News and Blogs

News Search:


Top Story

25th World Scout Jamboree in South Korea
07/07/2021 By Richard Mendelsohn
Squirrels Young Person 4

The UK Contingent are driving a large focus on inclusion for the South Korea World Scout Jamboree.

Essentially, the World Scout Jamboree is open for applications from all Scout members of the correct age, and these are encouraged from everybody.

To assist with financial inclusion, each county has been asked to review their financial inclusion process, and we have now done this in Hampshire.

Hampshire will be using a specific grant fund to assist participant applications via its grant committee. Grants of varying levels of up to 50% could be available for those most in need of assistance.

For more information please go here.

Read full story

News & Blogs

SWAN 72 – Report
03/05/2022 By Web Developer

SWAN 72 – Report


The first challenge was getting to Norfolk!  The M25 nearly won but eventually we reached the sanctuary of the 1st Hoveton and Wroxham Sea Scout HQ, where crews could finally assemble in person and a hot meal was enjoyed by all.  After a night on the floor and breakfast, crews headed to ‘Roys’ to complete the food shop for the week.

Following lunch at the Scout HQ, crews made their way to boatyards, stowed kit and provisions and prepared to sail.  Our fifteen boats were divided into 4 squadrons of 3 or 4 boats; most of which were at Hunter’s Yard on Womack Water.

Without providing a step-by-step itinerary it would be worth noting both the ‘highs’ and ‘challenges’ from the week:

First of all, we were blessed by fantastic weather – not always a given in April.  The promised rain and mid-week strong winds did not materialise.  The frosty mornings were magical, if you were up early enough and there were more than one or two brave souls donning shorts!


Magical Early Morning

Fleet Dyke


The first day challenge is to ensure everyone gets on the helm.  It is no mean task to persuade a first time SWAN member to take charge of a 4/5 tonne gaff rig keelboat.  All duly accomplished and so everything was set up for the week.


Moored at

Fleet Dyke

Saturday’s mooring was at Fleet Dyke; the entrance dyke to South Walsham Broad.  It was after our first night on board that we had one of those special misty mornings where the light, mist and scenery combine to paint a perfect Norfolk picture; assuming you were up early enough to see it!

The next two days were spent up and down the River Ant with a lively session on Barton Broad on Monday.  This resulted in a couple ‘ducks’ including the rescue of one skipper who fell in attempting to release his main sheet that was wrapped around a channel marker post.


Navigating Ludham Bridge

on The River Ant

Whilst it may not have featured too highly on some people’s list of priorities, a shower at our mooring at Barton Turf was certainly welcome, if not needed!


Breakfast at

Salhouse Broad

The sail up towards Wroxham was challenging, as the number of both trees either side of the river and other craft increased.  This combined with an intermittent and generally decreasing wind, ensured slow progress.  An early mooring on Salhouse Broad was welcomed; especially so in light of the very early start that day.



Early starts are often necessary in order to take full advantage of both tides and clearance under bridges.  This is particularly so at Potter Heigham.  Anyone who has been under the old bridge at ‘Potter’ will vouch for the fact, that for most yachts, there is precious little clearance even at low tide.



Going through ‘Potter’ opens up a beautiful area of The Broads.  It gives access to Horsey Mere and to Hickling Broad.  We spent time on Horsey including a break for lunch where we moored alongside other boats in the fleet.  One boat, a Hustler, went on an adventure: quanting up the narrow Waxham New Cut as far as Brograve Drainage Mill.  All was going well despite the low draught of the boat with 13+ people on board, until one of their two quant poles was left behind by an overzealous quanter.

Friday saw an early finish in order to prepare the boats for handover the next morning and there followed a final fish and chip supper in Ludham Village Hall.  This is where general raucous behaviour masquerades as award and certificate presentations and singing.  There are various awards for those young people excelling at their level and the infamous ‘Duck’ Trophy (see reference to Barton Broad above) and the Quanter’s Fever Trophy.  Rumour has it that some previous winners have needed to have a quant pole cut from their hands refusing to let go, even with a strong wind blowing. Each squadron writes their own song and presents it to one and all.  The songs usually pay reference to the many incidents that happen during the week that are often unseen by other boats.


