Reign On The Parade -- Heavy rain failed to dampen spirits at the Greenock and District Scouts Jubilee Parade and Service. The usual annual parade was given a Jubilee theme and around 850 young people and adult leaders turned up to mark the occasion – the biggest number ever.
A total of 845 Beavers, Cubs, Scouts, Explorers and Leaders gathered in the playground of ‘Waterloo Rd. (formerly Greenock Academy) to parade to Westburn Church for their annual church service and to celebrate the Diamond jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
The parade, supported by three pipe bands, marched along Finnart Street turning into Nelson Street and then to the church where they were welcomed by the invited guests including the Lord Lieutenant Guy Clark and his wife, Inverclyde Provost Robert Moran, Ian McKenzie MP and his wife, Duncan McNeil MSP and his wife, Councillor Ciano Rebecchi and senior members of Greenock and District Scouting.
As parents and family joined in, the church was packed with more than 1,000 taking part in the service that was led by Ms Jennifer Boag and Father John Morrison. The musical accompaniment was provided by the Stedfast Band. After the reception of colours by the clergy and the opening hymn – ‘Shine Jesus Shine’ -- the first prayer was read by Jennifer Boag.
District Commissioner David McCallum introduced the Jubilee theme. A Queen Scout, from each decade of the Queen’s reign was called to give a brief account of their receipt of the badge. The oldest -- Douglas Horn -- actually received his King’s Scout Award in 1948. Next was Douglas Brown from the 50s, then Douglas Telfer from the 60s, Graham Patrick from the 70s, Bernie McGuinness from the 80s, Carrie Gibson from the 90s, Johnnie Webb from the noughties and Martin Keane from the present decade.
The second Hymn – ‘All things bright and beautiful’ was introduced by Jennifer Boag and the second Prayer was read by Father Morrison. The renewal of promises was led by ADC Beavers – Liz Roders, ADC Cubs Jane Wylie and DC David McCallum for Scouts, Senior sections and leaders. ADC Training Shirley Cairney presented a number of wood beads to new leaders who had completed their training.
The District Commissioner then invited the Lord Lieutenant to present Long Service Certificates to a number of Leaders. The final Presentation by the Lord Lieutenant was to the recipient of the Silver Wolf – Alexander Buchanan. DC David McCallum read out a letter from the Scottish Commissioner Graham Haddock addressed to Alex. Both Graham and Alex are former members of the 45th. The National Anthem was then sung.
Whilst the congregation sang the final hymn – ‘The Lord of the Dance’, the flag party led the clergy and principle participants out of the church. The parade reformed in Ardgowan Street to march along Union Street and Newark Street in heavy rain where the District Chairman and guests took the salute. Finally, back in the playground where they started, the parade dismissed after a word of thanks from the DC. Thanks to everybody who helped organise such a wonderful event and to all, young and old alike, who came along to support it.
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Silver Wolf Honour For Alex -- Alexander Buchanan, former Group Scout Leader of the original 45th and past District Commissioner, received his Silver Wolf Award certificate from DC David McCallum. Alex was accompanied by former 45th Scouts Ian Spence, Willie Stewart and Jim and Maggie Bell on the very day of the Group’s 92nd founding anniversary. A congratulatory message was also received from former 45th Scout Graham Haddock, now Chief Commissioner for Scotland. Alex also presented 45th neckies to five new Cubs and Beavers invested at Everton. Deputy DC Shirley Cairney then presented the Wood Badge to AGSL John Mitchell. Many thanks to ADCs Liz Roders and Jim Arkley, and SHQ Explorer Commissioner Anil Chundoo, for helping make this year's 45th family camp so enjoyable. Thanks to Sara McCaig, Ross Louden, Bernie McGuinness, David Love, Kerr Masterton, Paul Laverty and Calum Rennie for running the various activities.
Scouts Hold Training Day -- Scouts from various groups attended an Expedition Challenge Training Day. Seventeen young people practised map and compass, leading the groups through the hills from Cornalees Bridge. At lunch they all flew their Jubilee flags and ate Jubilee fancies to join in the celebrations; a welcome bit of fun in the middle of hard walking. This year’s trainees for the Explorer Challenge had to pack their rucksacks with stones to reach a minimum weight before taking to the hills and covering five miles in the countryside overlooking Inverkip and the Clyde. The Group will be spending a tough two days walking in the scenic Glen Etive to Loch Awe landscape later in June in order to complete their training and win their Expedition Challenge Badge.
