Growth Success Stories

Sharing and celebrating Berkshire Scouts' new provision for Scouting and some of the great ideas from people who tried something new and succeeded!


Click on a link below to find out more about, just some of, the successful new provsion projects Berkshire Scouts has achieved.


New Scout Group in Chalvey, Slough.

In October 2015 a project began to open a new Scout Group in Chalvey, Slough. By September 2016, a brand new Beaver Colony and Cub Pack were up and running.
Here is the journey...

New Scout Group on The Parks, Bracknell.

In May 2015 a project began to open a new Scout Group on The Parks, a new housing estate in Bracknell. By December, a brand new Beaver Colony and Cub Pack were up and running.

Here is the journey...

Warfield Scout Troop: Scouts on loan!

Case Study date – September 2016 

1st Warfield, just outside of Bracknell, was successfully delivering the everyday adventure of Scouting to Beavers (age 6-8) and Cubs (age 8-10½). However, older children wanted to join and the older Cubs were in need of a Scout Troop (age 10½-14) to move up to. The Group came up with a cunning plan to achieve this!

What was the issue? – No Scout Troop for children age 10½ to move up to from Cubs.

What resources did they have? – A small number of Scout age children and a volunteer Scout Leaders.

What did they do? – 1st Warfield is very close to another Group called 2nd Bracknell. This is a large and well established Group with two Scout Troops and an experienced team of Leaders. It was agreed that the Scout age children and volunteer Leaders from Warfield could attend one of the 2nd Bracknell Troops for one school term. This gave the children that chance get to grips with the way Troops work and for the Leader to learn how to run a Troop from those already doing it! After the term finished they returned to Warfield to set up their own Troop, knowing there was support from 2nd Bracknell if needed. Two Leaders also visited another local Group, 1st Ascot, where they got an idea of how a Troop is run and shared ideas and information.
Steve Dark, Cub Leader; ‘When we primed the Cubs for what was going to happen, I set them the remit to go off to another Scout Troop to find out how it worked and what we would need to do to create a Scout Troop.  They seemed to take this responsibility very seriously, and have fed back to the leadership team here what they learnt during their term with another group.’  

What worked well? -  Warfield children and the Leaders could benefit from the knowledge and experience of those at 2nd Bracknell and 1st Ascot. A strong relationship was established between the two Groups. Pressure was taken off Warfield.

What was achieved? – Warfield now has a successful and fully operational Scout Troop. This meaning they can offer Scouting to children age 5¾ to 14. See them in action here.

Purley & Pangbourne Scout Troop: Three Is a Magic Number!           

Case Study date – January 2017                 

1st Purley & Pangbourne, just west of Reading, is a large and active Group who already had two Scout Troops (age 10½-14). However, with a bumper impending influx of Cubs, and children on the waiting list, the Group needed to open a third Troop to accommodate them all.

What was the issue? – Not enough space in the existing two Scout Troops for the expected number of children from Cubs and children from the waiting list.

What resources did they have? – A well-established Group with a strong leadership team and a great venue.

What did they do? – The Group invited older Cubs and children on the Scout waiting list to participate in a series of taster sessions. The session were run by existing volunteers in the Group as well as a new Scout Leader who was able to learn about the role during the sessions.    The sessions featured varying activities to showcase the range of activities Scouts offers. By the end of the series of sessions there was an established core of regularly attending children, a competent Scout Leader and a Leader from Beavers who had decided to help out too. On the last session parents were invited to see the activities in action and find out about how they could help support the new Troop.                           

What worked well? -  The older Cubs and children on the waiting list were able to try out Scouts and decide if it was for them. The sessions allowed Leaders to establish their leadership skills and responsibilities and decide their level of involvement. Parents were kept informed and made aware of the support required to open a sustainable Troop.    

What was achieved? – 1st Purley & Pangbourne opened its third Scout Troop in January 2017. The Group can now accommodate all expected Cubs and has taken on children from the waiting list who previously were unable to join the Group.

Growth Champions: Lessons from Over the Border.

Case Study date – January 2017 

Basingstoke West, a District in Hampshire, has been advertising for Growth Champions for Groups to help recruit more adult volunteers to Scouting.

