Author: Simon Williams

Bransgore site open day 16 April 2016

We held out annual site open day and AGM today – the weather held and – although chilly at times – it was a great success.

Thanks to all those who helped to prepare the activities and food – and also to the large number of parents and children who turned up.

Particular mention goes to the Explorers who managed to get the cargo net up – it was *really* popular!Cargo net 2016__1460834259_86.139.8.135

Beer and pancakes – the ideal combination

2014 is the first year that the Scouts decided to have a pancake stall at the Bransgore beer festival.

Huge thanks to:

  • Gill for cooking all afternoon and mentoring me throughout – it was only supposed to be a single shift.
  • Simon for also standing there all afternoon taking money, serving and mixing more batter.
  • Crispin for the advice and planning leading up to today (though the jury is undecided on the number of eggs that should be in a batter mix) and also for the effort throughout the afternoon.
  • Kevin for being the apprentice (he passed the test)
  • …and everyone else for buying them of course!

Despite it being a new fund raising event, the team managed to raise over £170 after taking into account all of the costs.

We promise to be back in 2015 –  hope to see everyone their enjoying festival and buying our pancakes of course 🙂

POP Camp 2014

Scout leaders and helpers braved nature at its most languid during a recent camping weekend.

Minus the Cubs and Scouts, the grown children kicked back and played with the toys usually reserved for younger members.

Messing about with rickety crates and trying not to fatally injure one another with weaponry highlighted Saturday’s affairs, followed by some surprisingly practical skills in helping the construction of new decking at Bragger’s wood.

Everyone still smiling after finishing the building and clearing work at Bragger's wood

Everyone still smiling after finishing the building and clearing work at Bragger’s wood


The evening’s agenda involved horrible lethargy on the home-cooking front following a unanimous decision to buy take-aways rather than wait for the more traditional camp fire food.

The sensible approach of alcohol consumption around a raging fire rounded off the evening’s health-and-safety-abandoning fun (rumours of Mike getting an After Eight mint down his face are absolutely true), before the leaders totally wussed out and slept inside for the night. All except for Simon, who claims to have chosen to sleep in his £20 tent, but was probably kicked out of the comfy room for creating suspicious odours.

Mike demonstrates how it's possible to melt an after eight mint

Mike demonstrates how it’s possible to melt an after eight mint


A cooked breakfast failed to poison all concerned the following morning, thanks to Cheryl and Kevin’s culinary prowess.

Once HQ was put back to rights, everyone was split into teams to do a “Scavenger Hunt”. The videos advertising the HQ were particularly good but sadly all have been lost….

Cheryl demonstrates her amazing tree climbing skills

Cheryl demonstrates her amazing tree climbing skills

Simon tries to convince himself he looks good as a knight

Simon tries to convince himself he looks good as a knight

Closing off with “Scout’s own”, everyone retired back to their normal Sunday routine.

Campfire – singing in the rain!

It was less DIB, DIB, DIB than drip, drip, drip at Bransgore Scout Group’s campfire on Friday, March 28.

Nevertheless, the sizable (but extremely safe, mind) fire distracted thoughts from the constant drizzle, and all enjoyed a raft of musical numbers performed with gusto by each troupe.

140328_Campfire_05Beaver leader Koala (Gill), resplendent in her comfy campfire blanket, led the Beavers in some old favourites (although Kumbaya was notable by its absence) and a thought-provoking number involving the capture and consumption of bumble bees.

140328_Campfire_15Led splendidly by two of their younger number, the Cubs sang about a moose, because the inclusion of giant North American beasts livens up every campfire ditty.

140328_Campfire_18And the Scouts whet appetites for the barbecue with a rousing piece about a bunglow, which contained little lyrically about single-storey living.

After the thoroughly decent nosh came unwelcome heavy refreshments from the heavens but the proceedings soldiered on nonetheless, as a new leader was invested and welcomed, supported by two of his peers, one of whom was present via Skype from New Zealand, where the weather was just peachy.

