Deben District Scouts


The meeting was at Earl Soham Village Hall, which is one of the weekly meeting places of 1st Deben Valley from 7.35pm to 9.30pm. Attendees were: Julie Lovett, Roger Sykes, John Speight, Helena Mecrow, Glenn Knights and Steve Lovett. Jane Stone and Chris Mapey had hoped to make it. Ray Whiffin and Buster Cage sent apologies. Tony Flury enjoys an arrangement for automatic assumption of apologies for health reasons. Kelly Smith was pre-handover, so not expected to attend.


Julie welcomed all present. Introductions were made in a relaxed way. Things progressed in a different order to the agenda, but that was OK because it was the first ever meeting of its kind and very exciting. For neatness, the discussions have been noted in the order shown on the Agenda.


Purpose of the meeting

Julie read out the meeting’s aim “to review how things are going in the District and put plans in place for targeted support including ADC visits, District events, adult training, SAS assistance and other resources as appropriate”. There followed some discussion on who should be involved and it was agreed that everyone listed as a District Team member in the District Directory should be invited to these meetings.

District Plan

Julie introduced the new District Plan by circulating the part of it that most interests the District Team. This should be viewed as a longer term overview of the direction that the District will be taking based on feedback from Leaders within the District. Further information can be found on the District Website.


Roger, Badge Secretary:


Towards the end of 2015 the chng over to new issues got underway. Slight confusion when both old and new badges were requested in the same order. All Groups and myself took a little while to get used to the severl changes which contuned well into 2016. I think the new designs were well received with one or two exceptions. Thankfully I am no longer asked for some of each in the same order.

Some confusion between World Membership and My World (Beaver) and Our World (Cubs) when just “World” is ordered.

The Bronze, Silver nad Gold badges were quickly enlarged after protest that the new version s were too small.


As usual most badge activity is by Beavers of which there are 27 people placing orders and Cubs with 28 people placing orders, and to a lesser degree Scouts with 19 people placing orders. But Explorers don’t feature so far as badge awards are concerned hardly at all.

Total value of badge purchases by Groups year ending Mrch 2016 was £4,108.


All Gropus order their badges by email for which I am grateful. Telephone conversations, especially with me, are liable to give misunderstandings. The last convert to emails was Maggie Ulph of 5th Woodbridge.

Payment o fmy invoices I request within 28 days. Mostly that request works but not always. Payment is either by Group Treasurer e.g. Celia for 1st Kesgrave, whereas Westerfield the individual who places the order pays. Either words quite well. More use could be made of paying by BACS. Advantage no signatures required on cheques.

My margin on badge between wholesale and retail covers the cost of postage, an expensive item now, so postae is not passed on in the invoice.

I endearvour to send completed orders within 48 hours sometimes sooner. This requires a stock of the most freqeuntly requested badges, so when say for example World Membership badges go below 25 in my stock, I re-order.

So far as ordering stock, I use Scout Shops website, a part of which is dedicated to badge secretaries. To avoid postage charges I have to place a minimum order of £50 which is no problem. They prefer multiples of 25 per badge. Order are “cash with order” and arrive within 5 working days.

At one ime I was ble to use “Pay Pal” to pay for the orders but Scout Shops discontinued that arrangement. Now I pay with a credit card which is exlusive for badge ordering and reimburse myself from the Santander Small Business Account know as Deben District Scout Association. No cash is involved at all. Obviously, like everyone else, I submit to Shirley for audit my accounts at each Scout year end.

I much enjoy my modest contribution to Deben District Scouts and hope to become the oldest badge secretary in the UK.

John, SAS Co-ordinator:

(Typed up notes to follow)

Helena, ADC Beavers:

(Typed up notes to follow)

Glenn, ADC Cubs:

Last year’s high point was the District Cub and Beaver Camp that we held at Glemham Hall. I personally came away from the camp having learned a number of things that I can put to good use at any other camp. The staff at Glemham were incredibly helpful towards us, and helped a lot with different things leading up to the week end. I would be very happy camping there again and would certainly recommend the place to others looking for somewhere different to hold a camp. On behalf of the cub section, I would like to thank the district for their kind donation towards the costs of the camp.

Part of the camp involved a joint effort from the Beavers and Cubs and saw them camping and working together. It proved that this type of event can work and I have since spoken with Helena about putting on an activity for the beavers and cubs in the spring/summer next year to bring the two sections together again. My thinking is a one night camp with suitable activities to entertain the beavers and cubs in a similar way to what the Link camp does for the cubs and scouts.

I am looking to organise another district cub camp in 2018 and the wheels are already in motion to find somewhere to go.

I have had a meeting with Chris regarding the Link Camp and I think it’s OK for me to say that it’s going ahead and should prove to be a good experience for all involved.

It does seem that going in to a new term, some groups are struggling to get help. I have been asked along to Deben Valley to help out, which I am very happy to do when time permits but it would be great to see some form of district led promotion to get more people involved.

I have received invites from a couple of groups to go along and see them which I shall be taking up, plus I intend on dropping in on few more as the term progresses and my time allows. I am waiting for term programs to come through, but on the grapevine I have heard of some great activities taking place.

As we know, we are still in our centenary year. The district has taken part in the zoo takeover and legoland visit which were part of the celebrations and, as such we will be looking to participate in the big renewal of promises to be held on the 16th December. We have been invited to go to Sutton Hoo for this so that we can all gather under the big mask that features on our district badge when we renew our promise.

Thank you.

