Abingdon Invaded by 420 Scouts
Abingdon found itself invaded by Dragons on Sunday the 22nd of April for the local Scouts to celebrate St George’s the Patron Saint of Scouting. Some 420 young people aged 6-25 were challenged to get to Abingdon in an unusual way and arrived on foot, by boat, by bus, by train, and even more creatively, by dragon, unicorn or aeroplane. They were supported by 120 adults, including many parents as well as leaders.
Dragons Steamers, Destroyers, Busses & Trains
One group of Scouts from Didcot arrived by Steamer, another group hiked to Abingdon from Dalton Barracks and the Sea Scouts “sailed” a replica of HMS Dragon, a Type 45 Destroyer and another one, inspired by a recent Beaver and Cub trip to an air museum made cardboard Lancaster Bombers and flew them to Rye Farm from North Abingdon. Some arrived by bus, others by train, and even the two of the invited special guests arrived by bike. Oliver, an 11 year old Scout hiked from Harwell to Abingdon with his Scout Troop. He said it was tiring but amazing to arrive and meet up with other Scouts he already knew through school and Scouting. As the Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorer Scouts arrived, the scout band welcomed them with a rousing performance of music ranging from the Bare Necessities to the National Anthem. The group included an 8 year old drummer making his first ever public performance and an experienced 18 year old Oboe player.
Fun, Challenge and Adventure Planned by Explorer Scouts
Martin Richards, Local Senior Volunteer of, Thames Ridge Scouts explained “our young people like a challenge, and just getting to Abingdon taking a dragon and a knight wasn’t quite enough, so we set them some tasks to do on the way like talking to somebody who used to be a Scout or a Cub or performing a campfire song somewhere public. We also wanted the public to see just some of the fun, challenge and adventure that Scouting brings and let them see that Scouting in Thames Ridge District is very much alive.” Between them, they took pictures of statues wearing neckerchiefs, told jokes about dragons and made lots of “Bake Off” style cakes on a George and Dragon theme. The event was planned in conjunction with a small team of Explorer Scouts (young people aged 14-18). One member of the team commented “It was so exciting to see something we’d planned in a small group become a huge event with hundreds of kids. Knowing the hard work from the team had paid off when seeing how much everyone enjoyed it was, for me, the best part.” Siobhan, 16. It was great to see young people from across the district come together and celebrate everything they share as members of the worldwide family of Scouting. The Beavers, Cubs, Scouts, Explorer Scouts and Scout Network Members and the dragons basked in the spring sunshine. During the afternoon, they made a giant dragon out of waste with the help of Orinoco, played African drums, clambered on a dragon-shaped obstacle course and had a go at making catapults. Towards the end of the event, they all made the Scout promise alongside the hundreds of other Scouts from across the District.
Gold, Dragon Slime and Inflatable Obstacle Courses
Josh, a ten year old Cub Scout from Chilton described his favourite bit OF the day “We got to make dragon slime, it was really messy but lots of fun, and we got to actually make it ourselves, rather than just buy it. The thing that excited me about celebrating celebrate St George’s Day this year was the chance to go to Abingdon by boat and have a picnic lunch on board.” The inflatable dragon themed bouncy inflatable course was a hit with young people of all ages. Ella and Libby, 13 year old Scouts said it was great that the inflatable was big enough for older Scouts and Explorer scouts to go on too. For Theo, a 7 and a half year old Beaver Scout said his favourite bit was having a go at archery, an activity he’d done before, but this time, he was able to hit the target and came close to scoring a gold, he now wants to have another go and get that elusive gold.
Looking ahead, the young people are looking forward to the spring and summer months, when they will have many opportunities to camp, climb, canoe, and continue to develop countless skills for life.