St George’s Day Celebration

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St George’s Day Celebration

3 May 2016

This year our 1st Salhouse Scout Group were the hosts of the District St George’s Day Celebration.

Despite a dull start to the day weather-wise, the sun shone for our Parade of 550 Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorers and their Leaders from across the North East Norfolk Scouts District (Scouts from Blakeney, Holt, Sheringham, Cromer, Aylsham, North Walsham, Mundesley, Stalham, Hoveton & Wroxham, Hainford & Frettenham, and of course Salhouse who hosted this year’s St George’s Day Celebration) as they marched from the Playing Field in Thieves Lane, Salhouse to the Gorse Meadow field at Salhouse Broad (1.2 miles in all!)…the exact location of the 1930 Jamboree which was attended by our Founder, Lord Baden Powell (B-P) and Prince George.

We were absolutely thrilled therefore that B-P’s Grandson, Robin Baden Clay and his wife, Sue, were able to join us this year (all the way from their home in Dorset) for the whole day. Mr Clay was clearly moved to be able to join in our celebrations and was able to read extracts from his grandfather’s diaries. Mr Clay said “I do feel it is very important that, by attending such Rallies, the young people see that they are a part of someing SO much bigger than just their own Pack or Troop, and that they are part of “The Greatest Movement for Peace that the World has ever known.”

The impressive Parade was led by ‘St George on Horseback’ and accompanied by the Band of the T.S. Norfolk Sea Cadets from Gorleston, under the careful watch of their Officer in Charge, AS/Lt (SCC) S. Carver RNR and consisted of 550 young people, 135 Leaders with 250 Parents and family members following. 46 Flags from each Section of every Group across the District were paraded, led by the Queen’s Colour, the St George Flag and the North East Norfolk District Scout Colour and formed a Guard of Honour as they entered the field through an impressive castellated gateway which had been built especially for the event by 1st Salhouse members. Mr Baden Clay reviewed the Parade and took the Salute with District Commissioner, Paul Henriksen and the new High Sheriff of Norfolk, Major General Sir William Cubitt, KCVO, CBE.

The main Celebration was led by Reverend Canon Andrew Beane – Vicar of Aylsham and District Chaplain, with every Section’s Flag impressively flying in the breeze at the front of the arena. The main gathering included each Group taking forward one of their neckerchiefs, one by one, and linking it together with the previous ‘necker’ with a ‘Friendship Knot’, lots of campfire-style songs including ‘Ging Gang Goolie’ and ‘Give Me Joy in My Heart (Shout for Scouting)’ – led by friends of Salhouse Group, Andy Betts and Andrew Hudson), and a ‘Mexican Wave’ stunt, as well as all 550 Scouts and Leaders and Helpers making their Renewal of Promises.

District Commissioner Paul Henriksen sharing a joke with High Sheriff of Norfolk, Major General Sir William Cubitt

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County Commissioner, Nickie Chapman, attended especially to present a coveted ‘Silver Acorn’ Award to Group Leader of Hoveton & Wroxham – Terry Hughes. Terry was also thrilled to have been invited and was very much looking forward to attending the National Awards Ceremony at Windsor Castle on the following Sunday.

District Commissioner, Paul Henriksen, also introduced special guest, Mrs. Hilary Richards the Chief Executive of Break, the Children’s Charity, and explained that the Scout Members present (aged from 6 years onwards – Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorers) had participated in some part of the Go,Go,Dragons! initiatives last Summer, with several Sections taking the Dragon Trail either with Leaders or with Parents, many Dragons were painted, modelled and moulded over the months, as well as Dragon quizzes and challenges devised, medieval costumes made etc..etc.

Hilary, presented Go,Go,Dragons! gifts as prizes to the youngsters who put the most effort into collecting their pennies in the Break Go,Go,Dragons! Collecting boxes last Summer – the young people who received Go,Go,Dragons! Mugs as prizes were:

From 1st Buxton Lamas (Sea Scouts), 3 Scouts: Patrick Johns, Lily-Mai Spinks and Finn Overton
and from 1st Stalham Cubs: Alfie Smith, Casey Talbot and Connie Battley. (Alfie and Casey are still in the pack as Cubs but Connie has moved up to Scouts now.)

We are not sure how much each child collected but do know that Casey filled her box to the top with small change and topped it up with her own pocket money to make sure it was “really full”… Consequently Hilary presented Casey with a Mini Dragon (Patch) as a special Congratulations for her efforts.

We were also really pleased that we were able to have our own Scouting Dragon ‘Bajestic’ on site for the celebrations, she ‘flew’ in from her new home at the Eaton Vale Acitivity Centre to spend the day with us, and by kind permission of Mr Daniel Dawson-Gordon of the Norfolk Antique & Reclamation Centre, one of the Duelling Dragons sculptures also watched over us.

In this Centenary year of Cub Scouting we have many other celebrations planned including a District Camp at Holt Hall over the Spring Bank Holiday weekend, but we particularly wanted to make this St George’s Day an extra special Jamboree-style Celebration for our scouting youngsters and their families to enjoy. In keeping with the medieval theme our central Celebration including the story of St George and the Dragon, vividly told to the gathering by Storyteller-Dave Tonge, and this led the youngsters nicely into the activities which followed, namely the chance to try medieval activities which they found in a medieval village which was provided by the family members of the Norfolk and Norwich Medieval Association, 14th Century re-enactment group,and were able to enjoy ‘come and try’ archery, hobby horse jousting, fighting knights with favours, dressing-up as knights, sling shot demos, and medieval games, as well as allowing our young people to strike their own commemorative coins; there were some beautiful Birds of Prey which young people were able to hold; sword-making for the young Beavers, ing a ‘living village’ with ‘medieval’ cooking, crafting skills, board games, historical dancing demonstrations with audience participation, a storyteller, static birds of and so on… the afternoon rounded-off by an amazing Hog Roast for everyone – and lots of sunshine!