July 12th & 13th, 2014 (Photos below the write-up)
After obtaining permission from our Parish Council we were all set to instigate our Centenary Celebrations with a traditional Scout Camp on the Common outside our Headquarters. The Leaders arrived on the Friday night to prepare the camp site for the arrival of the younger members on Saturday. A couple of the locals were a little concerned that we could be holding a “Glastonbury Style” camp or perhaps we were expecting a group of “Red Indians” to arrive. They were reassured that it was only the Beavers, Cubs, Scout and Explorer Scouts.
Saturday morning the Scout Hut was set up for a “trip down memory lane” for the visitors that were expected throughout the weekend. Memorabilia of the last 100 years was on display. Our thanks to all who handed in old photos for our collection. The youngsters started arriving early and putting up their tents ready for the 2.00pm Opening Ceremony. Some of the Explorer Scouts had started out earlier in the morning, cycling from Bristol and arrived at the Scout Hut in time for the Opening Ceremony. Our visitors came from many different parts of the country. We had people from as far a field as Derbyshire, Leicestershire, London, Southampton, Bristol and many from closer to home in and around Wiltshire. Many “old Scouters” of the group came and enjoyed meeting up with old friends, swapping tales of days gone by.
At the Official Opening Ceremony, 2 Beavers and 2 Scouts were Invested and a Gilwell Neckerchief was presented to Chil. Brock (Jon Giles) presented a £100 cheque to Molly Beales, from 6th Trowbridge Group to help her attend the World Jamboree in 2015 in Japan. The Beavers had raised this from a Sponsored Silence. A Centenary Plaque was presented to the Group from Chil. The young members then went off to an afternoon packed with activities. These included Archery led by Sam & Andy Foster of Winsley Scout Group, assisted by Ian Lavery; Sport Activities run by Jason Reynolds, a parent of one group member, and a chance to build a space rocket with the help of Geof Downton of the Cat House Observatory. Our Scouts embarked on a pioneering project to build a ”gateway” for the camp. Everyone was kept busy until tea time when all were treated to hog roast, provided locally from Church Farm Meats.
Energy levels now much improved the Cubs and Beavers went for a 4K hike around Broughton Gifford and Chalfield, while the Scouts carried on with the “gateway”.
As it was getting dark, a traditional campfire (made by the Explorer Scouts), was undertaken and with great gusto and enthusiasm we managed to pass away a good entertaining hour. Many of the younger members were ready for traditional “hot chocolate and marshmallows” before finally giving in and going to bed. Many of the adults were not far behind.
All too soon it was morning. Breakfast was being shared out to each section with the Explorers and Scouts doing their own cooking and Beavers and Cubs were being looked after by the wonderful cook helpers doing eggs, bacon, sausages & beans and Akela doing his speciality of Camp pancakes. What a way to start the day!
After clearing away it was back into uniform for our Parade through the village to St Mary’s Church led magnificently by “The Corps of Drums” from the Wiltshire Youth Marching Band. Our Parade Police Escort consisted of our own Explorer Leader, David Ibbot and G.S.L. from Bradford-on-Avon, Chris Pugh. On arrival we were met by the Rev. Andrew Evans and led into church for a Centenary Celebration Service. The service was a variety of worship with a scouting theme. Andrew held a ’20 Question’ quiz about Scouting, Section representatives read prayers, our ‘oldest’ member Alan Doddington read the Lesson, Andrew impressed us all with his ‘magic’ rope tricks and finished off with a traditional Scout Song, BP Spirit. The Band then led us back through the village and gave a short display on the camp site much to everyone’s delight. They received a traditional BRAVO from all.
The youngsters then could have another go at Rocket making and launching while some preferred a game of football before lunch.
After lunch it was time to get into groups to follow the Centenary Treasure Trail around the village. This was much enjoyed by youngsters and adults alike, the prize being hotly contested by all. After a short rest it was time to change back into Uniform once again, this time for the Closing Ceremony (has it been 26 hours already?)
At the closing ceremony Brock presented badges to the Beavers for their work over the weekend, Kaa presented the prize for the Centenary Treasure Trail to a Group of Cubs with their Adult Leader Kerry, Colonel presented Badges to Jade & Erin (Explorer Scouts); and special ‘Cooks’ badges went to the ‘fantastic group of cooks’ presented by Chil. Group Scout Leader Dave Haslett thanked all the Leaders and Parent Helpers for making the weekend such a great success. The Flag was lowered by our youngest new Scout Leader Ben Miles. A final BRAVO was shouted.
Anne Cranham (Chairman)