Summer update – what’s new and happening

As COVID restrictions have eased, many of the Burley-in-Wharfedale Scout and Guide groups have already returned to face to face activities. Throughout the last few months all leaders have been planning safe and enjoyable programmes, operating within the parameters of national guidelines. The young people involved have been loving the opportunities to take part in activities, seeing other members of their groups, and having fun.

Guiding units are continuing to meet face to face: some inside, some outside. Where possible, units are also using other venues around the village to prevent clashes with units who want to use rooms at the HQ at the same time.  Groups have used Wynches Activity Centre, Sun Lane Nature Reserve, Burley Park & the Recreation ground.

The Guiding units have been engaged in a variety of activities such as litter picking in Burley, geo-caching and run a village treasure hunt. Meanwhile the Rangers have resumed Duke of Edinburgh’s Award activities with expeditions for Bronze & Silver level.
Looking ahead, assuming restrictions are not tightened, 1st Guides are going on summer camp to Waddow at the end of July for 5 days, with over half the guides planning on attending.

In other news, Guide leader Cara Woods gained her Queens Guide Award in Feb 2020. The Queen’s Guide award is the highest award you can work towards in guiding. Although originally awarded to Guides, it is now only attainable by members of the Senior Section (including Rangers, Young Leaders and Leaders) aged between 16- 25. It is a challenging programme comparable to the Queen’s Scout and higher than Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. Since the awards creation 60 years ago 20,000 young women have gained the award. Unfortunately due to Covid she has not been presented with it, so there will be a presentation in the grounds of our HQ for a small number of invited guests. Congratulations & well done Cara!

Guiding activities

The Scouting groups have been similarly active. Most recently the Beavers been to Wynches Activity Centre in Burley for some outdoor fun, and the Scouts have been out at Reva Scouts Water Activity Centre near Bingley. Meanwhile the Explorers have got an overnight camp planned (in hammocks!) at Sconce. They are also planning on undertaking Duke of Edinburgh Silver Award activities in October.

2021 Annual General Meeting

The 2021 Annual General Meeting for the Burley-in-Wharfedale Scout and Guide Group took place on the 20th May. John Spencer, Chair of the Group, addressed the meeting:

“Last time we had the AGM, (it was only 7 months ago by the way) I think we all hope that some form of normality would be returning, I do not want to tempt fate, but I believe we are approaching that point.

If we think of the COVID pandemic as a long break from normality I believe that more than most organisations the Scout and Guide Groups in Burley long for a return to normality, to meeting up and starting proper group activities again. Let us all hope this can happen.

At the last AGM we all felt that the finances of the group would be under considerable strain however due to careful management of the money, the willingness of parents to carry on paying subscriptions and the Grants the Group have obtained from the Government the finances are in a reasonably healthy state. Can I thank Mike Wild for the time he has spend pursuing the grants.

The other key issue we have confronted is the ability to run the units without being able to meet up. Now the remote meeting is coming to an end can I personally thank those group leaders that have gone the extra mile to keep a varied and interesting programme going.

Last year I mentioned that after the building of the HQ, I was going to take soundings around the present Executive and all the leaders to review how the Executive works in relation to both the running of the HQ and its responsibilities to the groups. At this AGM you will be able to review and vote on these proposals.

I must end by thanking everybody for their help over this difficult period, especially Beryl Thompson the group treasurer, Mike Robinson the Group Secretary and Darren the new Group Scout Leader and Sue for keeping the scout and guide groups alive during this very difficult time”

Group Guide Leader report


Group Scout Leader – AGM Report 2021

2021_05_21 Group AGM_Mins

The Bookmark Project 2021

The 5th annual Bookmark Project run by 1st Burley Brownies starts on Monday evening May 10th at 7pm.
We are a charity auction that auctions unique bookmarks created by authors, illustrators, actors and other celebrities.We have almost 400 bookmarks created by authors, illustrators, actors and other celebrities including Sir Quentin Blake, Dame Helen Mirren, Brian May, Axel Scheffler, Jo Brand and Cressida Cowell. We are hoping to raise as much money as possible to buy textbooks for the Grade 7 learners (costing £2100), large water storage tanks and also to be able to build two nursery classrooms.
Our auction takes place in May each year and all the money raised goes to support projects at Katiyo Primary School in Zimbabwe.

Unless stated otherwise all of our bookmarks are to the best of our knowledge unique creations created specifically for our project. They are created using a wide range of mediums some are sketched, others painted, some are collages and a number of our artists work digitally meaning your bookmark is printed but it will have been created specially for our project & yours is the only one there will ever be.

Please check out our auction here: and bid on your favourites.If you would like to sponsor a textbook (they cost £7 each) please get in touch with Sharon at


Santa’s Sleigh 2020 – Thank You

Burley Scouts and Guides want to say a massive thank you for all the support they received when they brought Santa around the village on his sleigh before Christmas. It was lovely to see so many happy, smiling faces waiting for Santa & his helpers.

