OCC Thanks in a Poem!

posted 10 Nov 2016, 05:54 by Jonathan Chicken

Last Sunday we added 140 shoe boxes to 60 from St. Andrews Church. 

We have received a thank you from Joan Chicken on behalf of St. Andrew's Church for our work with Christmas shoe boxes. 




What can you put in a shoe box, apart from a pair of shoes?

Well the Beavers, Cubs and the Scouts of 3rd Washington

Will give you lots of clues.

They learned the plight of children in lands far away from here.

 How children may not know the meaning of Christmas

 or gifts from loved ones dear.

 Each section of the Scout group was asked to take action and give aid,

 by filling up lots of shoe boxes for poorer children.

 And so the decision was made.

 A box for each child needs a toothbrush, soap, flannel and toothpaste,

 A hat, a scarf, to keep them warm on colder days,

 pencils, a pen, paper and some sweets for them to taste.

 Well all of these really are gifts which are so worthwhile

 But is there something more they could give

 To fill the shoe boxes up and make each child smile.

 Something to give the WOW factor for every girl and boy

 What could be given to do it?

 Give a doll, a wind- up car, a bouncy ball or a lovely cuddly toy.

 Well the challenge for filling up shoeboxes was so willingly set.

The boys and girls in each section got on with the task

and the target to fill many boxes as you can see was well and truly met.

Joan Chicken
November 2016

420 nights away and it's only April! Our trustees are providing even more adventure!

posted 26 Apr 2016, 16:03 by Jack Fletcher   [ updated 26 Apr 2016, 16:04 ]

Cubs Night Away
420 nights away. 10,000 hours of adventure. We've provided a huge amount of fun, challenge adventure on nights away for our young people but we're not stopping there. Our group executive are going even further to stabilise (and even reduce) the cost of nights away for young people.

Adventure is at the heart of what we do, and our group executive recently agreed to fund our own minibus on any night away for any section in the group. This means more money will be available to ensure every young person will experience even more archery, kayaking and zorbing (to name a few). With over 420 nights away so far this year across the group, that'll mean we can get more young people experiencing fun, challenge and adventure by going on a night away.

Some nights away which will see the benefit include:
  • Beaver Sleepover @ Hawkhirst (Summer 2016)
  • Cub Polar Express Sleepover (Winter 2016)
  • Scout Over 12s Camp (Spring 2016)
  • Scout and Explorer Summer Camp (Summer 2016)
  • Scout expedition weekend (Summer 2016)
  • Explorers practice DofE expedition weekend (Summer 2016)
Scouts on a night away
Check out the full list of events.

If you'd like to read more about the group executive, or see our accounts, click here.

3rd Washington Scouts is a charitable organisation providing fun, challenge and adventure across the north and west of Washington. Our active group executive are the trustees of the charity and have a strategic goal of encouraging as many young people to experience nights away across 2016 and beyond.

Adult Volunteers Take On a Challenge

posted 9 Aug 2015, 13:14 by Stephen Harrison   [ updated 10 Aug 2015, 16:21 ]

It's not just about adventure for young people, our leaders are taking on challenges of their own, both raising money for the group and for another local cause. We'd be very grateful for any support you can give to help us raise as much money as possible

Stockton River Rat Race - Saturday 29th August 2015
Andrew Turnbull, Carl Hickman, Craig Johnson, Gemma Younghusband, Kate Bowdon, Jonathan Chicken and Stephen Harrison are all taking on the Stockton River Rat Race, raising money for St Benedict's Hospice in Sunderland. The River Rat Race is a 10 kilometre run, including a series of obstacles which takes us in and out of the River Tees, such as walking the plank from the replica of Captain Cook's boat and an army style assault course along the way. Visit to see the full course map.

Please visit our Team i.Scout sponsor page and pick a leader to sponsor as well as finding out why St Benedict's Hospice is important to us all.

The Great North Run - Sunday 13th September 2015
Carl Hickman, Craig Johnson and Nicola Fell are running the Great North Run this September to raise money for the group. The Great North Run is the world's most prestigious half marathon event and Carl, Craig and Nicola will be joining around 50,000 to run the famous route over the Tyne Bridge and along to the coast at South Shields.

Please visit their sponsor page at

We'd like to thank you for taking the time to find our about our fundraising efforts and thank you for your generous support. If you're able to support our participants at either of these events, please come along to cheer everyone on.

