News Archive

Scouts: Giving Something Back at Christmas

posted 18 Dec 2013, 14:29 by Stephen Harrison   [ updated 7 Aug 2014, 23:18 ]

Scouts helping at the Salvation Army
Over our Christmas programme, we've had a fantastic time, including thinking of others at Christmas as we helped the Salvation Army in Southwick prepare for Christmas. Definately time well spent!

Scouts worked hard to park food boxes and write Christmas cards which will go to homeless people who the Salvation Army support and won't be fortunate enough to be spending Christmas with their families.

The activity gave an opportunity to reflect on how fortunate we are at this festive time. Scouts also gift wrapped selection boxes, which was a challenge in some cases. You can find out more about the work of the Salvation army on their website.

We'd like to thank the Salvation Army for the opportunity to give something back to our local community this Christmas.

Each week, young people are faced with dilemmas and problems on a daily basis. Through scouting they can develop better understanding of their values and be more confident in exploring their own beliefs.

Celebrating Achievements in Scouting

posted 1 Dec 2013, 12:11 by Stephen Harrison   [ updated 7 Aug 2014, 23:18 ]

Cubs receive their Silver Chief Scouts Award
‘Two things matter in life: following your dreams and looking after your friends. This is what I love about Scouting. It’s about doing great things, loving and enjoying the great adventures and helping others to do the same.’ - Bear Grylls.


This weekend at Durham Scouts' annual awards, the acheivements of young people and adults across the county were celebrated in style with a glitzy bash at Durham Town Hall. Cubs from 3rd Washington were there to receive their Silver Chief Scouts award, and Jonathan was presented with his Silver Acorn at the event. Our congratulations go to Meghan, Chloe, Thomas, James and of course Jonathan. Cubs earned their Silver Chief Scout's Award (the highest award in the cub section) by completing challenges in being creative, community, fitnesss, global, getting outdoors and the promise programme zone. The leader team were incredibly proud to see cubs on stage with County Commissioner Jeff and Regional Commissioner Vicki.

The event provided a chance for young people and adults to reflect on the value scouting and the positive impact it has on society. Through supporting young people to develop, they become active and responsible citizens with valuable skills which improve their life chances. The journey through scouting at 3rd Washington challenges young people to reach their potential. Sometimes the path is not always clear... what path will you take?

The awards also recognised the work of volunteers in scouting, without whom, there would be fewer opportunities for young people to flourish and grow as they enjoy the adventures that scouting offers, next time you are at a scouting meeting, please take a moment to thank our leader team and group executive for the work they do.

The goal of the group is to offer our young people opportunities to learn through doing and this philosophy is supported through the balanced programme we offer. Beavers, cubs and scouts can expect to experience a range of activities which challenge to them to work with others, to develop their role as a member of the local community and to explore their beliefs and the beliefs of others.

Scouts: Developing Tomorrow's Leaders Today

posted 18 Nov 2013, 13:06 by Stephen Harrison   [ updated 7 Aug 2014, 23:18 ]

Scouts enjoy the beach
Leadership weekend is always a unique experience for scouts... it's a chance to bring together young people who aspire to be leaders, not just in scouting, but leaders of the future. The focus of the weekend is to help those young people to develop their skills, to think about how they work with others and to give them a set of tools that help them to lead others in scouting.

A pretty hectic weekend started with a packed Friday night, with discussion about expectations of the weekend, some team challenges and some thoughts on what makes a 'Super Patrol Leader'.

The pace on Saturday morning was just as quick, as patrols woke early to race sedan chairs before breakfast (it's important for PLs to be able to motivate themselves and others early on a morning). After breakfast, scouts discussed how they can support leaders to manage their patrols and tried out using 4 different leadership styles (democratic, supportive, formal directive and passive).

After lunch, our aspiring leaders, tried their hand as individuals at following instructions, with some very amusing results, including Tom squawking loudly in the hall. There was also a session on prioritisation and delegation, as scouts worked to complete 50 tasks in around an hour, including lighting a fire, holding a human pyramid and cooking popcorn.

