News and Blogs

News Search:


Top Story

Volunteer Update 3rd July
03/07/2020 By Jeannette Baker

Well, what a busy time the district has had over the past couple of weeks! 

CRAI’s Got Talent was a huge success and thank you to all who were involved, we have so many talented young people in the district, the whole team were beaming with pride, even if we did have to send the DC home!.  A mahoosive THANK YOU goes to Rhys Bennett for editing the video which was a mammoth task with the help and direction from G (Gareth Tanswell) who organised the AGM papers and information you saw on the night.  If you missed anything, please watch it here: 

From the District Commissioner 

As a result of the recent AGM, we warmly welcome Matthew Whitcome as the incoming Chair and Alan Britt to the Executive team.  We also offer our thanks to Johnathan Thorne as the outgoing chair. 

Other changes in local groups see Gareth Tanswell standing down as GSL for 5th Risca and Terri Wiltshire stepping up, Ruth Morgan stepping down as GSL for 7th Caerphilly and Jeannette Baker stepping up.  A big thank you to Gareth and Ruth for your dedication and hard work you have given scouts and good luck to Terri and Jeannette in their new roles.  We are always here to assist you. 


Please don't forget to register for the ScoutsCymru All Member Call which is next Tuesday. Use this link to register


From the Activity Park Manager 

Outdoor working Party 11th July 10am-4pm 
There is loads that need doing at the Park so would appreciate any help people can give. Come along for an hour or for the whole day. 
The work that needed: 
Weeding the paths and car park. 
Reclaiming parts of the car park and trimming back hedges and trees. 
Weeding and tidying up around the fire area. 
Strimming around lodge, toilets and where the farmer couldn’t cut. 
Finish painting outside of the lodge. 
It will be outside working only with no one permitted to enter the lodge, people will be required to stay 2 meters apart. 
Please bring your own refreshments, unfortunately we can’t provide these 
If you feel unwell or have any COVID symptoms, please stay at home. 
It would be great to actually see people and speak to you in person. Maria 


From the DESC at the Desk 

Hi all, 

DofE have now given more guidance on their partial completion certificates and that information can be found here   It is vitally important to be eligible for this to complete your sections and upload evidence by December 2020. A video showing you how to upload your evidence can be found here 

Further guidance has been released on the expedition section which is here. 

 I am looking to set up a District Explorer Committee and I would like 2 representatives from each of the units to sit on the Committee to help us plan events for the future. I hope to hold the first meeting over Zoom in September so can I have unit nominations in by August please? 

As always, I am on the email or on the District Explorer Closed Facebook group if you have any questions.  Rich 


From ADC Activities

We are hearing more and more about the return to face to face scouting and the district teams are starting to formulate some plans as to what we may be able to offer.  Please be aware of any skills that you have not used for a long time, reach out to me if you need me to set up any refresher courses or you want to “have a go” before you engage with young people again.


Whilst social distancing is in place one of the sports that has been identified as being a good fit for keeping fit is kayaking!  And it just so happens that we have all of the equipment needed to deliver Kayaking for Young People but we are short on Instructors.  I have managed to make an agreement with a suitable coach that should mean we can deliver a course that takes you through the basics of paddling to a point where you are competent to lead in sheltered waters Class C type waters such as the Brecon Canals.  If you would like to come and learn to kayak please contact me and we can arrange something.  The cost will be kept as low as we possibly can but there are some courses (such as the FSRT Course) that you will need to take at some point at a cost of about £50).


Panto Time! 

Oh no it isnt......but it is fast approaching. 

Following the successful trip to the Pantomime last year your ADC Beavers is arranging another CRAI pantomime evening this year. It will be Thursday 17th December 2020 to see Cinderella, cost will be £10.50 this year, just ticket no treats sorry! Again, it will be open to all young people/leaders and family members. Blackwood Miners have confirmed that should the performance not take place then full refund will be given. Dates for actual ticket numbers and payments will be given ASAP.  Please complete the following link to register interest, thanks. You know you want to join us! (Oh yes you do!!) 


Scouting Going Forward 

You will now have received the risk assessment paperwork to prepare for face to face scouting and some blended scouting when we are given the amber go ahead.  If you missed the all member update, please find the link to the framework and information here. 

