News and Blogs

District Update March 2021
11/03/2021 By Jeannette Baker


Can you really believe it’s been a year since we last met face to face!

I am so looking forward to seeing you at the end of lockdown and all of the restrictions.  I wonder what will be the first activity we will do face to face?

ADC Cubs

In this update I wanted to make you aware of Cubs 105.  This year is the Cubs 105th birthday and marks 5 years from the time when we went to Pembrey.

For Cubs 105, we are challenging our Cubs to 105 activities within 105 day and a chance to design a badge to mark the occasion.  All Cub leaders should have had an email with the details.

ADC Beavers

So as another term of virtual scouting is nearly finishing, thanks to you all for keeping the young people engaged. We have another District activity planned for 13th April, meeting Cardiff bats, please share this event with all sections. I am looking to put another event in place for May, if you have any suggestion for what the young people would like let me know and I will see if I can arrange it.

Dont forget our Alpacas sessions this weekend from Wye Valley Alpacas - They are very interesting.  Only a few slots left: Register here =

We have made the difficult decision to make Damboree this year a virtual event, I am working on the format and activities and will send details out ASAP of how to book. It will be a fun packed event and we have already got a live campfire booked for the event so please advertise to your Beavers and reserve the weekend of 19th/20th June for this!!

Thank you to those who have sent me invites for zoom sessions, I will try to drop in to as many as I can, as always if you need anything for Beavers please don’t hesitate to contact me. Stay safe!


As we hit the 1 year mark of not being face to face I would like to share with you the fantastic number of badges achieved by Explorers throughout the district.

2 Chief Scouts Platinum awards

1 Chief Scouts Dimond award

1 DofE Silver

1 DofE Bronze part completion

1 DofE Silver part completion

1 young leader belt

1 Chefs badge

2 Fundraising badges

1 preforming arts badge

2 Air Activities stage 1

4 Emergency Aid Stage 5

3 Emergency Aid Stage 3

2 Musician Stage 1

2 Nights away stage 10

1 Nights away Stage 15

2 Nights away stage 20

2 Digital citizen stage 1

1 Global issues badge.

Invested 3 new members.

 Well done all, even though we are Scouting at home this has been a great achievement.

ADC Inclusion

The Inclusion and Diversity pages on the TSA’s website (  has been updated but we are now looking for some positive stories to add to the pages from individuals with any of the characteristics and/or additional needs featured.  For example, this could be someone who is a wheelchair user, LGBT+, has a condition such as diabetes or epilepsy, mental health issues, is from a faith group, a BAME background, has autism or a specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia.

Do you know a young person who would be willing to tell me what they like about Scouting, how it’s made a difference to them or even just a quote about their experience?  Their story could be featured on the website and help to shine a spotlight on their inclusive experiences within your group and CRAI.  If you know of someone, or would like further information about this project, then please get in touch (Becky Bennett-Wilding,


ADC Activities

We're all hoping that the end of lockdown and the return to Face 2 Face Scouting is now in-sight.  We have a lot of Activities at CRAI Scout Activity Centre and I will be starting the planning of training for Instructors in the next few Weeks. Please contact me if you would be interested in getting skilled up around the activities we have or, indeed, any other activities that you would like to look at getting up and running.  Our current Activities are:

  • Air Rifle Shooting (looking to arrange YPST Courses for Leaders to support Shooting)
  • Archery (We will be looking to arrange some Permit Courses and Assessments over the summer)
  • Backwoods Cooking
  • Canoeing (Open or Canadian Canoes)
  • Climbing/Abseiling
  • Fire Lighting
  • Plant Identification
  • Hammock Camping
  • High Ropes (Crate Stacking, Prussiking and Cave Ladder Climbing)
  • Hill Walking/Navigation
  • Kayaking (Closed Cockpit Kayaks)
  • Safe Blade Works (Knife, Axe and Saw)
  • Shelter Building (Using tarps)
  • Sports Crossbows (we will have two courses arranged early summer, dates to be confirmed - contact me if you would like to be added to the waiting list)
  • Target Sprint
  • Tomahawk Throwing

 Please contact me if you are interested in any of these activities (even if you just want to get something arranged to run for your Young People).


Parc Manager Update

We may be closed but over the last few months there has still been work going on at CRAI Scout Activity Park. General tidying up and our ADC Activities has been working hard creating a new skills area. Dave and some small helpers have cleared a big area of dead trees and brambles. Hopefully this will be ready to use when we open back up.  Dave has also been busy applying for grants for us to improve the site, we have had grants for new equipment, outside and inside lighting for the Activity Centre, making safe the tree line to name a few, and we are hoping to get some for structural repairs to the buildings.

I am looking forward to seeing you all using the site again, hopefully it won't be long.


District Commissioner

We have now appointed a new Chairperson of the Appointment/Awards panel.  Cerys Sage from Ystrad Mynach, has agreed to take on this role.  She is looking forward to getting started and more details of the new Awards panel and how to nominate will be in next month’s update so watch this space!

Well done and congratulations to:

Siobhan Haywood, Sirhowy on gaining her Woodbadge.

And 5 years’ service awards for;

Jeannette Baker, 1st Caerphilly

Simon Roberts, 1st Caerphilly

Terence Pearce, 3rd Newbridge.

Steven Gunter, Ystrad Mynach


Risk Assessments

If you haven’t submitted your Covid risk assessments, this is the time to do it as the assessors are waiting and ready to review them.  If you have already submitted a risk assessment and there has been no change you do not need to submit another one.

In addition to this, we will be expected to have a folder/file of risk assessments for every activity we undertake.  Please can you start putting this folder together, there is a folder in Microsoft Teams, Crai Leaders Lounge for you to share risk assessments across the district .



For some people Lockdown has given us the opportunity to catch up on training.  However there are a number of people who have not kept their training up to date for numerous reasons.  Please can we ask that you check what training you need and complete as necessary.  Feel free to contact your Training Advisor for assistance or your Local Training Manager for further support:

Module 10a - 10:00 – 17:00 20th March 2021

Email  Register here =

Managers & Supporters – Meeting Challenges -  09:30 – 15:30 21st March 2021

Email  Register here =


On Line Activities

How many of you have attended the Scouts Cymru Events?  I have been really engaged with the online sessions that we have set up as a district and the Scout Cymru Events.  Here are some coming up:

ScOUT of this world – Beavers & Cubs -  18:15 – 19:15 17th March 2021


We’re over the moon to announce that we’ll be hosting a space themed session for all budding astronauts across Wales!

Join us as we embark on an intergalactic mission, explore the stars and work towards our Space and Astronomer badges

Register here =

ScoutsCymru – Meteorology – Scouts & Explorers -  19:00 – 20:00 19th March 2021


This session will be a presentation by a gentleman that works at the Met Office. You will be looking at general weather and how the mountains affect weather and accessing mountain weather forecasts. The session will include information on, air pressure, wind, rainfall, showers, jet stream, visibility etc.  Badges that this session will go towards is – Meteorologist Activity Badge  Explorers Science and Technology Activity Badge. 

Register here =

Alternatively look at this link to see all of the events =


And Finally,

Following this years’ Thank you week, we (district) sent out a number of thank you cards to our volunteers who continue to support scouting.

DiolchThanks – GraciasObrigado Danke

The district team are still here to help, guide and advise.  

Jeannette Baker

Assistant District Commissioner Cubs




CRAI Scouts
CRAI Scout Activity Park, Maes-Y-Haf Lane, Newbridge, Caerphilly, NP11 4RX

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