Explorers Report 2021

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Another year for the Explorers that has been hit by Covid. During the lockdowns we joined in with the Group online sessions – who will forget the Taskmaster challenges we filmed, with the ‘Guess the number of objects down the trousers’ a particular favourite! We also helped with the virtual Winter camp flag-grab around Sunningdale, and the online Survival Camp.

When we were allowed to get back together in person the Explorers did so with enthusiasm – after the second lockdown period we met up at Earleywood, and they let off energy with three of the biggest fires that Earleywood has probably ever seen. And this was a great welcome (we think) for our new Section Assistant Johnnie, who joined us this year and is now part of the leadership team.

With more sessions allowed as the year progressed, we had a lot of outdoor activities, including navigation hikes on Chobham Common and were the first ones to enjoy the new go karts. We also tried making our own karts out of old bike parts and junk, trying them out down Sandy Lane.

We had plans for a sailing trip away in the summer, but that was scuppered by Covid too. However, the rules relaxed enough at the end of summer term to allow us to have a weekend hammock camp. We got through rain and hot sun with a great time cooking on fires and swinging in the trees, with a pioneering building challenge on a river too (and a swim for some).

Late summer we then got in another camp – this time a hike in the Black Mountains of Wales, with a wild camp up the top of the mountains away from any formal campsite. The Explorers enjoyed the remote night up the hills, under the starry sky.

Progress on some of the badges has been slowed by Covid, but we concentrate on getting Explorers their Chief Scout Awards and this year managed another Platinum and a Diamond Award.

We have new Explorers joining us this term, who have come up from the younger sections, and we carry on getting new Explorers joining us from outside 1 st Sunningdale. We also saw our first Explorers leave: at the age of 18 they go off to become Network. As Network Scouts they can continue in Scouting as they go off to university or jobs, and one of our Network Scouts is progressing well towards his Queens Scout Award.

It was both sad and happy to see those Explorers leave – they included some who first joined 1st Sunningdale aged 5 as Beavers and have been with us all that time, and were our first Explorers when we set up a few years ago. They said very kind words to all the Leaders about how much they enjoyed Scouting from those early days. We look forward to helping all the current – and future – Explorers with their continued Scouting adventures.