Historic weekend as all sections of the Lowestoft and District Scouts camp together for the first time
- Credit: Archant
Traditional scouting songs echoed out around a camp fire as more than 340 youngsters joined forces for a 'perfect' occasion.
It was an event that took four years to plan, but the hard work proved worthwhile as for the first time in the history of the Lowestoft and District Scouts, a joint camp has been successfully held.
With seven groups of Scouts, Cubs, Beavers and Explorer scouts and their leaders converging on the campsite at Herringfleet, the joint camp saw the groups all spend nights under canvas in the delightful wooded setting on the edge of Fritton Lake.
This setting is usually used for scouts from individual groups to pitch their tents – but over the May Bank Holiday weekend it saw more than 340 boys and girls and their leaders from seven groups enjoy the adventure of all camping together.
District Commissioner, Mel Buck, said: 'The ambitious plan to include all sections of the district scouting family has been four years in the planning. Over the last couple of years we have gradually introduced overnight stays for both Cubs and Beavers in preparation for this big weekend. 'It has taken a lot of work and we have had to take over an adjacent field to accommodate the 200 tents and kitchen areas.'
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Mr Buck said the weather had been 'very kind' and the youngsters enjoyed a wide range of activities including archery, canoeing, rowing, rifle shooting and monkey-bridge. There was also a climbing wall, a maze and an evening disco to enjoy.
He added: 'Two particularly competitive challenges keenly fought by the young people were a speed sawing task where a telegraph pole had to be cut through, using a double handed saw in the fastest time and a competition to see who could put up a tent the quickest. The highlight for me was the Camp Fire on a perfect Saturday evening when everyone joined in with singing traditional scouting songs at the tops of their voices.'
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The groups were delighted to welcome Mike Dobson, representing the George Setterfield Trust, as he formally handed over a special wooded cabin, which they funded and which will enable youngsters with additional needs to experience the joys of camping.
Mr Buck said: 'The scout movement in the Lowestoft District is very lucky to have access to such a wonderful site and we express our gratitude to Lord Somerleyton for allowing the continued use of the land which is part of the Somerleyton Estate.
'We also have brilliant leaders who assist with all the activities to ensure that all our boys and girls have a thoroughly enjoyable time.'