Thirty years ago, there was an idea to bring the greatest adventures to Hampshire's Venture Scouts (they would be replaced by Explorer Scouts and Scout Network). This would become Hampshire Venture 92 and what memories it would forge.

Ian Greig, formerly Assistant County Commissioner for Venture Scouts and the Camp leader for the event reflects on the event and writes an open letter to those who came and made it so special.


Dear Citizens of Camberwick Green, Chigley and Trumpton (do you remember!) 

I hope I find you well after so many years and you are all enjoying life. 

It is 30 years since we were all at Rushmoor Arena for ‘Hampshire Venture – ‘92’ and I thought that although a reunion was not practical something written would catch up with as many as possible, irrespective of location. 

Many of you who attended will also have been involve in the planning and may recall the many meetings and all the time we spent together. The wonderful contributions of so many of you and teams such as ‘The Bog Squad’, HSX and the Hard Rock Cafe, all the many activity teams, those who fed us, the contribution made by the Military Police and the senior team, too many to name. 

The week itself I will never forget; I recall my words to you all at the final briefing the night before “you know what needs to be done - so get on with it” and you did it with style and gusto. Then the storm that took down so many tents on the first night – must have been a Guinness Book of Records record on how many people you can sleep in one tent that night. I never told the County Commissioner or tried to claim the record – not sure that The Scout Association would have been happy!

The opening ceremony with Steve Peck when the whole camp became as one team with so much energy and enthusiasm from you all. The activities, the trip to Thorpe Park with all those coaches! The open day with all our VIP guests, It’s a Knockout, the Red Devils - the Parachute Regiment Freefall Team and the Royal Military Motorcycle and Horse Display Team, the surreal event of taking the VIPs into the refreshment tent for tea and the whole National Scout Orchestra was playing – just like something out of Monty Python’s Flying Circus (sorry that was my generation – I know you saw the repeats). 

A few stories you may not have known about. We had a visit by Rushmoor Council’s Health and Safety Inspector, and they were all fine but were concerned about the jelly being made in the old latrine cans which we assured them were not for eating but for the jelly fight. Also, on the last evening (remember The Rocky Horror Picture Show) the local Civilian Police had a complaint about the noise (our music could be heard in Fleet some two miles away) but the Military Police refused them access to the site and turned them away. When I heard about this I asked if any of the Military Police were still on site and was told they were the one’s dancing on the bar! Thought best to say no more. By the way, who did kidnap Square Ted?  I still have the official Ministry of Defence Police Crime Investigation Report. 

It was a very special week for me and one I will never forget and having spoken to a few of you in the last few days clearly nether have you.  I am sure you also have many memories that you would like to share - 30 years on and I very much believe “Venture Scouting did work in Hampshire” and I am very proud of what you achieved together and to have been part of it.  Although a reunion is not practical, we have set up a Facebook page at Hampshire Venture | Facebook.   

It would be great if you can share your pictures and memories via that.  If you’re not on Facebook then please send anything you’d like to share to [email protected] I would very much like to hear from you and to know how you are all are and what you are doing.  I will attempt to compile the responses into some sort of record for Hampshire Scout Heritage to keep in their archive. 

My very best wishes to you all, 

Ian 

Scouts do great things but some of the best people in Scouting inspire others to do great things. That is the idea behind one of Hampshire's more unique and special awards, the Commander Bruce Award.

To give the award its full name, the Lieutenant Commander Henry V Bruce Award is awarded to members of Hampshire Scouts who have inspired others, encouraged them to reach higher and made a difference.

It came about in 2013 when the Bruce family donated some money to Hampshire Scouts from a collection taken at the memorial service of the late Lieutenant Commander Henry V Bruce. He was a former chair of Hampshire Scouts and Explorer Scouts from the county carried a flag leading a procession into Winchester Cathedral.

Presented annually, the award was originally given to an adult and a youth member of Hampshire Scouts, who had inspired and encouraged others in Scouts either over a period of time or at a one-off event. In 2019, the Bruce family increased the prize money from £50 to £500. By 2021, following a generous addition to the fund by another benefactor, the annual amount is now £2,000 split between those awarded the prize.

