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Welcome to Ripon and District Scouts

Keep up to date with our
Ripon and District Scouts Newsboard

This from Mike Collins at 1st Boroughbridge who recently sent this out to all his Scout Troop:

So no meeting this week at the hall, but that is no problem because we can all take part in a virtual Scout meeting. 

We are going to do CREATIVE CHALLENGE 1 and WORLD CHALLENGE 5 - So how do I find out what that means?

Go to   and select Scouts 10 -14,  then select Scout Awards (learn about awards),  then select the challenge badge and  find the number of the clause and proceed.

Creative Challenge 1. Have a go at a new creative activity. There are some suggestions, but you could make anything, use your own skill, imagination and resources.

World Challenge 5. The environmental project Is to look at endangered species.

 Go to

Species Directory - World Wildlife Fund

WWF is committed to saving endangered species. Learn more about the species we are working to protecting from becoming endangered or extinct.

There is a list, you can choose your favourite and find out about it by clicking on the name. write about it and do a drawing.


Send us a photo of your craft and a copy of your environmental investigation.

If you haven't yet finished your Skills Challenge  list given out a few weeks ago, being at home now is a good time to finish it or even do some more on the list.

Don't forget to help other people and look up the 6th Scout Law.

Have fun, Oh and don't forget to phone up your grandparents or even Great- grandparents for a chat and keep an eye out for any neighbours who may need support

And finally don't think that you have to rush round and do all this now, its fun Scouty things to do in your spare time after your school work, and it doesn't all have to be done this week!!"


Tim Kidd, the Scouting UK Chief Commissioner says:  

"I'm writing to share critical pieces of information relating to the developing Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. This email follows my previous communications with volunteer managers over the past few weeks.

Late this afternoon (Monday 16th March 2020), the Prime Minister has said that everyone in the UK should now avoid non-essential travel and contact with others.

Given this guidance, all face-to-face Scout meetings, activities and events must be suspended from tomorrow, Tuesday, 17 March 2020.

This suspension applies to young people and adults, and will be until further notice.

We must continue to respond to the developing situation in a calm, measured and appropriate way. We will continue to follow official guidance.
The safety of everyone involved in Scouts, both young people and adults, is our number one priority.

That is always at the heart of our decision making."

This, now, from the County Commissioner:

The County Scout Leadership Team have agreed to meet by conference call every Monday for the next few weeks to consider any updates. Should there be new information we will post this on the County website and social media on a Tuesday morning, so please make best use of these communication platforms in the weeks ahead. For the County Website please go to   -

This from Anne Collins, our DAS Manager who says:

"In previous years, there has been wind, hail, sleet and snow, but this year, it proved to be a beautiful mild Sunday for the District Backwoods Cooking Day, held at The Loop nature reserve, near Ripon.

The Scouts were ferried by minibus down to the reserve and Colin & Clare Slator were ready to set them off with the day’s challenge. Choosing a site, collecting wood dry enough to burn and getting fires alight was the first stage, whilst other Patrol members, penknives at the ready, set themselves to preparing pigeon for roasting, baking or kebabs.

With amazing skill, fires were soon blazing and once embers appeared, food was cooking. Along with the pigeons, bacon and sausages were sizzling and bananas, chocolate and biscuits being prepared for pudding.

Food bags empty and fires extinguished, it was time for judgment. As well as the skills of fire lighting and food cooking, patrols were also assessed on their ability to work together as a team and on the amount of assistance required. Eleven Patrols representing seven of the District’s Scout Troops took part and it was Topcliffe in first place who took the trophy shield, with Sowerby and a 6th Ripon Patrol following on.

46 youngsters had enjoyed a great time out of doors and although Boroughbridge had administered the event, real thanks are due to stalwart DAS members Colin & Clare for all their work in organising the site, food and materials required and Aimée for driving the minibus to make access easier."

This was probably the last District Scouting event for a few months, but will be memorable to all those who took part.

