The Scout Cub Pack
In 1975 a Cub Pack was started to serve the new housing development taking place in the southern part of Hedge End. The City of Southampton is split in to three Scout Districts – Southampton City, Itchen North and Itchen South. For Scouting purposes, Hedge End comes within the Itchen North District and the new Scout Group was allocated the numerical identification of the 31st. In the early years the Group decided it should be known as the 31st Itchen North (Kings Copse) Scout Group. The ‘Kings Copse’ addition to its name was chosen because the Cub Pack met in Kings Copse Primary School, a new school built to serve the housing development in the southern part of Hedge End.
The Scout Troop
In October 1977 the 31st started a Scout Troop to take its own Cubs who were reaching 11 years of age, as well as other boys in the area who wanted to join as Scouts. The Troop was established as a Sea Scout Troop because the person who took on the role of Scout Leader was keen on water-based activities. Since Kings Copse Primary School was unable to accommodate both the Cub Pack and Scout Troop for its weekly meetings, the Troop met in another school close by – Freegrounds Primary School.
The new Scout Leader worked at Vosper Thorny Croft in Southampton where numerous warships were built, including the Amazon Class Type 21 Frigates for the Royal Navy. Soon after the Scout Troop was established, the Scout Leader arranged for the 31st Scout Group to be one of the youth groups affiliated to the first of the Type 21 Frigates commissioned – HMS Amazon. As a result of this affiliation the Group received regular news letters from the ship, went on board when she made courtesy visits to various ports in southern England and welcomed the Captain and two of his officers to one of its Troop meetings.
Change Of Group Name
In the early 1980s it was decided that the Group should change its name to the 31st Itchen North (Amazon) Sea Scout Group. This was felt to be more appropriate as it recognised our valued links with HMS Amazon and the particular training and ceremonial activities that take place within a Sea Scout Group. Also, the Cub Pack and Scout Troop held their meetings in different locations. In addition to the change of name, a badge showing the outline of HMS Amazon was added to the Group’s traditional Scout necker.
HMS Amazon was decommissioned in 1993 and sold to Pakistan. She underwent a refit and was renamed Babur. The ship was still known to be operating in 2011. As the Type 21 HMS Amazon was the ninth Royal Navy ship to bear the Amazon name, it is hoped that sometime in the future a new HMS Amazon will be commissioned and the Group can once again be affiliated to a ship on active service.
The Venture Unit
By 1985 the number of Scouts staying on in the Troop to their sixteenth birthday was sufficiently large to warrant the establishment of a Venture Unit to cater for Scouts between the ages of 16 and 19. In January 1986 the Amazon Venture Unit was set up with 11 members. The name of this senior section later changed from Ventures to Explorers and the age of transfer from 16 to 14.5. The Group established an Explorer Unit in 2010.
Royal Navy Recognition
In June 2017 the Group became 1 of only 105 Sea Scout Groups across the UK to be recognised by the Royal Navy for standards on and off the water. Our Royal Navy recognised number is RN 105.
The Group currently has thriving Beaver, Cub, Sea Scout and Explorer Sections. Each Section has appropriately trained Leaders, Assistant Leaders and Section Assistants. The Sections are supported by the Group Executive.
Consisting of a Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, The Group Scout Leader, Assistant Group Scout Leader and a Parent Representative from each section, the Group Executive Committee meets regularly and its responsibilities include management of Group property, raising of funds and the management of Group finance.