Young people are at the heart of the decision with the Hampshire Scouts Youth Council choosing the winners from the list of people nominated by volunteers across the county.

Past winners

2013 - Mel Cooper, a Cub Scout from Gosport who gets stuck in regardless of what their Cystsic Fibrosis has to say about it, and Dave Young from Fareham who runs two Explorer Units and can often be found running activities for the Explorers of his area.

2014 - Rosemary Harrison, an activity instructor with Ferny Crofts who overcame a viral infection in the brain to continue inspiring others, and Sherren Corser from Portchester who runs a Beaver and Cub section single-handedly (literally).

2015 - Bethany Harrison, a Scout from Sholing who inspires by throwing herself into activities despite having Cystic Fibrosis, and Jackie Heath from the New Forest who is heavily involved in Scout efforts abroad including in the Gambia.

2016 - Henry Hersey, a Beaver Scout who looked after an elderly lady who had fallen in her house, and Kevin Holland from Winchester who has been inspiring young people for many years now!

2017 - Charlotte, a Cub Scout from Titchfield who acted quickly and bravely to help someone unconscious she found when out walking including guiding in the ambulance service.

2018 - Louis Soccard, an Explorer Scout and Top Awards ambassador who was instrumental in the new Young Leader rally and designed the new County necker.

2019 - Joe Dawson, a Scout who has made a great contribution to youth shaped Scouting in Gosport, so much so he was created a District Youth Champion as he was too young to be a Youth Commissioner.

2020 - Daniel Cooper, Youth rep for Hampshire Scouts who was heavily involved in virtual events during the pandemic.

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.

Hampshire Scouts Heritage volunteers hold up a banner.
The banner being held up by volunteers outside the Hampshire Scouts Heritage Centre.
Pictured left to right: Frances King, Graham Spiller, John Scolfield and John Owen.

What event did it celebrate?

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!

Find out more on Wikipedia.

About the banner

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.

A new part of the collection

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

2007 was a huge year for Scouts around the world.

UK 2007 21st World Scout Jamboree Scout Mondial (logo)

First of all, it was a Jamboree year and we know how to party together on those years! But most notably it was the centenary of the first experimental Scout camp on Brownsea Island in Dorset.

During 2007, Scouts from all over the world took part in lots of activities to mark the year and in Hampshire we were no exception. Here's a summary of our summer of celebration in pictures.

Please note: although we did have digital cameras in 2007 their quality is a little small by today's standards. Sorry about that. Anyway, on with the show!

Running up to summer

Three Hampshire Scouts on top of Everest
May time: Hampshire Scouts conquer Mount Everest. James, Tim and Dave on top of the world!
Two people standing talking
Our President, Mrs Mary Fagan, and Russ Parke discuss their awards at the Open Day in June.
A group of Beaver Scouts holding blue flags outside.
The Beaver Scouts had their County flag blessed at Portsmouth Cathedral.
Scouts parading with flags in the rain.
The Festival of Flags in Winchester began in the rain...
Scouts standing with flags outside Winchester Cathedral
...but the weather improved after the service at Winchester Cathedral.
A group of young people escort a flame surrounded by dignitaries in Winchester High Street.
The Flame of Scouting being escorted through Winchester on its way from Kenya to Brownsea Island. Photo courtesy of the Hampshire Chronicle.

H007: the Hampshire adventure camp

H007 was our camp held at New Park, Brockenhurst, attended by Scouts from all over Hampshire. Plus we had Scout groups from much further afield join us, especially as we were close to where Scouting started.

