Scouts, beavers and cubs of 4th Chandler’s Ford (Hiltingbury) Scouts, along with leaders both past and present, gathered together at their district campsite on Sunday to pay tribute to John Goble, their group president who is celebrating an incredible 80 years of involvement in the scout movement.
The youngsters, mostly aged between 6 – 14, greeted the veteran scouter with a traditional ‘grand howl’ while district commissioner Carolyn Darbyshire presented him with a certificate to mark his 50 years of holding a warrant as a scout leader remarking it was only the second time she had ever presented a certificate marking a half-centenary of service.
Mr Goble was also presented with a framed letter from the Chief Scout Bear Grylls who wrote:
“Your history of exceptional service to scouting is an inspiration to many and personifies all that is best about scouting. Your contribution and devotion to scouting is such an inspiration to me and many others. I salute you and your commitment to the young people of this country.”
Hampshire Scout’s County Commissioner Adam Jollans, was also on hand to offer his congratulations and said:
“Scouting happens because people like John have given so much time for so many years.
If you think about what was happening 80 years ago it was very different but some things were the same.
Scouts were still enjoying camping, living outdoors, lighting fires and cooking things.
These things have only continued because of people like John.”
The scouts were using their secluded two acre wooded campsite on the Cranbury Park estate to engage in an afternoon of traditional scouting activities which had been chosen by Mr Goble – but they also included some less traditional pursuits like constructing trebuchets capable of flinging water bombs over distance and rocket firing!
Mr Goble summed up the perennial appeal of scouting by describing it as:
“A game for boys – but a life for men”