The Scouts pushed on through the torrent with a few numbers, including a tremendous impersonation of electrical appliances but, alas, the battering from the clouds proved too much and an early end was brought to the evening. A shame, that, but all Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorer Scouts and those in attendance should be commended for their dedication through the conditions.


But remember kids, don’t eat the bumblebees.  

Spring Clean super successful

22 March 2014

A small but hard-working team met at HQ on a beautiful spring morning and set to around the site. The main target was the campfire area to get it ready for the event in a week’s time. Christian brought a mini digger and Matt and Nic gleefully tackled the humps around the area, creating a larger accessible space. Al and Neil cleared many of the logs and collected wood which had been dumped in the area, putting them in allocated places. Dan used the brush cutter to clear to the left of the log store which will be reserved as an axes and saw area.

Cleared around campfire

Barry and Simon started putting out the scalpings on to the drive to repair the new potholes. They were using spades, a wheelbarrow and stamping their feet. Jo, a parent, saw the opportunity to borrow her husband’s tamper machine and a phone call was made. The machine arrived with Andy and the drive was soon done. Another opportunity then arose as Andy’s dad Dave had come alone too and was an experienced digger driver. He volunteered to clear the area near the front of HQ which had become out of hand and was preventing us from driving vehicles down the side to the store. The area was cleared,scalpings added and we had the bonus of another car-parking space.

new parking

almost new parking







As if that wasn’t enough, Dave then helped Simon and Kevin clear the area behind the houses with the view of creating 4 more car-parking space. They did an excellent job which was scuppered by the huge amounts of glass found in the soil from the old banger car that was being parked up here. The area has been ‘logged’ off while we rethink.

Quietly in the background, Sally gave the Ann’s Lodge facilities a deep clean which was long overdue. Jo did a litter pick around the site making it both attractive but more importantly, safer, as some of the items were sharp and trip hazards. A large quantity of kindling was collected by her and several of the children which was another opportunity given to us courtesy of the recent high winds.

Marc and Terry had the DIY tools out and tackled some repairs and put our new key safe up and into use. Barry later shared their tools putting up the signs around the grounds and sorting out a shelving unit and a new shelf in our committee cupboard.

Meanwhile we’d all enjoyed plenty of tea, coffee and biscuits and later bacon rolls, some lovely cake bought by a parent, and hot cross buns.

Dan cut the lawn which is quite a challenge as it is out of sorts. And yet again he wielded the brush cutter for some time to great effect. Kevin, our treasurer has spent an hour with our auditor handing over the 2013 accounts then joined us and worked hard for several hours supporting everyone in their tasks.

Christian brought his chain saw and finished chopping up and clearing some of the fallen trees from the recent storm. He then put it to good use removing the stumps from the campfire area making them less likely to be tripped over.

Neil took on the rotten job of cleaning the BBQs ready for the following week.

There were lots of laughs along the way, the best one watching Simon running backwards and forwards across the car-park with the wheelbarrow between the digger and the tamper. Could he move!!


Many, many thanks to everyone who came. Its amazing how much we achieved in so few hours.


Autumn clear-up

Saturday 5th October 2013

Maintenance Day


Thanks to everyone who was able to make it. Thanks to a combination of willing helpers and great weather, we were able to tick off a number of our jobs on our maintenance day on Saturday – our best turnout yet!

Some of jobs included :-

  • Patching the driveway
  • Cleaning the hall, guttering and roof
  • Replacing failed bulbs
  • Levelling the grass
  • Litter pick-up
  • Cleaning & de-cobwebbing the hall
  • Cutting back the undergrowth

The list goes on!

Hopefully all tools were reunited with their respective owners – let us know if anything went astray…..


We do a few of these days each year so hope to see some of you again next time – and we promise to buy some decent coffee too.

Don’t worry if you haven’t got much time – even 30 minutes helps to keep the site and halls in good condition for all of our cubs, beavers, scouts and explorer scouts to use.