Wednesday, 24 October 2012


KEVIN Payne, from Bridport, in Scouter-in-Charge at the 1st Charmouth Scouts Group, which is currently seeking a new cub leader. Born in Epsom, Kevin lived in Surrey for his whole life before moving to West Allington, Bridport, in 2011 with his long-term partner. He retired early from a career in science and technical public relations and has been involved in scouting since childhood.

WERE you a scout as a child? 
Yes, a long time ago, in the 7th Malden (St James) Scout Group. The best parts were summer camps, constructing monkey bridges and building our own HQ. I think some of my back problems stem from mixing concrete every weekend for three months!

HOW long have you been a scout leader?  
Some of the scouts joke that I camped on Brownsea Island with Baden-Powell in 1907, when he founded scouting, but that’s not quite true! I have only been a leader for 36 years!

HOW did you become involved with the 1st Charmouth Scouts?  
I offered my services as soon as I moved to Dorset and was asked to help out at Charmouth as the scout troop was about to close through a lack of leaders. Fortunately, I now have two brilliant assistants, plus additional help, meaning we can run a really attractive programme of activities for our 18 scouts. 

HOW would you encourage others to join the scouts?
Helping with beavers, cubs or scouts is great fun and it’s very rewarding to see young people develop self-confidence and self-reliance by participating in a wide range of activities in a non-school environment. 

HOW do you think scouting can benefit children? 
It encourages both personal development and team work. It also gives them a real sense of pride when they learn new skills, gain a badge or do well in a competition. For example, we had 11 scouts on our Survival Skills Badge Camp and they had great fun building shelters, lighting fires without matches, making traps and cooking rabbits.

TELL us about Charmouth Scouts’ current 'Going For Gold' campaign...
When I arrived in Charmouth, I was shocked at the state of our HQ and worked with our group chairman, Tom Summers, to develop the Going for Gold fundraising campaign aimed at making it fit for our 21st century beavers, cubs and scouts. We have had fantastic support from the local community, and have started re-staining the outside walls. However, the whole future of the group is under threat as we have yet to find a new cub leader and may have to close the pack at Christmas.

WHAT are your other personal interests? 
I play golf regularly, enjoy walking coastal and inland paths and try to travel behind a steam locomotive at least once a year.

WHAT do you like about living in the area? 
The variety of the countryside and the friendliness of the local people.

WHAT would you change about or add to the area if you could? 
I’d build a by-pass around Chideock as this would make my weekly journey from West Allington to the scout hut far more predictable.

WHAT three items would you want with you on a deserted island? 
A nice long piece of rope, as this would be essential for shelter building; a sharp Swiss Army knife; and a digital radio, capable of picking up both Classic FM and Planet Rock to keep me sane (as long as I blocked out the incessant adverts!).

WHICH three people would you invite to your dream dinner party? 
Bear Grylls (the current Chief Scout), as he would have some great survival tales to tell; Isambard Kingdom Brunel, so I could find out what made him such a brilliant engineer and Jack Nicklaus, so he could pass on some useful golf tips!

The 1st Charmouth Scouts is currently seeking a new cub leader. For more details on the role or to volunteer contact Kevin Payne by emailing or phone 01308 459080.

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