Archive for the ‘Youth’ Category

By the left… Army Cadets’ hat-trick of successes

Posted on Sunday 9th June 2019 at 5:18 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of a group of Stoke Gifford Army Cadets with the drill competition winners' shield.

The Stoke Gifford Detachment of the Bristol Army Cadet Force (ACF) recently competed in the B Company Bristol ACF Annual Inter-Detachment Drill Competition. The competition, which was held during their Company Navigation Weekend Camp in March, took place at Knook Camp on Salisbury Plain Training Area.

B Company Navigation weekend is traditionally the first of four weekend camps of the year, normally held in the spring. The weekend consists of various Training and Testing opportunities for the Cadets, in numerous subjects as part of their Army Proficiency Certificate Syllabus, including Military Knowledge, First Aid, Navigation, Drill and Turnout. All Cadets have to undergo these Training and Testing weekends to enable them to pass their Subject Tests and achieve their Star Level.

The Cadets arrived on Friday evening and the first job was to organise them into their relevant Star Levels, from Basic Cadets to Inexperienced Cadets, 1 Star, 2 Star, 3 Star and finally 4 Star who are the most senior and experienced Cadets. Allocation of accommodation and camp brief was shortly followed by bed as the Cadets were facing an early start the next day.

Saturday was a busy day for everyone, with adults and Senior Cadets all ready to deliver their lessons on numerous subjects to the Cadets, with the main priority being Navigation, as later in the day all Cadets participated in a Navigation Exercise where they were assessed on their navigation skills relating to their Star level.

Sunday arrived and the excitement for the Drill Competition was clear, with all Detachments going through their final preparations. The Drill Competition consisted of a Turnout Inspection by the Company Sergeant Major (CSM) where the Cadets’ uniforms are inspected. This was followed by a pre-planned routine of various drill movements, including marching and turns, which each Detachment must complete, with the loss of ½ point for each error made. Drill requires the Cadets to be disciplined and to work as a team, which requires weeks, if not months, of training.

More: "Probably one of the best Drill routines I have ever seen" »

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First-ever camp for Little Stoke Beavers

Posted on Tuesday 4th June 2019 at 12:45 pm by Laura Mortimore

Photo of a group of Beaver Scouts standing outside the Lovell Centre.

Are you afraid of the Gruffalo? Well, the 1st Little Stoke Beaver Scouts certainly aren’t!

The weekend of 23rd and 24th March saw a group of sixteen excited Beavers spend just over 24 hours at Woodhouse Park campsite near Almondsbury, staying in the Lovell Centre.

Photo of Beaver Scouts trying out the low ropes activity.

On arrival the Beavers all enjoyed their packed lunches before one group enjoyed facing their fears and conquering the ‘low ropes’ course.

Group leader Tony Edmonds, was very impressed with the Beavers, saying:

“All of the leaders were extremely proud of the behaviour and teamwork of all of the Beavers. Many of them were worried about the low ropes course, but with the support of their fellow Beavers, they faced their fears and didn’t give up.”

The remaining Beavers went on a Gruffalo and bug hunt in the large expanse of woods around Woodhouse Park. The Beavers were challenged to try to fill a small box with one item to represent each letter of the alphabet. Some excellent suggestions were made, and the Beavers quickly realised that the smaller the item, the better. Unfortunately, no one managed to squeeze a Gruffalo in, and the unicorn was clearly exploring elsewhere!

More: Singing around the campfire and toasting marshmallows »

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Could the Army Cadet Force be for you?

Posted on Thursday 9th May 2019 at 9:28 pm by Laura Mortimore

Photo of Cdts Bishop,Massey and Porter performing a Command Task.

The Stoke Gifford detachment of the Army Cadet Force (ACF) is on the lookout for new recruits as well as adult volunteers.

Located in the after-school club next to St Michael’s Primary School on Ratcliffe Drive, the Cadets are one of the most established detachments in the area, having won numerous awards for winning drill and football competitions.

Once you turn 12 and are in Year 8 of school, you can join the Army Cadets. It is open to both males and females and at the moment, the Stoke Gifford detachment actually has slightly more girls than boys. The Army Cadets are sponsored by the MoD which makes it very affordable to attend – they only ask for a contribution of 25p per night. They parade twice a week; on a Tuesday and Thursday between 7.00pm and 9.30pm.

As a Cadet, you would be able to enjoy an array of activities, many of which are taught in the army. These include weekend camps, drill practice, field craft, weapons training and first aid training.

Whereas in the Scouts and Guides you work towards earning badges, in the Cadets, you earn your star levels. In each level, you have to pass certain subjects that are both practical and theory based. As you go up through the star levels, you will get promoted to a higher cadet rank; starting as a lance corporal, eventually becoming a sergeant major.

Sergeant Instructor Paul Clark, who runs the detachment, believes there are many benefits of joining the Cadets. He said:

“The young people who join the Cadets get so much out of it. As they move up the ranks, they gain management skills. They can earn qualifications such as first aid, BTEC Diplomas and the Duke of Edinburgh Award. I have seen so many kids come in here who would hardly say a word and now their confidence has grown so much that they can lead a drill practice and other activities. Most importantly though, they build great friendships; not just here at the detachment but with other cadets throughout Bristol and the whole country.”

More: Throughout the year, the Cadets go on four weekend camps »

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Pancake fun for 1st Little Stoke Scouts

Posted on Tuesday 2nd April 2019 at 9:47 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of pancake cooking at 1st Little Stoke Scouts.

As part of their Shrove Tuesday celebrations, the Beaver and Scout sections enjoyed learning about Shrove Tuesday then making and eating pancakes.

The Scout section measured and weighed ingredients and then used the gas camping stoves to cook their pancakes. They then worked hard to see how many times they could flip the pancake. Finally, the Scouts all enjoyed eating their pancakes with chocolate spread.

The evening ended with new leader Jon Owen being invested into the group.

The Beavers went to Christ the King Church to learn all about the religious aspects of Shrove Tuesday as part of their Faith badges. They started the evening by trying to get a biscuit into their mouths while sitting on their hands. This was to teach the children about how difficult it is to find food in some countries. Next, the children watched a video about the reason pancakes were made (to get rid of all the bad food that was being given up for Lent), and the 40 days and nights which Lent lasts for. Finally, the Beavers were asked questions about what they had learnt. The evening finished with the children enjoying pancakes.

If you would like any more information on getting involved with 1st Little Stoke Scout Group, please contact Group Scout Leader Tony Edmonds on 07957880503 or email

This article originally appeared in the April 2019 issue of the Stoke Gifford Journal magazine (on page 21). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to over 5,000 homes in Stoke Gifford, Little Stoke and Harry Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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