Scouts meet for first time in decade

The Oxford Times: Group Scout Leader Keith Paine with Cubs who will soon be moving up to the new Scout group. Back, left to right, Freddie Oliver, 10, Sam  Blantz, 10, and Ben Krouwel, nine. Front: Hayden Wardlaw, nine Picture: OX64921 Simon Williams Buy this photo Group Scout Leader Keith Paine with Cubs who will soon be moving up to the new Scout group. Back, left to right, Freddie Oliver, 10, Sam Blantz, 10, and Ben Krouwel, nine. Front: Hayden Wardlaw, nine Picture: OX64921 Simon Williams

A SCOUT group will be looking to attract new members when it meets for the first time in nine years on Monday.

Burford Scout Group will meet at its hut on the recreational ground off Tanners Lane for the first time since 2005, when it closed for lack of numbers.

The group for boys and girls aged 10-and-a-half to 14 is being restarted with just five members but leaders hope to more than double that number by the summer.

Group Scout leader Keith Paine said: “It is a great feeling and if we can maintain it, that would be excellent.

“The group previously had to shut because we didn’t have enough youngsters coming in, so it is nice to see it restarting.”

Mr Paine will lead the group for the time being but he said they were still looking for volunteer Scout leaders to help out.

Mr Paine, 64, has been volunteering in Burford, which currently has Beavers and Cub troops, for the last 10 years with his wife Christine.

The ex-serviceman added that the group was ideally based near an area where it is possible to explore outdoors.

He said: “We are lucky enough to be close to a copse, where we can make campfires and do other activities.

“We are also planning for some raft building on the River Thames.

“I do scouting because after all these years I still enjoy it and I have been involved for more than 40 years one way or another.”

West Oxfordshire district councillor for Burford Derek Cotterill welcomed the news of the group restarting.

He said: “There is not always much to do in a little village like ours so it is good to get people doing things together like Scouts.

“I was a Sea Scout myself as a boy and I earned the Queen’s Scout Award.

“It is always difficult getting people to volunteer for these things but it is all for the better if you can keep them going.”

Burford Scout Group will meet on Mondays from 6.45pm until 8pm. For more information on how to join, call Mr Paine on 01993 822001.

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