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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 6 very active sections:

Squirrels (4-6), Beavers (6-8) Cubs (8-11) Scouts (11-14) and our Explorer (14-18) & Network (18-25) Sections- known as Phoenix Ensu.


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.

Categories
News Squirrels

Squirrels minibeasts and den building

This week Squirrels spent time learning about minibeasts with crafts and modelling dough and created some very imaginative Lego dens for Percy Pigs (and maybe ate a few!). We also looked at some of the many badges sent to us in response to our Flat Squirrels letters and started to put together a display of everything we received.

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Explorers News

Phoenix ENSU hike Ronan’s Way

Continuing on with our Outdoors in 24 with a hike around Ronan’s way, near Glendun. We had planned to complete the red trail, but opted for the shorter blue trail once we reached the end of the first very long and steep incline. Too sunny and warm! Fantastic views and lovely touches with the fairy themed decor around the lower part of the trail.

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News Squirrels

Squirrels teamwork

Squirrels spent time this week working on our teamwork and communication, playing games where we needed to work together to win. The balloon train was a particular favourite, we had some very competitive Squirrels trying to win on our paired obstacle course, and we managed to fit 10 Squirrels inside one hula hoop in our final game!

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Explorers News

Phoenix Knots and Knives #outdoorsin24

This Phoenix Sunday we met at Lislagan Farm. We had a soft archery competition, lawn darts with knife skills, pitta pizza on the campfire, tasty desserts and giant bubbles with pioneered bubble wands. Well on their way to earning the Outdoors in 24 challenge badge

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Beavers Camps News

Beavers Viking Sleepover


Beavers enjoyed a sleepover in Portstewart Scout hall at the weekend with a Viking theme. They were split into 2 teams – Team Odin and Team Thor – for some team competitions during the camp.

They played Tug of war, competed in soft archery, raided treasure and matched runes into pairs with their teams. It was closely matched until Team Thor were pipped at the post during the final game. Well done Team Odin!

They learned how to set up trangias to cook Swedish meatballs and later cooked s’mores on fire in the evening.

We were able to take an evening trip to the nearby park with the lovely weather to burn off some energy. We also spent some time creating our Viking shields before watching How to train your dragon in the “movie room” before bedtime.

They also learned some information about Viking’s, what they wore,their way of life and about their Norse Gods (some recognised the names from a Marvel 😂).

At the end of camp everyone went home with a Viking compass woggle, Viking camp badge and a “dragon egg”.

Categories
News Squirrels

Squirrels knot tying and rock painting

Squirrels spent tonight working on their Local Superhero badge, painting rocks which we will hide around the town in a few weeks. We also worked on some basic Scout skills, learning how to tie reef knots using strawberry laces (which we got to eat afterwards!). We played some fun team games to finish up the session.

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Beavers News

Beavers Shelter building

This week Beavers met in Somerset Forest, Coleraine. Healthy snacks distributed, then they headed up to the top of the forest. Once there, they split into 3 groups, each with a young leader in charge. They spent some time working with their team, building natural shelters under the guidance of our fab YLs (leaders assisting ). Before we knew it, it was time to return to the car park for home time. Well done everyone

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Camps Explorers News

Phoenix Explorer & Network Unit Spring Camp

Our Phoenix members planned their Spring camp and we delivered, we even ordered the sun!! They asked for a 2 night camp at Trench farm, animals, beach trip, games including rounders and a bbq. Nice laid back time together before they enter the exam period. Relaxing yet competitive at times with the girls vs boys games 😂😂 Who runs the world?? It was also National tea day on Sunday so they tried to identify different fruit teas and St George’s Day weekend so they renewed their promise together. Check out the YouTube video below ⬇️

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News Squirrels

Squirrels outdoor session

Squirrels made the most of some dry weather this week to get outside and play some international themed games in the park, including Greek statues, French skipping, and hopscotch. We finished up with some biscuits and juice before home time.

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Cubs News

Cubs Badge Work

Cubs have been working hard towards Gardening badge planting herbs and making boxes for potatoes. They also been trying badminton a s a new sport.

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Explorers News

Phoenix treasure trails at the Port

Phoenix explorers and network met at the Crescent in Portstewart this week. Leaders just finished scout camp at 12:00 so we had a slightly later start time of 14:00. They were split into 4 teams to solve puzzles around Portstewart using a treasure trail activity. A couple of hours around Portstewart in bracing winds solving all the clues, then a meet up in Morellis for a wee treat and socialising together. Well done to Matthew’s team for completing the treasure hunt first!

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Camps News Scouts

Scouts Spring Camp

Scouts were on a 2 night “camp” at Portstewart Scout hall. Originally they were meant to pitch tents and camp outside, but unfortunately Storm Kathleen changed our camp out to an indoor sleepover.

On Friday night we had a walk around Portstewart and brief visit to The Strand before returning to the hall for socialising and card games.

Saturday started with map symbol bingo and looking at os maps with our now altered route to walk to Portrush along the roadside, rather than coastal path due to the strong winds. On arrival in Portrush we had a quick stop for packed lunches in the amphitheater before scouts enjoyed Curry’s fun park. After this we walked back to Portstewart for dinner, campfire and a movie before bed.

Sunday morning was packing up and games before heading home for a well earned rest.

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News Squirrels

Squirrels fire brigade visit

Squirrels had some very special guests tonight, with the fire brigade from Ballymoney Fire Station coming along to help us with our Local Superhero badge work. Squirrels learned about fire safety, testing smoke alarms, the equipment used by the fire fighters, and even got to try out the fire hose!

Thanks so much to the team from Ballymoney Fire Station for such a memorable session.