It is important to note the differences for devolved nations. 

A few of the district team have been to assess the activity centre this week to undertake some risk assessments ready for blended/face to face scouting.  Watch this space for further information on forthcoming activity days this summer. 


Challenge 4: Design Our Badge 

Deadline: 5pm  Friday 17th July 2020 (entries only accepted by uploading to  this link ) 

As you know, we've decided to reward your hard work with a special award called the 'CRAI Scouts Great Indoors Challenge', so this next challenge is to design the badge that all members that complete at least 3 of the challenges will be awarded.  

Important Instructions: 

You can either design their badge on paper and then get a grown up to help them to take a detailed photograph of the design, or can design the badge on a computer and get a grown up to upload it 

Design should be drawn on a circle with a 50mm diameter 

Do NOT use the Scouts Fleur de Lis symbol within the design (we aren't allowed to use it on local badges) 

It will be for all groups/sections 

It should reflect the theme CRAI Scouts Great Indoors Challenge.  

To send us your pictures of your design, please click this link and upload them directly onto the system for us. We won't be able to accept photos sent by any other means, but if you have difficulty, send us an email at and we can see what we can do to help.   (The picture upload link is: Please put your group name in the same box as your surname) 

We will need your pictures to be uploaded to the above link by 5pm on Friday 17th July 2020 so we can judge them and announce the winning design. 

Please ensure that you get an adult to submit your picture for you. 


Read full story

News & Blogs

Volunteer Update: 12th June 2020
12/06/2020 By Maria Pitten

Hi everyone

It’s Maria’s turn to write our Volunteer update this time. I will try to keep it fairly short for you. The District Team hope you are remaining safe and well during these strange times. Please let your District team know if we can be of any support to you.

Annual General Meeting - Friday 26th June 2020 (as part of CRAIs Got Talent)

As we are unable to hold a face-to-face AGM this year, the Executive Committee have opted to conduct the business of the AGM electronically via proxy voting.

You will all receive a separate email this weekend with the Annual Report and Accounts for 2019, along with a link to a voting system where you can approve or object to the Annual Report and can elect members of the Executive Committee for the coming year. These are being sent to your email address from Compass, and so if you haven’t updated your email address to be your CRAI Scouts email account then these items will have gone to your other email account. Please do email us if you haven’t received a copy of the Annual Report and Accounts, or haven’t received an invite to vote.

It will only take 5 minutes to submit your vote, which needs to be completed by 5pm Friday 26th June 2020.

Our CRAI’s Got Talent show will officially also be our AGM (and what an AGM it will be, such amazing talent!!!) and we will briefly announce the results of the election during the AGM. 

CRAI Scouts Great Indoor Challenge - Challenge 3

Thank you to everyone who joined in our CRAI’s Got Talent. Our team behind the scenes are working their magic to make all the clips into a fantastic video. The launch of CRAI’s Got Talent will be on Friday 26th June 6:30pm. We’ll get a link out to you in time for that… so keep an eye on your inboxes.

Our next challenge is another video challenge, this time to coincide with National Scout Pride Week which starts on Saturday 27th June. The theme for this year is ‘Pride in our Scout Values’, and so we thought this would be a perfect way to frame our next Challenge!!! So this time around we just need a very short clip telling us why you are proud to be a Scout. Please follow the full instructions here

As ever, this challenge will count towards the CRAI Great Indoors Badge

Zoom Meetings

More groups are offering weekly Zoom meetings now. This is a great way to keep Sections running and everyone can interact and see each other. If you want to run Zoom meetings but need help, advice or ideas please contact your District Team, we are all here to help you.


CRAI Beaver Zoom Meeting 

Following on from the amazing success of the last one, our wonderful ADC Beavers has agreed once again to hold a CRAI Beaver Zoom for ALL BEAVERS in CRAI! Wednesday 24th June from 4:30pm. And all of the details are available here, please do pass these on to your Beavers, who I'm sure will absolutely love the scavenger hunt and games that Elizabeth has planned!


CRAI Scout Activity Park News

We are currently working with some instructors to come up with new guidelines and risk assessments for activities to be able to run when face to face scouting can return. We are looking forward to seeing everyone there again when given the go ahead.