Thank you for all your kind donations. Your astounding generosity raised just over £1500. These donations will ensure that the Scouts and Guides can maintain their HQ for another year. In addition, we have chosen to donate some of this money to Love Burley, the local food bank to ensure people are not hungry, LS29 to help children less fortunate than ourselves and a mental health charity, as it is well recognised that COVID 19 has not been easy for anyone. Thank you to all for your support!

Burley Educational Trust & Burley Community Trust step in with support

Burley Community Trust logo

The Burley Educational Trust and Burley Community Trust have stepping with a huge offer of support for the Scout and Guide Group.

Earlier this year the Scouts and Guide Group took the decision not request payment of subscriptions from parents. This was an acknowledgement the reduced activities that the Group would be unable to undertake during lockdown, and also the challenging economics that all families were facing. Like all charities our Group relies on our members for an income to cover our operating costs.

Regardless of Covid and the inability of our units to meet, the annual membership fees to the national Scout and Guide organisations still need to be paid (circa £12,000) and there are still fixed costs of around £500 / month that need to be paid. Parents have approached to contribute towards covering these costs, and in addition the Community Trust was approached with a request to defer the outstanding new HQ loan repayment of £5,000.

To our great delight, The Burley Educational Trust and Burley Community Trust have agreed to cover the cost of the outstanding loan requirement. Both charities have agreed to donate £2,500 each towards the Burley Scouts and Guides. Financially this lifts a huge burden from the monthly cash flow forecast and enables to the Group to keep operating with a positive bank balance for several more months

Although the Community Trust have quite a few fundraising events throughout the year and receive income from donations and other sources, membership is an important part of their income and helps involve people in the work of the Trust, which is essentially to help provide facilities and services for the benefit of all Burley residents. The Burley in Wharfedale ​Community Trust is a registered charity operating as  a not-for-profit organisation. Membership details can be found here

Brownies say thank you
We say cheers Burley Educational Trust and Burley Community Trust!

Nothing Stops a Brownie Guide

Lockdown at the start of March brought to a halt many of the out of school activities that our children enjoy and look forward to each week. Girl Guides though and their leaders are not ones to give up easily though. The many Girlguiding units in the village have still been busy this year – some sending out activity packs for the girls to work on at home, some took their meetings online and met on zoom and others have recently started enjoying socially distanced outdoor meetings.

The girls too rose to the challenge of adapting to meeting differently. We would like to share with you what a few of our groups have been up to …

1st Burley Brownies have met every week since the start of lockdown (with just one week off!) We meet using Zoom and are joined by anything up to 20 girls each week to work on the Girlguiding program together, earn badges, welcome visitors and have fun.

Some of the many things we have enjoyed include a puppet workshop, making microwave mug cakes, creating poppy stones for Remembrance, lots of scavenger hunts, games, quizzes and an escape room. We’ve been joined by author Will Mabbitt, illustrator Alison Brown, guests from the RNLI & the Blue Cross and Jill from Canada who taught us all about sharks.

The girls have worked on badges at home earning badges in baking, performing, mindfulness, gardening, collecting, charities and space. They’ve made zip wires for their teddies, built obstacle courses and gone wild in June for 30 Days Wild with the Wildlife Trust. They’ve earned a number of Bronze, Silver and Gold awards which are the highest awards you can earn as a Brownie.

Pack Holiday is the highlight of the Brownie year and this year we went virtual, helping to break a world record for the largest camp at home, enjoying our own virtual campfire and meeting and adopting some alpacas from Scotland.

1st Burley Guides have 29 out of 30 Guides signed up for zoom meetings and nearly a full house turning up every week. They have enjoyed scavenger hunts and quizzes and enjoyed Taskmaster challenges. Their microwave mug cakes were delicious. They earned their whittling badge carving peppers and making whistles out of carrots. The girls took part in a debate for parliament week and made pinwheel poppies for remembrance whilst working on their remembrance UMA (unit meeting activity.) The birds in their gardens are well fed thanks to the fab citrus feeders the girls made.

They enjoyed camping at home and also helped to break a world record. They are looking forward to Christmas activities and a virtual pantomime with the other girlguiding units.

2nd Burley Brownies are also busy meeting online, the girls are currently working on their skills for my future theme award. They have been busy learning how to use hand tools, making lifts, robots and air canons. They have joined with Microsoft to make their own computer games, worked on their space badge with The Royal Astronomical Society and practiced strategies for improving their mental well being with a Girlguiding Peer Educator. The girls have camped in their gardens and also enjoyed helping to break a world record. They have been busy baking. The girls have been involved in various community ‘cheer up’ activities including the rainbow window trail, the Burley Halloween trail and the Girlguiding display for remembrance in the Wharfedale deli. They are acting their age to raise money for Children in Need, writing cards to residents of local care homes and planting seeds. But most importantly they have plenty of giggles, silliness and fun!

We hope it won’t be long until we are able to resume face to face indoor meetings but until then you can be sure we will be carrying on Guiding!