The Parish Church of St James
St. James's Road, Hampton Hill, TW12 1DQ (Parish Office 020 8941 6003)
The Parish Church of St James

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Sixty Years Young - 2008 August/September

Sixty years young

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It’s 60 years since the 3rd Hampton Hill (St. James) Scout Group was formed by Stan Childs and George Casey. Scouting itself had been going for 40 years by then. The Group met at the Parish Church Hall on the site of the Greenwood Centre, and did things like camping, pioneering and knotting.

In those 60 years 3HH has moved with the times. We now have our own HQ (The George Stanley Hall) at Holly Road, thanks to funding from the Hampton Fuel Allotment Trust and a great deal of work by the then Group Scout Leader John Nielsen (now Life President) and his team.

Nowadays we do lots of activities unheard of in 1948, but the main concepts of offering adventure and fun remain. Despite other distractions it’s never been more popular. Membership is the highest ever: 127 boys and girls, aged between six and 14, in two Beaver Scout Colonies and two Cub Scout Packs, and a Scout Troop that is 40-strong. There are also 22 adults (leaders, assistants, helpers and Executive Members) who run the Group. 3HH has strong links with, and feeds into, an Explorer Scout Unit which currently numbers 15.

I’ve been involved with 3HH for eight years and seen the fantastic opportunities offered to young people by the brilliant and committed leadership team headed by Richard Moody, the Group Scout Leader.

My son, Alexander, started at six in Beavers (now run by Jane Riggs). He was able to let off steam, have fun, make friends with other children, and earn lots of badges (thoroughly living up to the Beaver Motto of ‘Fun and Friends’). At eight, he went up to Cubs, now run by Wend Williamson and Jon Holloway. He loved the competitions, like the Ian Goddard Challenge where he had to rush round Richmond Park. It seemed quite a jump at first from cubs to scouts - for me more than him. He had not long turned ten.

It can’t have been more than a couple of weeks after that, that the Friday evening challenge proved a bit more exciting than planned. They had to go out in patrols into Bushy Park and do orienteering. It was dusk and a bit chilly, so the six of them, all with their hoodies up, sauntered into Bushy Park. 'This policeman stopped us and asked what we were doing!' he told me later. Fortunately his patrol leader explained and unzipped his hoodie to show his 3HH uniform, and the PC wished them well. Since then I’ve signed countless consent forms for activities including: knee-boarding (water-skiing on your knees); caving; flying; rowing; kayaking; and skating.

Lead by Paul Fitchett, Simon Riggs, Mark Hamilton and John Williamson, 3HH take part in the District and County Scout competitions, and are successful at swimming; athletics; football; volleyball; night hikes and day prowls; cooking; and water rockets. There’s keen (but friendly) rivalry between the various Richmond upon Thames District Scout Groups, but 3HH’s trophy cabinet is usually full! 3HH have two favourites: shooting and camping, and do a lot of both. Every year Paul Fitchett and Simon Flowers run a National Smallbore Rifle Association Youth Proficiency Course. Those scouts go on to compete in local competitions. They also compete at the National Scouts Air Rifle Championships at Bisley.
Over the past few years four of our scouts have been invited to join the National Scout Shooting Squad. Two of those have gone on to join the junior Great Britain Squads, and one is a possible for the 2012 Olympics! As for camping, this adventure starts indoors when you’re six at a Beavers’ Sleepover. Cubs go away for a few days, sleeping outside in a tent. Scouts go under canvas for a week come rain or shine - in the case of this year’s Easter camp, six inches of snow in Kent! By the time you’re Alexander’s age, 13, and you’ve done 50+ nights away camping, the challenges change. He’s now a patrol leader.

Life in 3HH is what you make it really. You can just turn up to the weekly meetings and have a good time, or you can jump at the many other opportunities. Alexander has performed at the O2 Arena; he’s had media training and been interviewed on TV about scouting; and he’s in the National Scout Shooting Squad. He’ll be leaving at Christmas (and hopefully moving up to Explorers), but like so many others before him at 3HH, I think he’ll be back to help, perhaps as a young leader.

I’d like to thank all the people who have worked so hard for 3HH since its inception, all of it voluntary. We’re always in need of more adults to help with the Group - come and join the adventure - 3HH is the Group to join! See their website.

Source: Sheila Lloyd (Parent and member of the 3HH Scout Group Executive Committee) The Spire Magazine - 2008 August/September

Further Information
Associated pages on this website Associated pages on this website:
3rd Hampton Hill Scouts

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