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Welcome to Ballymoney Scout Group

We are a Scout Group for both girls and boys based in the Co. Antrim market town of Ballymoney.

Scouting has a long history in the town and indeed first started in Ballymoney with the formation of the ‘Ballymoney Church Scout Troop’ in 1921 and continued with other groups (1st Ballymoney, 2nd Ballymoney in various guises) joining and merging over the years until in 1957 when the name Ballymoney Scout Group was adopted.

We have 3 active sections:

Beavers (6-8) Cubs (8-11) Scouts (11-14) Our Explorers (14+) join the County’s Night Owl ESU


Scouting offers challenge and adventure to 400,000 young people and 100,000 adults across the UK. We do some pretty amazing things in Scouting, but for us, adventure is a way of life and not just an activity or expedition.
Our Scouts grow in confidence by trying out new skills and stretching themselves. Whether it’s an Explorer trying out his French on an international trip or a Scout leading her Patrol for the first time, each time we challenge ourselves, it’s a step forward.
When a Scout stands up to a bully, or sticks up for what they believe in; that’s an adventure.


We are currently recruiting for more adults;

You can spare a few hours a week – We need Assistant Leaders and Occasional Helpers across a few sections
You can spare a few hours a month – We need Administrators and Event Planners to help with our fundraising (No experience required, just a willingness to get stuck in and be part of the team)
You can spare a couple of days over the year – We need people of all ages and backgrounds to help with events and also tradespeople to train the kids and volunteers on the upkeep of our equipment, hall and vehicles.
You can’t spare anytime but your business needs exposure? – We are working to create a wide variety of sponsorship opportunities please contact us to discuss.

email:  gsl@ballymoneyscoutgroup.co.uk for more info.

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Beavers News

Beavers Scouting @ Home – Indoor Campfire

This week Beavers were challenged to create indoor campfires using junk/paper/Lego/play-dough…whatever they had available around the home. Pleased to say we have had lots of fabulous creations. Well done Beavers!!!

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Beavers News

Beavers Scouting at Home – Build a Fort

Unfortunately, due to social distancing because of the coronavirus, all face to face scouting has been cancelled. 

Fear not!!! Beaver scouts have been busy scouting at home 🙂 

Their first weekly challenge was to built a blanket fort and sleep in it.  The challenge was accepted by around 75% of our young people and our YL too.  The kids smiling faces cheered all the leaders up.  

Well done to our fabulous Beavers. It was great to see siblings and parents getting involved too. Keep an eye out for next weeks challenge – build a 3D campfire!

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News Scouts

SCOUTS DANDER AT BINEVENAGH

Wee Saturday trip out for scout section in the run up to St. Paddy’s day. Everyone was well wrapped up for a walk from the Lake car park to the statue of Manannan Mac Lir, the Irish Sea god, at Gortmore Point. Thanks to David Hoy for leading the walk. They were treated to lovely scenery and a beautiful sunset, but it was rather windy!

Unfortunately the walk took a bit longer than anticipated, so we ran out of time for return walk to the car park where Jonny (Akela) had planned to teach them how to make bannock bread. So while waiting for the minibus to pick them up, the scouts had some fun playing around on the grassland. Never mind… Plan B … a stop at Burger King on the return journey to fill hungry tummies.

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Beavers News

Beaver Shape

Ballymoney Beavers met up with lots of other Colonies for the annual Beavershape day. A day of fun, scout skills and youth shaped activities.

On arrival at Bovevagh Parish Church, our Beavers enjoyed a teddy bears picnic. Bellies full and then it was time to start activities. First up was the youth-shaped activities – cool wall (to decide which badges Beavers were really interested in doing) and create a plate (Beavers drew various camp site ideas).

The next session was a parachute game and the wish tree – Beavers wrote something they would really like to do and by hanging it on the wish tree, their wishes will hopefully come true.

Then onto some more creative fun. They made ‘Lego’ woggles and designed their own neckers. Our own Beaver section YL Robyn helped run this activity.

Next up, a firm favourite…fires and smores! Each Beaver made a fire lighting kit, lit small fires using flint and steel and then toasted marshmallows for smores.

Of course no Beaver day out is complete without a bouncy castle, and so they had half an hour of bouncing on two inflatables.