Today we begin the recruitment for a new District Commissioner for Ripon & District.  

The role is open to all Scout Adult members and anyone outside of Scouting, as the role is a uniformed leadership and management appointment.  Therefore, the skills we are seeking are those explained in the person specification.

If you are interested in applying for this exciting appointment, then please do so by Tuesday 14 April.  However, if you know someone who might be interested in the role, either in Scouting or outside, then please don’t hesitate to forward this message to them; many thanks.

To read or download the application pack, just click HERE.

Into the unknown!  Weekend Camp had been planned and anticipated for weeks with kit lists checked and food packed up, 18 Scouts were ready for the off. With a last minute change of Leaders, DAS member John volunteered to drive the minibus and on Friday evening, everyone was in good spirits.

The convoy set out, Laurence-the-Leader in front with luggage stored behind in the trailer, then the minibus and two leaders in cars endeavouring to keep up. By 8.00, grazing sheep and their inevitable by-products negotiated, everyone had arrived at Ravengill, met up with our new friend Ged, unpacked the baggage and were ready to explore. 

Raven Gill Campsite is situated in the North Yorkshire Moors and is owned by Cleveland Scout Council. It is situated in a valley in a rural setting with a small stream running through the centre of the site, thirty minutes from Middlesbrough and thirty minutes from Whitby and within walking distance of Commondale Railway Station which is on the Esk Valley railway line.

Being still winter, the Scouts were using indoor accommodation and had soon found their dormitories, each named after a Chief Scout, and were ready to explore the site with its undulating camping areas, grazing sheep, flowing beck and site buildings. After hot dogs, popcorn and freetime the Scouts were off to bed in anticipation of the day to come…….

Saturday - breakfast cooked, washing up done, packed lunches made, it was time to go. Patrols set off at intervals with route card, map and compass to find their way to Danby Park Wood, subtly monitored by the leaders but unaccompanied so as to increase the Scout’s confidence and independence in navigation. As each Patrol arrived, they found woodland activities to try, following a string trail, hugging a tree, looking for distinctive tree features and eating lunch in a cosy mountain rescue shelter.

Then off again, following the route to meet up in Danby village. Navigation completed, it was a short walk to the Moors National Park Centre for well-deserved ice creams and time to explore. Timing was essential to be back at Danby station for the train to Commondale and the short walk back into Raven Gill. The Dinner-cooking Patrol got stuck into their work and by 8 o’clock, everyone was ready for down-time and a film. 

Sunday was to be a little more relaxed with Patrols working together to produce a boat that would survive the babbling waters of the beck. After many discussions and trials of the various marine engineering possibilities, final craft were sailed down the beck – some with more success than others …… Time for more eating and then with everyone lending a hand to tidy and pack up and with DAS member Aimeé ready to drive the minibus back to Boroughbridge, it was farewell to Ravengill – but with a strong chance of a return visit soon!

A huge thank you, from the Acting District Commissioner, for all the hard work you put into this year’s Census. I am pleased be able to tell you that we have increased our youth membership by +19 (including 6 Network members) which is an increase of 3.5%.We now have a grand total of 562 young members (last year was 543).

The Scout County of North Yorkshire, on the whole, increased youth membership across all the Districts by an average of 2.3% so we are 'above average'.

Census, however, shows a decline in leader membership but I have been told that this is a nationwide issue. This is partly down to 2 reasons: Compass was designed this year to reduce the amount of double-counting of leaders and secondly we have asked Groups to tidy up their Compass records. A lot of leaders were sitting there when they had left or had moved to be an occasional helper. The numbers now possibly reflect what is actually happening on the ground more accurately.

Click to view and download the 2020 Census document

This, from Anne & Mike Collins at Boroughbridge:

The familiar white fleur-de-lys emblem on a purple background is a well-known symbol of Scouting throughout the world and is universally used as a membership badge denoting the wearer has made a promise to commit to the ideals of Scouting; it is also to be found on flags and buildings, showing a Scouting presence there.

