Reunion refreshes and inspires
2,000 adults in Scouting gathered under the famous oak tree for the 84th Gilwell Reunion, which took place at the weekend. A mix of volunteers, young and old, filled the campsite and got to take part in a range of activities, workshops and entertainments.
The event, which aims to combine a fun weekend with informative bases and expert advice, saw some firsts: the new uniform activity trousers were launched by Scout Shops, an early morning exercise class and the chance to try the novel sport of Rock-It Ball on the training ground. Hot air balloon rides were popular on Saturday morning, and the old favourites of the campfire, quiz and cinema kept campers entertained into the small hours.
Partners on hand
In recent years, Reunion has become a place where numerous organisations that work with Scouting come to share their ideas for partnerships. This year was no different, with charities as diverse as Stonewall, ShelterBox, the War Graves Commission and Dubble Fairtrade chocolate exhibiting.
A special atmosphere
Taking a rest from the hive of activity on Saturday afternoon, Meryl from Tonbridge summed up what the weekend meant to her:
‘It’s always inspiring and reinvigorates me in time for the first Beaver meeting in September. I’ve been coming for 12 years and take something different away each time. I particularly enjoyed learning how to do encaustic art in the Creative Tent.’
Dougie, who made the trip from Fife, commented: 'There's a special atmosphere at Gilwell that makes Reunion a weekend not to be missed. People are friendly, the staff are great, and there's plenty to do. While the world becomes more cynical, Scouts are showing that we can get along and inspire each other.'
First among equals
The weekend ended with the annual meeting of the 1st Gilwell Park Scout Group, a Group consisting of every worldwide adult member who completes their Wood Badge training. UK Chief Commissioner gave a round-up of the many positive outcomes of the last 12 months in Scouting.
As hundreds of campers dispersed to every corner of the country (and beyond) the clear up operation was well underway, ready to do it all again next year.
Reunion 2010 facts
- 106 activity bases on offer in one weekend
- More than 2,000 attendees from over 15 countries
- The Reunion quiz was won by ‘Team 24’ with 42 points.