Campers Badge Training -- Two patrols of Scouts from the 85th spent a weekend kicking off their training for the Campers Badge in the sunshine at Everton. The group will be returning for more weekends over the next few months until after the summer when they hope to complete the badge and hopefully pick up some other badges along the way as they learn new skills.
Walking Network -- The newly-formed Walking Network was out in force enjoying the great weather and covering five peaks over the space of two days. If anyone is interested in getting involved then contact Jonny Webb or see the west region Facebook page for future events.
60 Minute Hike For 70th -- In place of their evening meeting, the 70th Beavers invited brothers, sisters and their families to join them in a 60-minute hike and picnic on the Bank Holiday. The Beavers hiked to the Beacon at Lyle Hill where two new members, Zac Irvine and Robbie Turner, were invested. The hike proceeded down to Battery Park where a well deserved lunch was enjoyed and some time was spent in the play park. After a short reflection about the Jubilee, the group returned to HQ via the Esplanade. The Beavers, helped by the older hikers, completed some tasks relating to sites of local interest en route. Click for bigger photo
Fish, Eggs, Crickets And Worms On The Menu For 59th -- The 59th spent the weekend at Everton, celebrating the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. They had great fun with a bushcraft base, a bio-base, cake-making, face-painting, zip wire, Jacob’s ladder, low ropes, crate climbing and a superb campfire with fantastic entertainment from Jonny Webb.
In the Bushcraft Base they got the opportunity to prepare and cook a fish on an open fire, to cook eggs inside an orange and made delicious baked bananas with chocolate inside them. They were given the chance to eat real crickets and worms; they tried out some emergency shelters and got firsthand experience of how difficult it is to get in a hammock.
At the Bio-Base they honed their horticultural skills and made some beautiful troughs of flowers which they placed up at the church area to complement the hanging baskets there. They also learned about birds of prey and what they eat and got to dissect bird pellets, which amazed and disgusted them at the same time. Some fantastic bones and skulls were found and mounted on coloured card for display. Many thanks to Loch Lomond Bird of Prey Centre for donating the bird pellets.
The Beavers, Cubs and Scouts iced cakes and biscuits in Jubilee colours, which were scoffed in no time.
Mums and dads, grannies and grandads were invited up for a family barbecue on Saturday afternoon. This was a first opportunity for many of the parents to see the facilities at Everton and they were duly impressed. Parents and families all got mucked in helping to serve up a great variety of delicacies just in time to go to the campfire circle to be entertained by Jonny Webb and Johanna Platt, who amongst other songs did a great rendition of "We Are Warriors". The Cubs enjoyed it so much, they were still heard to be singing it the following morning in their tents!
This was the biggest and best camp the 59th has had in the 25 years their GSL has been with the group and featured 33 Beavers, (four of whom slept over), 20 Cubs and 12 Scouts. Including all the parents and leaders who attendedm, there were well over 160 people at Everton and it was a fantastic success. The Leaders of the 59th thank all the leaders from other groups in the District who came to help with the activities and all the parents who gave their support.
Beacon Of Hope For 60th -- The District’s own Jubilee Group (the 60th) took part in the Jubilee Beacon lighting event in Inverclyde. Inverclyde Provost Robert Moran was joined by four youngsters from the 60th at the event on Greenock’s Lyle Hill. The youngsters helped DC David McCallum, at the invitation of the Council, to deliver a vote of thanks and three cheers for HM Queen on behalf of all of the uniformed organisations in Inverclyde. he kids were wearing their special Jubilee neckies.
Radio Club Hit The Summit -- Members of Greenock and District Scouts and Guides Amateur Radio Club completed their Diamond Jubilee challenge during the Jubilee weekend by hiking to the top of Carn Aosda, Carn nan Sac, Carn a’Geoidh and The Cairnwell with all the hills being over 3000ft. The team carried a Union Flag to each of the hills. The Radio Team activated SOTA Summit GM/CS-030 Carn a’Geoidh by making contact with more than four contacts gaining six points for the SOTA challenge. During the activation other hikers asked about the radio activity, and spoke to them about other activities that the club undertake. Contacts were made from the east to the west coast. Any groups wishing to find out more about the radio club can contact Bob Lynch at
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Explorers Conquer Ben Nevis -- Explorer Scouts Jordan Graham and Jason Parker scaled Scotland’s biggest mountain to mark the Jubilee celebrations. The Explorers, from the 32nd Northface Explorer Scout Unit, climbed Ben Nevis on Jubilee Day as part of the celebrations and also to raise some funds for their forthcoming sail training ship event in August.