Within the communities of Boroughbridge, Kirby Hill, Langthorpe and the surrounding area, over 100 people of all ages proudly wear a Scout Promise Badge on their uniforms. There are Beavers in their turquoise-blue sweatshirts meeting in Coronation Hall on Tuesdays or Thursdays, usually heard before they are seen, Cubs in green sweatshirts meeting on Fridays and Scouts in their distinctive green shirts following on. There are Explorer Scouts who meet in Ripon or Thirsk to continue their Scouting journey, and many of the ex-Boroughbridge members choose to return to the Group as Young Leaders, helping out in the sections where they enjoyed activities just a few years earlier. Then, of course, there are the adult leaders who use their evenings to run the various section meetings and give further time to undertake training and to run weekend events too – special days, visits, sleepovers and camps. 

The members of Boroughbridge Group all wear their World Promise Badge with pride and a sense of commitment to a united cause.

If you spot Scouts from another country when abroad, whilst on holiday or at work, then you will see that they also wear this same emblem in some form. World recognition of the fleur-de-lys symbol is always evident at international Scouting gatherings. In 2019, three local youngsters achieved their ambition in attending the 24th World Scout Jamboree in West Virginia, USA and three others are training and fundraising to be at the 2020 European Jamboree in Poland. 

There is also another section of Scouting with a very strong but quiet presence in the area. The Ripon & District based Active Support Unit doesn’t hold weekly meetings and not all of its members wear full uniform, sometimes just ‘mufti’ and their distinctive magenta and white neckers. Its members are all adults who may or may not have been involved in Scouting in the past, and indeed, many are still in current roles within Boroughbridge, the District or within the county of North Yorkshire. The Unit exists to be available, whenever members can, to support the young people and also to share a social element within Scouting, and its members give as much time as they want or are able to spare. Many of the 40 members live here in our community, so if you see your next door neighbour in that distinctive necker – he or she could be going to run a backwoods cooking competition, teach first aid, sort out refreshments, stand-in for an absent leader …….. Active Support Members are to be found all over our area, just like the children they are supporting!

During their Scouting journey, the boys and girls like to find out about local people and the skills which they have developed and anyone willing to share those talents will be most welcome at Beaver, Cub or Scout meetings. You’ll find us at Coronation Hall on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday evenings during normal school terms, as well as seeing us at community events in the area, from litter picking and bulb planting to Remembrance Parade and late-night shopping, the distinctive fleur-de-lys will be there!

This report of the recent challenge is from Roz Bardon:

"Nine Teams took part in the inaugural Ripon & District Chairman’s Challenge Hike. A bright sunny morning with little breeze welcomed the teams to the start at Kirkby Malzeard Primary School for their initial kit check, some last minute map updates and the event official start. Off they headed at 10 minute intervals along the main street and into the field and meadows following footpaths, bridleways and minor roads.

Belford lane on the Ripon Rowel and part of the crackpots trail was the first checkpoint, in amongst an intricate maze of tracks, ford, streams and foot bridges. Here they were met by the cheery reception of Anne Collins and Diana Bishop who checked they were all well, before heading to checkpoint number 2. Once again fields, bridleways and footpaths took them to across Laverton Moor to Sowerby’s encampment at Tom Corner and Checkpoint number 2.

Time for refreshments, hot & cold drinks provided courtesy of Sowerby’s pop up drinks station and for some, a welcome stop for their packed lunch. After a slow start followed a rapid succession of groups gathering at this welcome oasis.  As one group was leaving there was another waiting to use the seats and shelter. (Some even avoided a sudden shower!)

The groups then went across Covill House Moor and to checkpoint number 3 at Bouthwaite a distance of some 6km, taking groups between one and a half hours to 2 hours. For most a breezy crossing, the wind was due to pick up as the day went on – unfortunately a head wind for most!

