- KISC Back and Relax!by Alex Richardson
Make the World Scout Centre your next adventure! While Gilwell Reunion may be over, if you’re looking for your next adventure, why not consider the Kandersteg International Scout Centre (KISC) in Switzerland?
As the only World Scout Centre and being run entirely by volunteers, KISC welcomes Scouts of all ages – adults included! Whether you fancy bringing your group, doing a reccy or just coming as a group of friends for a Scouting holiday in the Swiss Alps, KISC is here to welcome you!
KISC is open all year round, with plenty to do every season! In the summer that means beautiful hikes, lakes to swim in, water activities, mountain tubing, canyoning, paragliding, cycling, climbing, sight seeing and of course meeting Scouts from around the world!
In the Winter, you could learn to ski or snowboard (or put your skills to the test!), go sledding, venture out on winter hikes, snow shoe around the countryside on special winter paths, go curling or skating on the lake, build igloos, try out cross country skiing, have snowball fights and join together around the campfire even in the snow!
Consider visiting for New Year’s at KISC to welcome in not only 2024, but also the end of KISCs 100th year around the fire holding hands with Scouts from around the world!
Tempted? Just take a look at https://KISC.ch or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more, or visit ISSU at https://www.issu.org.uk/ to find out how the International Scout Support Unit can help make KISC your next and greatest international adventure!
- Penguins, attention! Penguins, read!by Alex Richardson
A true menagerie of creatures came out of the gutters for the traditional Saturday night campfire this year. From flies to penguins and even the occasional brontosaurus (with a swishy tail) it was certainly a night to remember.
Of course, we weren’t alone around the campfire circle, with thousands of viewers from across the world joining us for the night through the power of the internet as we climbed onto pirate ships, yodelled like Austrians and conducted our barnyard orchestra.
As the night drew in, our gibberish took to new heights with a chorus of Ging Gang Googlie, before taking a chance to think about the good times – and the not so good times – through the Scouting (or Guiding) Spirit.
Rounding out the evening, Gill Clay took to the firelight to lead us through her rendition of Walk in the Light, as she reminisced on her time in Africa, waving the African guides off as they bundled onto a truck to summer camp.
- Roverway: North of the Ordinaryby Alex Richardson
After a rather eventful summer, what’s next for the UK Contingent team? Roverway!
Yes that’s right, we’re off to Stavanger, Norway with our biggest Roverway contingent ever – 550 participants aged 16-22 and over 100 IST travelling together for 11 days of Norwegian adventure.
Martyn, a member of the Contingent Management Team, could barely contain his excitement as the contingent charges full-sails-ahead towards the jamboree, gleefully showing off their brand-new hoodies and t-shirts, complete with Viking-inspired logos.
Of course, we can’t talk about future contingents without acknowledging the challenges experienced in Korea, but the team is keen to incorporate those lessons into their strategy as they look to the adventures ahead.
Be sure to subscribe to the UK Contingent socials to keep up-to-date on this adventure, as the Roverway team are in charge now, with some “top secret” details coming soon to a feed near you!
- Bowing out quietlyby Sarah Paget
Working away quietly, unacknowledged by many visitors to Gilwell Park but essential to all those who know him, Asa leaves Scout Adventures on Monday for new adventures.
After 17 and a half years as Head of Scout Adventures, and Scout Activity Centres before, Asa moves on but is not lost to Scouting. As Quarter Master at his local group and father to two young people in the movement, Asa will be kept busy in scouting.
There have been many highlights over the years from his eldest taking their first steps on The Training Ground, to the 3am hot chocolate runs into London during Operation Feather. Asa has also been involved in various interesting media calls over the years from arranging BBC breakfast on the climbing wall and offering a certain future King the opportunity to drive a mini digger!
“In honesty, it’s the people who make Gilwell Park. Our international volunteers are a joy to work with, they bring such enthusiasm to the job”. Gilwell Park Activity Centre has a staff of around 11 and is supported by around 60 international scouting volunteers, who are trained up through a programme developed by Asa and his team, to provide the activities at the activity centre.
