The District stretches from the outskirts of West Hull across to Snaith and covers an approximate distance of 40 miles from east to west. Blacktoft Beacon District was formed in April 2012 from the merging of two former Districts. When merging the groups of people we wanted a neutral name. Blacktoft is about central to the District boundaries, sits on the Humber estuary and is too small to have its own Scout Group. The official beacon sited in Blacktoft was actually erected by local Venture Scouts and first lit New Year’s Eve for Beacon Europe 1992. BAE systems made us a 75% size replica Beacon which we lit to signify the formation of the District.
Since then we have recorded steady growth both in youth members and adults.
By mid-2014 our membership numbers show 984 youth members and 184 adults. The members are split between our 14 groups, District Explorer Scouts, District Scout Network and District Scout Active Support.
From the start we have strived to bond into one united District. We created our District Friendship award to help with this. It is awarded to the Group or Explorer Scout Unit who has participated in the most joint events within the District. So far South Cave Explorer Scout Unit won the award in 2013 and Anlaby St Marks Scout Group in 2014.
As a District we have tried to strengthen local Scouting by supporting Group Scout Leaders to manage their groups effectively. The Group Scout Leaders form the majority of the District Team and we gather small working groups to run District events as and when required. We hold termly District Scouters meetings to keep all leaders aware of development plans.
We formed a Scout Network in 2013 which is evolving. Watch out for the development plan we have for Network to be launched in January 2015!
My own background in Scouting like so many others dates back to me being born into a Scouting family at a time when girls were not allowed to be Scouts. My father was a Scout leader and I would do anything to accompany him. I hated being left at home when my Dad and brother went off to summer camp.
I became a Cub Scout leader in the mid 1970’s and then as my own daughters were growing up I moved to the Scout section and then the Venture Scout section. I was Assistant County Commissioner for Venture Scouts for Humberside when we closed down Venture Scouting and created the new sections of Explorer Scouts and Scout Network.
I was part of the HQ working group who developed the new programme in 2001 and have continued to work with HQ as we strive to keep the programme relevant. Between 2001 and 2011 I held two HQ roles; National Commissioner for Scouts and then UK Adviser for Activities.
After ten years of working at HQ as a volunteer I have enjoyed the challenge of supporting our new District - Blacktoft Beacon.