In the evening, there was a break from the programme to visit Durham Lumieres, an amazing set of illumiated artwork in the hugely crowded city. The Durham Cathedral was impressive, but not as cool as the 3D projection of a lifesize elephant on Elvet Bridge!

Our Sunday programme allowed scouts to reflect on the skills they had learned over the weekend as teams set off on a scavenger hunt to the beach, looking for items such as shells, a copy of the front page of a newspaper and a postcard as well as taking pictures of themselves with a boat, with a statue or on a tennis court. It was a great lighthearted way to test out some navigation skills too.

Resources for patrol leaders can be found on our Taking the Lead pages.

Through scouting, young people can develop skills which improve their life chances, our Taking the Lead programme is just one of the many opportunities available to scouts which helps them to grow as individuals and as members of the scouting and local community.

Scout Hoodies to Order for Christmas

posted 10 Nov 2013, 12:59 by Jonathan Chicken   [ updated 7 Aug 2014, 23:18 by Stephen Harrison ]

Branded Clothing:

girl scout wears hoodie
Adults and young people of all ages, often choose to wear i-SCOUT branded hoodies when on activities with the group. Each year, we offer the opportunity to buy these garments, usually in time for Christmas.
We have the hoodies specially made with our 'i.SCOUT' branding to the sleeve and chest and our 'Leading Adventure' strapline on the rear.

The hoodies are very competitively priced and are of a very high quality. Children's sizes cost £14 and adult sizes just £18. 

Cubs: Adventure in the Capital

posted 9 Nov 2013, 03:12 by Stephen Harrison   [ updated 7 Aug 2014, 23:18 ]

Cubs enjoyed an amazing weekend adventure taking in all of the sights of London, packing everything they could into a single weekend.

Early on Friday, there was excitement in the air as cubs boarded the coach ready to head down the motorway to the big city. Around 5pm we arrived at our accommodation at Holland Park Youth Hostel for a quick turn-around before heading out to see some of the famous London sites by night.


First outing in London was a whistle stop night walk from Buckingham Palace, where they could see the Queen’s guards on duty, Trafalgar Square where scouts admired the fountains and the blue cockerel. We then continued towards Whitehall passing the gates to Downing Street, concluding the journey by walking past The Houses of Parliament and near the London Eye, which was lit up in a vast array of colours.

The next morning brought more energy and excitement. Following breakfast, we were back on the bus headed for the Science Museum, where we headed straight up to ‘Launchpad’. Launchpad is an amazing hands on area of the science museums where cubs could try lots of experiments for themselves. There was dry ice, a shadow wall, some interesting ways of hearing music, and a huge echo tunnel! The science didn't stop there as we experienced one of the Science Museum's famous shows.


Next up was the Natural History Museum, the museum is infamous for it’s huge displays did not disappointas cubs headed through the giant globe passing through the entrance 20ft up on the escalator. Up on the third floor, cubs experienced interactive dsemonstrations of how the earth was shaped, saw some of the weird and wonderful creatures which inhabited the earth years before the man and found about about how diverse creepy crawlies are across the globe.

After an incredible day at the museums, it was time for tea, then off to the West End. Charlie did not disappoint, we were high up in the theatre, looking down on all of the action. The songs were fantastic and the way they told the story with ingenious special effects, including the way the Oompa Loompas were potrayed on stage was brilliant. The musical was heart warming and the reveal at the end left cubs hoping a guardian was watching over them.


Cubs were full of energy again on Sunday morning for a coach tour of the city, we stopped at Buckingham House again to see the horse guard pass by, were treated to views of the Thames, crossed Tower Bridge and saw the Shard and Canary Wharf before arriving at the London Eye.