Chris Heyworth on behalf of Topcliffe Group provided checkpoint number 3, suitably prepared with hot and cold drinks. A stove for a brew and all that was necessary. Only another 5km to go!
Leaving Bouthwaite most groups then headed along part of the Nidderdale Way, on a delightful path that the river valley and meanders along before entering Lofthouse near the Memorial Hall.

In total 45 young people took part, with 6 adult walkers, 9 teams, from 5 Troops, 5 walking unaccompanied and 4 accompanied, with 9 further adults helping on checkpoints. Altogether a very enjoyable and rewarding day was had by all. Many teams having their own little detours and excitement, but all arrived home safely with a sense of achievement, an excellent team spirit and many had also learnt something along the way!"

Thanks to everyone involved who helped to make this a successful event.

Saturday 1st February was cold and windy but fortunately DRY when the District Beavers invaded Flamingoland Zoo for 6 hours of FUN and FROLICS. They used parent's cars and a Minibus to get to the Park and ALL the Beavers were eager to to 'get going' once they arrived. 

Beavers from all over the District came together from the various Colonies at Topcliffe, Sowerby, Boroughbridge, 4th Ripon and 6th Ripon for what was be be a very enjoyable experience. Sixty Six Beavers in total took part in this fantastic day-out.

Everybody did the "Dinosaur Tour" (and Workshop) and the Sea-lion Show and everybody came together for lunch. The rest of the time was spent in smaller groups exploring the Zoo, utilising the play areas and doing some of the rides that were open despite it being early in the season!

This is how SPIKE (a Beaver Leader from Boroughbridge) saw the afternoon - "Our afternoon was all free time, 2 hours of looking around at the animals and going on the rides.

The Hippos were hilarious, their bath (which is far from the correct word) was black, very deep and no doubt very cold but nonetheless obviously the best place in the world to them , they splashed about and threw it everywhere, it really wasn’t pleasant at all and the smell oh dear that’s a different story altogether.

The Giraffe had a completely different view on the world today, they had no intentions at all in coming out, not a chance, no way Jose, forget it we are staying here and we would appreciate it if someone would close the door please, well that’s the impression they gave.

The Baboons seemed to have a similar idea to the Giraffes as there were no Baboons out, we came to the decision that they didn’t fancy coming out as their massive ,bare, pink bottoms would be far to cold, fair enough, a quick look at the Meerkats, they were still fat so we moved on.

The Rhinos had a smart enclosure, there was only one brave enough to come outside, a young male charging around trying to keep warm, you’d think by now someone would of created a gifting page on Facebook (or other similar media platform) to gift warm and woolly clothing for all the animals who don’t have hair or fur at the park, all the other Rhino were safely tucked away in their straw beds, they looked very cosy.

The Sea Lions, what a treat, these guys were the best performers anywhere, what they would do for a few mackerel was incredible, catch hoops, clap, wave, give kisses and do a massive jump and touch the ball hung high in the sky, we were told that Sea Lions can live up to 30 years in captivity and the one we were watching doing the tricks was 29 ☹ 

The Wallabies were cute, some were hopping about looking all cute and cuddly but most just sat there looking, one Beaver suggested they were frozen that’s why they weren’t moving whilst another thought they were stuffed. 

The Penguins, we searched for, but the signs didn’t tell the truth, either there wasn’t any or it was even too cold for them so we gave up the search and headed to the toilet instead, then we spent what seemed to be like 2 hours in the gift shop where many gifts were purchased and I’m sure mum and dad will be thrilled to bits with the choices made, last but not least a go on the helicopter ride, truly awesome unfortunately I was too big to have a go."

At the end of the day, everyone got a Commemorative Badge and a Flamingoland Zoo "Goody Bag" to take home.

