Paul Bentley
District Commissioner

I first began Scouting in 2005 when I was volunteered to be Chair for our local Scout Group.  My Children both became members as Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and one an Explorer and Young Leader. Also my Wife became involved as Treasurer and then with Beavers and is currently a Cub Leader.

Subsequently I have held roles at District Level as well as Locally as Section assistants for both Scouts and Explorers.

Having been Assistant District Commissioner (ADC) Communications for a number of years, I am now ready for the challenge of joining the DC team in East Somerset.

David Frowde
District Commissioner (Avalon area)

I started my Scouting as a Cub here in Somerset before moving across the border to Wiltshire where I went on to join Scouts and Venture Scouts.  I then took a break from Scouting whilst I started my Career in Retail Design but was always involved in Youth activities helping my Mum with her various Girl Guide Events.

It was not until I moved to London that my Adult Scouting started when I was asked to become a leader in a newly formed unit in Leatherhead, Surrey.  A change in jobs though meant I had to leave the area and move back to Somerset where I joined 5th Frome Scouts as an Assistant Leader.  It was here that I learnt most of what I know about Scouting and also met my Wife who was the Beaver Leader at the time.

Eventually I wanted a new challenge and I became the Assistant Leader at Edor Explorers.  It was during my time with them that I was lucky enough to be selected to go to the 2007 World Scout Jamboree as one of the Counties Leaders and got to meet Scouts from all over the world.

Eventually my job changed paths again and I no longer could commit to a weekly evening and I accepted the position County Shooting Advisor.  Target shooting is a sport I have enjoyed for many years and after attending training courses locally in Avon Scouts, I set up the Frome Scout Rifle Club.  Along with other adult coaches we had Scouts from the Club go on to represent both the County and their Country in shooting.

Before becoming part of the DC Team, i was recently the District Explorer Scout Commissioner for Avalon where I hope I was able to use all the Scouting knowledge I have leant over the years to help other Leaders, to offer great programmes for the young adults and gave them the skills they need in Life.

Heather Pitts
District Commissioner (Camelot area)

I have held an adult appointment in Scouting since I was 18 years old and have worked my way through all sections before deciding that the Beavers was where my heart lies, when I opened my first Colony 19 years ago.

My family moved to Somerset, from North London, in 2002 & I joined a local Colony as Beaver Scout Leader. In 2010 I became ADC Beavers & have enjoyed the constant challenge of supporting the District Team, Leaders & Beavers throughout the ever changing movement that is East Somerset.

Having been a School Nurse in a Special Needs School for the past 11 years I have recently looked for a new challenge in my working life & I am now privileged to be a member of the Nursing Team at Children’s Hospice South West. I hope this new role as Deputy District Commissioner will enable me to provide relevant support throughout the southern area of our district.

Pete Ward
District Explorer Scout Commissioner - Camelot

My scouting started back in Hove as a cub scout where we spent many a weekend out on the South Downs and camping in the New forest nurturing my love for the outdoors, unfortunately there was a long waiting list to move on to scouts so I moved across to Sea Cadets. I later joined the Royal Navy as an aircraft engineering mechanic and spent ten years working from Portland and small ships flights.  After leaving the RN I have spent most of my working life within the cheese industry as an engineering manager or in project management where my main focus and passion is within the automation and control of factory systems. I restarted my “career” in scouting in 1998 when I became an occasional helper at my son’s cub group where I stayed until I became a DCSL some 8 years ago before taking up the role of 14-25 commissioner. I have recently become the District Explorer Scout Commissioner for the Camelot area. In my spare time I love hiking and climbing in the British mountains and when the opportunity allows abroad as well.  What do i get from scouting? Well I enjoy seeing our young people challenge themselves and the satisfaction they get from succeeding, there is also the satisfaction of working with a great District Team across all sections to deliver “Skills for Life”.

 

Jan Doyle
District Explorer Scout Commissioner - Avalon

My Scouting ‘career’ started back in 1991, when I volunteered to become an Assistant Beaver Scout Leader at 45th Bethesda Scout Group in Cheltenham.  Those were the days, when Beaver Scouts wore grey track suits and turquoise neckerchiefs and girls were only allowed to be members if the Cubs and Scouts were happy about it too.

I was studying to be a primary school teacher and I thought joining the Scouts as a leader would look good on my CV!  I was born in Poole, Dorset, just a stone’s throw over the harbour from Brownsea Island (a place I find very special) and as a girl was a Brownie, grew up in the country and also did Pony Club.  After I graduated, I moved to Somerset, married and had 3 kids (not all at once!)  I didn’t think about Scouting again until my eldest son was 7 years old and I phoned the local Scout group in Wells to put him on the waiting list.  I mentioned that I had previously been a Beaver Leader… my son was offered a place almost immediately and I went along as a parent helper once a term.  The rest, as they say, is history!  All 3 of our lads joined Beavers, Cubs and Scouts but none were with me the day Bear Grylls signed my neckerchief at the Cub Centenary Camp in Frome in 2016.

