Introducing Essex’s new Transformation Lead

As we drive forward our Skills for Life Strategy through to 2025, the Scouts are embarking on a positive and engaging period of change.  We want to continue offering high quality, safe and engaging programmes to our 16,000+ young people.
In doing that, we must continue to be a vibrant, forward-thinking movement, adapting to the needs of our ever changing society.  We want to reach more young people, be more diverse and make it easier than ever to volunteer for Scouts in Essex.
To achieve our strategy, Team Essex are excited to announce James Hopkins as our new Transformation Lead!
In the new role, James is responsible for leading, planning and implementing the Skills for Life strategy in Essex and will be building a transformation team during Summer 2022 to make this happen.  With a professional background in change and project management, and prior experience in Scouting as a leader, GSL and DC, James is looking forward to working with the thousands of adult volunteers we have in Essex to make Scouting locally even better.
Our new transformation team will work alongside our existing structures – so we can continue great Scouting whilst starting to deliver one of our key aims – to improve the volunteer experience – so that we can attract and retain more volunteers.
Within this, there are four identified key areas to focus on as a start:
– A warmer welcome for everyone
– Simplifying how we volunteer together
– Digital transformation: more support to help get everyday things done
– A more engaging learning experience
There is more that can be done to improve things further – like better rewards and recognition – but we can’t change everything at once.  This is a three year programme delivered in bitesize chunks.
More information will be shared from Autumn 2022 onwards.  If you have any questions at any point about the transformation programme, please email
2022-05-19T10:29:07+01:00May 19th, 2022|

First Silver Wolf for the 5th Saffron Walden Scout Group

Sunday 24 April was a special day. The founder of the 5th Saffron Walden Scout Group and all round amazing Scouter, Neville Wilson was awarded Scouting’s highest honour, the Silver Wolf, at the District Renewal of the Promise event in Great Chesterford.
The award was presented by District Commissioner, Nigel Bailey, in front of a large crowd including Neville’s family and a very proud great grandson and Cub, Aiden.
The Group is hugely proud of Neville and the legacy he has grown in the 5ths over more than 60 years and we are proud to make him our very first Honorary Group President!
The award reflects not just the incredible longevity of Neville’s service to Scouting but the unique way in which he has contributed.
Neil Potrill, a former Scout and Leader under Neville, as well as his DC later states, “Neville has influenced, even changed, literally 1000s of young lives, including those of longstanding Scouters of Group, District and County level. Yes, Scouting provided the framework but it was Neville’s interpretation and deployment of the Scouting values over 60 years which has made the difference. You could say he has provided a life pathway and values for society, even when individuals leave Scouting itself.”
It’s testament to him that all he wanted to talk about at the event was how the sections and the leaders were doing – not his award. A truly selfless, generous and wonderful human being. Congratulations Neville!
2022-05-13T10:42:12+01:00May 11th, 2022|

Birthday Badge Design Winner

On 1st April 1986 Beavers officially became part of the Scouts Association.  To celebrate the 35th Birthday, Saffron Walden District held a “designed a commemorative badge” competition.  Members of the 1st Virtual Scout Group were asked to vote for their favourite.  The winner was from a member of Chesterford Beaver Colony, seen here with his winning entry.  His design will be made up and a badge will be given to all the Beavers in the District.

2022-03-23T18:40:12+00:00April 14th, 2021|

Incas Reach 1 Year Online!

We’ve all had different experiences of Scouting over the last year, here is an update from just one group on how they have been keeping on Scouting….

20 March 2020 the 5th Saffron Walden Inca Cub pack took on the challenge to start meeting virtually just 2 days after we were told face to face scouting was no longer permitted. Roll on 1 year and on 19 March 2021 we celebrated 12 months online scouting!

The year has seen highlights including multiple virtual sleepovers, cooking, quizzes, fires, virtual church tour, coding, navigation, pioneering, environmental conservation, Diwali, MP visit for UK Parliament Week, Communicator, Science, Panto, Magician, Bake off, Taekwon-do, Geocaching, CSI, Police visit, first aid and much more! We also embraced the return to F2F scouting with a bike ride, a blended Mission Control manhunt evening, glow in the dark football and more!

