Section Leaders

Hilary Crofton

Hilary Crofton

Joint Group Scout Leader

I became a Leader at 1st Sunningdale in 2005 when my youngest was in Beavers. The Colony was under threat of closure because there wasn’t anyone to run it.
I had been a Queen’s Guide when I was growing up and thoroughly enjoyed camping and outdoor activities. Hard to believe nowadays, but the camping permit I had as a 14-year-old Patrol Leader allowed me to do more than my Leader’s camping permit does today! I had such a great time being a Guide, that I wanted all my children to have the same experience.
Fifteen years later I’m still here, having moved to Cubs and taken on the role of Joint Group Scout Leader with James. I love everything Scouting offers Young People and believe it’s just as relevant and important today as it has always been – probably even more so.
We have a great team of Leaders at 1st Sunningdale, helping provide fantastic opportunities for everyone involved. I’m extremely proud of everything we achieve together.

James Wood

James Wood

Joint Group Scout Leader

I’ve been a Scout Leader for over 16 years, joining 1st Sunningdale in 2015. Why did I join? Having been a Cub, Scout and Venture Scout when young, I knew the problem with Scouting is not the young people not wanting to take part but the lack of Adults willing to volunteer their time to run the meetings, and I promised my eldest child that I would be their scout leader when they became a scout. I now have all three kids in 1st Sunningdale, enjoying all the activities that the sections are providing.
I, like the scouts, enjoy walks with a purpose – a Hike, with the purpose being “eat chips”, burning stuff, cooking outdoors and camping. Our annual trips to Wintercamp and participating in JOTI/JOTA allow the Young People to meet others from around the globe who are also in the worldwide family of Scouting. I can highly recommend joining us on a camp or two, where the adults sit around the campfire enjoying a cheeky medium rare steak and baked camembert in a sourdough loaf – once the little cherubs are tucked up safe in their tents – not asleep, they don’t get to sleep until about 4am on camp, but tucked up in their tents at least.
For the last couple of years I have been Joint Group Scout Leader with Hilary, working with all the sections and the committee to provide the best experiences for all involved with 1st Sunningdale, Young People, Leaders and adult volunteers alike.


Christian Leigh

Christian Leigh

Leader, Explorers

I’ve been part of 1st Sunningdale since 2010, when one of my sons joined Beavers. When an existing Leader left I saw that help was going to be needed to keep Beavers running and so I volunteered. I was never a Scout when younger but it wasn’t a difficult choice – it was obvious the Beavers and the Leaders were all having so much fun that I didn’t want to miss out! And the enjoyment of being a Leader has carried on since then. I get to do new things with a great team of other Leaders, and the break from work and seeing how we help the young people learn and have new experiences is well worth the effort I put in.
I changed to be a Cub Leader for a while and now I’m an Explorer Leader, which I helped set up as 1st Sunningdale didn’t have that Section. Since Explorers started in 2018 we have gone from 4 boys to over 20 boys and girls, and are now one of the largest and most active in the area. I’ve always been an outdoor person and I like to take the Explorers on trips they might not have an opportunity to do. I’ve been trained through the Scout Association as a mountain leader and to supervise remote expeditions, and so our trips have included wild camps on beaches and in the mountains, overnight sea kayaking expeditions, caving, hammock camps, and cliff climbs, to name just a few. And as I get to do all this with a great group Leaders and Explorers – many of whom have come all the way up from being Beavers – I’m still having fun!


Elaine Newall

Elaine Newall

Leader, Beavers

I have been a Beaver Leader for over 5 years. This was not really on my agenda as life was already busy enough. The section was due to close and this would have meant my youngest child would not have been able to be part of the scouting organisation. My older son had already had lots of fun in Beavers and was enjoying Cubs and the fantastic experiences they had on offer. I now have a Scout and an Explorer and can’t speak highly enough of all the opportunities that they have had and continue to have. I have stayed with the Beaver section and throw myself into all the outdoor, messy, noisy fun that we have every week.

Sarah Targett

Sarah Targett

Leader, Cubs

I have been a Leader at 1st Sunningdale since 2016, starting initially with Beavers and then moving up to Cubs. In those years I’ve had a lot of fun and enjoyment working with both sections experiencing an amazing range of activities. Both my daughter and son have enjoyed Scouting with 1st Sunningdale.
When I first joined, the Beaver section was under threat of closure. I would not have thought of myself as leader material, but I really wanted my children to experience all that Scouting had to offer so I thought I’d give it a go. It is an opportunity that I’m glad I took. I was offered training and support to take on the role and soon came to realise that I was part of a team and that I thrived on all the energy and enthusiasm the Young People bought to the activities.

Johnnie Shannon

Johnnie Shannon

Section Assistant, Explorers

I got a lot out of Scouts when I was a youngster and really appreciated the time and effort the leaders put in. When my youngest reached 6 years old in 2020, I thought now was the time to put something back (and beat the waiting list at the same time :-). Getting set up as a Section Assistant was pretty straightforward; a few online training courses and DBS check. It’s been great being with Explorers; planning challenging outdoor exercises; wild camping and experiencing some truly magnificent/horrifyingly large camp fires. It’s been a real pleasure to get to know the other leaders and to work with the young adults in Explorers.


Jenny Lynch

Section Assistant, Beavers

I am excited to be joining the Beavers as a Section Assistant! Growing up I had some fantastic opportunities and experiences as a Brownie and Guide. I was fortunate enough to have some inspirational leaders who I still remember today. From campfires and raft building to cake baking and first aid, having fun whilst getting some skills for life was formative for me. It’s my chance to give something back now and I’m sure my two children will get as much out scouting as I did

Charlie Brewer

Charlie Brewer

Assistant Leader, Beavers

I became a Beaver Leader 4 years ago when our eldest joined Beavers. It was great to see him grow in confidence and for us as a family to be involved in numerous events. We now have a Cub and a Beaver and in a few years our youngest (a girl!) will join in too. We love the range of opportunities the kids are given access to: outdoor education, life skills and the brilliant camaraderie.

Andrew Hill

Andrew Hill

Section Assistant, Beavers

I joined as a Section Assistant in the spring of 2021 following my son having joined Beavers. Having never gone through Scouts as a child I was rather unaware of what the experience of Beavers / Cubs / Scouts is like but it was evident from very quickly after my son joined that he got so much from it with the activities and the friends he was making. I wanted to help out if I could and share in the great experiences that my son was having. It has been excellent to see the enthusiasm that the children in Beavers have for their weekly sessions and it is wonderful to see their skills and confidence grow..