In its 88th year, the Gillwell Reunion presented a great opportunity to run a District Wide trip for Leaders and Adults in Altside to attend, and 20 of us took that opportunity !
The Reunion commenced as a weekend for all those adults leaders who have completed their wood badge training to gather together as honorary members of the “1st Gillwell Park Scout Group”, and attracted Leaders from around the world.
It is held at Gillwell Park Scout Camp in Epping Forest, near Chingford in Essex, which c20 years ago became the UK headquarters of Scouting, and is now a very well equipped and serviced site hosting numerous huge scouting events for all ages through the year.
One such event is the Reunion, which over more recent years has adapted and changed to become more relevant to Leaders wishes, and is now an event for ALL Adults who work in Scouting, and sees multiple activities and stalls and promotional stands, that demonstrate, promote, and even give away, resources and ideas for you.
For our First Altside visit to the event 16 had never been to a Reunion weekend, nor indeed Gillwell Park itself before, so it was a big step.
Now apart from the superb social side of the weekend, with Bands on both nights, real ale bar, Pims reception, movies, and giant 80’s tribute party, which we all enjoyed far too much, there was also the serious side of visiting marquee’s, picking up leaflets, and making new friends with Leaders from around the Country and beyond.
This latter element being to all the first timers as the most eye opening! Their feedback was fantastic (just ask them when you see them), with so many get new ideas, and more importantly new inspiration for what they do in Scouting.
For me it was my third reunion, with my first in 1982, then 2009, and now 2014, and every time they get better and better, with more things to learn, and ideas to see.
Our next organised trip will likely be in a few more years, but don’t let that stop you going beforehand, as it’s an event that is open to all. For now though, then thanks to :-
Gary, Lee, Nick, Brian, Mike, Dave, Ricky, Sandra, Jenny, Emma, Brian, Dave B, Andy, Newt, Mally, Newt, Ryan, Luke, Dan, Alex, John for making it a great weekend, and a great opportunity to learn from, with special mention to:-
Paper Plane wars in the Bar
Daft Card Games at stupid o’clock
Alan’s special stories
Lee’s Rambo costume
Lukes contribution to the quiz questions
Rickys pint throwing
And of course the great site crew, stall and activity leaders, HQ staff and all the others who made an event for over 2000 Leaders possible!
Thanks, Ian – ADC Scouts, Altside