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Once again, we’ve had our annual census and I was very pleased to discover that our numbers have yet again increased. Our youth membership is now up to 4971 (and increase of 7%) with over half the Scout Groups in the County growing in size. Two have even doubled in number. We’re almost at our pre-Covid size.

All thanks to exciting programmes being offered week after week by our dedicated adult members. 

Very well done everyone! 


Our adult volunteers have also grown in number by nearly 7% too, however, we need even more! In this County, we currently have 1122 young people on waiting lists, waiting to join the fun and gain Skills for Life. With more adults we can do that – it’s Good for You, and good for our young people.

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With the Scout HQ Census details released, it's amazing to see the biggest growth in 80 years! We are constantly proud of our volunteers across the County who work tirelessly to provide our young people with #SkillsForLife

With a great return to Scouting from our young people, we need to continue to recruit more awesome people to keep making a significant impact to ourselves and our local communities.

Bedfordshire has also released our Census data, which aligns similarly to the national output. It shows a growth in youth attending Scouting in all of our Districts by over 12% which ultimately means we need to continue to recruit to keep up with the understandable demand of what Scouting can offer. There are over 1,100 young people missing out or on waiting lists.

Our County Commissioner, Martin Wesley said this about our Census results: 

"Thanks to the amazing efforts of existing volunteers, Scouting kept going throughout the lockdown. Our youth members are now rushing back to enjoy face-to-face Scouting. And they are bringing their friends with them!

Sixteen Scout Groups in Bedfordshire already are larger in size than they were before the pandemic hit. All these extra young people need extra adults to keep them safe while giving them Skills for Life. Please come and join the fun."


Click this link to see the County Census details


Further details:

  • There are loads of resources available on the recent announcement here
  • Contact the Bedfordshire Perception team who would love to help you with recruitment and support: 
  • The full resources for County and each District can be accessed via this link



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Yes, now we’re back in Green status we can all focus on getting ‘back to normal’ to give all our members the great, safe Scouting we’ve always been used to. I’ve heard of some wonderful ways in which our adult volunteers provided activities during lockdown and while in Yellow – no wonder so many of our youth members have come running back for more! However, we still need to be careful not to get complacent and to check regularly. 


This weekend, we’re doing our bit for “The Queen's Green Canopy - Plant a Tree for the Jubilee” by planting 2000 saplings at the Leslie Sell Activity Centre. A large number of our younger members, supported by adult volunteers, will be there digging away to get all these plants in the ground. They will certainly be in the green!

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Adult Scouting Volunteers Step up to Help Local Vaccination Centre Hit Over 14,000 Jabs!


Medici Medical Centre, London Road, Luton has been overwhelmed with the support from our local adult Scouting volunteers.

Various adults from across Icknield District have given up yet more of their precious time to help the wider community whilst still supporting young people within Scouting.

“It all started back at the start of January” says Nick Jarman, when he took his mother for her vaccination. Whilst waiting for his mum to return from her vaccination Nick started a conversation with the Operational Manager, Sarah Forster who was on the door. Whilst chatting he assisted other elderly people into the centre and engaged them in conversation whilst they waited for their turn to be called in.

‘I naturally became the ‘meet and greet’ and also began helping in the car park’ said Nick.

Other adults from Icknield Scouts have been volunteering too - Alan Wood, Group Scout Leader of Sells Seventh - Andy Reeve-Smith, Section Assistant at Riparian Explorers - Ash Chambers, Scout Leader at Warden Hill - Gareth Phillips, Section Assistant at First Luton Cubs - Ghosia Fatima-Mahmood, Secretary at Blenheim, as well as Liz Burnham, a SASU member - Sandy Reeve-Smith, Assistant Section Leader at Riparian Explorers and Nichi Chambers, Beaver Leader at Warden Hill - all regularly assisting at the Covid-19 vaccination Centres in true Scouting spirit.

After the centre saw how professional and reliable these volunteers were to them, Nick was asked if he would like to train as a vaccinator. ‘I completed the theoretical training which was about 40 hours of online learning (including 14 hours of adult/child safeguarding), I spent several half days with experienced nurses understanding the practical elements of vaccination and was "signed off" by Dr Barhey who is in charge of the entire project. I now add vaccinator to my roles at the centre. In practice this means that if I am physically there, if there is a peak demand, if there is a vaccinator who needs to leave or who cannot attend, there is flexibility.’.

The Scouting team have been phenomenal in their vital support in these difficult times and despite being outside in all weathers they have remained a cheerful team to welcome in the public.

Group Operations Manager, Sarah Forster says she very much values every one of these volunteers and their contributions and that her relentless asking of help is always responded to cheerfully with them continuing to come in each day.


(Photo: from left to right - Gareth Phillips, Cub Section Assistant at First Luton Sea Scouts - Ash Chambers, Scout Leader, Warden Hill - Alan Wood, Group Scout Leader, Sells Seventh - Nick Jarman, Appointments Secretary, Icknield District)


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Launched today! – Programmes for All

Hi Scouters!
We are really excited to announce the launch of our Spring into Scouting Challenge built using our new online Programme Hub.
This new support service is brought to you based on feedback from leaders across the East of England like you. 
The Programme and Perception teams from across Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk have been working hard to bring you this easy-to-use Programme resource for use during and after the pandemic! 
We have designed two ways for accessing hundreds of programme ideas: 

Spring into Scouting Challenge  

Out of the box 

Programme Hub 

Pick and mix 

The Challenge offers a weekly activity idea that can be shared with your young people or used as a part of your weekly programme of Virtual Scouting. All the activities will be themed around Spring and can also be used towards badgework for each Section. There will be a special 'Spring into Scouting' badge available too. The programme launches very soon and will run every Monday for 6 weeks when an activity will be posted for each section.  

If you’d prefer to put your own programme together you can select specific activities using a programme search engine to find exactly what you’re looking for. 

The hub is packed with great online, home assignment and socially distanced programme ideas for you to choose from.  

Available at 

Check out our East of England Facebook, Twitter & Instagram pages!



We really hope that you join us with this challenge and look forward to seeing all of the young people’s efforts. Watch out for more news very soon! 


Best Wishes,  

The East of England Scouts Perception Team 


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