Mar 05

District Swimming Gala 2017


Over 130 beavers, cubs, scouts, explorers, network and adults took part in our bi-annual district Swimming Gala at Corby International Pool tonight.  Individual colonies, packs and troops and units swam to score points for their team in front crawl, breaststroke, backstroke and team relay races.

The beaver trophy was awarded to the 3rd Market Harborough Mallard Colony who were out in front with 72 points overall compared to second place Foxton with 44 points and Fleckney Merlin with 33 points.  Beavers from the team received their trophy from Richard Brooks, District President. This was a make shift shiny plaque as the real trophy – only commissioned recently – is not yet finished.DSCF2090

The cub trophy was awarded to Glen Cubs with a victory at 74 points.  Fleckney cubs were in second place with 60 points.  In third place was Kibworth Artic Wolves with 54 points.  Again a cardboard cut out trophy was awarded by Richard Brooks, as the real one is still in the workshop!

The scout trophy – the Otter Shield – which has been awarded continuously since 1933 was retained by Kibworth Scouts.  They achieved an amazing 64 points compared to Bowdens TuScouts at 51 in second place and Glen scouts with 42 points in third place.


In the explorer races, all three units sported a relay team with Dragons ESU winning a posy of lollipops.  It was then time for the adults to take on the explorers with an obstacle race, transporting floats and funny shapes from one end of the pool to the other.  Amazingly, the Dragon team championed again receiving a second posy of lollipops which were duly shared with all.

This amazing evening was made possible by the dedication and commitment of our section leaders and assistants as well as parent volunteers, who stepped forward for the evening.  It was a great evening of fun and friendship where teamwork was key.  Just everyday adventure to us scouts!


DSCF2092Beaver totals cub totals Scout totals


Dec 11

Kingfisher leader team retirement

dscf2071After 25 years of adventure Sheila Seaton and her Kingfisher Colony leader team are packing up their sleeping bags and retiring. Sheila has led the Colony at 3rd Market for those 25 years and has loved every challenge and opportunity that has come her way.

Based in Market Harborough, the colony has been meeting on Saturday mornings. During her time as a leader she has travelled with the beavers to Beaverees and away days.  She has helped nearly 400 beavers learn their promise and spent several nights each year on sleepovers.

Sheila will be missed as a Beaver Leader. At the end of Kingfisher sleepover this weekend, she recalled some of her memories in helping a generation of beavers to live out their promise and in particular the other people and organisations that the Colony has helped through fundraising. Some of her beavers from past, who have also helped out at the Colony as Young Leaders were there to wish Sheila a happy and well-earned retirement. Sheila was presented with her 25 year Service Award as well as a Commendation from Leicestershire County Commissioner, Carol Black.

Creating opportunities for young people to develop social skills, independence and form friendships is central to scouting philosophy and has long term positive impact on young people lives Scouting is shaped by young people in partnership with adults and we are always looking for new volunteers and if you fancy a go in the Harborough District why not join the adventure at


Dec 11

District Shooting Competition



There were some real hot shots at the District Shooting Competition for Scouts and Explorers held on 11 December.  Eight explorers and twenty five scouts braved the cold and damp to compete at the Kibworth Gun Club Shooting Ground.


After a short warm-up, each scout and explorer fired three rounds with each of the three different air rifles: springers, PCP (pre charged pneumatics) and pistol.




Using national competition rules and standards, the scouts and explorers were required to shoot standing up with those who are regular members of the District Shooting Club demonstrating their prowess.

As well as the trophies for the top explorer and top scout, there were team trophies with the different explorer units and scout troops competing against each other.


In a very close explorer competition, the top three scores were separated by only a few points. Frances Hammond won the Top Spot and the Explorer team trophy was won by Mad Hatters ESU.  The trophies were presented by Debbie Billington, District Commissioner.





There was a much wider range of scores in the Scout competition but again the top spots were fairly close with Adam Sherlock at the highest. He was awarded the trophy by Paul Adams, lead scouter for Hinckley District Scout Shooting Club.


The Scout Team Trophy went to 1st Welland Valley.

The participants from the district competition will be considered for our district team at the County Competition next February.  From there a team is picked to enter the national scout air rifle championships held at Bisley in October.

