Stockton, Thornaby & District was founded in 1908, just one year after Scouting began. We currently have 9 Scout Groups, 3 Explorer Scout Units, a Scout Network and a Scout Active Support Unit (known as Stockton, Thornaby & District Scout Communications Team).
Squirrels is for children aged 4 and 5. This brand new section only started in September 2021 and is designed to help children be part of the fun of Scouts earlier than ever before. They learn about the world around them and how to stay safe through play and adventure. Groups of Squirrel Scouts are known as a drey – our first drey was formed at Ingleby Barwick in 2022 and we are always on the lookout for new volunteers to help us provide this opportunity in other areas too.
Beavers are aged 6-8. They make new friends, try new things, learn about the world around them, have fun and go on adventures. Groups of Beaver Scouts are known as colonies, these are then broken down into small teams of Beavers known as lodges (and usually form the basis of team games and activity groups). Every colony is different but they all follow the same system of badges and take part in a huge range of activities from den building, sleepovers, water activities and to arts and crafts, science, trips out and so much more.
Cubs are aged 8-10.5 and builds on the skills that young people have started to develop in Beavers (though you don’t have to have been a Beaver to become a Cub). Again the focus is on learning new things, having fun and spending time outdoors. Groups of Cubs are called packs, and these are broken down into smaller groups called sixes which each have a sixer and a seconder who are usually older Cubs who start to learn the skills of leadership and help the other members of their six. Cubs learn by doing and take part in all sorts of activities, including kayaking, going camping, building shelters, cooking, playing games and more.
Scouts are aged 10.5-14 and continue to learn new things, develop new skills for life, explore and help other people. Groups of Scouts are known as troops and as with the younger sections these are subdivided into smaller groups called patrols, which are led by a patrol leader and an assistant patrol leader. Patrol leaders and assistant patrol leaders are usually older Scouts and they develop their own leadership skills by helping and supporting the younger Scouts in their patrol. Scouts work towards all sorts of badges and awards and have the opportunity to take part in a huge range of activities, from camping, climbing, kayaking and archery through to DIY, computer programming, cooking and just about anything else you can think of in between. All of the activities are intended to build resilience, leadership, teamwork and problem solving skills.
Explorer Scouts are aged 14-18 and the provision moves from Group level to District level with only three Units in our District all made up of young people who have moved up from Scouts at one of our 9 Scout Groups or have joined us directly. They have their own identity and necker although work closely alongside the Groups whose buildings they meet at. Explorers take part in a massive range of activities, from day trips out to expeditions, indoor and outdoor games to rock climbing, camping, kayaking and much, much more. Explorers develop the skills that they need to succeed in life, it’s an opportunity to relax away from the pressures of education and try things that they might not otherwise get the opportunity to try. Many of our Explorers complete their Duke of Edinburgh Award with us, building their skills in a variety of areas and showing their commitment to self-improvement.
Young people in the Explorer Scout age range can become Young Leaders, they can do this alongside or instead of weekly Explorer Scout meetings. Young Leaders volunteer in Beavers, Cubs or Scouts helping to run the group, running activities and events. They are supported through training and develop valuable leadership skills which are recognised by further education establishments and employers. It is also a great way to complete the volunteering element of the Duke of Edinburgh Award.
Scout Network is for those aged 18-25 and is the final youth section of the Scouting journey. The Scout Network provides an opportunity for those 18-25 to keep doing the things that they have enjoyed in the younger sections alongside their friends and Scouting family going on bigger adventures, meeting new people. The Scout Network is largely self-led and tends to be quite ad-hoc as members are away at university etc and meet up during holiday times.
Anyone 18+ can become an adult volunteer (subject to a satisfactory personal enquiry). We have roles to suit everyone, from trustees and administrative roles to people who can help out every now and again, to people who have a specific skill that they can share with our young people through to those who want to be in the thick of it as a leader and more. All of our volunteer roles are completely flexible; even leaders don’t have to be available all of the time, whatever time you can give will make difference.
We also have a Scout Active Support Unit, Stockton, Thornaby & District Scout Communications Team. The team is made up of members aged 18+ who volunteer together to support all manner of events with radio systems, public address systems, site services and so much more. They work on event both inside and outside of Scouting from Scout camps to one of the biggest sporting events of its type in Europe and anything in between. You don’t need any prior knowledge to join the team, just a willingness to get stuck in, have fun and do your best.