The Eye was definately a highlight of the weekend as we waited, there was a buzz among cubs, and in less than 10 minutes we were boarding the carriages to be taken high above the Thames for soon more spectacular views of the City. Over the next 30 minutes, cubs were able to take in Big Ben, St Paul's Cathedral and the Tower of London.

Heading back up the motorway after the fantastic weekend, the coaches were alive with cubs singing (and some seated dancing), bingo and chatter. It felt like no sooner had the weekend begun, it was over! Cubs had an amazing time exploring the streets of London, and, we’ve already been asked if the trip will be running again next year.

Photos are now online in the photos zone.

Cubs from 3rd Washington enjoy a balanced programme of events all year round, support from HLS District allows our packs to be part of some even bigger and more spectacular events like Cubs Go Capital and HLS District Cub Camp.

Big Adventures for Scouts at Confido 2013

posted 15 Oct 2013, 14:45 by Stephen Harrison   [ updated 7 Aug 2014, 23:17 ]

Scouts from 3rd Washington joined hundreds of scouts from across the county to enjoy huge activities this weekend, with Confido 2013 offering everything from abseiling to zorbing. The event, held at Moor House Adventure Centre was one of the biggest ever and brought together nearly 1,300 scouts, explorer scouts and adult volunteers from across Durham Scout County and beyond.

Across the weekend there was loads for scouts to try including target sports, from archery, .177 rifle shooting, laser clay pigeon and tomahawk throwing, to more adventurous climbing activities like our giant Jacob’s ladder and Moor House climbing wall. The weekend was also a chance for discovery, with scouts able to try the BCU canoe simulator, discover how casualties are rescued from crashed cars with NERAMS and find out about the Royal Navy. In marquee, there was also lots of craft activities where scouts could try their hands at getting creative.

Confido kicked off with a bang on Friday night with the Activities performing on stage in the packed marquee, before scouts took to the stage themselves for karaoke and banter with the stage team, the stage team welcoming a new member to the team this year.


After a hearty breakfast of sausage, fried bread, beans and cereal, activities opened. Hardy scouts could be found in the (rather cold) scuba pool before 9:30, experiencing diving with Durham City Scuba. Those who like a high-tech thrill headed straight for the Segways, while scouts and explorers inspired by Bear Grylls were able to visit the survival zone.

Throughout the day, the event also hosted some guests from the local community, with the Mayor of Sunderland even having a go on a Segway for himself, proving that scouting is not just an adventure for young people. Huge thanks to the scouts who acted as ambassadors for scouting and tour guides for the Mayor and Mayoress of Sunderland, the Deputy Mayor of Gateshead and the Chair of Durham County Council.

After an action packed day of activities, and as the sun set, excitement began to build for a Confido highlight – the Saturday night party. As scouts, explorers and adult volunteers made their way to the main marquee, Pirates of the Caribbean music started to belt out and the excitement continued to build and as the crowd filed in to the stage team were illuminated complete in incredible pirate fancy dress. Cheesy pop, cheesy banter and a dollop of pirate themed music was the order of the evening, and the crowd had a fantastic time joining in, most dressed like buccaneers of the high seas. A personal favourite has to be the scout in the parrot outfit!

Sunday morning was a second chance to try some new activities, and for scouts to do their favourites again, whether it was mountain biking at the bottom of the field, grass sledging, or an inflatable obstacle course, there was plenty still to do, and apparently the scuba pool was even colder.

Scouts got camoflaged with the royal marines
Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, and at 1pm, it was time for the final act, one final party with the stage team and the traditional end of camp songs. The final act, also a chance to thank leaders for supporting the weekend and to reflect before heading home, tired, muddy (very muddy) and happy.

There’s loads of photos online at http://bit.ly/1hNGVav and you can share your personal highlights with the world by tweeting @cnfdo.

If you have any feedback you want to leave the events team, please complete their short feedback form www.durhamscouts.org.uk/confido/feedback/.

Our thanks go to all of the volunteers who supported the event, and made it possible to offer so many opportunities in one weekend for scouts and explorers in Durham Scout County.