A land train at H007
En-route the Flame of Scouting called in at H007 where it was transported across the mud in 'Trigger' the train and a Lamborghini.
A group of Scouts find their campsite.
That's where you're camping I think! Note the new style trek cart.
A group of Scouts queue for the camp tuck shop.
The camp's Tuck shop prepared for the invasion!
A lorry stuck in mud
One lorry liked it so much it took root...
A scout irons on the back of a stuck flat bed truck
...until it got used for some Extreme Ironing!
Lots of international flags fly above the camp souvenir shop.
There were no Scouting first class stamps available in Lyndhurst or Brockenhurst - the H007 souvenir shop had sold them all!
Norwegian Scouts read the daily campsite paper
The Spiders (Norwegian for Scouts) from Norway read the Morning Horn, our campsite paper...
Mugs hanging on a rack
...and this is their mug branch.
Scouts dressed in a variety of traditional country dresses make the Scout promise
On Sunrise Day, the 1st August, the Scouts renewed their promise with the sunrise.
A group of Scouts from Scotland wearing uniform, kilts with one playing the bagpipes.
The Scottish contingent made sure they were heard.
A group of Explorer Scouts lay down in front of a transparent zorb.
Whatever did the Explorers get up to? Zorbing really is the best.
A Scout on a bike wearing a sign that reads 'Stop me, buy one'
Our Deputy County Chair plays the role of sandwich boy.
Packs of sausages about to be used for cooking
Some of the 3,200 sausages used for cooking on our activities field.
A large number of young people in a tent for the closing ceremony.
The Cub Scouts enjoy their closing ceremony including a shout out for the 'Bog Squad'.
A large collection of lost property
Lost property: Now, which one is mine?
Sunset over a camp
Sunset on a memorable camp.

Celebrations elsewhere

A large group of young people
Can you spot the Hampshire Scouts at the World Scout Jamboree?
A group of Scouts sit underneath a constructed gateway with Union Flag, St. George's flag, St. Andrew's flag and WOSM flags.
A spectacular gateway by the PECANs at the World Scout Jamboree.
Prince William with some Scouts from Hampshire.
Some met Prince William.
Prince William with some Scouts
A number of sailing boats on a large lake.
Splash! The off site water activity. For some of our Scouts, it was the first time they had seen a lake let alone gone sailing on one.
Hampshire Scouts meet with Scouts from other countries at Gtodonka Scout and Guide Centre.
HoHo - the Home Hospitality that followed the Jamboree - found some of the Hampshire Scouts in Poland staying at the Gtodonka Scout and Guide Centre.
A group of Scouts sit on the glass floor of the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth
Catisfield Scout Group celebrated Sunrise Day on the Spinnaker Tower. This was just one of the many celebrations that took place throughout Hampshire. Photo courtesy of the Portsmouth News.

Want to know more?

It's one of the oldest and highest awards in the Scout movement, recognised around the world as a symbol of outstanding achievement in Scouting. Discover the origins of this award and how we're able to add something a little special for our Hampshire Queen's Scouts.

Getting its start

It's 1909 and its barely two years after the camp that started it all and only one year after the Scout Association itself was founded. The movement was looking for a top award, over and above the First Class test.

The King's Scout Award

That year the King's Scout Award was granted by King Edward VII. He was a keen supporter of the movement and he had invited Robert Baden-Powell, the Scouts' founder, to a weekend at Balmoral Castle to thank him. In an after dinner conversation, the King and the Chief Scout got chatting about the movement and Baden-Powell suggested that Scouts who passed special tests for efficiency should be ranked as King's Scouts. The King agreed and the award was announced in the Headquarters Gazette in November as an award for 'Scouts who prove themselves able and willing to serve the King, should their service at any time be required by him.'

Even though each application had to be sent to headquarters and approved by the Chief Scout personally, and the list of requirements was challenging, a large number of Scouts had achieved this within a year as the 1910 census records 1,632 King's Scouts.

Keeping up to date

The award has changed over time in both who can earn it and of course its name. The award has been re-confirmed by each new monarch over time and resulting in its name change to the Queen's Scout Badge in 1952 with the accession of Elizabeth II.

Queen's Scout Award
The Queen's Scout Award

The now famous annual review of these Scouts at Windsor Castle began in 1934 and in 1946 with the introduction of the Senior Scouts section, the award became the sole privilege of the Senior Scouts between 15 and 18. When the Senior Scouts was replaced in 1967 by Venture Scouts, the newly renamed Queen's Scout Award became the top award for that section. This would continue until the splitting of Venture Scouts into Explorer Scouts and Scout Network in 2002 when the award opened up to all Scouts aged 16-25.