Aug 29

Fleckney Scouts Charnwood Adventure

Charnplaquewood International Scout and Guide camp 2016

Whatton house, Leicestershire Saturday 30 July – Saturday 6 August 2016

[4000 scouts and guides from 24 countries plus leaders]

1st Fleckney Scouts

On the 30th July 11 Scouts and 5 leaders from 1st Fleckney arrived for a week of fun and adventure at Charnwood International Scout and Guide Camp. They arrived on Saturday 30th July to find their tents already up (thanks to 3 leaders who arrived the night before) and ready for them to move in. With nearly 5000 scouts, guides and leaders on site, we were all allocated a sub camp for the week – Fleckney found themselves in the Smashing 70s sub-camp. Cue lots of awesome 70s music to accompany the week!

Events unfolded with the opening ceremony in the big top on Saturday night where each sub camp had a go at their Camp Chant. Ours was based on Rockin’ All Over the World by Status Quo.

Sunday saw a fireday of Thousand Stars challenges where Scouts had to choose from hundreds of activities around the site and patrols competed to earn stars to win the subcamp trophy.  This was a chance to meet others and find their way around the site whilst doing something fun!  In the evening was the Charnwood Walk Street Fair with street entertainers, mocktails and candy floss and at which each camping troop provided and ran a game.  Our ‘Tin Can alley’ game was a roaring success.  Scouts and leaders all had on their 70’s fancy dress and spent all their Charnwood money.

We had 2 scouts compete in Charnwood’s Got Talent. Euan Wright with his tumbling act and Nicolas Wood who performed a juggling circus act.  Nicolas got through to the top 6 from over 100 acts in the 70’s sub-camp.  He had to borrow some clubs for his act from i-circus, the professional performers.  On seeing him juggle, they invited him to learn to juggle with fire clubs!  Nicolas practiced with i-circus each evening and he was then asked to perform in the closing ceremony in front of the entire camp – a very proud moment for Fleckney Scouts!

On Tuesday three of our scouts, Kian Cooper, Luke Bowley and Daniel Howells accompanied by Fleckney’s GSL Cathy Howells, were up early, a 0615 wake up call, in full uniform to do flag break for the camp, quite an honour!

Over the week the scouts had different activities to do each day: Diversity; The zone/sub-camp challenge; offsite activity day; Extreme 16; and the Baden Powell challenge.

Diversity involved activities representing different regions from around the world, Crafts [paracord bracelets, turks head woggles, pyrography, glass engraving, fabric painting], performing arts plus exploring the science behind the discovery of Richard iii and the DNA techniques used to identify him.

The Zone – quiet games,table football, pool tables, Wii dance mats and bean bags for a bit of a relax! I-circus – tight wire walking, juggling workshops and fire performance workshop plus stilt walking with Stiff and Stilted.kayaking

Sub Camp challenge was an assault course type challenge.

Offsite day – the scouts were all shipped off for the day to Foremark reservoir in Derbyshire where they participated in a wide range of activities including Kayaking, canoeing, sailing, fly fishing, caving, cycling and raft building.

Extreme 16 – inflatable water wars, bungee trampoline, mobile laser maze and scramble nets plus our scouts’ favourite: petrol go karts!

Baden Powell Challenge – back to basics and bush craft plus master at arms and old fashioned games.  Roast a pig turned by pedal power, pluck/skin and cook pigeon and rabbit, pizza ovens, archery, shooting and pioneering.

The Fleckney Beavers came along for the day on Thursday.  They followed the yellow brick road to discover the site and meet some of the scouts and guides at camp, bounced on bouncy castles and played outdoor games;  stamped leather bracelets and decorated t-shirts and ate smores.

Everything there was live music and game shows in the big top and a chance for Scouts to meet up and swap badges in the International Zone. This became very competitive and i expect to see some very elaborate camp blankets in the coming months! We met loads of Scouts from different parts of the world and it was amazing to see them in all their  wonderful native dress.

