Remembrance Day Parade – And The Sun Shone

The late Autumn sunlight highlighting the Group as it Parades through Totton. Photon – Michelle Fielden

So proud to see the wonderful turnout of all the sections on Sunday – it says so much about our young people who came to remember the sacrifices of others.  I’m sure it helps to make the long hours that the leaders put in to running the activities throughout the year seem worthwhile.  Thanks also to the parents for helping to make it happen.


There are always debates about whether Scouts should still dress up in smart uniforms and go on parades such as Remembrance Sunday or St George’s Day.  I think in this case the young people have voted with their feet – literally.  And it does have an impact on those watching – we started to receive enquiries about young people joining only minutes after the parade ended.

Congratulations to everyone!

Aviva Community Challenge – We Need YOUR Help

Sailability dingy at the pontoon

As you may know, we have had problems with green-blue algae on the lake for several years.  Once this blooms we have to suspend boating, missing out on the opportunity to train our young people in water sports.  To overcome this we fitted some equipment to our pontoon which kills the algae, but earlier this year it was vandalised and put out of action.  We have had the equipment repaired but it cost £1000 to fix.  We have had some private donations towards the costs of repairs, but we have now entered into the local Aviva Community Challenge to raise additional funds.

We need your support to help us win a grant from the fund. All you need to do is register an email address for our project (4th NFN (Eling) Sea Scout Pinger) at the Aviva Community Challenge Website  You will get 10 votes and can use all of them on our project.  Please help us, and tell your friends.

Remember, the lake is also used by Testwood Lakes Sailability which provides accessible sailing on the lake for disabled people.


A perfect day for sailing

A light breeze, calm waters and a warming sun.  What more could you wish for out dinghy sailing?  Over 20 scouts took to the River Test opposite Southampton Container Terminal on a Sunday morning in October, to be assessed for their RYA dinghy sailing qualifications; and the conditions were perfect.  Despite the lack of sailing practice this summer because of the algae problem at Testwood Lakes the Scouts were soon showing what they could do to  the assessors and a small group of parents and friends on the shore.

Thanks to the assessors, leaders and parents who make these events possible, and congratulations to all the Scouts who passed their assessment.

Click here for some more photos.

Beavers at Testwood Lakes

Unfortunately, not real beavers, just our Beaver Scouts taking advantage of the dry weather to explore the area around Testwood Lakes.  With around a dozen butterfly species, numerous other insects and birds such as Little Egrets to spot there was plenty for them to discover during the evening.

What a year it has been – 2018 AGM

Robin hands over the Group at the 2018 AGM

As Marcus, our new GSL, takes over from Robin we take a brief look back at the previous twelve months in the Group.  What a successful year it has been!  Our fantastic volunteer leaders continue to deliver a packed, varied and challenging programme to all the sections.  From the Frisby Golf and Murder Mystery evenings of the Explorers, the Cub’s Summer Camp at Weymouth, orienteering and trampolining evenings, to the Scout RN Swimming gala at HMS Raleigh and trying the shipping simulators at the Warsash Maritime Academy, our young members have enjoyed a wonderful year.  If you want to see more about their experiences check out our section pages.

Anna steps forward to take up the role of Croup Chair. L-R Dot – Secretary, Ann, Peter – Treasurer, Marcus – GSL, Mark – outgoing Chair, Robin – outgoing GSL

Almost seventy people attended the AGM, whilst out on Testwood Lakes the Cubs and Scouts continued with their 24 hour “Boat” to raise  money for the Group.  The meeting was held outdoors, with the smells from the conveniently placed BBQ ensuring the briefest of meetings.  The Treasurer’s report highlighted the sound financial footing of the Group, with significant investment in boating equipment, whilst maintaining the Aquativity building, thanks in part to another successful Donkey Derby.  The New Forest North District Commissioner and Chair were on hand to thank Robin and also our outgoing Chairman, Mark, who hands over to our new Chair, Anna.


Awaiting the start of the 2018 AGM


Out on the water

Our Cubs have been having learning new skills for life this week – some have been out on the lake in rafts they have made themselves, whilst others have been learning fire-lighting skills and toasting marshmallows.

Silver Service


Our Cub Pack had a double celebration this week.  The theme for the week was US Independence Day – looking at 242 years of American History.  Not quite so long, but sometimes feeling like it, Cub leader Darren had his 25 years of Scouting service recognised with the presentation of the Chief Scout’s 25 Years Service Award by New Forest North District Commissioner Kerie in front of  the Cubs.  Well done, Darren, here’s to the next 25 years.

Bag It or Get The Sack


Phil the Bag is coming back. We are now collecting unwanted adult and children’s clothing, hats, shoes, belts, handbags, and household textiles including sheets, pillow cases, duvet covers, curtains and towels – so please fill a bag, or two or more and bring back to the HQ by Thursday 5th July **WE NEED AT LEAST 40 SACKS**.. For alternative collection/drop off arrangements if you cannot bring to the HQ, please contact, All clothing must be in weareable condition.


Netley Marsh Steam and Craft Show Litter Pick

We are looking for volunteers to help with our annual litter pick at the two day event-

Each year we help the organisers of the Netley Marsh Steam and Craft Show by litter picking early morning on Saturday and Sunday and also a final clear up which will be on Tuesday evening . For this we receive a donation from the profits of the event.

Last year we received a donation of just under £500 from the  Show committee in return, so this is a really important fundraising event for us. All morning helpers will receive wristbands to allow entry to the rally for the whole weekend

We are looking for volunteers to help on:-
Saturday 21st July 7am will be finished before 9am.
Sunday 22nd July 7am will be finished before 9am
We also need a volunteer for each morning to bring the equipment and co ordinate those helping .
Tuesday 24th July (evening) Time to be confirmed but usually from around 6.30pm – as many helpers as possible to help with the final litter pick of the whole site. Volunteer also needed to bring equipment and co-ordinate

Please let us know as soon as possible if you can help on any of the days – all ages welcome.  Please contact



Things that go splash in the night

Testwood’s resident herd of cows watch the sponsored “Boat” kayaks – Damon Kennard

Anyone walking around Testwood Lakes after dusk on Friday 22 June would have been surprised to see kayaks and dinghies still out on the lake.  The 24 hour sponsored “Boat” starting at 6 pm on Friday, aimed to raise money for the Group as well as giving young people from all the sections the opportunity to get out on the water and learn new skills.

Leaders and young people splashed, paddled, rowed and tacked their way around the lake in relays.  A few managed to grab some sleep whilst others were out on the lake.

On Saturday Cubs and Beavers also took to the water in the perfect conditions, with brilliant sunshine and light winds, watched by parents and friends of the Group who enjoyed a BBQ in front of Aquativity.

Many thanks to the Leaders and Instructors who made this possible.
The Group’s AGM was also held outside during the event against a backdrop of coloured sails and kayaks. 

There’s a change at the helm

Robin leading the Group at the Remembrance Day Parade

Robin leading the Group at the Remembrance Day Parade


Today at the Group’s AGM, Robin Clarkson, thanked all the Leaders, Executive members and supporters of the Group for their sustained hard work over the last 5 years as he stood down as Group Scout Leader (GSL).

“It is a huge tribute to them, that today, we have a successful, thriving Sea Scout Group, one of the largest in the Scout District.”

Robin commended the new GSL, Marcus Sly to the Group. Marcus, who has been a Scout leader with the Group for 4 years will bring a different style of Leadership and take the Group forward to even more success.

“I wish the Group every success in the future and will watch from the side lines as the Group continues to thrive.


Rob Clarkson