The Lancing College ‘Minerva’ Explorer Scout Unit

This term we launched the new ‘Minerva’ Explorer Scout Unit, running as part of the Co-curricular Service activities. In September the Unit welcomed its first cohort of 20 new Fourth Form Scouts and a small handful of Lower Sixth helpers. Scouts is the world’s largest youth movement with over 25 million members worldwide; in the UK ‘Explorers’ is the name given to the 14 to 18 year old section of the Scouts.

Our Scouts immediately got stuck into a busy and active programme. The first weeks focused on team building, when we made tall towers and strong bridges out of a bits of newspaper, sellotape and dry spaghetti. The training element in the first half of term focused on fire lighting: the basic principles were explained before the Scouts had a chance to collect wood, then build, light and maintain their fires. They practised lighting fires using flint and steel, a battery and rubbing sticks together. Inevitably, the lit fire then provided the perfect excuse for toasting marshmallows and eating ‘smores’, a great Scouting tradition, although we did stop short of bursting into song.

After Half Term, as the nights drew in, training moved indoors for a series of First Aid lessons, led by one of our Lower Sixth Scouts, Olllie F, a fully qualified First Aid trainer. These sessions build towards their first earnt badge. The Scouts are looking forward to learning cooking, campcraft and pioneering as the year develops. COVID-19 restrictions have meant we have not been able to get out and about, but we are looking forward to taking part in our first camp later in the year.

Each meeting starts and ends with the traditional flag ceremony and the Scouts have been learning about the Scout movement. After some careful thought the unit was named ‘Minerva’ after the Roman Goddess of wisdom, and will soon be able to join the local family of units in Adur Valley Scout district. We look forward to meeting and working with other Scouts in the area once conditions allow.

We have been so far unable to formally ‘invest’ the first cohort officially into the Scout Movement but once restrictions have lifted we are looking forward to taking the Scout Promise, and finally wearing the coveted Scout world badge, and Adur District Explorer Scout Scarf.

Dr Richard Bustin, Head of Geography and Scouts Lead