The days may be short and cold right now but the long, warm days of summer will be back before we know it and that means more events like the amazing West Sussex 2013 Scout and Guide International Camp which took place here at Ardingly last August.
With a guest list of more almost 2,000 scouts and guides from 17 countries there was no better place to choose in the region for this action-packed outdoors event than the 150-acre South of England Showground.
A highlight of the seven-day event was the arrival by helicopter of Chief Scout and survival expert Bear Grylls, accompanied by his friend, comedian and actor David Walliams, as part of their airborne tour of the major UK Scout and Guide showcase events.
With a membership of 1,086,000 and a waiting to join list of more than 78,000, more adult volunteers are needed by Scouting and Guiding to cope with the growing interest from young people. The aim of Bear’s tour was to get the message across to potential volunteers by showing them all the amazing adventures and activities they can enjoy by getting involved.
As the photos below illustrate, the event was packed full of fantastic fun and opportunities to try a huge range of activities, including stilt-walking, climbing, canoeing, abseiling and archery, not to mention a great deal of dressing up, a talent show and a fabulous festival-style concert.
Irene Orford, West Sussex Scouts County Commissioner, said: ‘It’s great to see Bear calling on more people to volunteer for the Scouts – it’s such a brilliant thing to do, and it’s especially rewarding on a day like today. I’ve picked up lots of new skills and it’s so easy to fit Scouting around my daily life – I couldn’t recommend it more highly!’
Chief Guide, Gill Slocombe, was unable to attend the event in person but sent a special message to WS2013 which was broadcast from the stage at the opening ceremony.
“The Scouts and Guides had a great week, not only enjoying the tremendous range of activities on offer but also meeting new friends from 16 countries around the world and learning about different cultures, languages and customs,” said Christine Cheesmur, WS2013 Assistant Camp Chief. “Many will keep in touch for years to come in the true spirit of Scouting and Guiding. We thank the staff at the Showground who were a fantastic group of people doing everything they could to help us to ensure that the event ran smoothly.”