Upper Dearne Valley Navigators was created five years ago at the request of parents and young people after Ewan and Fiona Scott left the local Scout Group that they’d run for the best part of 20 years.
Ewan Scott said “We had no intention of starting anything else, we felt that we deserved a break. However, within a week of us resigning we had calls from parents and young people asking could we do something for them.
“We trialled a non-uniformed group doing the same activities as we used to do with Scouts and the demand was there, so we set up Upper Dearne Valley Navigators. We are considered by some as competition to the established uniformed groups locally, but in reality, we offer something slightly different that appeals to a different set of young people, only a handful of our current members were ever in Scouts or Guides.”
The new group started officially in September 2014, and the Leadership team was joined by James Drainer, Leanne and Maria Glover and Carol Power, all of whom had previously been part of the team at the Scout Group.
Since then Navigators has grown to offer two age ranges, covering in all, from 7 – 18 years. Across the Group there are 40 youth members and demand is growing.
Activities offered include archery, canoeing, cooking, camps, climbing, games, crafts, fire skills, circus skills, kayaking, laserquest, axe throwing and just about anything else you can imagine.
The group has run two international trips for its older members, one to the Ardennes and the other to Alsace – both included visits to war memorials, visits to The Menin Gate, canoeing, city visits, and much more. A third trip is proposed for 2020.
Additionally, Navigators sponsored a funding application to allow free two hour sports sessions at the Skelmanthorpe Community Centre, with two trained coached for 39 weeks during term time. The Group is open to similar packages that help offer activity to the wider youth and children’s community in the Upper Dearne Valley.
About Upper Dearne Valley Navigators
We are a non-uniformed youth group following the basic principles of scouting as laid out over 100 years ago. Navigators is non-religious, non-political and we are open to any young person who comes to us with parental support and a real interest in being part of the group.
We are one of around five Navigator Groups in the UK, but interest is growing.
Navigators started in New York City in 2003 when a Scout Troop sponsored by a Unitarian Church found itself at odds with the attitudes displayed by Boy Scouts America towards minorities. The Navigators movement now has 257 Chapters in the USA, it has a group in France, at Toulouse and another in Uganda, plus of course, the UK Groups in Huddersfield, Lincoln, Dover, Teignmouth, Newton Abbot, with another two expected to open by September.
To get in touch with the Navigators please visit their listing on the HD8 Network