What was the issue? – The existing volunteers in Groups often don’t have the capacity to take on adult recruitment as well as their existing roles. As such, there is little time for recruitment drives or for properly supporting a new volunteers.

What resources did they have?  The support of the County Development Team, and in particular the County Development Officer. Those groups who were open to the idea, shared the role pack explaining the role of Growth Champion.  Each Growth Champion was also given a box of useful resources funded by the District.

What did they do? – Decided upon the key responsibilities of the Growth Champion including; working with the Group Exec to focus on recruitment, be the point of contact for recruitment resources, support adults in the Group to achieve growth and update and implement the Group development plan. Shared the role profile in the District for Groups to recruit.

What worked well? -  It brought Groups together and allowed for waiting list coordinators at each Group to share ideas, experiences and work towards a more efficient and effective way of managing waiting lists.

What was achieved? – The District has recruited three Growth Champions with a further get together in early February to recruit more. The waiting lists are managed more efficiently in those Groups with Growth Champions and children wanting to join are offered places sooner.  

   Growing Scouting in Aldermaston

Where is Aldermaston?
Aldermaston is a rural village in West Berkshire with a parish population of just over 1000. 

What was the aim of the project?
To provide Scouting where no provision previously existed and reduce waiting lists in surrounding Groups.
How did the project begin?
The project had the backing of the village school from the start. This gave the opportunity to get the community behind the project. The Local Development Officer (LDO) held an assembly at the school to drum up interest and promote a taster session. The session was well attended with over 40 children and their parents attending.
What difficulties were faced during the project?
Although the Headmaster of the school was hugely supportive of the project he was unable to offer the school as the venue. The village hall was also not available for the time and day we needed to run the future sections. We struggled to find an appropriate available location which held us back starting the group.
What was learned as a result?
Ask the community! The local parents had the best knowledge of alternative venues, they helped suggest options and a venue was found for the group.
What were the achievements?
There were enough children at the taster session to set up a Beaver Colony and a Cub pack together. Six parents agreed to help as Leaders. A follow up meeting confirmed two Beaver Leaders, two Cub Leaders, a Group Leader and some finance and admin support. The group launched a short while later.

New Beaver Colony at 1st Warfield   

Where is 1st Warfield?
In the North Bracknell ward of Warfield. The group is currently located at the Whitegrove Youth Centre next to the Bracknell North Tesco Superstore.
What was the aim of the project?
The original Beaver Colony had all reached Cub age and most of the adults had moved up with them. The new Colony was set up to ensure continued Scouting provision for 6-8 year olds in the area.
How did the project begin?
With the District team's efforts and enthusiasm behind the project a school assembly and taster session were organised within just two weeks. The taster session was well attended with over 30 young people joining us. From the parents of interested children the District and Local Development Officer (LDO) were able to recruit a team of volunteers who could work together, meaning no one person had all the jobs or responsibility.

What was learned as a result?
With the full support of a District team, projects are able to move quickly and successfully.
What were the achievements?
At the time of opening - 18 more young people in scouting and 6 new adult volunteers.  
The adult volunteers all share the leadership which is a perfect example of flexible volunteering and sharing the load. They take in turns in leading the weekly activities and administrative tasks.

   Growing Scouting at Central Windsor

Where is Central Windsor?
Located in the middle of Windsor, a town situated at the east end of Berkshire below Slough with a population about 27000.
What was the aim of the project?
To set up a second Cub Pack to support the second Beaver Colony. The new colony was also intended to reduce a growing waiting list in the area.        
How did the project begin?
Following the identification of the need for a new section the Group Leader arranged a meeting with local stakeholders, parents of waiting lists and existing members to get together to talk about a new Cub pack. This targeted approach was different to holding a taster session as everyone present was personally invited. There was no need to find a venue as the group has their own hut.
What was learned as a result?
The hard work of the GSL to identify and personally ask people ensured that the right people were found to start the new Colony. This in turn ensured that the project was set up with little difficulty. This project highlighted the value of having a strong local support and mentoring team for new volunteers.        
What were the achievements?
At the time of set up - 18 more young people in Scouting and 6 new adult volunteers. 
The adult volunteers all share the leadership which is a perfect example of flexible volunteering and sharing the load.