Galley Boy

Certificate Presentation

On reflection there were not many lows despite the early starts and very tired young people on the way home.  We know that all our Winchester young people had a thoroughly good time – don’t just take my word ask them!  They are looking forward to next year and keen to develop on the next step of the SWAN training scheme: Senior Galley Boys/Girls.  They were a credit both to their Groups/Units and to Winchester Scout District; I am immensely proud of what they have all achieved.

My aim is to include more young people from Winchester on SWAN 73.  There is the challenge to you all!

SWAN 73 31st March - 8th April 2023

Greetings from The SWAN 72 Winchester Contingent (+ Quant Pole)

Remus Sawyerr

SWAN & Winchester ASU


Read full story
SWAN Norfolk Broads Sailing Expedition
03/05/2022 By Web Developer

SWAN 73 Friday 31st March - Saturday 8th April 2023

Sailing expedition in the Norfolk Broads. 

All training takes place in Winchester.

The SWAN Expedition | Facebook 

Basic SWAN Expedition Information

The week-long expedition starts at Wroxham Scout HQ Friday evening and involves meeting your crew for the week, discussing meal plans, briefings and dinner. Saturday morning, breakfast; then to the local supermarket in our crews to purchase supplies for the week. We have lunch at the HQ and then pick up the boats at 2pm and set sail!

For the next 7 days the expedition explores the Norfolk Broads, mooring for the night at different locations. Most of the boats don't have engines so use is made of tides and wind to get around.  Typically, the expedition covers 130 km. in the week.  The day starts at sunrise, getting the boats ready to sail to maximise daylight.  Some days will involve cooking on the go and sailing for the whole day until the evening destination is reached. Other days less distance is travelled and time is taken sailing on some of the broads (lakes) located on the ‘Broads’’ rivers. This could be training time, games or rafting up on mudweights to have lunch.

Once the expedition reaches its destination for the night, the fleet moors up.  The boats are made ready for sleeping; cooking and eating dinner in crews takes place; ‘Gatherings’ and then bed.  Gathering groups are made up of 6-8 similar aged participants and meet each night on one of the boats. They are either social gatherings (games) or are training gatherings led by one of the experienced skippers on specific aspects of broads sailing (e.g. tides and navigation).  The sailing plan is dependent on weather and changes are made if needed.

On the last Friday the boats are returned to the boat yards around midday.  Boats are tidied and kit packed ready for handover the following morning.  On Friday evening there is a celebration night including songs and fish and chips.  The expedition sleeps on the boats one final night and Saturday morning goodbyes are said before groups travel home.

Part of the expedition is a training programme which aims to progress people to skipper level (obtain a Scout Adventurous Activity Permit (Yachting)). There is a progress book to complete and 4 levels to work through. The programme is challenging and can take one or even more expeditions to progress a level.  Permit assessment weekends each year ensure new skippers are assessed and current permit holders’ assessment is reviewed.  Passing this gives you a Scout Yachting Permit which allows you to be a skipper and take charge of your own boat.  Your permit lasts for five years before needing to be renewed and can be used in scouting outside of SWAN.

The SWAN Expedition is currently administered within Peterborough Scout District and managed by the SWAN Scout Active Support Unit.

The SWAN Expedition | Facebook 

SWAN a long, but brief History

The first SWAN Norfolk Broads Sailing Expedition took place in 1950 led by ‘The Admiral’ Geoff Keighley (1924 – 2008). He took a group of 15 Senior and Patrol Leaders from the 26th Shrewsbury Scout Troop, on 4 cabin yachts with only one week’s sailing experience. The week was such a success it was run as a 26th Shrewsbury event again the following year and then again and so on until 1964. In 1964 Shropshire scouts joined the expedition for the first time this was the start of expansion that would result in the SWAN we know today. With members from all over the country brought by Scout leaders who were once scouts themselves on the SWAN expedition.  It now includes members from as far afield as Shropshire, Hampshire, Devon, Mid-Wales, Cheshire, Cambridgeshire, Sussex, Kent, Derbyshire, Surrey, Wiltshire, Norfolk and Cumbria.  As a result, the numbers sailing each year are around 80, split across up to 20 boats.