Gilwell will always hold a special place for Asa and his family. “We are all custodians of this place. I like to think of BP’s quote about leaving something better than you found it”
- Make your own adventureby Sarah Paget
On Saturday afternoon Gilwell Reunion welcomed Mahroof Malik was the guest speaker, he shared his early experiences of the outdoors and challenged everyone to have their own adventure.
Recently appointed as a Scout Adventurer, his energy and enthusiasm for adventure and the great outdoors is obvious for all to see. Mahroof is no stranger to Scouts as he is a Group Scout Leader for his local group.
Growing up in inner city Birmingham in the ‘70s. He proclaims to have been a “feral child”, climbing trees, playing on building sites and being chased away by the foreman. The catalyst for giving Mahroof’s wild energy focus came from his Primary School Principal, who bought a piece of land as he saw the importance of the outdoors for inner city children. These trips were a lightbulb moment for Mahroof. “There were trees & a river – it was like Rivendell to me!”
Over time not only did Mahroof gain a love of the outdoors but also for the sport and activities that take you there. Whilst at University he joined the climbing society and enjoyed spending time on trips climbing at various locations around England and Wales. He was eventually challenged to lead climbing trips – realising that he was as experienced and qualified as the others he stepped up. This spurred him on to earn outdoor qualifications enabling him to access more adventures. Adventures he takes all the way back to those early school trips.
As a qualified Mountain Guide Mahroof enjoys the opportunity to engage and lead “my own community” in the great outdoors. From inner city Birmingham he has been to Iceland, Greenland and even lived with pack dogs.
“I’ve always had that Scouting spirit. I have that attitude of who set the restriction on what you can and can’t do. This is why I love scrambling up hills. It’s the same sensation scrambling around building sites as a child. You have to go out and experience, learn skills and take from the experience.”
Ultimately Mahroof aims to inspire others to get out and have their own adventure. “You are the adventurer within your group. Those early days were me tring to take it all in, enlightening myself with the world. Develop the skills, I take the approach – if you can’t – I must”.
“My call to action to all of you is: everyone has their own adventures and their own limits. Push yourself to have your own adventures. Every adventure is your own. It’s your challenge and your goals. In time these challenges will trickle down to our young people. I really want to see all young people building resilience, to challenge and push themselves and to meet their own goals.”
Mahroof admitted that sometimes those challenges seem like an uphill struggle. He advised “learn, plan, prepare and execute. Prepare in the best possible way to achieve your outcome. Also find the right people to travel with you and you will always have that bond – a shared experience.”
So having become a Scout Adventurer, Reunion Express challenged Mahroof to the ultimate question – What’s next?
He has many ideas but nothing planned yet. “I’d like to do all seven summits, or cycle no motorcycle around the world, that sounds cool. I’m tempted by a canoeing challenge, I want to get back into Kayaking.”
We’re sure everyone sends a warm welcome to Mahroof as a new Scout Adventurer and wishes him well in his future adventures.
- Just Plane Sailingby Alex Richardson
It was on June 10th, just before her 86th birthday, that Gill Clay – granddaughter of our founder – undertook her maiden flight.
Standing on top of the plane.
Yes Gill, inspired by her sister in law’s mother, decided to raise funds for Gilwell Park and 1st Cowbridge Scout Group to celebrate her Silver Wolf Award, The Scouts’ highest award. She’s raised over £3100 so far, but is hoping to reach her goal of £3500 by the end of September.
But this was far from her first daring adventure. From 60mph zip lines to leaps of faith, Gill is no stranger to high velocity, high altitude action. And so what’s up next? “I’d like to go on another wing walk. One that goes up to 3000ft and does loop-the-loops!”