Daniel Howells, 13 said: “It was awesome, I couldn’t choose a favourite activity, it was all so good!”. Matthew Howells, 11, said: “It was very good, my favourite activity was Water Zorbing. I met lots of new people and they were all very friendly”

A fabulous week was had by all, scouts and leaders alike.  It was a great chance to try new things, meet people from all over the world and have some good outdoor fun. We can’t wait to do it again!

Written by Jenny Russell and Cathy Howells, Scout Leaders, 1st Fleckney.fleckney

Aug 10

Growth Champions!

Harborough District is part of the eleventh year of consecutive growth in Scouting which means more and more young people are getting the opportunity to Scout and choosing to stay.  While nationally the 6-18 year old membership grew by 1.8%, it was a massive 7.8% in Harborough District.  And we recruited even more adult volunteers to make over overall growth a whopping 11.6% compared to the 4.8% nationally.  Its great to hear that now 25% of our movement is female.  Growth is the key measure of whether young people are enjoying Scouting which they obviously are – thanks to our adult volunteers – here in Harborough.Lego MiniFig 004

Jul 02

Ed Stafford visits Buzzard Beavers


yesScouting Ambassador, Ed Stafford popped along to Fleckney Scout Hut to meet the new colony – Buzzard Beavers.

He told them about his adventures walking along the length of the Amazon River.  Ed is a former Fleckney scout and world record holder for the longest jungle expedition ever undertaken.

‘I feel that my love of adventure really came from those first night camps I went on with the Scouts. Getting outdoors was always the best part of Scouting for me.’

The beavers, whose quick cricket session had to be cancelled because of rain, found Ed’s stories to be a very exciting dry alternative!



Jun 30

Fraser Shield Scoring Correction

During a post event check of the scores form the weekend, we spotted an error in the scoresheet which meant that one team were missing some scores from striking camp.

Having reviewed the scores and done a further check, it appears we actually have a tie for 3rd Place between Bowdens Nemesis Italian Job and Bowdens Euro Qualifiers

Apologies for the Euro Qualifiers for this error.  Claire will be visiting you this week to present your certificate.

We have also updated the scoresheet on the website.

Yours in Scouting,

Ben & Claire

Jun 27

Queen’s Guard 1st Bowdens – Fraser Shield Winners 2016

DSCF1645 cropped

Queen’s Guard patrol from 1st Bowdens Wescouts has won the decades-old Fraser Shield for 2016.  It was another closely-fought competition against troops from across the Harborough District, camping at Misterton Hall near Lutterworth over the weekend.

Now in its 104th year, the shield is awarded annually to the patrol who stacks up the most points for its camping standards, including pitching and striking, cooking and keeping the camp tidy.

Adam Bowditch, patrol leader of Queen’s Guard said “Everyone worked really well as a team over the weekend, running the camp and completing lots of challenges. It was brilliant to lead such an amazing team and win the shield. We couldn’t have done it without the preparation from our leaders, Jo and Chris.”

The weather was mainly kind to the camp with some sunny spells especially for set up and take down but there were a couple of deluges, one of which on Saturday evening put paid to the campfire.

Eric Gamble, one of the judges with considerable experience of the competition thinks this year’s Fraser Shield Competition was one of the best ever!  “The behaviour of the participants was exemplary, the competition was keen and the teamwork a joy to see.  Despite some disappointing weather everyone remained cheerful and careful to keep things dry. I was most impressed by the clean and tidiness of the Patrols and their storage of food stuff particularly. The menus were adventurous and the cooking and presentation of their meals was exceptional for young people of their age!  It is a shame that there has to be one winner, but to my mind there were no losers this weekend, all the Patrols were a credit to their Troops and their Leaders.

The presentation of the impressive Fraser Shield to Queen’s Guard patrol was made by Heather Craven of Misterton Hall.  Heather had very kindly agreed to hosting the competition in her grounds.

Debbie Billington, lead scout volunteer for Harborough District explained the Hall is a beautiful setting and ideally placed to run the competition. We are very thankful to Mrs Craven for her generosity.

During the weekend, the 13 patrols also competed in an incident hike for Adam’s Challenge. The 9km circular walk, requiring the teams to navigate along footpaths to find and complete four challenges, kept the teams busy for more than four hours with Bulldog Patrol from 1st Fleckney receiving the Shield for the highest team score.

