My first year in Network...

16/1/2018, 15:25

Growing up, I was never involved in Scouting, but when a group of friends invited me to join Network I became aware of what I had missed out on.

My first year as part of the Thurrock Phoenix Network was fantastic, and attending my first Network Gathering was one of the most memorable experiences of my life. We took part in lots of activities provided by the campsite, including a full day of mountain biking, a team-building assault course, a karaoke session and a fancy dress disco. Venturing out on our own, three of us decided to climb Scafell Pike so we could get invested at the summit.

Following this, we booked onto our next two camps, MAD camp in Essex and Festival camp in Coventry.Here, we met other Network Members, played slip 'n' slide rounders, and battled through a Star Trek-themed escape room. At Festival, we met a Bristol-based Network called Axe. We got on so well, they invited us go to their local camp Intense, which is famous for its Piano Bash activity. To compete, we raced to be the first to break unwanted pianos into pieces small enough to fit through a letterbox.

As well as going on camp, members of Phoenix Network have assisted in running a number of District events, including the District renewal of Promise, and three Young Leader evenings to help Explorers transition into Network. Other Network members had the pleasure to assist at Thurrock Play scheme and Kandersteg International Scout Camp, and members have been very successful in achieving the Duke of Edinburgh’s Silver and Gold Awards, the Chief Scout’s Diamond Award, and the Queen Scout Award.

Some of our members were even honoured for a Chief Scout Recommendation Award for the role they played in assisting and supporting a fellow Network member who was injured while climbing a mountain. Since then, we have made our way through various escape rooms, organised football matches, challenged each other at the driving range, and hosted treasure hunts at a large shopping centre and in cars around the area. We’ve also attended events organised by other Networks in the county, and organised our own Chill out Camp.

All in all, if I hadn’t joined Phoenix, my life would not be as exciting and enjoyable as it is now!

Craig Madle of Phoenix Network