All the fun of Fusion
Take 17,000 Guides, mix them up with 1,000 performers from all over Europe and you get Fusion, Girl Guiding UK’s largest centenary celebration event.
Set in the delightful grounds of Harewood House, Leeds (what is it that makes stately homes such great venues for Scout and Guide camps?) where 5,000 guides are camping for the week as part of their Centenary Camp, Fusion was the high point of their centenary celebrations when the campers were joined by a further 12,000 day visitors plus Derek (Twine) and me!
There was just about every form of entertainment imaginable, from the bizarre wheelie bin and toilet cubicle with their own mind (!) to the more traditional Big Top and the large Dome Stage. The stage hosted two half-hour concerts by the National Scout and Guide Orchestra which included the Centenary Fantasia, especially composed to celebrate 100 years of Guiding. The orchestra is in the middle of its annual summer camp which sees Scouts and Guides from across the UK come together for a week's coaching before performing concerts in Cleckheaton on Friday evening and in Bradford Cathedral on Saturday.
Music to my ears
The orchestra is just one example – several of the international camps I have been to in the past week are others – of Scouts and Guides successfully coming together to provide exciting opportunities for young people. Something that I for one hope we can do more of in the future.
Back to Fusion, and despite some heavy showers in the morning the sun came out for the afternoon's festivities and an exciting finale set against the backdrop of Harewood House and two very large helium balloons playing host to a variety of trapeze artists.
It was also good to see a fair number of fellow Scouts during the day, many of whom were helping out with the organisation of the camp and Fusion as well as Guides who I had met earlier in the week during my travels and whose programme included a visit to Fusion.
Only the tip of the iceberg
I have had great fun visiting international camps across the UK and am also fully aware that many thousands of you have been having just as much fun in your Group and District camps across the UK and internationally and will continue to do so for the rest of the month. To all of you that have given up part of your annual leave to 'make it happen', I would just like to say a very big thank you.
Taking a break
After a fantastic eight days visiting international camps across the UK I am taking a few weeks off with the family so I will leave you in the capable hands of Tim Kidd, Chief Commissioner of England who has kindly offered (!) to guest blog for you over the next three weeks.