In presenting the shield, Dave Mugridge explained that the challenge is in memory of his son Adam, a Foxton scout who was killed in a cycling accident just before he was set to lead his Patrol at Fraser Shield in 2006. 

DSC_0700  Final Fraser Shield scores of the weekend:

Site Team Name Score Position
1 Glenn Eagles 678 2
2 Bowdens Tuesday Euro Qualifiers 672.4 3
3 Foxton Cobras 630 9
4 Fleckney Bulldogs 654 7
5 Bowdens Nemesis Italian Job 672.4 3
6 Foxton Wolves 591.4 12
7 3rd Market Harborough Cobras 627 10
8 Bowdens Wednesday Queens Guards 685 1
9 Fleckney Vipers 546.6 13
10 Bowdens Tuesday Hendos 672 5
11 Glenn Cobras 656.4 6
12 1st Market Harborough Flacons 633.4 8
13 3rd Market Market Harborough Appily Freshness 625 11

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Jun 18

Buzzard Beavers!



Ready Steady Promise! That was the plan for the 16 beavers at Fleckney’s Friday Colony last week and that’s what they did. After a little practice making the scout sign and remembering the words, the eager beavers were invested in their newly created lodges. Parent’s, grandparents, brothers and sisters along with supporters from the Fleckney community squeezed into the Scout Headquarters to listen and watch.

After welcoming the crowd, Debbie Billington, Lead Scout Volunteer for the district, explained the vital role that parents had played in getting the new colony up and running in just six weeks and that more adult volunteers are always welcome to join the adventure.  The Promises began with David Parker making his, the colony’s new Assistant Beaver Leader better known to the beavers as Swift.

Swift, then announced the official colony name, explaining that the beavers had considered several bird names to link with Merlin chosen by the Thursday colony, with Buzzard getting the vast majority of votes!  By the end of the session, which of course finished with cake and juice, it was very clear how apt the name Buzzard Beavers is, for this busy, buzzing, bustling birth! Well done beavers!


Jun 12

Eric Gamble – Silver Wolf

Leader & Queens Scout Awards 6890

The Silver Wolf is the unrestricted gift of the Chief Scout and is only awarded for service of a most exceptional nature.  It is seldom  awarded for less than 30 years Service.

Eric was a Fleckney scout and on reaching 18 became an assistant venture leader.  In 2003, after 26 years of adult scouting, Eric became District Commissioner. Back then, Harborough District was so small that County tried to carved it up to merge with neighbouring districts but Eric was adamant it should remain and set about turning it around.

The major highlights of Eric’s reign as DC include the Sunrise Ceremony in The Square in Market Harborough for the 2007 Centenary of Scouting.  Every group turned out for a memorable occasion and a gigantic cake and candles.

Eric ensured the District Centenary in 2009 was marked by a Centenary Camp with over 300 taking part from across all groups in an action packed sunshine weekend and later in the year with a Centenary Show.  Different groups and sections through songs and sketches told the everyday life and local scouting adventures from every decade.

The Centenary of The Fraser Shield in 2012, our District Scout Patrol Camping competition – the oldest in the world – was a real milestone for Eric.  Over 500 campers from across the district were at Rockingham Castle having fun despite the wind, rain and plenty of mud while 17 patrols battled it out for the coveted shield.

Eric was keen to establish the new explorer provision.  Some failed attempts with rotating meeting locations were soon put to rights with the opening of a district unit in 2007 meeting centrally in a village hall. Membership swelled with successful moving on from all scout sections and soon a second unit was set up.

In 2012, Eric instigated the re-opening of 1st Market Harborough with Beaver, Cub and Scout sections.  Meanwhile Fleckney and Kibworth were struggling for adult volunteers and losing members. Eric directed more district team support and adult recruitment campaigns at these groups which turned them around.

After 10 years as District Commissioner, Eric moved to Explorer Commissioner and helped re-establish the Market Harborough Scout and Guide Gang Show tradition.  As a writer and producer of the 2013 Around the World in 80 Meals, 2014 Going for Gold and 2016 The History Makers, he brought fun and friendship to a dedicated cast and laughter and smiles to the audience.

Eric’s service to scouting is truly exceptional and he is more than worthy of this award.

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