Extending Opportunities in Scouting

posted 29 Sep 2013, 13:35 by Stephen Harrison   [ updated 7 Aug 2014, 23:17 ]

Young Carers enjoy the slide3rd Washington Scouts have been supporting a new project led by Houghton-Le-Spring district to extend scouting opportunities to more people. The Houghton-Le-Spring project, supported by Sunderland Carers Centre and the Freemason's Grand Charity, aims to support young carers to be able to access scouting even if they cannot make a regular weekly commitment.

Scouts from 3rd Washington supported a fun day at Moor House adventure centre designed to give young carers a taste of scouting, with archery, grass sledging, shooting and wood fire cooking all on offer for everyone to try, it was a great day for all.

The day also gave scouts the chance to make new friends as they worked together on some of our team games activity and shared some of their biggest adventures with those new to the idea.

Soon the group will be inviting young carers to join us for some of our troop night activities and our Friday night adventures.

The aim of the group is to promote the development of young people in achieving their full physical, intellectual, social and spiritual potential, as individuals, as responsible citizens and as members of their local, national and international communities. Please watch a short video about scouting.

Scouts: Gravity Racing Challenge @Beamish_Museum

posted 5 Sep 2013, 14:58 by Stephen Harrison   [ updated 7 Aug 2014, 23:17 ]

Scouts worked as teams to build their carts

Scouts have been finding out that history is an adventure too as they experienced the thrill of building and racing gravity carts at Beamish Museum.

The event was part of Beamish Museum's festival of agriculture and power from the past events and gave scouts the chance to work as part of a team, spending the morning building the carts before racing in the afternoon.

It took about 3 hours to built the vehicles from scratch, from measuring and cutting the wood to build the seat, the plank that supported the seat, and the two beams to which the wheels would be attached, to nailing it all together and testing the design. A few tweaks later a little decoration and each team had a go-cart ready to race. We also knew we wanted to beat the fourth team from Framwellgate Moor scouts.

After the frantic build, there was time for a short break for lunch before heading across to the other side of the museum where we would race. The Beamish staff team set out a course and explained that points were awarded for avoiding eggs they had placed on the course, for avoiding the markers and for completing a run where the driver didn't come out of the cart.

The racing was fast and furious and there were a couple of spectacular incidents as drivers struggled to keep their cart on the course, their pit crews quickly coming to their aid. After 3 runs per team and some carts looking the worst for wear we had a winning team of Ally, Callum, Matty and Shane who received a prize from the Beamish sweet shop.

Scouts had the opportunity to explore the museum until close and discovered the shuggy boats at the fun fair, the sweet shop in the town, and that the tram is a convenient (and lazy) way back to the entrance.

Scouts at 3rd Washington take part in a balanced programme that offers fun, challenge and adventure on a weekly basis. We carefully choose activities that can be accessed by all and spend extra time developing skills that promote collaboration and mutual respect. 

Scouts: One Amazing Summer Camp 2013

posted 29 Jul 2013, 15:06 by Stephen Harrison   [ updated 7 Aug 2014, 23:16 ]

One amazing summer kicked off last week with Summer Camp, an awesome adventure in the Yorkshire Dales.

Arriving on site for the first time, scouts were struck by the picturesque setting of the camp, with the river Wharfe flowing close to the campsite and the beautiful valley stretching out to the east.

First up for scouts was the challenge of quickly bonding as a patrol to pitch tents, make boundaries, connect up the stoves and get set for the week ahead. Before the end of the evening, the temptation to cool off in the river was too much and the water slide was out!

Sunday was spent getting to know each other a little bit more, with several teamwork challenges, as well as archery and shooting on site, before getting back into the river to cool off. Our night line certainly provided some fun, dipping in and out of the river! Scouts also enjoyed home-made burgers for lunch and enjoyed being able to dine alfresco in fantastic surroundings.