Finally, they experienced an indoor campfire, where they joined in with some silly campfire songs. Shout out to Scout section YL Alex for his campfire song – singing in the rain. Most sang along and did their best to follow the actions.

Our Beavers were very well behaved and seemed to enjoy the day. Many thanks to Adam and the County Youth team for organising and running the day and to Bovevagh for hosting the event.

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News Scouts

Scouts Fitness February

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Beavers News

Beavers Winter Adventure

Beavers voted to go to We are Vertigo for their Winter Adventure…their wish was our command 🧞‍♂️. The turquoise ninjas had fun bouncing and sliding around the inflatapark. After this they visited the adventure zone. Lots of Beavers tried out the high ropes and low ropes, a few tried the climbing wall and they all had fun in the soft play. Many thanks to we are Vertigo for all their help.

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News Scouts Uncategorised

Scouts Winter Camp 2020

Friday night fun

Scouts and their rucksacks crammed into the minibus and set off to the Peter Thompson Hall, Castlerock. Young leaders ran some silly team relay games …. bottle flipping and caterpillar racing. Some very interesting techniques and a lot of cheating caterpillars. Then leaders ran a game of hungry hippos while the YLs set up their activity … Warhammer model making. The rest of the evening was spent making models and listening to music.

Saturday Variety

All kinds of activities today!!! Exploring HMS Caroline … Team work and problem solving trying to Save the City at Escapade escape rooms … lots of climbing at Clip and Climb. Back to the Peter Thompson Hall to enjoy a meal – Chinese New Year theme. Well done to chefs (Grace, Katie, Joshua and Luke) for cooking Chow mein noodles, Chinese style curry with rice and spring rolls. Then ice cream for pudding followed by a walk around Castlerock. Planned evening games ditched in favour of more Warhammer activities and making their own fun in the main hall.

Sunday

A bit of a lie in, waking up to a fab cooked breakfast (Jonny/Akela) then time to tidy up and get gear on the bus. Walking gear on, then on to Castlerock train station with Joan and Alphie to meet Julie-Anne (Beaver Leader) and continue on a dander cross country to Mussenden Temple and finishing at Downhill Forest. We had many fun facts along the way thanks to Katie 😂😂

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Uncategorised

Great Scottish Run – Sponsor Joan!

Joan, one of our intrepid Scout Leaders is doing this years half marathon – The Great Scottish run in Glasgow on the 29th of September.
She has nominated the Group as her chosen charity and any funds raised will be offset against our new minibus. #Run for the bus
If you want to help and sponsor Joan – please click the link and donate what you can.
https://www.ballymoneyscoutgroup.co.uk//product/donate/
The Course:
The course starts in George Square in the city centre, before taking runners past some of Glasgow’s finest venues and buildings. Runners cross over the River Clyde, as well as a taking a trip through Pollok Park and Bellahouston Park, before heading back for the grandstand finish on Glasgow Green.
The decision to take on 13.1 miles should not be taken lightly; it requires a good level of fitness and a dedication to training. The rewards for your hard work in the build-up are all worth it however. The course will once again pass many of the iconic venues that feature in Scotland’s biggest city, including Nelson’s Monument, the Clyde Arc and the Finnieston Crane.

  • Starting in George Square in the heart of the city centre. Runners cross the Clyde twice using the Kingston Bridge and Clyde Arc.
  • From the city centre streets to the peace of Pollok Park – every mile is different.
  • Aqua Pura will be available at regular points along the route. There will also be a run-through shower around 8 miles.
  • Entertainment along the route will include bagpipers, drumming bands, live music, charity cheering points and our ‘Wall of Sound’ zones.

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Uncategorised

2019 Group Camp

Beavers, Cubs and Scouts all attended our annual Group Camp, this year held at Ballylough House. (Thanks to June & David! for allowing the invasion…)

Despite a few logistical issues the camp still went ahead as planned, nearly 50 Beavers, Cubs and Scouts as well as our Hardy Band of leaders all took to canvas for a weekend of fun and friendship.

Firefighting, Backwoods cooked Pizzas, Team building, Plank skiing, Gutter ball, assault courses, Nature trails, Hikes, Leaf hunting, campfire songs and skits, Inflatables, Self run games, rock pooling, Trekking the coast on foot at a Shere Khan pace, filled the days. The pictures give an idea of the craic that was had..