The leaders are tremendously proud of the Cubs and the way they embraced the opportunities they were presented with. As GSL I’m massively proud of the leaders, stepping up to be amongst the first in the country to get online!

Can’t wait to get back face to face now!!

Take a look at the whole year of their online adventures here: View 1 Year of the Incas Online PDF

2022-03-24T14:57:59+00:00March 26th, 2021|

Saffron Walden District Virtual Camp (with added gameshow!)

The weekend of 3-5 Jul saw the biggest scout camp the Saffron Walden District has ever seen. W.I.L.D. (Walden In LockDown) brought 300 young people and leaders together from 8 scout groups and 3 explorer units from the district.

As we’ve all experienced, face to face Scouting in the UK was halted in mid-March as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then Saffron Walden District has adapted to virtual scouting, continuing to use traditional skills and learning new ones whilst in lockdown.

WILD was an opportunity for the Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorers to get back to some outdoor and traditional Scout skills including: Whittling, Raft building, Fire Lighting, Catapult building as well as new, fun and more modern skills such as: Computer programming (provided free by The Codezone), Drumming, Karate, Magic, Matchstick rockets, Remote Controlled Robots (from 200 miles away!), Musical Theatre, Armpit Fudge and pizza making (cooked in a cardboard box oven!)

The weekend kicked off with a fantastic opening ceremony and game show inspired by ITV’s Saturday Night Takeaway all hosted online by the amazing Helen of Newport Scout Group and Rory of Thaxted-Carver. The show involved going live to the houses of Scouts to participate in games in order to win tickets on a minibus for a surprise trip. It was also an opportunity to make fun of the leaders who participated in pre-recorded games – two of whom ended up with their heads in buckets of beans and custard!

Each morning started with Get up and Go! A 30 minute exercise session hosted by our friends at Bear Walden gym and ended with a bedtime story for the younger sections or a TikTok challenge for the older ones. We maintained tradition singing along to the campfire on Saturday night and Sunday saw a hike around the locale before a final disco and closing ceremony.

232 Young people experienced a selection of 20 different activities over 50+ Zoom sessions from Friday to Sunday. Everyone camped out in gardens or dens of their own making despite the excessive winds.

“I’m immensely proud of the virtual camp organised by our leaders.” said District Commissioner, Mark Benfold, “With over two hundred young people and their families involved taking part, the leaders have delivered a truly memorable event in the true spirit of Scouting”

Scouting is alive and well in Saffron Walden District – COVID won’t keep us down!

Quotes from participants:

After giggling all evening and relaxing to the bed time story Lauren, 5th Saffron Beaver, suddenly looked sad, “What’s wrong” Lauren: “I was just imagining life without Beavers.”

“We’ve had a fabulous, fun-filled weekend. Thank you! Have collected branches to make a giant tripod catapult too!” Newport Cub

“This is the best camp ever” Euan, 5th Saffron Walden Cubs

“This is even more fun than I imagined” Chloe, 5th Saffron Scouts.

“Favourite part, Friday night takeaway! It was hilarious watching the leaders make fun of themselves!” Kieran A

‘I thought wild jam was an incredible experience even though we had to do all of it on zoom calls. My favourite classes were fire lighting and the robots as I like how creative you could be. Thanks for a great weekend!’ 5th Saffron Scouts

‘I thought it was really fun because I liked doing the robots and in thought it was intrigued that you can really cook a pizza in a cardboard box! Thanks for a great weekend!’

“I thought the whole camp was amazing. But my favourite part of the camp was whittling and i also liked the karate, drumming and digital citizens. it was really fun” Elizabeth, 1st Clavering

2020-07-21T13:36:19+01:00July 21st, 2020|

UPDATE 28th May! He’s Done It!!! 42 Marathons in 42 Days!

UPDATE: MAY 28th 2020

HE’S DONE IT!!! Stephen has completed his challenge on the 27th May and even went on further, adding a further 8.1 miles with an additional 42kg on his back!