Welcome to our new ADC Inclusion - Becky!

Here's a quick introduction to Becky Bennett-Wilding, who has recently been appointed as ADC Inclusion for CRAI.

"I have always wanted to be involved in Scouting and finally got the chance when my eldest son joined Beavers at 5th Risca.  He’s now in Scouts and within that time I have volunteered within Beavers, Cubs and as Group Chair of the Executive Committee.  I’m also part of the National Inclusion Team where I have developed resources to help support our members as well as being involved in other projects.

In my ‘day job’, I am a SpLD (Specific Learning Difficulties) Diagnostic Assessor which means that I test young people and adults for dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia and ADHD.  In addition to this, I also deliver training to organisations on these conditions as well as advising on how to make workplaces and learning environments more inclusive"

Don’t forget your ADC’s are here to help you. Please invite them to your meeting and send photos and messages to be put out.


Are these Volunteer Updates helpful?

We have had various bits of feedback about the Volunteer Updates, and so wanted to give you the opportunity to provide some feedback to help us to shape future editions. Please take 2 minutes to fill in this survey.


Using this down-time to get your Mandatory Learning completed

Here is a gentle reminder of the training modules you could be completing during this time.

Initial Modules (learning)

The links that you may need:

·       Module 1: Essential Information (all roles other than Executive Members)

·       Module 1E: Essential information for Executive Committee Members (including GSL/Commissioners who are trustees)

·       Module 3: Tools for the Job (Section Leaders)

·       Module 4: Tools for the Job (Managers and Commissioners)

·       GDPR Awareness

Initial Modules (validation)

For those of you looking for a way to validate modules 1, 3 and 6 during the lockdown where you aren’t able to meet with a Training Adviser face to face, we have developed the following Validation Quizzes as a new way of getting these 3 modules validated and signed off. So here are the links to those:

·      Module 1: Essential Information Validation Quiz

·      Module 3: Tools for the Job (Section Leaders) Validation Quiz

·      GDPR Awareness Certificate Uploading Tool

·      Module 6: Changes in Scouting Validation Quiz (although this isn’t one of the initial mandatory modules, it is an easy one to get completed as part of your journey towards the wood badge)


Mandatory Ongoing Learning

For those who have completed Module 1 more than 3 years ago, you will need to renew your training for the following 2 elements:

·       Safeguarding Awareness

·       Safety in Scouting

We have created a form where you can upload your certificate for these modules. You will need to log in using your CRAI Scouts Office 365 login details to access these forms:

·      Safeguarding Awareness Certificate Uploading Tool

·      Safety in Scouting Certificate Uploading Tool


Our website

Don't forget that our website ( is now the one-stop-shop for everything that you need to know about what is going on in the CRAI. We are trying to make sure that everything you need is on the website rather than you having to search through various social media platforms and emails to find what you need. If you think that something is missing or needs changing, please do let one of the District Team know. 


Many thanks



CRAI Scouts


Read full story

After a brief chat on the Cairenes Troop’s Facebook site it became apparent that we both were enthusiastic to arrange a Zoom Meeting between our Troops.

It was decided that it would be imperative an agenda be drawn up and circulated to our own Scouts for them to compile their own personal presentations to share with the Cairenes Scouts. This plan/procedure would assist in making it a success.

The Cairenes Scouts are based within a French School, of Christian denomination, within the city of Cairo. The school has a very imposing building within the city and is approximately 45 minutes form the historic and renowned Pyramids of Giza. The predominant religion in Egypt is Islam, i.e. 90% of the population.

Naturally, they speak Arabic, but also French and English; they communicated with our Scouts in outstanding English whilst ours attempted to speak, out of respect, in Arabic and French during their presentations. Their efforts were highly commended by the Cairenes leaders and appreciate by their Scouts.


We exchanged in pictorial form our traditional foods with their respective ingredients, but we must admit Egyptian food looked more appetizing. In exchanging Facebook messages after the call, both sides agreed to have a go at the respective dishes and exchange photos afterwards.


Our own Scouts presented a spectacular and amazing array of personal interests including photographs of local places and buildings of importance and historic interests not only in Abercarn but within a 10-mile radius from where some of the Scouts live. The Cairenes Scouts were particularly fascinated by the importance of coal mining in our area.


