Scouts celebrate 100 years of the Scouting movement

Banbury Cake: Top to bottom, Josh Howlett, Harry Hedges and Thomas Cunningham, all 1st Banbury Top to bottom, Josh Howlett, Harry Hedges and Thomas Cunningham, all 1st Banbury

ONE hundred years ago a simple camp fire and a few verses of Ging Gang Goolie would have kept everyone entertained.

But as scouts from Banbury and Bicester celebrated their centenary last weekend, they were treated to much more adrenaline-filled entertainment.

More than 1,000 cubs, scouts and explorer scouts took part in archery, sailing, canoeing, and abseiling as they celebrated 100 years of the scouting movement.

They were shown circus skills, taught how to shoot, and even indulged in a spot of backwoods cooking, a form of cooking without utensils using only fire and tin foil.

Quad bikes and laser quest were also on offer, as was a giant water slide.

But tradition was not completely lost at the event, at the Horley Scout Campsite, near Banbury, and the weekend closed with a good old-fashioned sing song around the campfire.

Colin Arter, camp leader, said the hot weather on Saturday had been a good way to kick off the weekend.

He said: “Everyone had a lot of fun. We have got all sorts of things going on this evening, finishing with a sing song around the fire.”

Scouting was born in 1907 when Robert Baden-Powell, Lieutenant General in the British Army, held the first Scouting encampment at Brownsea Island, in Poole Harbour, Dorset.

It soon caught on with scout groups setting up across the country. And Banbury was quick to catch on to the new craze, three years later in 1910 Mr Arter is certain scouting will last for another 100 years. He said: “I think it is still massively important. Scouting is very popular in Oxfordshire.

“I think we’ve got the third highest growth rate in the country.

“It’s a great thing for young people to be involved in. It gets them out and about, having fun in the fresh air, not sat at home on the computer or watching television.”

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