Glenn – ADC Cubs

Steve, ADC Camping & Activities:

Individual Permit holders are listed in the District Directory and can also be found using the search function on Compass. This is available to all Leaders. An overview of the number and type of Permits held in the District is as follows:

Nights Away

1 lightweight expedition

2 indoor

7 campsite

34 greenfield


1 climbing and abseiling artificial top rope supervisory

1 climbing and abseiling artificial top rope leadership

1 hillwalking – terrain 1 summer leadership

2 hillwalking – terrain 2 summer leadership

2 archery supervisory

7 archery leadership

Assessors can be found using the search function on Compass. This is available to all Leaders.

Anyone needing help with getting a Permit should be pointed to the “Pathways to Permits” on the County website which describes how to get assessed and the “Get a Permit” on the District website which describes what steps are involved in turning an assessment into a Permit.

Julie gave a brief summary of Water Activities:

The same applies to water activities regarding how to find Permit holders and Assessors. However, there are some Permit holders in the District who are under 18 years and they can’t be found on Compass. An overview of the number and type of Permits held in the District is as follows: 8 individuals holding 26 Permits, covering areas of canoeing, dinghy sailing, kayaking, power boating, pulling, motor cruising and rafting (traditional).

Buster, Air Rifles Co-ordinator

The main event for the Air rifle team is the air rifle competitions – We have got good numbers of teams booked in for both the Scout and Cub competitions (17/18th September respectively) but yet again the Explorer competition is struggling. As always when running the competition, we get a flurry of interest leading up to it, which can cause problems in terms of equipment, venue and instructor availability. In the past year we have run slightly fewer sessions than in previous years – but we have had different packs/troops booking sessions which is pleasing.

The current list of qualified instructors is:



Paul Grant

Jess Taylor

Clive Chambers

Glenn Knights

Dave Sanders

Since the air rifle instructor qualification is not covered by the scout permit scheme it is not specifically listed on compass – though I know that Stowmarket District ensure that it is added somewhere and it would probably make sense for us to do so also. It is something that would be very useful if it were to be included in the District Directory -along with instructions on how to book.

You will note that 3 of the instructors do not reside in the District which can make availability a problem. We did secure several places on a course in Norfolk to try to increase the number of instructors, but only had 3 people express an interest, and of those, only one (Paul Grant) actually attended which was disappointing.

In terms of equipment we have 8 rifles (though one is in need of repair) which is plenty for now, and for running indoor sessions we are covered, though it is worth considering whether splitting the kit into 2 separate locations in the District would be feasible so as to make it more accessible to all – the cost of transporting kit to and from Leiston can mean that the £30 charge no longer covers the cost of the session. I am reluctant to increase this charge for fear of putting people off using it as an activity, but we will need to look at this again at year end when all figures are available. What would be of use going forward would be a couple of good quality Gazebo’s (like Kesgrave use for camp kitchen), or possibly event shelters (not so good in the wind) for use on camps.

Ray, Local Training Manager

There were 9 Wood Badges awarded in 2015 and so far 4 have been awarded in 2016.

Status report:

  • 53 volunteers are currently awaiting appointment interviews. A number of these potential scouters have already begun their training in spite of not having been formally appointed and it would be very unfortunate if they did not obtain approval. These are distributed between the units as follows:
    • 1St Deben – 4, 1st Framlingham – 6, 1st Grundisburgh – 1, 1st Kesgrave – 13, 1st Leiston – 2, 1st Martlesham – 2, 1st Otley – 6, 1st Rendlesham – 4, 1st Saxmundham – 5, 1st Westerfield – 4, 1st Woodbridge – 1 and 5th Woodbridge – 5.
    • There are 9 Provisional Scouters within the district who have not completed their Modules 1 to 3 within the 5 month allocated period. GSL’s should please check Compass to see if this applies to any of their Scouters. I will be happy to help or support if required.
    • There is a similar situation with people training for their wood badge who are either over or very near to the 3 year period in which to complete the training. However, these need to be looked at more carefully as I believe that there may be a problem with some of the information relating to wood badge holders in Compass. This appears to affect some Scouters who have held wood badges for some time. GSL’s should please check to see if there is anyone in their unit who falls into this category.
    • Over 50 volunteers need to either take or renew module 10 first aid. There are spaces still available on the Training Academy 10 in October and I have written to Aubrey at county to see if it is possible to organise first aid courses specifically for the Deben district to help clear the backlog.
    • There will be a TA’s meeting some time in November to discuss any amendments to the training material.

Please remember to book for Training Academy 10.


Leader Shortage

The reports identified a pressing need within Groups, Units and Sections for more appointed trained Leaders due to appointment problems which are slowly being resolved.

It was discussed that SAS members are available to help with running evenings and can bring specific Scouting skills such as bicycle maintenance, knotting, etc. It was suggested that ADC Sections should refer Leaders to John, who can then identify the best SAS member to approach in each case

District Camp

A District Camp had previously been suggested for Summer 2017. However, the reports did not identify a need for one so it was agreed not to go ahead with this.

District Calendar

Date Activity
9th Sept SAS meeting
11th Sept 1st Aid course (Lowestoft)
17th Sept District Bewilderwood Visit (County)
17th Sept Scout Air Rifle Competition
18th Sept Cub Air Rifle Competition
24th Sept Mere Day (County)
TBC Link Cub/Scout Camp
2nd Oct Training Academy (County)
12th Oct ADC Beaver’s Leader Meeting
16th Dec Cub Promise Party (see HQ website)
February 2017 Youth Shaped Scouting Month (see HQ website)
TBA in 2017 Link Beaver/Cub Event
TBA in 2018 Cub Camp


None of the scheduled events above were at a stage where they needed to be discussed in detail at this meeting.


It was agreed that the next meeting should be held in November and that Julie will offer a range of dates by email and choose the one that suits most.