This expansion resulted in the formalisation of the SWAN training scheme which was developed by Geoff Keighley, Bryn Evans and Kester Keighley and formalised at a meeting in The Forest of Dean in 1980. The training scheme created covered more than the requirements for the Royal Yachting Association (R.Y.A.) National Keelboat Certificates and in 1995, SWAN, through a local sailing school started to award RYA certificates alongside the SWAN levels.


The scheme was revised in 2010 in conjunction with the SWAN leadership and agreed by Gordon “Rusty” Carter of the Baden Powel School of sailing, Brundall, Norfolk.

The expedition has always had a high standard of training, enabling people as young as 17 to become competent skippers of inland yachts on tidal waters.

Many people have come and gone through the years and they all say one thing;


“I can't wait till next year!!!”

More about Remus

I am currently a member of the Winchester Active Support Unit with a specific interest in Norfolk Broads Sailing. Also, I am a member of the Peterborough ASU for SWAN, an annual Scout Sailing Expedition that takes place around Easter each year. I have been Scouting in Winchester for more years than I care to remember, starting as a cub scout in what was then 18th Winchester Littleton, which amalgamated into what is now the 1st Winchester. My Scouting has involved cubs, scouts and venture scouts; scout leadership; ADC scouts and mountaineering adviser; young leadership training; and attendance at two world scout jamborees, one as a UK contingent troop leader. Outside of scouting I have worked in education for over thirty years and I am a keen musician playing trombone in bands, orchestras and small ensembles. I am looking forward to supporting as many Scouts/Explorer Scouts and leaders to become active participants in the SWAN Scouting Expedition. The ‘W’ in SWAN stands for Winchester and historically many Winchester scouts and leaders have taken part in the expedition that has been run for over 70 years. It would be great to see you on the expedition very soon.

Remus Sawyerr


Read full story
Blog | We’re Off - SWAN 72
07/04/2022 By Web Developer

We’re Off - SWAN 72

With all training complete we now look forward to joining up with the rest of the SWAN participants this Friday (08.04.22).

Despite the trials and tribulations of the last two years there is a genuine excitement to be gathering together as a Scouting sailing expedition.

For most of this year’s Scouts heading to Norfolk, it will be their first SWAN. The forecast is for lively winds so we should get some good sailing across the week.

Thanks go to all the Winchester Contingent for their hard work in the lead up to SWAN. Special thanks go to the 12th Winchester for their hospitality for the three training sessions and to the young people’s parents for the reliable taxi service.


An indication of the team bond achieved in a very short time is that our young people met independently for pizza - they didn’t even save me a slice!!!

We will return tired and happy at the end of next week with many a tale to tell and hopefully some pictures to share and whet your appetite for next year.




Read full story
Expedition to The Gambia
21/03/2022 By Web Developer

Expedition to The Gambia - Hampshire Scouts

Three weeks August 2023

WHERE? You guessed it.. to The Gambia. A small country on the west coast of Africa.  From the capital Banjul on the Atlantic coast we take the bus 200 miles up country to SOMA, a dusty fly blown town at the junction of the two main (only) roads and stay at KAIRA KONKO Scout Lodge..


WHAT? Help improve the Kaira Konko Scout centre, repair school classrooms, repair local homes in Soma… take paper, books and pencils to the primary school… improve the vegetable garden in the village .. Friday night is Scout night and we will be there sharing ideas… help at the schools. PLUS shopping at the market. Visit the village chief.. go on expeditions out of Soma in small groups with the Gambian Scouts.. and LOADS MORE!!!!!


COST  £2,000  TBC once flights are booked


WHEN? 3 weeks departing around Tuesday 8th August 2023 return about Wed 30 August 2023  (dates tbc depending on flights).


WHY?…WHY NOT?  This is an amazing chance to experience the real Africa with your mates.  It is excellent value.  Try it out.. meet new friends check out some ideas for your GAP year, get something really impressive on your CV.


WHO?? Fantastic leaders, you, your friends, any Explorer/ Network  aged who is prepared to give it a go (if they are not already a Scout then they had better join soon)


HOW? Lots of fund raising… for example, sponsored cycle, charity events, car washing …  and exciting training  so that you are ready for an adventure in Africa


Small print warning this trip could seriously change your outlook on life


Download pdf

Read full story
1 2 3 Next 

Winchester District Scouts


Material on this website has been reproduced by permission of The Scout Association
Website Powered by © 2014