Hampshire and the Silver Elephant

Did you know we in Hampshire have our own special tradition with the Queen's Scout Award? And it involves a member of the Royal family and an award from India.

Shows Lord Louis Mountbatten and the Solver Elephant charm.

The Silver Elephant is the highest adult award for Scouting in India, similar to the UK's Silver Wolf award. This particular award was presented to Lord Louis Mountbatten, uncle of Prince Philip, when he was Governor General of India in recognition of his services to the Scout in India as their Chief Scout.

When he returned to the UK, he remained a good friend of the Scouts and of Hampshire Scouts with his family home at Broadlands, Romsey. Following his untimely death in 1979, the Silver Elephant was presented to the county by Countess Mountbatten of Burma when she opened the Mountbatten Lodge at Ferny Crofts Scout Activity Centre in June 1986. The Silver Elephant is on indefinite loan to be held safe by the County Commissioner.

It has become customary that a young person has the privilege of wearing it while being presented their Queen’s Scout Award.

They laid down their lives fighting for king and country.

Large number of adult leaders were called to serve their country never to return.

A generation that served, never to return or to return with a host of physical and mental health problems. With the Scout movement very much in its infancy, how did the First World War affect the movement?

The wartime spirit

At the start of World War One, the government planned to militarise all youth organisations for the war effort. For the Scouts' founder, Robert Baden-Powell, this was unacceptable. After all, how could a movement that prided itself on peace take part in the fighting as part of the military?

Scouts during the First World War on bicycles delivering messages.
Scouts acted as messengers during the First World War. Picture from the Scout Heritage Collection.

Instead, Scouts focused on keeping the home fires burning with the services of the movement offered to help with non-military tasks. Under the guidance of Scout commissioners and chief constables, Scouts handed out information to local people, organised relief measures within their community and acting as messengers, guides and orderlies.

Scouts were involved in establishing first aid stations, refuges and soup kitchens. They assisted the coastguard in coast watching duties, an activity for which a proficiency badge was issued and perfect for the new Sea Scout branch of the movement. This vital work continued throughout the war and involved many Scouts. As Scout Leaders and Scouts were called up to fight, Scouts looked after themselves - youth shaped Scouting you might say - or looked to new places for their leaders such as women Scoutmasters.

Fifteen members of the movement were awarded the Victoria Cross for outstanding acts of courage and bravery, including Jack Cornwell. Baden-Powell paid tribute to Jack’s heroism and introduced the ‘Cornwell Scout Badge’ for bravery by young people which continues to be awarded to this day.

How were Hampshire Scout affected?

We don't know all the stories yet but we'd love to find more out! Here are some we know about.

Six Southampton Scouts – four from the 2nd Freemantle Troop, one from the 11th St Mary’s and the other from the 20th St Laurence Troop – were on the hospital ship Britannic which was torpedoed and sunk by a U-boat off the coast of Greece. They were among 16 Scouts, acting as orderlies and messengers, who were all saved. The Southampton Scouts were later each presented with an engraved pocket compass from the White Star Line.

A lasting impact

When in November 1918 the war came to an uneasy end what was the impact? The cost had been terrible, but it was evident the Scouts had done their duty. Baden-Powell considered this dilemma carefully and launched less than two years later the first World Scout Jamboree.

The Jamboree would, and still does, bring Scouts together from across the world and from every background to celebrate peace, unity and celebrate our differences and our unity. The first, to be held in London Olympia, would also be Scouts' showcase to the wider public and was an exhibition reminiscent of the Great Exhibition of 1851.

Baden-Powell would use his closing speech at this Jamboree to invite Scouts to commit themselves to the cause of reconciliation and peace:

"Brother Scouts, I ask you to make a solemn choice.

Difference exist between the people of the world in thought and sentiment, just as they do in language and physique.

The war has taught us that if one nation tries to impose its particular will upon others, cruel reaction is bound to follow. The Jamboree has taught us that if we exercise mutual forbearance and give and take, then there is sympathy and harmony.

If it be your will, let us go forth from here fully determines that we will develop among ourselves and our boys that comradeship, through the world-wide spirit of the Scout Brotherhood, so that we may develop peace and happiness in the world and good will among men.