New Scout Troop in Caversham   

Where is Caversham?
Caversham is a town within Reading Borough located north of The River Thames.
What was the aim of the project?
To provide scouting to 10-14 year olds on Scout waiting lists and create provision in the South of Caversham.
What was the process?
The District team approached the Local Development Officer (LDO) having identified the high demand for a Scout Troop. Some local Groups did not have Scout Troops and those that did where full with long waiting lists.
A team was created consisting of existing volunteers from within affected Groups and sources from external advertising. With a solid team, ready to support, the LDO ran assemblies at nearby school, contacted local associations and circulated flyers advertising an open evening. There was a great turnout consisting entirely of young people from the Cubs section of nearby Groups. The ADC Scouts facilitated a programme planning meeting and assisted the Troop in programme administration.
Were there any challenges faced during the project?
The Group had previously attempted to start up a Scout Troop themselves which, unfortunately, had closed. This had a considerable effect on their confidence in opening a new Troop despite understanding the demand. However as more leaders were identified and the process continued, their confidence grew.
Finishing comments
Identifying Leaders at an early stage was key in the Troop’s success. It mean that support for promotion and events was guaranteed. It was also clear that, for Scout age children, school assemblies were not effective in promoting taster sessions. It was important to have a waiting list from the existing and nearby Groups so they could be invited to the taster. The ADC Scouts was also essential to act as support and guidance for both programme planning and delivery. 

   Growing Scouting in Greenham

Where is Greenham?
Greenham is a Southern Parish of Newbury and stretches from the River Kennet to the Enbourne River.
What was the aim of the project?
To open a new Scout Troop, offering provision to local 10-14 years olds including those approaching Scout age in the Cub Pack.
What was the process?
The District approached the Local Development Officer (LDO) having identified the need for the new Troop with 9 young people already waiting to join. The LDO was assigned to help find volunteer Leaders and search for a longer-term venue as the present one was proving unsuitable for some of the deaf young people.
An Assistant Scout Leader had already been identified and they were supported by Leaders recruited from within the Group and from external advertisement done by the LDO. The ADC Scouts proved essential in providing the medium term support for programme and administration.
The LDO was able to use office time during the day to research and secure a more appropriate long term venue. The Troop opened successfully in a temporary venue and moved into the more suitable venue just two months later.
Were there any challenges faced during the project?
The major challenge was the identification of a longer-term location. This became a more urgent need that initially expected due to the present hall being unsuitable for the deaf Scouts.
Finishing comments
Group ownership of the project showed that a Troop can be setup very quickly when needed. External adverts and the LDO time during the day were essential in finding more Leaders and a long term location, ultimately making this a more sustainable Scout Troop and Group. 

New Scout Troop and Explorer Unit in Theale and Calcot   

Where are Theale and Calcot?
Theale is a small village based just West of Junction 12 of the M4 and Calcot is a suburb just to the East. The new Troop and Unit are based in Theale.
What was the aim of the project?
Theale and Calcot were an already thriving Group. The aim was to create additional Scouting provision for 10-14 year olds (Scouts) and 14-18 year olds (Explorers) in Theale. The existing Scout Troop was full so by opening a new one it was hoped capacity would be created to take on the existing waiting list.
What was the process?
The Group approached the Local Development Officer (LDO) about opening up a new Troop. They had already identified the need and had a potential leadership team at the ready. The LDO facilitated and supported the Group to open the new Troop to a great opening night turnout. 

During this time the Group Scout Leader identified the need for an Explorer Unit based on existing Scouts membership ages and interest from the local school. The LDO did promotion with the local school and identified potential locations for the Unit as well as using volunteering websites to attract volunteer Leaders.
Were there any challenges faced during the project?
There were very few challenges faced with the Scout Troop. There was initial discussion with the existing Group to justify the need for a second Troop but this was handled on a Group level.

With the Explorer Unit, the greatest challenge was the relationship with the school as it took time to identify the appropriate contact. There was also a great deal of effort needed to identify a location as Theale is a small village but with a thriving community life, thus leaving very few available options.
Finishing comments
The Group maintained excellent communication with its memberships allowing for a good sense of ownership of the new Troop. This meant support was in place to open the new provision swiftly and sustainably. Whilst the Explorer Unit was opened successfully it was identified that, in similar future projects, more support from District/County is needed.


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