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1st WATCHET SEA SCOUTS RETAIN ROYAL NAVY RECOGNITION - Sept 2012
The First Watchet Sea Scout group were celebrating last Friday after retaining Royal Navy status following their admiralty inspection.
This is the 20th anniversary of the Sea Scout group being recognised by the Royal Navy. It is one of only 103 Admiralty recognised scout groups in the UK. Such groups whilst undertaking the normal scout programme also specialise in water activities and are inspected every 18 months to ensure high standards are maintained.
Recognition brings the benefits of being able to use RN facilities such as HMS Bristol in Portsmouth and take part with other groups in activities organised by the Admiralty.
The group which included members from all sections, beavers, cubs, scouts and explorers were inspected by Lieutenant Commander Karen Cahill RN on the esplanade watched by a large crowd of family, friends and visitors. She was welcomed aboard by town crier Alex Danby and colours were hoisted by Explorer Scouts George Day and Julian Harding before her tour of inspection began.
She was taken afloat by Scout Leader Stephen Sharp to watch the scouts undertake various activities on the water. Unfortunately the sea state was unfavourable for the planned rescue excercise with Minehead lifeboat and sailing displays but Lieutenant Commander Cahill was able to see the scouts demonstrate their skills in kayaking, rowing, dinghy capsize drill and power boating.
This was followed by a tour of the new scout changing facilities before returning for refreshments at scout HQ where a slideshow of recent activities and photo displays were on public view. These included a week long cycle camp to the Normandy beaches in France, Group fun day, visits to the Royal Navy boats at Portsmouth, Watchet Carnival, Minehead raft race, St George Day parade, camping weekends and hikes on Dartmoor. Her comment as she looked at the displays being “It looks like you have had great fun” is certainly very true.
The lieutenant Commander went on to present a large number of awards to members of the scout troop including 2 Gold Awards to scouts Maddie Bruce and Lawrence Roberts, the highest award which can be achieved in the scout section. Finally George Day (explorer scout) was awarded the “Harold & Hilda Strong Trophy for Watercraft achievement” for his personal development in water activities as well as his assistance with running activities for younger group members.
Dave Leader was presented with a friendship badge from the scout group with grateful thanks for all his willing assistance not only with water activities but in helping to build the new changing facilities on the harbour side.
Invited guests included the Queens Representative for Somerset, the Lord Lieutenant Lady Gass; the Chair of West Somerset Council and Watchet Town Council; the MP for Bridgwater and West Somerset Mr Ian Liddell-Grainger; Somerset County Scouts Commissioner Mr Shaun Dale; 1st Watchet Sea Scout Group President Mr John Russell.