For almost a Century, one event has been the crown jewel of Hampshire Scout's skills calendar. One that has taught young people the skills for staying safe, healthy and organised while at camp, the Emlyn Trophy.
The person behind the competition was Dr. Charles Emlyn who was a Chief Scout Commissioner, Deputy Camp Chief for Hampshire and a prolific writer of woodcraft articles during the 1930s. He was clearly passionate about the skills and about the Scouts so it was no surprise that his writing found a wide audience.
On 19th September 1925 he put his teachings into practice at the first Hampshire County Woodcraft competition in Winchester. It wasn't long before it became the Emlyn Competition in his honour and even more fitting after Charles' unfortunate passing in July 1937.
The competition has been held every year since 1925 with the exception of 1940-1944 due to the Second World War. In that time the competition has rarely been static and has changed and updated with the movement it's a part of.
The competition has always been a showcase of good camping craft, such as laying out a campsite in a way that is safe, but its always been more than that. For many years a core part of the event was a special project, normally pioneering in nature, that formed a large part of the points. In 1991 this was separated out to be an optional part and later transformed into todays special challenges for the troops to complete throughout the weekend. It gives our young people a chance to shape what they do and what they choose to focus on throughout the event.
Locations have also come and gone, moving around the County before settling down at the Solent Scout Training Centre at Lyon's Copse in recent years. Our trophy has also had to expand over time with its now familiar walnut panels being added in 1946.
It is now a firm part of the tradition of Hampshire Scouts and the Scout section's calendar. We've even had stories of families getting to take part: Dave Fisher from 4th Aldershot Scouts won the trophy in 1951 and 32 years later in 1983 his son Andrew took home the trophy for the same group.