Brother Scouts, answer me. Will you join me in this endeavour?"

Robert Baden-Powell

What links an Explorer Scout from Havant and a boy caught in the midst of a mighty naval battle? Courage and endurance in the face of extreme difficulties.

This is the story of the Cornwell Scout Badge.

The Origins of the Award

Picture of Jack Cornwell. A boy is seen in naval uniform approximately 15 years of age. Public domain image.
Jack Cornwell. Public domain image.

The Cornwell Scout Badge takes its name and owes its existence to a boy from the East end of London. John Travers Cornwell, or Jack to his friends, was a Scout in the St. Mary's Mission Group, Manor Park in London. When the First World War broke out, Jack signed up and in 1915 entered the Royal Navy. His training may have been brief, but many of the skills he learned proved useful to him.

On 31st of May 1916, Jack was serving on HMS Chester at the Battle of Jutland - one of the most prominent naval battles of the war. During the battle, Jack was struck by a shrapnel which wounded him greatly. However, understanding the importance of courage, he stayed at his station to play his part until he was relieved at the end of the battle. Although he was transferred to a hospital as soon as they reached port, it was not enough and Jack died in Grimsby three days later.

His story spread quickly and he was identified as a national hero soon after. He was awarded the Victoria Cross for bravery and the Bronze Cross, the highest Scout award for Gallantry, posthumously. To mark the courage shown, Robert Baden-Powell created the Cornwell Scout Badge for young people showing great courage, endurance and devotion to duty. To this day, it is only available for young people aged 6-25.

A Century Later

Fast forward 100 years and an Explorer Scout from Havant is receiving the Cornwell Scout Badge from the Scouts' CEO Matt Hyde.

Victoria Edwards was 11 when she suffered a stroke that left her with a 50% chance of surviving. When she arrived at hospital, she was told that even if she had survived she would likely be mobility impaired. Despite the odds she didn't give up and endured in the face of it. She carried on Scouting and continued her active life, horse riding and sailing, despite having a weak left side and visual impairments.

In 2016, at age 16, Victoria was presented her Cornwell Scout Badge at the top of the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth. Her courage continues to be exemplary and her story continuing to inspire.

Jack's legacy is alive over a century later and the courage shown through ordinary Scouts around our County keeps us hopeful for the future.

You'll find it on the sleeve of every Scout in Hampshire, that's tens of thousands of us, and on the back of our Hampshire Scouts necker worn by our County team. But where did the rose and crown symbol come from?

The answer may not be as straight-forward as you think.

The Hampshire Rose

Lots of Counties use the rose as a symbol; the white rose of Yorkshire and the red rose of Lancashire are well known to any schoolchild who's studied the late Middle Ages.

Hampshire also has an association with the rose in heraldry dating back many centuries, but it specifically has links with the Tudor rose since 1533. Mounted high on the wall in the Great Hall of the former Winchester Castle is the Round Table. Believed for many centuries to be the table of King Arthur, it shows the mythical King painted on it and a single rose painted at the centre.

In 1533 however, the table was repainted as a compliment to the reigning King Henry VIII with King Arthur now shown wearing Tudor robes and the rose modernised to a double Tudor Rose. Ever since, heraldry in Hampshire has been split between the original red rose and the Tudor red and white rose ever since.

The Round table in Winchester Great Hall. From Wikimedia Commons user Rs-nourse
The Round Table found in Winchester. Picture: Wikimedia Commons Rs-nourse under CC BY-SA 4.0.

The rose with the crown above has had just as long a history; it is moulded into a cannon from the Hampshire-built Mary Rose, appears on 19th century coinage and to this day serves as the logo of Hampshire County Council. A variation is now in use as the County flag of Hampshire, albeit with a Saxon crown and triple rose.

The Hampshire Scouts badge

A Hampshire Scouts neckerchief with the Double rose and crown emblem embroidered on it. The scarf is black with gold and red trimming.

Our badge that we use today was introduced around 1931 to replace the original badge (described as dull). For our design, the badge of the Hampshire Lawn Tennis Association was used. The design has remained remarkably similar ever since.