Scouts & Explorers: Summer Camp 2015 - Like a Room Without a Roof

posted 5 Aug 2015, 13:31 by Stephen Harrison

Massive adventures, unforgettable experiences and friendships that will go on and on, it's what Summer Camp 2015 is all about and it certainly did not disappoint as the biggest event of the year for the 58 scouts, explorer scouts and adult leaders who spent the week in Appletreewick, Yorkshire.

It was like a dream arriving on the campsite, with the views stretching out down to the river and along the valley, sheep peacefully roaming alongside the water and the area of grass that we were to call home for the week was completely empty. As our van packed with camping equipment drove onto the site, younger scouts were a little apprehensive about building camp.

The first challenge was for scouts to get to know the other members of their patrol so they could work together to turn the empty field into a campsite for the week, working hard to get their patrol site ready, pitching tents, making patrols boundaries and connecting stoves. The main challenge for explorers was to work out how to pitch their new tents. Scouts worked well together and in what seemed like no time at all, tents were up and camp was established.

Sunday was spent getting to know each other a little bit more, with several teamwork challenges as well as archery and shooting on site. The final challenges of the day took scouts into the river, which gave them the chance to cool off and also to have a go on our huge water slide. It was great fun splashing about!

Monday was our first big activity day as everyone headed off site to How Stean Gorge, scouts spent the day caving and gorge walking, while explorers swapped the caves for canoes. The awesome gorge walk started with a 40 foot vertical abseil from the bride to the water below, which certainly got the adrenalin pumping. Some scouts had to dig deep to overcome their fears, supported by adult leaders, to successfully complete the challenge. Once in the water, scouts and explorers overcame waterfalls and were able to enjoy the plunge pools of How Stean. Scouts spend the other half of their day caving, exploring Goydon Pot with experienced instructors who led them in a circular route deep underground through the caverns and via the Smarties Tube, so named because it's a very narrow tubular section of the cave.

Tuesday took scouts and explorers out to Grassington for a day walk and an ice cream reward. Scouts and explorers took in the sights of the dale along the way, crossing the Hebdon suspension bridge and stepping stones as well as passing by the Linton Falls on the way into the town. Everyone worked extremely hard and the walking distance for the day was around 9 miles.

Wednesday was one of the most thrilling days of camp as the group headed to Light Water Valley for rides and roller coasters. Scouts were free to make the most of their day and go on as many rides as possible, from the swan pedalos to the Ultimate roller coaster. One of the highlights of the day was undoubtedly scouts our afternoon trip on the Ultimate where we filled an entire train. The Eagle's Claw and Whirlwind also provided a huge amount of stomach churning!

The venue for Thursday's activity was incredible, the group spent the day in the grounds of the rather grand Ripley Castle, taking on a leap of faith, orienteering course, team building, and the definite favourite of the day; body zorbing. The instructors played a few different games with us, although the first challenge was simply to get inside the zorb. A body zorb covers over your head and down to your waist, so you can still stand up and run... and bump into things. In the zorb arena, scouts and explorers played bull dog and last man standing, where the idea of the game was not to get knocked over.

The last day of camp was much more chilled with scouts spending the morning in Ilkley, buying presents to take home and exploring the historic town, before heading to Ilkley Lido to cool off in the afternoon. After the Lido came the traditional huge end of camp BBQ and campfire, before scouts spent the night sleeping under the stars.

Scouts left the site on Saturday with so many new memories and new experiences, with highlights including everything from our day at the gorge, to having an awesome time with new friends, to the Sunday morning jog and dip into the river, to cooking a meal for themselves for the first time. Scouts formed memories which will live on with them for years to come!

You can check out photos from our week long adventure in the photos zone.

Summer Camp 2015 was made possible by adult volunteers and young leaders offering their spare time to support the event, working as a team to plan and run the camp. Find out about how you can become one of the growing number of adults who give some of their spare time support scouting in Washington. You don't have to make a weekly commitment, but a couple of hours a month can go a long way to making a difference to the lives of young people in the area.

Scouts: Celebrating Badgefest Success

posted 28 Jul 2015, 14:32 by Stephen Harrison

Scouts on photographer's badge
Scout eating kebab
Scouts recently celebrated the end of their badgefest programme, a whirlwind programme which saw scouts choosing between 16 different badges, with up to 7 badges running on any one week.

Over the course of the programme, scouts worked towards one or two activity badges, developing their skills along the way, from photographers learning to compose their images in the early weeks, then spending time on the road on the hunt for the perfect pic, or our budding mechanics learning to service a car (parents and carers beware!).

We've also had scouts learning judo, covering half of the north east as part of cyclist badge, swimming miles, getting creative and crafty, showing their athletic prowess and cooking up a storm in the kitchen. Another highlight was survival badge, which included a 24 hour survival exercise where scouts build their own shelter and cooked their food on the fire. All scouts earned at least one activity badge through the programme, which count towards the 6 they need to achieve Chief Scouts' Gold Award.

