is looking good now and we hope to use it for camping trips this year – in somewhat better weather.

A sign of the times

Broughton Gifford and Holt Scout Group hut with new sign for 2016BGH Scout Group have made a smart start to 2016 with new signage at our hut.

Thanks to Alison Candlin and Sharon Butler for putting in the work required and to the good folks at Melksham’s very own print and marketing specialists Footfall Direct for supplying the sign itself.

By the way, the sign is level – it’s the cladding that’s a bit wonky!

2015: The best year ever for BGH Scouts?

m646-Melksham-Young-Peoples-Awards-2015-300x230A year of Scouting culminated in a Christmas cracker of a Carol Service last week.

The hut was packed with parents, Explorers, Scouts and Cubs, all singing their hearts out. Meanwhile, our Beavers did themselves proud with a great nativity play.

Looking back on the past 12 months at 1st Broughton Gifford & Holt Scout Group, Kaa says: “Many thanks to all parents and helpers for making 2015 such a great year. The hall is looking the best it’s been in years, all the tents are finally renewed and we’ve got some great memories of camps, expeditions, slapping paint around and cooking chips!

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Now we can carry on camping

Our group’s smart new tents are ready to keep members warm and dry during a summer of camping. The new tents – five ‘patrol tents’ and two mess tents – were recently put up for the first time on the Common by the leaders and some of the children. Many thanks again to Melksham Area Board for the grant of £2,300 that helped fund the purchase of the new tents.