Well, hopefully it is, anyway – it would be nice if Winter Challenge can go ahead at the second attempt. But there are definitely signs of growth across the District: the results of the annual census are in, and we’re up to 1147 young people, a huge 9.9% growth on last year. That’s a fantastic reflection on the efforts you have all put in to provide a great programme and to offer Scouting to more and more young people – thank you!
The growth doesn’t stop there though: even as we finished counting, a new Beaver Colony opened at Great Western Park, with a Cub pack to follow after Easter. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all the new leaders there and everywhere else in the District in advance – yes it is a bit daunting at first, but also very rewarding.
Looking ahead, the cut off for the County Awards Day is only a week away. The day is the County’s annual celebration of young people who have achieved the top awards in their sections and is a great day out for them and their families. Please make sure you’ve nominated all your young people by the deadline of March 16th, using the form at https://www.oxonscouting.org.uk/youth-programme/awards.
Also coming up fast is the District St George’s Day celebration – I hope to see you all at Rye Farm Meadow for an afternoon of fun and activities, followed by our Promise Renewal. You can read more about the event – and the challenges to be attempted along the way – on our District website at https://www.thamesridgescouts.org.uk/diary/st-georges-day/. If you haven’t already, please make sure your Section/Group/Unit has signed up for the event so we can make sure we have enough activities to go around. We do also need a few more people to help supervise the activities; I know most Leaders will be busy with their sections so this could be a really good opportunity for Training Advisers, Executive Committee members to come and join in.