Badgefest is also a unique opportunity for leaders as they work with a group of scouts over a number of weeks and have the chance to see their group grow in confidence, in experience and in skills across the programme.

At the end of programme families night, scouts were presented with their badges and talked confidently about what they had been up to over the programme to the audience.

3rd Washington Scouts pride themselves in providing a balanced programme that appropriately challenges young people and adult volunteers alike. Through a range of activities, often outdoors-based, we aim to help young people to enjoy life, have fun and become better citizens who uphold scouting's values.

Scouts: All Aboard to Kettleness!

posted 26 Mar 2015, 05:06 by John Henderson

Steam powered adventure for scouts and explorers... Yes Please! The older Scouts and the Explorers climbed aboard the minibuses for a spooky action-packed weekend at an old railway station in North Yorkshire. Converted from Kettleness railway station in the 1960’s by the East Cleveland Scout District, Seeonee Lair Campsite and Activity Centre is a fantastic venue for our adventurous Scout and Explorer sections.

After a few tense minutes trying to find the power switch the Scouts and Explorers made their way into the accommodation and settled in for the weekend. With another fantastic effort by Tesco Home Deliveries, the group packed away the food for the weekend - this much adventure requires a lot of calories!!

The railway theme continued into Saturday with a trip on the North York Moors steam train into Whitby. Our group climbed aboard the Whitby express turning one carriage into adventure central. The train pulled out the station with a whoosh of steam and we were off to Whitby!

20mins later we arrived to spend the day scouring the shops for the perfect Mother’s Day present and wow, our Scouts and Explorers certainly found some unique items! Before heading back to Kettleness the group stopped at a local venue for some hard earned 'healthy' calories.

The group was lucky to celebrate two birthdays over the weekend, congratulations to Callum and Ali. There was plenty of cake and candles for all of the group, although the number of candles on Ali's cake could have been a fire hazard!

The famous ‘Ghost of Kettleness Station’ was never far away and would often close the kitchen door right in the face of a leader- what timing! Late one night two intrepid (and perhaps a little scared) group leaders went to investigate a strange knocking sound at the front door. On investigation the leaders confirmed that the front door was firmly locked although a regular knocking sound came from the door almost as if the Ghost had missed the train and was demanding entry!

A video was taken to prove the ghostly going-ons and the next day we discovered a strange whistling noise on the video which added a new level of suspense to the next day’s camp fire!

Sunday morning was spent at the local beach with Scout leaders running madly up and down the sand in an attempt to get our new kites to fly. The majority of the Scouts and Explorers sensibly watched from the side lines shouting encouragement! Eventually, but not before we lost one kite on the cliffs, we admitted defeat due to lack of wind. The group then faced the tough journey back to the old station climbing over 200 steps from the beach to the cliff tops.

Sunday afternoon was spent clearing away and the group reluctantly left for home but not before a group photograph on the old platform.

Another fantastic weekend away with 3rd Washington Scouts!

The weekend with the older members of the group proved a big hit so I am sure the event will become a firm fixture in our future plans.

Scouts can find out about more opportunities to experience nights away on our camping pages and can look forward to an exciting year of outdoor adventure.

Scouts: What a Breath of Fresh Air

posted 15 Mar 2015, 13:12 by Stephen Harrison

Scuba - It's a breath of fresh air!
Our first programme of the year has certainly been one to remember with an activity packed agenda, non stop from the first week in January. The programme has been all about experiencing a healthy lifestyle, including food and exercise and having a great time doing it.

Among many highlights, scouts have made smoothies, concocting some very interesting mixes of fruit, honey and cream. All with some help from Sainsbury's Washington who kindly supplied a variety of ingredients to mush together. Scouts have further dabbled with cooking, taking some fast foods and re-imagining them as healthier alternatives, home cooked and shared with friends. Home made chicken kebabs were on the menu, along with pizza, and something called salad?!

We've also had a Boot Camp experience with Ed and Katie, I'm certain that there were few scouts who didn't ache the next... and who would have thought sitting against a wall would be so tiring! Thanks very much to our instructors for bringing some energy to proceedings! If anyone is up for more boot camp hell, Ed and Katie run a session at Penshaw Monument 3 times a week.

Scouts have tested their agility, fitness and reactions with our body MOT, as well as proving that they are (just as us leaders thought) full of hot air, taking our lung capacity test. Some scouts proved that they have extremely youthful reaction times.

