At the Scouts we may learn skills for life but we also create memories. After all, when we go on adventures, make new friends and push ourselves, it is the memories that matters most.
It's special then that Hampshire Scouts Heritage have gained a symbol of a memory that many across Hampshire share - that of a World Scout Jamboree.
We've been known to go abroad quite a lot in Hampshire. But a World Scout Jamboree is something quite special. Tens of thousands of Scouts from countries on every continent meet to share experiences, learn new skills and make memories together.
This banner accompanied the 16th World Scout Jamboree in New South Wales, Australia. It was a Jamboree of firsts - the first in the Southern Hemisphere, the first not held in August (instead in January to coincide with the Australian summer) and the first time Guides were allowed to join in the celebrations. Lasting from December 1987 to January 1988, over 14,000 Scouts attended from 84 countries.
It saw lots of activities and a fair few events. The opening ceremony was the first official event of Australia's bicentenary celebrations marking 200 years since the first immigrants arrived in the country and marking the beginning of the modern country today. There was also a tropical cyclone that hit towards the end of the event!
At a Jamboree, we like to show a bit of pride about who we are and where we come from. Plus it makes it a bit easier to find our tents and camp in the hundreds of others on the 160 hectare site.
So a banner was made that flew above the camp. The materials were sourced from the UK and taken over with the Hampshire contingent to the Jamboree before being assembled to form the banner once there. It flew over the camp throughout - even surviving the cyclone.
For years, it was thought the banner was lost or destroyed. However, it has instead been found and saved by the Hampshire Scouts Heritage team for the future. It helps preserves the memories and stories associated with that great event.
It was delivered to the centre on the 28th July 2021 by three of the Contingent leaders, John Owen, John Scolfield and Frances King. Greeting them at Ferny Crofts was Graham Spiller, Chair of the Hampshire Scout Heritage Active Support Unit. For Graham it meant another piece of Hampshire Scouts' heritage was safe and not "going to end up in landfill."
Now it's quite a large item so while it won't fit for permanent display in the Heritage centre at Ferny Crofts itself, it will get an airing at open-air events such as the Hampshire Jamborees or for visiting groups.
After all of this, what is Graham's takeaway message for Scouts today?
If you ever get the chance to attend a World Jamboree or other large international Scouting event, take it!
By Steven Osborn
Media and Communications Team Volunteer