It features a double rose, but with all red petals, to reflect the ancient symbols of Hampshire pre-dating the Tudor rose. Today you'll find it on our new County Neckerchiefs, introduced in 2018, and on our uniforms still.

The old logo of Hampshire Scouts with a fleur de lis inside a double red and white rose design.
Our old logo.

While our badge has been flying the flag for the double red rose for nearly a century we've dabbled in the Tudor rose for a while ourselves. A White rose with a red border and a black centre with a Scouting fleur-de-lis was used as a logo for Hampshire Scouts from the turn of the millennium until 2018.

Since then we've made sure we keep it consistent with our double red rose.

For over 100 years it has marked the end of a leader's initial training; the Wood Badge isn't your normal symbol of achievement. From humble beginnings, the way our adults train and learn the skills they need to deliver the Scout programme has grown and changed ever since.

A Post-War Dilemma

Scouting has remained constant through times of trouble, including both World Wars. After both had concluded, young people started flocking back to the movement, eager to learn. It took longer for enough adults to join however.

With lots of new adult volunteers, they needed to be trained up quickly. The solution was found in 1919 when a practical training camp was held at the newly bought Gilwell Park, north London. Adults built on their early theoretical knowledge with ten days of practical skills, lectures on topics like the newly invented Rover Scouts and things that affected young people like the Education Act. They even squeezed in a visit to headquarters and a lunch with Baden-Powell.

So why two wooden beads? Baden-Powell had long had in his possession a long necklace made of wooden beads from Africa. It was decided during that first course that two beads (one original and one a hand crafted replica) would be presented and worn on their hat.

Group photo of the first wood badge course in 1919. Public domain image.
The first Wood Badge trainees in September 1919. Public domain image.

How many beads?

Black and white photo of Denizulu
Chief Dinizulu, wearing a necklace of beads similar to those used for the wood badge today. Public domain image.

It was quickly decided that the number of beads could be used to show how far the leaders had got in their training. From November 1919 one bead was awarded for completing the initial theoretical and administrative training with the second awarded after completing the practical course.

There were sets of wood beads with more than two as well. Deputy Camp Chiefs wore a set of four beads. Meanwhile a set of six beads were worn by Baden-Powell himself and Percy Everett who was Commissioner for Training and Deputy Chief Scout. With Baden-Powell's death in 1941, his set passed into the headquarters' heritage collection while Everett's set went on a much longer journey being passed down to every Camp Chief of Gilwell between 1949 and 2015. After nearly a century in use they were finally retired in 2015; they enjoy a well earned rest in the heritage collection and besides the role of Camp Chief is now a ceremonial one held by the Chief Operating Officer.

What's in a Woggle?

A wood badge on a Scout uniform with Gilwell necker (plain wool coloured necker)
The Wood beads around a Gilwell scarf with a Turk's head woggle embossed with the symbols used to celebrate Gilwell Park's 100th anniversary in 2019.

Today two wood beads is still the sign of completing the full training. Even since 1919, its been recognised that we need to reward those first steps along the path as well. One bead was used for a while but in 1943 something new was used instead - a Turk's Head woggle. It had been around since the 1920s and originated in the States but between 1943 and 1989 it was only worn by leaders who had completed basic training. Even today, it is a traditional gift for someone completing the Getting Started training.

Even today we mark a Young Leader completing their Module A basic training with a slider woggle. On that slider you'll find an acorn and some oak leaves, modelled on the Gilwell Oak, to remind us of where our training first started and what can grow when we nurture those seeds of our movements future.

Discover more about the Gilwell Oak at the Scouts Heritage site.

Our Training Scheme

From those early days until the close of the 20th Century, training was done in stages from the theoretical to the practical. The initial and introductory training would be completed locally and would set people up with the basics: the programme, the Scout method and who was there to support them. It would then be followed up by a course to apply the practical skills, the activities and the leadership qualities needed to succeed on a national and county scale.

The biggest shake-up took place in 2004 when the learning was broken down from larger integrated courses into smaller bite-size modules. Learners now only had to do the modules relevant to them and their role and put their learning into practice through a process called validation. If they knew it already, such as from their job, they wouldn't need to learn it again - just apply it to Scouts.

