Eighty members of 1st Stoke Gifford Scouts are back from their group summer camp to Brownsea Island (the place Lord Baden-Powell held the first scout camp), writes Andrew Phelps.
The history behind this island and the beginning of UK Scouting is a massive draw for Scouts throughout the world and we met troops from Liechtenstein, Australia, Italy and several from UK Scout Groups.
The travelling down from Bristol took about four hours on Saturday, then a quick ferry ride and a short walk saw the Cubs and both Scout troops on the very site of the first camp.
The weather was fantastic and with no natural predators, the abundance of ducks, peacocks, pheasants, deer and, of course, red squirrels, which were all well used to human close contact, made for a great experience.
We slept under canvas and took part in many activities run by the island volunteers, like red squirrel ‘talk & walk’, the nature reserve and environmental conservation sessions. There were also section leader-led activities such as pioneering, orienteering, crabbing, island orientation hike, swimming and shelter building, to name but a few.
This camp was great fun and although all were tired out on our return home on Wednesday, with the picturesque location, hot weather and great camaraderie, it was a fantastic success and we would all go back tomorrow if given half a chance.
The staff and wardens on the island were always helpful, the ferry staff, well practised in taking large groups across, made transfers run like clockwork and Tesco’s ‘click and collect’ all made life easier for the adult leaders and minimised any time the Scouts and Cubs were waiting around.
We had fish and chips for lunch on Poole Quay and then it was back on to the coach to travel home. Four hours later and we arrived on The Green to waiting parents, who were all thankful to have their children home. They all must have had a great night’s sleep – I know I did!
Lastly, a massive thank you to all the leaders who give up their time freely to make Scouting so exciting and interesting for our young people in Stoke Gifford.
If you would like to join the group as an adult leader, Beaver, Cub or Scout, please visit our website and complete a ‘contact us’ form.
This article originally appeared in the October 2018 issue of the Stoke Gifford Journal news magazine (on page 15). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to over 5,000 homes in Stoke Gifford, Little Stoke and Harry Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.