Morris dancing lessons for jamboree trip Scouts

Photo of Scouts being taught morris dancing by a visiting side.

Avonation World Scout Jamboree Unit 70 attended St. Michael’s Primary School in Stoke Gifford on Sunday 17th February to continue their preparation for the 24th World Scout Jamboree which takes place in West Virginia, USA from 22nd July to 2nd August. It will bring together Scouts from all over the world to experience new adventures, cultures and friendships.

As part of their preparations, Unit 70 needed to choose an activity for the Culture Day, where Scouts from all over the world who are attending the jamboree can visit Avonation’s campsite and get a taste of what it’s like to be British.

There will be 99 other UK units at the event, so choosing something the others aren’t doing was extremely difficult and they wanted something that could easily be taught to groups of foreign Scouts. Luckily, the Winterbourne Down Border Morris dance side came to the rescue and offered to teach them a routine.

Morris dancing originates from the Cotswolds and Unit 70 is made up from Scouts and Explorer Scouts from all over the Avon Scouts area, which includes Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.

The unit were taught how to perform ‘John Smith’ by the Winterbourne morris dancers and their band.

The Scouts had a great time and are very thankful to their teachers for all their help and support. They will now be able to go over to America in July and show people what morris dancing is all about.

One of the leaders from the unit said: “It’s a lot harder than it looks and we’re sure the Scouts at the jamboree will love the dance and our tatter jackets. The young people put so much effort into learning this routine in true Scouting fashion.”

The unit are going to be fundraising at the Tesco Extra store in Bradley Stoke in March by packing bags for customers and then, in April, they will receive first response first aid training. (The jamboree is the trip of a lifetime and they need to be prepared for anything.)

To find out more about the World Scout Jamboree, visit

This article originally appeared in the March 2019 issue of the Stoke Gifford Journal news magazine (on page 26). 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.

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