We’d like to say a huge WELL DONE and THANK YOU, from all of us at Essex Scouts. You can read the press report of Stepehens exploits: HERE

He has now raised more than £5,000 for the NHS Charities, his page is still open for donations too. Also a big thank you to all who have supported Stephen, to all of the Socuts who made posters and kept morale high as he completed his mammoth challenge!


Original news item below:

Thaxted Scout Leader, Stephen Johnson, is putting his best feet forward as he attempts to run, jog and walk 42 marathons in 42 day…. all in his back garden!

Stephen wanted to do something to express his gratitude to the wonderful NHS and decided to put himself through the agony of this immense challenge of running a four nations marathon challenge of 1,110 miles. He’ll attempt to run 42 marathons in 42 days and on the 43rd day run an extra (as if 42 marathons wasn’t enough!) 9.6 miles making the total distance up to 1,110. He is well on his way to raising his target of £3,000 by completing 727.5 laps of his garden each day, needing to complete 30,824 laps to complete the challenge!

Serving soldier Stephen said: “I am not a natural born runner, nor am I the fittest person…. but I do have the determination to complete a task towards a great cause!! I have run a couple of marathons in the past but I have never completed a challenge like this before.2

“I plan on running/ jogging and walking with this huge task in my back garden because this great country is tackling this horrible virus together and I would like to show that with this country being united, we can win by helping our NHS. ”

We wish Stephen the very best of luck and hope he doesn’t get too many blisters on the way, an inspiring way to support the national effort.

Please show your support by making a donation on Stephens Just Giving page here, every penny really does count.

2020-05-30T22:57:31+01:00May 28th, 2020|

How can you get involved with the High Sheriff’s Litter Pick?

Want to know how you can approach the litter pick? Thinking about why you should include the event in your busy programme? Want to know how to claim your free limited edition badges?

Essex Scouts have the pleasure of bringing to you some simple guidelines and information about the amazing upcoming litter pick.

Download the brochure here Essex Scouts Litter pick Guide

Don’t forget to let us know how you are getting involved.

2020-03-16T21:51:01+00:00March 1st, 2020|

Caving Badge Course Dates for 2018

Essex County Scout Caving Team (ECSCT) have now finalised our badge course dates for 2018.

  • June badge course 29th, 30th June- 1st July
  • October badge course 5th- 7th October
  • November overflow course 9th- 11th November

Visit to see photographs from last year’s trips.

The application pack with full details is available on our website, direct download (pdf) here:

Come on a trip, or ask us about providing the activity as part of your camp (in a caving area), or teaching rope work as part of one of your troop nights!

Book early to avoid disappointment!

2018-01-01T18:35:03+00:00December 14th, 2017|


Essex Scouts looks forward to welcoming 1600 Cub Scouts and their leaders to Mega Camp 2018. Coming to Skreens Park Activity Centre 8th-10th June 2018, with a spectacular Medieval theme, this event is definitely not one to miss!

So, save the date and keep an ear our for more information coming soon!

2017-06-24T11:22:22+01:00June 24th, 2017|

Beaver Funday Registration Reminder!

As you are planning your Summer  programme, don’t forget Beaver Funday 2017! Held at Skreens Park Activity Centre on Saturday 10th June, Funday offers a day full of opportunities for Beaver Scouts to try out new and exciting activities and craft. There will be the added bonus of meeting some unusual creatures.

The event costs just;

£15 per Beaver, £10 Cubs / Scouts (Leaders children) & 3 – 6 year olds, under 3’s free with accompanying leader/helper.

A piratetastic day planned by the Counties Beaver Scout team, is certain to offer Beaver Scouts Fun, Adventure and the opportunity to make new friends.

To register your groups interest please complete the online booking form  (here) and pay just a £10.00 deposit!

We can’t wait to hear from you soon, and look forward to meeting you all at Beaver Funday 2017.

2017-03-07T19:09:29+00:00March 7th, 2017|