The modules also allowed us to be more flexible in how we deliver training in Scouts. From weekend residential courses to individual modules delivered in the evening the way we have allowed our volunteers to learn has kept on evolving. The latest developments were multi-module days, where lots of individual modules were offered and leaders could pick and choose the ones they needed, and training online through eLearning and video conferencing.

No matter how they do it though, our volunteer leaders still get two wooden beads to adorn their scarf when they've completed the training. Over 100 years and 100,000 sets awarded later, some traditions we like to keep alive - after all it's all about the skills for life.

From humble beginnings the Scouts spread all around the world very quickly and there are now over 50 million of us. We really do have the whole world in our hands and there are only 5 countries where the Scouts don't exist to help their communities.

Looking after them all and promoting our message of peace is WOSM, the World Organization of the Scout Movement. Let's take a look at what they do and some of the international stories we in Hampshire Scouts have to tell.

Hampshire Scouts at the 24th World Scout Jamboree. Courtesy of WOSM under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Hampshire Scouts at the 24th World Scout Jamboree. Photo courtesy of WOSM under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

The story of WOSM

Scouts. Creating a Better World. WOSM logo.

Across the world you'll find that Scouts are a diverse lot: different uniforms, awards and experiences. The World Organization of the Scout Movement help Scouting flourish and is the place for governments and international organisations to turn to.

They're made up of 171 national Scout organisations, supported by the World Scout Bureau based out of World Scout Centre in Kuala Lumpur. It's moved around the world though, starting in London in 1920 before moving to Ottawa in 1959 and Geneva in 1968 before coming to their new home in 2014. Plus there are seven more local offices.

Every three years volunteers from around the world come together at the World Scout Conference to think big and look to the future; then its up to the World Scout Bureau to put those ideas into place.

Hampshire Scouts Around the World

Our Scouts have had many international adventures with ambassadors skiing to the bottom of the world and our expedition team standing at the very top of the world but there are some places we keep coming back to.

Joe Doherty, Hampshire Scout, standing in Antarctica
Hampshire Scout Joe Doherty stands at the bottom of the world in Antarctica.

Hampshire Scout Expeditions

Founded in 1986 following the success of the Clearwater expedition to Sri Lanka, Hampshire Scout Expeditions (or HSX for short) is a Hampshire-based Scout group that specialises in running international expeditions and mountain training for Hampshire Scouts.

A group of Scouts stand near a glacier with a Union Flag

HSX have literally travelled around the world, with over 20 expeditions ranging from Peru and Belize to Cambodia and Nepal.

The expeditions, usually based in developing countries, last from four to six weeks and involve a team of young people aged 14 years and upwards taking part in community projects and an adventurous challenge.

HSX also provided the support and training to help three of its members summit Everest in 2007, and another of its members reach the South Pole in 2018/19.

Kairo Konko

Hampshire Scouts have had a presence in the Gambia for many years now running expeditions to make a difference. Beginning in 1989 when a HSX expedition of Venture Scouts went over to build classrooms at schools in Jiroff and Soma, they made friends with the Gambian Scouts and later invited them over to the UK for an international camp.

While in Hampshire, they said they wanted to take Ferny Crofts back with them so ever since Scouts in Hampshire and Gambia have worked to make the dream a reality.

In 1998 the Kairo Konko lodge was opened with Scouts from Hampshire regularly making return trips to visit, spruce it up and enhance the facilities both at the centre and in the nearby schools. Today it is much used by the Scouts, the community and passing travellers.

Kandersteg International Scout Centre

Since 1923, a near constant Jamboree-like atmosphere has existed in a valley in Switzerland. Kandersteg International Scout Centre has welcomes countless Scouts, hosted amazing events and been the base for numerous adventures in the hills and landscape that surrounds it.

A group of Scouts overlook a lake and mountains in Switzerland

Scouts from Hampshire have visited KISC many times and its story has been told before elsewhere. We know it won't be too long until we return with more Scouts to experience it for the first time and more leaders to help them with this amazing experience.

Plus Kandersteg is due to celebrate their centenary in 2023 and even though we're writing this before then, we already know it's going to be quite a party.

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