I became a Beaver Section Assistant in 2007, which then progressed to BSL within months, a role I stayed in for 11 years, being instrumental in getting another colony started.  Our Wells Beaver Scouts had the opportunity to mix with other colonies both in district, county and nationally, taking them further afield to a National Fun Days at Gilwell and Woodhouse Park.

In 2017, I was thinking about changing my appointment to Explorer leader (primarily to support the large number of Young Leaders that we had in Wells, but also to broaden my leadership skills with an older section) and so I went to ‘visit’ Explorer Moot in Taunton.  I enjoyed the weekend so much, I opened a new Explorer Scout Unit in Wells in January 2018.  It’s been lovely welcoming many of my former Beaver Scouts to the unit, seeing how they have matured into wonderful young people of integrity and adventure.

Having applied for IST for WSJ Japan 2015 and not having been successful, I was very excited when Project Kenya 2019 was advertised to leaders and Explorers alike – without the selection process!  I went to Kenya as one of the adult leaders along with former Wells Beavers too, and in the Autumn of 2019, I was asked to lead the next Project Kenya trip – now re scheduled for August 2022.

I have now been in Scouting over 16 years, and am loving every minute of it.  It’s been full on and thankfully my husband – who has bought a camera (he’s not in Scouting) has been supportive of the time I spend with a neckerchief on!  I am still enjoying running the Explorer Unit and I am hoping that adding a more managerial role of DESC, alongside what I am currently doing, will develop more skills that I never knew I had!

Charlotte Redfearn-Ward
Assistant District Commissioner (Scouts)

My Scouting adventure started as a Scout in Langport where I benefitted from varied outdoor activities and the chance to camp locally and internationally. After University, then travelling in Asia, I returned to The Levels as an ASL then SL. On moving to Yeovil, I swapped Troop responsibilities for District, and with some trepidation accepted the role of ADC Scouts. It’s been rewarding to see the Scout Section through the transition to East Somerset, working with a hugely experienced DSL Team, and we now have great cross-District participation in the extensive programme of Camps, Hikes, Competitions and Activities we offer throughout every year – although I particularly enjoy running Backwoods Camp twice a year with my husband, and fellow District Leader, Pete. In our own time we have a passion for hiking and climbing mountains, in Britain and abroad, while at work I am a Partnership Contracts Manager with responsibility for compliance, audit and quality assurance. Many friends made through Scouting are now like family and it’s with their support I’ve continued fully in my role since having our son – whose first camp was Backwoods at 12 weeks old! For me, seeing young people challenge themselves, acquire and apply new skills from opportunities provided by Scouting, and gain confidence as an individual, team member and leader, is what it’s all about.

Liam Burt
Assistant District Commissioner (Cubs)

Scouting Biography to follow….

Paul Edwards
Assistant District Commissioner (Beavers)

I was born in Kent, where I started my scouting life as a Cub and Scout.

I then became involved in a local group in Yeovil, when my two sons started in beavers,  (it’s only an hour a week, I think was the phase that was used…), this then started my own adult journey in scouting initially in Beavers and then into Cubs and helping out at various events. The last few years I have been part of Somerset County training team which has kept me involved with scouting and also with a number of the groups and adults in the local area.

Now I am looking forward to getting back into day-to-day scouting, along with keeping my training advisor role to help promote leader training.

Carol Trowbridge
District Young Leader Leader (Avalon)
Louise MacDonald
District Young Leader Leader (Camelot)
Vacant
District Media & Marketing Manager
John Myers
District Secretary
Pam Burch
District Treasurer

I was born in East London but moved to what was then Essex but which is now part of Greater London, when I was about 6 weeks old. I was a Brownie & Girl Guide but could not go on to Rangers as I started work and could not get to the meetings.

My first involvement with Scouting was when I moved with my job to Clacton on Sea in the late 1970s and asked what there was to do in the evenings. I became an ACSL and have had a warrant ever since, moving through Devon, Herefordshire and back to Essex/Greater London, where I met my husband who was the Venture Scout Leader.

We moved to Somerset in 1989 and both joined 2nd South Petherton Scout Group. I continued in uniform until our son started Cubs when I became Treasurer to the Group. In 2017 I was asked to take on the role of District Treasurer to East Somerset District.

Appointments Team
District Appointments Secretary
Put your phone down and what are you left with? Just teamwork, courage and the skills to succeed.’
Bear Grylls, Chief Scout Bear Grylls