A massive thanks to all the Beavers, Cubs and Scouts for being such good sports and they all behaved impeccably well. Well done on all their achievements this year. I hope to see them advance even further next year, for those moving on to Night Owls ESU – Good luck and do us proud!

Similarly, a big thanks to Alex and Matthew, our Young Leaders for all their hard work across the year and at the camp.

Of course there would be no sections or camps without the time given up by our Leadership Team.

A personal, thanks and well done to all the Leaders at the Camp, Ash (Wendy), Rowan (Julie-Anne), Cypress (Sara), Chil (Roma), Baloo (Graeme), Raksha (Aideen), Alphie, Saffie and our AGSL – Shere Khan.

Of course there are leaders who have put in a lot of time and work all year round who couldnt make the camp and a big thanks to them also. Joan, Francine, Claire and Lisa.

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Beavers News

Beaver Rally Day

Some of our Beavers attended the NI Beaver Rally day at Crawfordsburn Scout Centre this weekend. As the theme for the event was World around us, Beavers decorated rocks earlier in the week with drawings relating to India. These were then swapped at Crawfordsburn with rocks other colonies decorated with drawings/paintings related to other countries.

Beavers had a great time watching the magic show, bouldering and following the gruffalo trail….

They showed off their dancing skills with a Zumba session…

Zumba with Ash!!!

They were creative decorating cardboard shapes, rice sound makers and beaver biscuits…

Then they searched for bugs…

Finally fun on the assault course, shopping and stone swapping.

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Cubs News

Cubs Knots & Lashings

Polishing up two weeks fun with Ropes the Cubs have all mastered their basic knots and lashings.. Now what will they make with them?

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Cubs News

Cubs Knots & Lashings

Polishing up two weeks fun with Ropes the Cubs have all mastered their basic knots and lashings.. Now what will they make with them?

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Beavers News

Beavers RNLI Visit

This week Ballymoney Beavers visited Fred at the RNLI boathouse in Portrush. They learned about keeping safe at the beach by wearing sun hats and sun cream and to protect their feet with old shoes/crocs. Fred told them all about the lifeguards and the importance of swimming/paddling in between the red and yellow flags. He also explained how to get help in an emergency.

Then the Beavers were shown around areas not normally open to the public. First stop, the changing room ….

Then down to see the dry suit and helmet worn when going out on the small life boat…

Finally upstairs to see the RNLI office…

Thank you to all the Beavers for donating money to the RNLI during our visit. They have all been given a small jar to fill with 5p’s to raise some more funds for this important, lifesaving charity.

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Beavers Cubs News Scouts

Easter Raffle Winner

Thank you to all those who supported our Easter fundraiser by entering our raffle. We raised £311 which will be used to buy more tents and equipment for our group camp later this year. The winner of the hamper was Margaret Archibald. Congratulations!!

Also a huge thank you to those who donated prizes including cinema and bowling passes from The Jet Centre, Coleraine and a voucher from McClesters Family Butcher, Ballymoney.

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Cubs News Scouts

Beach fun & Leader Investitures

Scouts visited Portstewart Strand on a clear, cool spring evening, for a walk through the dunes, some sand sledding and s’mores on the beach. Two leaders were also invested, Graham for cubs and Joan for scouts. Welcome to the group 😀

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Camps News Scouts

Scouts Night hike & BIVI

This weekend, scouts completed a hike from Coleraine to Downhill forest. That’s almost 6 miles carrying their gear for an overnight Bivi, in the dark with even the youngest managing to keep up!

Along the way they were able to locate their position at a number of stops on an OS map and provide 6 figure grid references. Of course, these stops were also a chance for a short rest and some snacks.

On arriving at Downhill, they were welcomed by a warm fire with soup gently warming. While waiting for soup, they built their shelters (tarps) which would protect them from the rain which arrived overnight. Back to the campfire and soup and rolls to fill up hungry bellies. Another burst of energy and still no sign of sleep at midnight!

Eventually the last scouts awake were reminded to get some rest and joined those already bedded down in shelters for the night.

It wasn’t long before leaders went to bed, with some in more luxurious accommodation than others (ahem..Jonny..ahem)

The morning was cool, but the campfire was lit in no time. Everyone enjoyed breakfast…beans cooked on the campfire, bacon and eggy bread cooked on the stoves. Finally, tarps and supplies were packed away, rucksacks repacked and a leave no trace litter check completed and it was time for tired, smoky scouts to go home

Well done to everyone!