The Cairenes Scouts reciprocated and portrayed that traditional Scouting skills were evident and that they formed an important part of their Scouting today, e.g. pioneering, the patrol system and various activities.

They were in awe of our mountains, forestry and green spaces with one Scout shouting “look at the size of that” referring to a local football pitch. The leader asked whether we have deserts in Abercarn and the answer, with respect, given by one our Scouts was “no we don’t, only trees and fields.” They confirmed that they have very few green spaces or parks.

Both troops shared details of their home lives and personal hobbies; destinations for family holidays were varied between both troops. Very few ventured outside of Egypt with Alexandria (on the Mediterranean coast) appearing to be a popular travel destination.

School timetables of the Cairenes Scouts were shown and explained, from French, English and Arabic schools. Shocking to our Scouts was that the French school was open on Saturdays, but it was closed on Fridays. The lack of a 2-day weekend was the biggest concern of our Scouts! The Cairenes Scouts were impressed that many of our Scouts attend a Welsh school, and also learn French, Spanish and sometimes Mandarin Chinese on the side.

Individuals proudly shared their respective country’s uniforms and badges to each other with each Scout explaining what their own meant, and the names of their patrols.

We are now going to exchange badges and neckerchiefs, but owing to the unreliable postal services in Egypt we are to send ours to the leader’s friend in Toulouse who will make the relevant delivery.

As the meeting was coming to a close we were “Roomed” into combined groups of Welsh and Egyptian Scouts where they instantly communicated with each other asking and exchanging personal thoughts/questions and ideas that the meeting had given them.

This was followed by the Cairenes leader leading in the traditional KIM’S game whereby 30 items were shown and the roomed  groups had to work together to remember the items.

Sadly, this non-stop interactive International Scout Meeting had to close as a period of 2 ½ hours had flown by!

From a leader’s perspective this was a truly humbling experience where your own Scouts, that you lead and teach on a weekly basis about Scouting, its traditions and laws, portrayed mutual respect and friendliness to their fellow overseas Scouts, on this occasion from Cairo.

The Cairenes leaders stressed that, if we were to ever visit Cairo, over 30 homes would open up and welcome us into their lives. We kindly returned the offer, and look forward to chatting to our fellow Scouts and international friends again in the not-too-distant future.

Read full story
7th Caerphilly Camp at Home
31/05/2020 By Ruth Morgan

7th Caerphilly

All our group were invited to join in our lockdown sleepover and it was fantastic to see that many encouraged members of their family to join too.  There were some great looking dens and tents, the food looked delicious, maybe a ‘feed the leader’ activity will have to be developed!  The weather was fantastic and the great conditions allowed the Scouts to do some star gazing.


Read full story
CRAI Beaver Scout Zoom Meeting
22/05/2020 By Elizabeth O'Malley

I am holding Zoom meeting for ALL Beaver aged young people within CRAI, purely for "FUN and FRIENDS (New & Old)" . Many of our Beavers are not able to social the way that the elder sections are with their phones and electronic devices and maybe at home without social interacton with other children their own age and I am pretty sure they will be missing their Beaver sessions so I am hosting a District Zoom Meeting just for fun, scavenger hunt & games evening. Please pass this information to all Beavers within the district! The more the merrier! 

Wed 3rd Jun (4:30pm - 5:00pm)
All young people between the age of 53/4 and 8 (Beavers age) within the district are invited to ZOOM meeting for "Fun and Friends (Old & New)"
Games night. Please spread to all of your Beaver colonies!


Please forward this link to all Beavers parents as they need to register individually to be given entrance to the meeting. If their name is not on the form I will not be allowing them in from the waiting room for safety reasons.

Read full story
1 2 3 4 5  ... Next 

Visit our Facebook page to see more stories.

Visit our page
Visit our Twitter page to see more stories.

Visit our page
Watch our fun videos.

Watch now!
CRAI Scouts
CRAI Scout Activity Park, Maes-Y-Haf Lane, Newbridge, Caerphilly, NP11 4RX
Material on this website has been reproduced by permission of The Scout Association

Website Powered by © 2014