Worksop’s centenary scouting extravaganza

Worksop and District Scout Association celebrated 100 years of scouting in Worksop with a Centenary Extravaganza at the Acorn Theatre on 27th and 28th of October.

Although the scouting movement in Worksop began in 1911 the very first camp for boys actually took place on Brownsea Island in Poole Harbour in 1907.

This was an experiment by Baden Powell to test out his ideas on scouting for boys, crossing social divides by bringing together children who attended Eton and Harrow and those from less fortunate backgrounds, giving them a common goal.

Having visited Brownsea earlier this year I can appreciate what fun members of that very first camp must have had and how the idea of scouting as a movement quickly took hold. Indeed it was so popular that scout numbers soon grew to a million members in 32 countries.

Anyone involved with scouts will know how central the campfire is. How food is cooked, songs are sung and company enjoyed around it.

This extravaganza began and finished with a campfire on stage, very effectively represented with a life-like electric version.

The audience became part of the campfire events, hearing stories of Baden-Powell, joining in with some well-known songs and learning the words to not-so-well-known ones.

The whole evening was about having fun and a jolly good sing and it was a delight to see how happy the children and adults were on stage.

From the youngest Beaver Scouts, aged just six, to the much older Explorer Scouts, everyone seemed to be having such a good time.

One young lady was having so much fun bouncing around stage as a kangaroo that she almost had to be physically restrained. She was such a little character and had the audience totally charmed, as did the other young Beavers.

Cub Scouts, Scouts and Explorer Scouts all helped to act out songs, like Seven Little Girls Sitting in the Back Seat and There’s a Hole in My Bucket, with confidence and assurance.

We were even treated to a performance from Elvis whose hip-wiggling had to be seen.

The evening went with a swing and, with accompaniment from a guitar at front of stage, all those involved sang with gusto.

What really struck me about these children was their complete ease on stage. Scouting really does have something to give children in terms of their self-esteem and this lot had it in spadesful. They were great ambassadors for scouting and a credit to Worksop and District Scouting Association.

The Worksop area is now just part of a greater world-wide movement involving 30 million young scouts and adults in 161 countries.

No wonder they felt the need to celebrate.

By Wendy Fidoe