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Explorers News

Phoenix March Update

This month Phoenix members started to plan for our spring camp. So far date has been agreed, venue confirmed and now need to decide on activities and risk assess together. We also did some prep for camp… chopping firewood and trying some camp food treats. Camp doughnuts as requested by our scout YLs and campfire popcorn. Popcorn flavours were sugar, butter and sugar or chilli and salt. Lots of firewood chopped, traditional method using axes and a new gadget which will hopefully allow our younger member to prepare firewood without an axe.

At our other meeting this month we visited Somerset forest. It was a lovely afternoon for a walk, playing capture the flag, enjoying a competitive team Easter egg hunt and trying some cup a soups (using trangias to boil water) and other drinks and snacks. Plenty of socialising time as always, so important for this age group.

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Beavers News

Beavers Easter Eggscape Room

This week the Beavers were challenged to complete an escape room style activity which was Easter themed.

Our poor Easter bunny’s treat stash had been locked up by some nasty people and Beavers had to work together in their lodges, solving a number of problems to find the keys to the padlocks.

The challenge started when they cracked/popped their eggs to get their 1st instructions. They had to find eggs, solve the picture puzzle inside, flip it to solve Morse code for the next clue, figure out the lock box code, use compass skills to locate a key to matching fairy doors and use their aim to knock over cups which contained keys. Finally, they had to figure out which four of the twelve keys opened the padlocks on the Easter bunny’s box. She was so grateful for their help that she shared her Easter chocolate and mini eggs with all our Beavers.

After another two beaver collections were shown, our YLs ran a couple of Easter themed games and handed out Easter eggs to take home.

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Beavers News

Early St Patricks activities

Beavers had some Irish themed activities this week as it’s St Patricks day this Sunday. This counts towards their world challenge badge.

We had our fabulous young leader doing some Irish dancing, hot potato game (with a leprechaun handing out some gold coins), blind tasting Tayto crisps to guess the flavour and a code cracking activities for all things Irish. Also another 2 beavers shared their collection with us.

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News Squirrels

Flat Squirrels!

Squirrels spent last week making special Mother’s Day mug cake pots and tea cards. This week, we worked on our All Around Us badge, learning about other Scout groups and Squirrel Dreys in the UK. Inspired by the Flat Stanley novel, we made Flat Squirrels to post to some of our Squirrel friends in England, Wales and Scotland, and have asked them send back something about their drey and the area they live in. Squirrels filled the envelopes and added stamps, then we located the dreys on a map and marked their locations.

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News Scouts

Scouts tasty camp foods and board games

Over a couple of weeks our scouts tried some tasty camp foods. They cooked omelettes in bags in trangias (No pics 🙊) and cooked camp doughnuts on stoves with our YLs. While waiting for their turn to cook their doughnuts they enjoyed board games. Games at the start of the meetings too as usual.

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Beavers

Beavers baking and YLs take the lead

Last week our YLs ran a team games night, this week we had some baking buns (one for them, one to give to someone they love) and some beavers shared their collections for their collector badge.

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Beavers Cubs News Squirrels

Squirrels, Beavers & Cubs Visit W5

Our youngest 3 sections enjoyed a trip to W5 at the weekend. We visited the lost planet soft play first to burn off some energy, then visited levels 2, climbit and level 4. Lots of exploring the exhibitions and fun with friends. Time whizzed by and before we knew it 5 hours had passed and it was time to travel back to Ballymoney. Everyone received a W5 pencil as a wee souvenir of their day out. Thanks to all our youths for being so well behaved, to our young leaders for their help and our adult volunteers for giving their time.

Check out the video of our visit ⬇️

https://studio.youtube.com/video/w5l2n69fkg4/edit
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Explorers News Scouts

Phoenix Explorers & Ballymoney Scouts visit Dublin Zoo

Our Scouts and Explorers travelled to Phoenix Park at the weekend to visit Dublin Zoo (requested by our youths back in September)

We invested a new scout and explorer before breaking into groups to tour the zoo. Nice wee day out, lots of chatting on the bus and a stop off at applegreen for our meal on the way home.

Finally, they have been asked to send through their favourite photo of the day for a wee competition 📷

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Beavers News

Beavers Junk Model challenge 🤖

Leaders and Beavers brought lots of recyclables along to this week’s meeting for a junk model challenge.

Build a robot!! They could use anything on the floor and used cello tape and hot glue to attach pieces. Main rule was if someone already had their hand on an item then they couldn’t snatch it for themselves 😂 321 GO!! Beavers literally launched themselves into the pile of recyclables 🤣🤣

While building we asked what their robot could do to help them…mostly chores, homework and getting them food 😂😂😂 Badge links were builder badge and make a machine (skills challenge badge)

After everyone was helpful tidying up the excess pieces we had a wee game of duck, duck, goose ran by Lotars.

Categories
News Squirrels

Squirrel superheroes and brilliant builders

Squirrels have spent time over the past few weeks working on their Brilliant Builder and Local Superhero badges. We coloured a river the width of the Scout hall and then built bridges and boats to help the billy goats gruff cross over. Then we learned about our local superheroes – people who help us like police, doctors and the fire brigade. We talked about what superhero powers we would like to have, designed superhero capes, and struck some superhero poses to show off our special powers.

Categories
News Scouts

Scouts Portrush Dander

Scouts had an enjoyable dander for their half term meeting. We met at the Dunluce centre car park, walked to the West Strand, went along the promenade to the harbour, then followed the lower path at Ramore Head before continuing on along the coast to the East strand. Once there, mini campfires were prepared and lit with flint and steel to toast some marshmallows and enjoy s’mores. Lots of time for chatting with friends as they walked and spent time on the beach 🔥 A short walk back and a full circuit of Portrush was complete.