Our thanks to Sarah Rands  (and Stephen Spencer - alias Spike)  for all the information about the event and all the pre-work which made the event as memorable as it was. Thanks also must go to all the Leaders and other adults who gave up their day to make it happen.

The next District Beaver Scout event, Sarah tells me, is the Sleepover at "The Deep" on the 18th of July (which is open to both Beavers AND also Cub Scouts.)

Keep your eyes on this website for more information later in the year.

Every Scout Group knows that they need more VOLUNTEERS whether they help the Leaders, be an Administrator, or simply be the sandwich maker, photographer, or mini-bus driver.

Did you know that, in a survey, 27% of Parents and Carers of our young people said they WOULD volunteer....however....49% said that they had never been asked!!

You know what to do!

Scouting is one of the greatest movements the world has ever known. Scouts have walked on the moon, rowed across oceans, scaled the highest mountains. They have been Prime Ministers and Oscar winners, authors and inventors, World Cup heroes and scientists.

Scouting is for everyone, and there are all kinds of famous people who were once Scouts, some of whom might surprise you. Scouts have been presidents, prime ministers, entrepreneurs and pop stars. They have climbed Everest, stood at the South Pole and walked on the moon. Scouts are also teachers, social workers – the people who make society work. They are all united by common values of integrity, respect, trust, cooperation, and their promise to help other people.

Here are just a few examples.

Sir David Attenborough, naturalist
Neil Armstrong, astronaut
Buzz Aldrin, astonaut
David Beckham, footballer
Tony Blair, former prime minister
Russell Brand, comedian
Sir Richard Branson, entrepreneur
Jarvis Cocker, musician
Billy Connolly, comedian
Bill Clinton, former US president
Bill Gates, business magnate
Bear Grylls, survival expert (& Chief Scout)
Richard Hammond, tv presenter
(Note...Richard was once a member of Ripon & District!)
Lucie Jones, singer and actress
John F Kennedy, former US president
John Lennon, singer & songwiter
James Martin, chef
Sir Andrew Murray, tennis player
Sir Paul McCartney, musician
Barack Obama, former US president
Joe Pasquale, comedian
Jeremy Paxman, journalist
Keith Richards, musician
Steven Spielberg, film director
David Walliams, comedian
John Wayne, actor

Keeping young people moving through the sections is key to running a successful Scout Group. As leaders, it’s important that we encourage and support young people to continue their journey in Scouts.

Each section offers new challenges and activities, along with badges and awards to earn. Our programme’s designed to be progressive through the sections, with young people developing their skills as they move on.

Planning ahead can make sure that young people move at the right time for them, and flexibility in the age ranges offers the opportunity for young people to move up with a small group of "friends". It may sometimes be appropriate to make moving from the Beaver, Cub, or Scout sections more flexible for young people with additional needs.

It’s important to establish and maintain links between the sections (in both directions) to give young people the support they need when moving on. For example, the transition between Scouts and Explorers may be more challenging, due to Explorers existing at District level, so it’s really important that Explorer Scouts are visible in the District and visit local Scout Groups.

So try to make the sectional move with "friends". It is hard enough to have our young people change sections, but even harder if you feel ALONE!

Find out all you need to know about Scouting
in North Yorkshire on the County Website

Did You Know?

Ripon and District Scouts operate NINE scout groups around the district:
  • ONE in Bishop Monkton
  • ONE in Boroughbridge
  • ONE in Masham
  • ONE in Knayton
  • ONE in Sowerby
  • ONE in Thirsk
  • ONE in Topcliffe
  • TWO in Ripon City itself
  • PLUS TWO District Explorer Units
  • PLUS a District Active Support Unit


THE SCOUT ASSOCIATION offers adventure and activity to almost 400,000 young people across the UK.

THE MOVEMENT is the largest co-educational youth organisation in the world, with over 28 million Members in 216 countries and territories.

Scouting has opportunities for almost ALL age ranges

Ripon and District Scouts 2020