Categories
Beavers News

Beavers Bistro – Mother’s Day

Beavers invited all mothers (and fathers and siblings) to come to our Beavers Bistro for a mother’s day treat. They had the responsibility of taking orders, and then helping to make tea/coffee to treat their family. Of course leaders were on hand to help with boiling water and delivery of hot drinks. Beavers did a great job of handing out plates of biscuits too. After everyone was relaxing with their tasty treats our fantastic Beavers gave mums a notecard (decorated earlier) and chose a rose for their mum. Well done everyone!!

At the end of the meeting we invested 3 new beavers and awarded badges. Thanks to our helpers …. Scout Leader David, scout helpers and young leaders. No photos this time, too busy 😂

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Beavers News

#Beavershape 2019

Our youngest section took part in the county #Beavershape event this weekend. The event was held in Castlerock and they were joined by beavers from all over the county. They had a blast playing games and creating tea towels, new badges and mini figure woggles.

They took part in youth shape activities in which they expressed what they liked to do at beavers, what they think makes a good leader and thoughts on badges they can currently earn or new ideas for ones they would like to earn.

Lunch break, during which they had some impromptu games of Ladders and Duck, duck, goose with Derryloran beavers. Then they were able to burn off some more energy on the inflatable assault course. Finally time to relax while learning about animals such as a millipede, a Harris hawk, a tarantula and a boa constrictor snake. Our Beavers were all very brave!

Well done to all the beavers for behaving so well and doing Ballymoney proud. Thank you to Adam Meikle and his team for organising and running the event. Also, thanks to our Scout helper Robyn for taking most of the photos.

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Beavers News

Beavers Helping Hands

Helping Hands Jazz Hands

Over the past month our youngest section have been doing work on their personal challenge badge and promise. They had to challenge themselves to do at least one helpful or kind thing for someone else each week. They wrote what they had done on to Helping Hands, brought them back to stick on to our Kindness Tree, and received their next hand.

We were impressed by the wide variety of helpful things Beavers did, such as …. cleaning out their hamster …. cooking dinner … carrying in groceries…. tidying up … helping teachers … being nice to siblings …blowing up balloons for a relatives party … helping when someone fell over … washing/walking dogs … sharing sweets … to name but a few!!

Our Kindness Tree is now in full bloom with all the lovely Helping Hands. We hope our Beavers will continue to be ‘kind and helpful’ for a very long time. Well done everyone!

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News Scouts

Health and Fitness February Week 4 – Strictly Scout Dancing

Ok, so it’s actually the 1st March, but we had a week off for half term. Tonight we had a change of pace with a visit from Jive NI. We started off with some line dancing followed by a few a Jive moves. There was a slight delay getting the Jive started as, guess what? Scouts had to touch other scouts hands!! Lol. Then a few games of horses, knights and cavaliers to break up the dancing. Back to the Jive and the Cha Cha slide to finish off. Thanks to Matthew and Charlotte for a fun evening.

Group Jive
Lol
Cha Cha slide
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News Scouts

Fundraising and Donating

This weekend scouts held a £1 jumble sale to raise funds for summer camp to Wales. After setting up the night before, scouts spent 2 hours using a variety of sales techniques to raise a fantastic £145.85. At the end of the sale, they donated a number of good quality clothes, books, toys and household items to a Syrian refugee appeal. These items are on their way with our leader Joan to mid Ulster to help those in need. Well done everyone 😃

Donations for refugees

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News Scouts

Health & Fitness February Week 3 – Circuit Training

This week scouts were taking part in a circuit training session. Many thanks to Jo Clarke for guiding them through 10 different stations, such as power lunges, Spiderman, mountain climbers, box jumps, push ups, punches with weights and burpees! Check out the video below. Great work out for the young people 💪🏼💪🏼💪🏼

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News Scouts

Health & Fitness February Week 2

The Scouts attended an interesting information evening at a very important local health service. Our good scouting friend Rebecca invited Ballymoney on a joint visit with Ballintoy and Dunseverick Scouts to the Causeway Hospital. First we heard a presentation about the services the hospital provides, followed by a tour of the hospital to see where the wards are. Many thanks to Rebecca and the Causeway hospital.