If you would like to support Gill’s cause, you can donate at her JustGiving page: justgiving.com/campaign/silverwolfwingwalk
- The Scout Association AGMby James Traynor
The AGM of The Scout Association took place today at Gilwell Park. Before the formal business began, the Trustees, delegates and invited guests received an update on the progress The Scouts have made over the past year in growth and in strategy areas of Programme, People and Perception. The meeting welcomed Andy Chapman, Chair of the World Scout Committee and participants from the 25th World Scout Jamboree in Korea to talk about their experiences.
- 25th World Scout Jamboree Attendees Come Togetherby James Traynor
Most would agree that the 25th World Scout Jamboree attendees had a unique and challenging summer. On the buffalo lawn this morning, many of them had the chance to come together and talk.
Liz Walker, UK Contingent Leader, introduced the session as an opportunity to “explore, heal and celebrate”. She thanked all attendees for their perseverance as well as having an ability to “dig deep, be flexible and demonstrate resilience”
Lily-Mai, IST, Norfolk said “It was a great opportunity to exchange memories and decompress about our time in Korea”.
Catherine, Assistant Unit Leader, Cambridgeshire said “It was great to reflect on my jamboree experience as a Unit Leader with other Unit Leaders and see how our experience were similar and differed”.
- Climate Conscious Scoutingby James Traynor
A new stand for Gilwell Reunion 2023 is the Climate Conscious Scouting stand which is in the Programme Zone on the Training Ground. The stand is all about supporting leaders to feel confident to speak to young people about climate change.
Abbie who is running the stall said the response has been excellent, with lots of people coming away with new ideas to run in their sections, as well as lots of people sharing their ideas with her.
There are lots of programme ideas available for you to use with sections available here:
“Scouts have always had caring about the environment at the centre of what we do. One of the first scout badges was for forestry. Being sustainable comes naturally to us. This is just bringing climate change to the forefront in 2023”.
- What’s On Saturdayby Sarah Paget
Good morning Campers and visitors! Gilwell Reunion is abuzz with activity this morning as everyone prepares for the day ahead. But what to do with your time?
If The Scouts AGM doesn’t take your fancy there is plenty on offer. Scout Adventures has a wide variety of its activities open for you to release your inner Cub or Scout. Looking to expand your horizons and venture abroad visit the International Zone for inspiration, information and more opportunities for adventure.
Don’t forget to visit the Training Ground at 1500 to hear from Mahroof Malik our Guest speaker and enjoy the traditional Reunion drinks reception. Fill the rest of your time wandering through the various stalls from Active Support Units, official partners and Programme zone. After all of that you will want to relax this evening. The Buffalo Bar and King’s Squiffy Woggle Pub will be open from 1800. If you enjoy fire and a sing along head to Campfire at 19:30 and get ready for the most intense competition with the Quiz at 20:30 (Branchet Field Marquee)
- Welcome to Gilwell Reunion 2023!by Alex Richardson
Gilwell Reunion 2023 – the largest Reunion for 5 year – officially kicked off this evening on The Training Ground. Matt Hyde, CEO for The Scouts, was up first, asking us all to “gather nearer” and use our phone torches to illuminate him, due to the lack of lighting. He reflected on the difficult summer many have had and congratulated Scouts for “making the right decisions, keeping people safe and carrying on”.
Sam Morris, our Camp Chief, was up next, talking us through the exciting programme for the weekend, including the new Inclusion Zone as well as old favourites such as the International Zone. He was quickly followed by Ayesha Karim, UK Youth Commissioner, who warned us of the Youth Team’s selfie frame and that we may remember none of this by Monday.
Finally, Carl Hankinson, UK Chief Commissioner, took to the stage, who thanked us all for what we do before declaring Reunion open!
- Reunion Express Live! for 2023!by Steve Way
We are looking forward to bringing you all the news from the 2023 Gilwell Reunion in Reunion Express Live!
You can get a taste of what’s to come from the 20 page 2022 summary edition on Issu