Thousands flock to Beaver and Cub Fundays
It was the unmistakable combination of fun and friends that abounded at the Gilwell Park Fundays for Beavers and Cubs last weekend. Over 8,000 young people and their leaders attended the event, held over two days at the home of UK Scouting.
‘The Cubs are so excited; every year they count down from Monday to Saturday’ said parent helper Morag from Cricklade, Wiltshire.
‘They love all the activities; the fun they have here is just fantastic. I love to see the Cubs having fun.’ Activities at this year’s Fundays ranged from zip wires and rafting to inflatable slides and a fully-stocked funfair.
Gilwell Park also played host to many of The Scout Association’s partners, who ran activities for Cubs and Beavers to enjoy. Rolls-Royce provided the opportunity to make hot-air balloons and pinhole cameras; there were pets galore at the Pets at Home stand, and robots invaded The Lid with several challenges staged by Hot Wheels. There were also demonstrations by Chubb, Sainsbury’s Active Kids, OMSCo and National Grid.
The Fundays prove popular with young people and leaders alike. For Cub Scout Sian, her favourite activity was climbing. When asked what she likes best about being in Cubs, Sian replied, ‘You get to earn loads of badges and learn different things.’ For Jomo Hunte-St.Rose, Group Scout Leader of the 3rd Rainham, it’s a chance to sit back and let the Cubs have fun without the need to organise the activities. ‘Because it’s so well organised, you can relax as leaders and parents to know that the kids are well looked after and having loads of fun.’
A brief rain shower after lunch on Saturday couldn’t dampen spirits as activities continued well into the afternoon. Sliding down the slippery slope, swimming in the outdoor pool and impromptu water pistol battles all added to the entertainment. A sunny Sunday (also Father’s Day) saw the site heaving with adventure and record numbers of parents attending with their children.
‘Dad’s being very helpful’
Phil, a parent who came with his son Sam’s Beaver Colony, sees Beavers as a’ great opportunity for Sam to meet lots of children outside of school and get to do lots of different activities.’ Having seen the fun for himself, Phil said he was feeling more inclined to help out in the future. ‘It’s a great organisation, and I’m very happy to help out.’
The Fundays at Gilwell Park attracted groups from all over the UK, including Lincolnshire, Nothumberland, Wiltshire, Norfolk and Solihull. But this was only one of countless activities organised by groups up and down the country.
In Builth Wells, over a thousand Scouts came together for the All Wales Scout Camp, and in Carlisle, the town centre was taken over by Scouts for the Carlisle Scout Day, with members of the public being challenged to scale the climbing tower and cycle the length of Hadrian’s Wall.