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Beavers News

Beavers Celebrate Chinese New Year

Tonight Beavers worked on their international activity badge by learning about the Chinese New Year. We told them this was the year of the pig and they found out their zodiac animal signs. They learned how to say hello (nî hâo), recognised the Chinese flag and tasted various Chinese dishes (some attempting to use chopsticks). The tasting session ended with a fortune cookie each. Then they made Chinese dragon puppets and played with Chinese dragon headdresses. At the end of the night, they all received a red envelope 🧧 with a little surprise inside.

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News Scouts

Health & Fitness February Week 1

The Scouts started Health & Fitness February with a visit to Kyoujin Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in Ballymoney. David and Becca put the Scouts through some drills. David demonstrated how to fall and slap the ground to soften the fall. Then David talked about safety about the moves before showing them how to do the rear naked choke and an arm bar. After everyone had the chance to try every move it was on to a game of British bull dogs on their knees. All the Scouts had a great time and we all would like to thank David and Becca for the taster session.

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Camps News Scouts

Scouts Winter Camp

The scouts had their winter camp on the north coast this year, staying at the Peter Thompson hall, Castlerock. On Friday night they played in the main hall with space hoppers and balls. The Wii was set up in the minor hall where they had Just Dance. After the fun the scouts had a bit of chill out time with some pizza.

Up early for Survival Saturday with shelter building, fire starting, learning how to purify water and cooking bacon and egg baps for lunch. When they got back to the hall some of the scouts went to the scout room and chilled out, listening to the radio while others played the Wii. It was then time for the chefs to cook dinner (Nathan, Aoife and Joe). Very tasty 😋 After dinner, time to clean up then off to the Jet Centre for ten pin bowling and mini golf.

On Sunday the tired scouts had the opportunity to try some skills, ironing their shirts and hoovering the floor, before heading back home.

Unfortunately there weren’t many photos from the weekend as we were too busy having fun 😄

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Uncategorised

Beavers Winter Camp

Sixteen Beavers took part in the annual winter camp/sleepover in tents inside the scout hall. For some this was their first time away with their colony!  A massive thank you to the Scout section for teaching the Beavers how to put up tents, make their beds and roll their clothes for the next day.

Scouts then assisted the Beavers with a twig Christmas tree craft and afterwards, everyone enjoyed some hot dogs and juice.  

Before it was time for Scouts to head home they entertained the Beavers with some campfire songs around our indoor ‘campfire’.  Make sure you check out the videos below.

Baby Shark
Captain Jack

Time to say goodbye to the Scouts and then it was time for some more snacks, chatting and bed.

Up early next morning and Beavers had breakfast, packed up their gear and helped dismantle the tents. Then it was time to burn off some energy with a trip to Treasure Island soft play.

Well done to everyone for completing a night away!!

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News Scouts

Scouts Get Crafty

Over the past few weeks Scouts have been creating log reindeer and woodslice snowmen. They used knife, axe and saw skills to cut the logs, whittle carrot noses, arms, legs and antlers. They also used diy skills to drill out holes to slot the pieces together.  Finally they got creative with paint, baubles, felt and ribbon to give their craft a personal touch.  Hopefully they will have pride of place in their homes over the festive period 🎄
 

 
 
 
All the wood was scavenged from the local woods after recent storms blew down a lot of tree

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News Scouts

Scouts Try Hedgelaying

On Sunday, Scouts visited Whitehead Diamond Jubilee Wood to learn about hedgelaying. After meeting the experts, who briefed them on safety and kitted them out with protective gloves and head gear, it was time to get hands on with a variety of tools.  They worked with loppers, axes, bow saws, extendable saws, garden shears and countryman bill hooks.  They were keen to learn and took in all advice and direction given. Well done to all who have completed another part of the forester activity badge by taking part in this event. 

Categories
Beavers News

Beavers Visit The Police

Thanks to Ash for organising a visit to Coleraine police station. Beavers were shown different uniforms, torches (or lightsabers) and walkie-talkies. A few had a go with the breathalyser (pleased to report no young offenders) and were shown how fingerprints were taken. After a quick question and answer session,  it was off for a visit to the cells and then a chance to sit in a police car 🚔 before heading home.