Six of our School students took part in a unique event with the 1st Topsham Sea Scouts this month. The event was the first of its kind held here at the Deaf Academy, with the aim of helping to build stronger bonds between Deaf and hearing young people in the community. Along with eight hearing Scouts, our students held a barbecue and games evening here at the Deaf Academy, and then three of our Students camped over in order to complete their Camping badge along with their Camping skills award.

The evening started with some football skills, taught by CSW Ben Iremonger, and a friendly match. Afterwards they had a barbecue and some more games. Charlie Sutherland, Care Officer, said:

‘Everyone had a really good time. While we were enjoying the games and barbecue three different teachers came over from the school to say how much fun it all looked. We had lovely weather, and it was a great evening.’

Once the evening was over there was a new challenge – three of our students were camping out overnight at the Academy, whilst Scout Leader Joy observed them for the Camping badge and skills award. Joy said she was really impressed by the students, who worked really well together. Student Thomas took the lead; ‘Thomas was fantastic and helping the others put the tent up’ said Charlie. ‘His skills have come on really well.’

The students spent time setting up their tents, and then played games and got settled. Miraculously they were all asleep by 11pm!

The 1st Topsham Sea Scouts ranges from Beavers age 6 up to Scouts aged 15, and has been running for more than 100 years. Sea Scouts enjoy weekly activities to earn badges for skills such as Fire Safety and First Aid. 

Academy pupils in the scout group for boys and girls aged 12 to 15, have already been raising Deaf awareness by teaching their fellow sea scouts British Sign Language (BSL).

The three will be awarded their badges and Camping Skills by the end of the summer term. Charlie said: ‘Scouting is all about giving kids opportunity, no matter who they are. Being part of the Sea Scouts helps our students gain confidence and team building skills, and to grow as leaders. It really is like one big family.’