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JT's Final Pitch on Scouting Issue Jan 2008


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I was extremely disappointed with JT's ill researched and out-of-date 'Final Pitch' in the Jan 2008 issue of Camping.

2007 was the 100th year of Scouting and there are Scouts in all but 6 countries in the world with an estimated 500million men, women and children having pledged to live by the Scouting Law and Promise. Only 6 months ago Britain held the 21st World Jamboree, a 12 day event held in Chelmsford, Essex and visited by over 42,000 Scout Leaders, Explorers, Scouts, Cubs and Beavers(with parents). I was one of those parents and was extremely impressed by the size of the operation and how almost every country and faith in the world was in attendance.

Locally, our pack in Plymouth, Devon have recently attended an annual family camp where the banner (you mention) was fluttering proudly in the breeze and over 100 people were scoffing sausages and beans.

Our Beaver Colonies ( of which we have 2, both fully signed up and both with waiting lists) recently had a family ramble and placed 2 new geocaching boxes which we intend to regulary check on.

All our packs regularly attend sleepovers (for the younger ones) and camps with the Scouts only last month attending a night hike on Dartmoor at minus5degC. I think that constitutes everything you say working on badges should imply.

Our Cubs recently attended an Old Folks Home and entertained the ladies with magic tricks, songs and dances. A thoroughly good time was had by all!!

Our Beavers next badges entail working more on the environment and setting up a recycling point amongst other things. We also have made up several hampers to distribute to local OAP's in time for Christmas.

I myself have been so impressed with the positive impact that the Scouting Movement has had on the lives of my two children that I have recently become a Section Assistant. Both myself and my children wear our uniforms with pride.

Perhaps, if instead of complaining about the lack of the Scouts, you had actually researched your subject properly you might consider volunteering your services and share your 'wealth of knowledge' with the Scouts and give back to the Scouting Movement some of what it so freely gave to you!



Helen Heslop

Beaver Section Assistant, 2nd Plymstock Scout Group, Plymouth

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  • 2 weeks later...

Having got three children who are very active in the Scouts I have to say that I agree with Helen concerning the activities and success of the Scout movement. And, you may be pleased to hear that we have plans to run future features on camping and Scouting within the magazine during 2008 – we just have to discuss details when we meet with the movement in the New Year.

Our ideas include looking at Scout camps past and present, and Poacher 2008, but I would welcome suggestions.

Our columnists are very experienced outdoor people who have spent much of their active lives in the outdoor, leisure and tourism industries, as well as giving plenty of their own time to organisations in a voluntary capacity. Their columns are a personal view of subjects. They can sometimes be tongue in cheek, but will always have an underlying serious element to spark debate.

Camping magazine encourages debate and we love to get readers’ letters.


Regards to all

Clive Garrett

Editor, Camping


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  • 7 months later...

Just come onto this forum.

I am a Commissioner for Explorer Scouts in Birkenhead,where the first 2 Scout groups in the Country were formed,in January 1908.

We have been running an exhibition on our local part in the movement at a local museum. Unfortunately it closes on 10th. August after a tremendous run of nearly a year. If you have the time it is at the Wirral Museum Hamilton Square Birkenhead,admission is free. Include is Baden-Powells sword plus a lot of items regarding the coming of age jamboree at Arrowe Park. We also have evidence to prove Brownsea Island was not the first camp of its type.

Scouting provides youth provision across the Country for 20% of young persons and yet it seems to be ignored by a lot of statutory sgencies.

Young people love the concept of a traditional camp and the campfire scene its a great attraction.

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