From 2000 onwards...
The current HQ was officially opened in 2000 and we owe a debt of gratitude to all those who were involved in the long struggle to make it happen. A key figure in the project was Carol Wilson, Group Scout Leader, for leading the completion of a long held ambition. Also pivotal in the new HQ work was her husband, Mick Wilson, whose knowledge of architecture, electrics, plumbing and site management made sure that the Group ended up with a refurbished and extended building that it could be rightly proud of.
The mortgage for the HQ was paid off in 2004 and with some sound financial management, the Group has replaced many items of camping equipment. Some of the equipment in the stores dated back to the first 25 years of the Group!
At the start of the decade, the numbers in the Cubs meant that a second Cub Pack was opened and the legacy of Wednesday and Friday Cubs began. There weren't any extra leaders to run the second pack so the same leader team ran both Wednesday and Friday Packs, headed up by David Wright.
The Explorer Section (14-18) began meeting in December 2001 and as a result of lots of hard work, six Queens Scout Awards (the highest award possible) were earned. Further success was achieved when the Explorers won the Dragnet competition in successive years (2006 & 2007).
Throughout the 2000's the Beaver Colony continued to be very popular under Logger, Ken Knowles, who was assisted by various leaders including Denise Bell, who took over the role as Beaver Leader at the end of the decade. By this time, several of Ken's Beavers from the 1980s and 90s had taken out adult warrants and were in section leadership roles of their own.
In 2008, the Scout Troop, under Dave Wright & team, had grown to a gigantic size. Another Troop was needed. A second Scout Troop (the Thursday Troop) was opened, with Mick Garside taking the helm for his third stint as Scout Leader. Early success was experienced when the Troop won the Best Constructed Raft at the citywide 2009 Splashdown event, an achievement that was repeated 12 months later. In 2010, the Thursday Troop came runners-up in the overnight incident hike, a competition between teams from the Thursday and Friday Troops.
A notable figure on the Executive in the first part of the new millennia was Craig Ruding who chaired Executive for 8 years from 2008 to 2016.
"As the Group's reputation grew so too did waiting lists. This showed how popular the Group was, but also highlighted how many more young people could enjoy the adventure if the Leader team could grow.
By 2010, the Beaver waiting list was almost a full extra Beaver Colony and there were some 39 Cubs in the Wednesday Pack. As a result, in autumn 2011, a second colony was opened in Worrall. This was immediately full and, by 2012, the Beaver waiting list was again a full extra colony! In autumn 2012, the Beavers moved down the hill to join the other 5 sections in Wadsley allowing them to feel a better part of the group.
2011 saw the first ever 150th Camp Abroad as our Scouts and Explorers went on an incredible trip to Kandersteg in Switzerland. This once-in-a-lifetime trip was so good, plans were soon made for the second once-in-a-lifetime trip to Switzerland in 2014!
In 2013, the group continued to grow. In February, the third scout troop was added. This now meant that the group happily numbered over 190 young people. When volunteers were counted, the group numbers were over a quarter of the population of the Vatican City!
Since buying the HQ, lots of work had been done to try to keep in maintained. Efforts made on the HQ were accelerated from 2010 onwards and the HQ was systematically refurbished, with the kitchen being the last jigsaw piece in 2013.
The knocking down of Wisewood and Bradfield Schools helped the HQ project along thanks to the opportunity to recycle furniture not being moved to the new schools. This did require tenacity from volunteers though - for example by filling a white van with stuff from Wisewood School whilst the police were using it for attack dog training .
In September 2013, another Cub pack was added on Monday nights. Local children quickly snapped up places. This meant there were now 90 places for Cubs each week.
2014 saw the second once-in-a-lifetime trip to Kansdersteg. This time almost 60 members made the journey. The coach was so full, a party also went by air because they couldn't get on the coach, or just would have been travel sick for 24 hours of bus-ride!
2015 saw the group's 90th anniversary and a special event to celebrate this was held at Worrall. The group now had a membership of over 280. If you stood all the members on top of each other, they now be as tall as 91 double decker buses. That's almost 8 Nelson's Columns!
In March 2016, Mick Garside, long time volunteer sadly passed away. An account of his scouting life can be found here.
Here's to the next page of history!