Monday was our first activity day offsite and the sun shone for us as we headed out to Lightwater Valley for some fun in the theme park. After a morning of stomach churning entertainment, scouts packed on to the Ultimate (Europe's longest roller coaster), almost taking over the whole train with our Green T-Shirts. There was still time to be turned upside down again as the bravest among the group were thrown into a Whirlwind on the theme park's newest ride and braved the Eagle's claw.

The next big adventure of the week was a walk to Grassington, the motivation was an ice cream at the end. The walk itself was unfortunately delayed by some thundery showers, but after a morning radio quiz, a game show style activity with scouts answering from their tents via radio providing lots of fun with rounds such as name the accent (with the leaders doing some terrible impressions), the weather improved and scouts were able to set off in patrols hunting down their 99.

On Wednesday, scouts braved How Stean gorge and Goydon Pot, both activities providing challenge in equal measure. The caving experience in Goydon Pot was terrifying for those who don't like tight spaces as scouts squeezed through the tunnels on their hands and knees. The gorge too was a challenge, starting with the 45 foot abseil into the gorge and the challenge of clambering  up the stream over the rocks to play various games devised by our instructors, generally designed to get everyone wet. It's fair to say scouts had a brilliant time at How Stean.

Scouts also faced the challenge of Aerial Xtreme, which was a fantastic chance to monkey around on the high ropes course, although for some it was a bit of a challenge as some of the course was designed to test your head for heights, whether it was taking the leap of faith, crossing the wobbly bridge or zipping down the slide at the end.

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!

We've uploaded photos to our photos zone, there will be more following soon, and even the odd video on our Youtube channel. You can also take a look around our gorgeous campsite with our panorama to the left.

Summer Camp 2013 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: National Recognition For Ryan

posted 15 Jul 2013, 09:28 by Jonathan Chicken   [ updated 21 Aug 2013, 14:59 by Stephen Harrison ]

Scouts are renowned the world over for their dedication and commitment, especially when it comes to trying out new things. Recently, a scout from 3rd Washington received national recognition from Sportivate for his efforts when trampolining. 
Awards were presented at a ceremony at the House of Commons to recognise some of the amazing Sportivate projects happening around the country and the young people benefitting from the Sport England programme. The awards had two categories – best project and most outstanding participant – and winners were presented with a plaque and certificate by Sport England’s Parliamentary Fellow Tracey Crouch MP.

Ryan, who was encouraged to try a trampolining session for the first time as part of the Sunderland City Council’s Lifestyle, Activity and Food Sportivate programme received the bronze award (coming third nationally) to mark is commitment and dedication. 

Ryan is now able to perform not only the basic skills of jumping, landing and stopping, but has progressed to achieve front and back landings and somersault skills. 

However the biggest change for Ryan has been to his outlook towards sport and life in general. He said: “I now consider myself to be more sporty than I was, I’ve lost quite a lot of weight and gained a lot of confidence.”

Rona Chester, Chief Operating Officer of Sport England, said: “I am delighted that we are able to celebrate and recognise the outstanding projects and people involved in Sportivate. Sportivate is a hugely successful programme and this is reflected by these fantastic award-winning people and projects”

As well as a certificate and engraved plaque, Ryan received complimentary tickets to the Sainsbury's Anniversary Games in July, courtesy of the National Lottery. 

Over 225,000 young people have attended Sportivate sessions nationally and 190,000 have completed their coaching sessions – 83 per cent of whom are still playing the sport three months later.

Sportivate is being delivered by the network of 49 county sports partnerships, working with local clubs and providers. It is part of the official Olympic legacy programme and will benefit hundreds of thousands of young people until 2017.

Well done Ryan, we're proud of you!


Like all scouts groups in the UK, we support our members to develop physically, mentally, spiritually and socially to help them take a constructive place in society. We encourage young people to participate widely in pursuits that meet these aims. At scouts, the group provides challenges and new experiences through adventure across a wide range of activities including sports.


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