Pizza Making
The big highlight of the programme was a try dive scuba diving experience with Aquanorth diving centre. The night at the pool gave scouts the chance to learn some basics of scuba diving, including how to breathe under water, how to use the regulator, how to dive down to the bottom and most importantly, how to surface again. Scouts had a great time in the pool and were working together well, signalling underwater and looking out for each other. For any scouts who want to do more, Aquanorth offer courses and scouts will receive a £10 from the advertised price.

The programme ends with a families night, where parents and carers will be able to try some of the activities from the programme and scouts will be presented with the fitness challenge award.

Photos from the programme are available in the photos zone, with more photos from scuba coming soon.

Through our active programme, scouts are encouraged to push themselves to achieve more and to work together to support each other in overcoming obstacles. Through our programme, our young people develop as members of the scouting community, learn to work in teams and develop leadership skills that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.

Active Kids - Back for 2015

posted 31 Jan 2015, 08:31 by Stephen Harrison

Sainsbury's Active Kids scheme is back for 2015, running from Wednesday 28th January to Tuesday 5th May.

Collecting vouchers for the Scout Group helps us buy new games kit, tents and other camping equipment which young people enjoy throughout the year. Over the last 5 years, we've had some great gear and it helps us keep our kit fresh and new.

Vouchers can either be given to your section leader or left in the collection box at the church. We're extremely grateful for all your support, even more so if you share our link with friends and relatives and ask them to collect for us too.

You can find out more about how the group fundraises by visiting our fundraising pages or by contacting
. If you like your fundraising a bit more adventurous why not contact us about taking part in our sponsored zip wire fundraiser.

Scouts: Gainford Got Us Grinning

posted 31 Jan 2015, 08:04 by Stephen Harrison

The first nights away of the year are always great fun, it's seems like a long gap between Leadership Weekend in November and Under 12s Weekend in January. Under 12s weekend always gives the leaders a great chance to get to know the troop's newest members well and it's always a relaxed weekend.

After a manic Friday night of games, stories and a film, Saturday morning is where the adventure really starts.
Rotating round a number of activities, scouts got a taste of archery, with some scouts showing some great skill, hitting the bullseye more than once. Scouts also tried their hands at geocaching, a high tech treasure hunt using GPSs to get out and about in the village and beyond. The third activity for the morning was pancake races, we might be a bit early for Pancake Tuesday, but it was flippin' brilliant! It's debatable how many of the pancakes were edible, but that didn't matter as our main aim was to flip them as high as possible.

In the afternoon we unpacked our boots for a scenic walk along the River Tees from Egglestone Abbey to Whorlton. The walk included a couple of hills which scouts were able to roll down. Luckily for us, the weather was good, although I think a few of us were hoping for snow. At the end of the three miles, the leaders looked more worn out than the Scouts!

Saturday evening challenged the imagination of our young people as we headed back to Egglestone Abbey for a wide game in the dark. The ruins of the abbey cast a ghoulish shadow across the playing area and provided hiding places aplenty for leaders.

Sunday morning was spent with a traditional scouting activity as everyone tried their hand at pioneering. After learning some basics, everyone worked together to build a set of monkey bars, which were strong enough to hold scouts (not leaders!). Once completed, scouts challenged each other to get across safely.

Visit our image gallery for more photos from the weekend.

Scouts can find out about more opportunities to experience nights away on our camping pages and can look forward to an exciting year of outdoor adventure.

Celebrating 40 Years of Scouting at 3rd Washington

posted 31 Jan 2015, 07:40 by Stephen Harrison

This January, 3rd Washington Scouts celebrated 40 years of Adventure in the North of Washington.

It's 40 years since founder John Addington set up the group, at the time, John's son was on the waiting list for a group in Usworth and the local adult volunteers were trying to persuade parents to get involved. Perhaps some things haven't changed that much!

At the first meeting of the new cubs and scouts sections, 30 cubs and 36 scouts enrolled for the first night, now we have over 200 young people enjoying scouting each week, it's incredible to think that the group could be so successful.

We think we're pretty youthful at 40, 40 years ago you certainly wouldn't have read this on our website, or heard scouts coming back from a camp talking about geocaching, but the evening gave us a chance to reflect on why we all scout, look out for some videos coming soon.

Huge thanks to everyone who supported our celebration especially parents who made fantastic cakes for the group.

You can find out more about the history of the group in the about us section.

3rd Washington Scouts is an active group, with young people enjoying a new challenge every week as part of a busy programme. Around 40 adult volunteers lead the adventure and work to make scouting possible as many young people as possible.

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