6,000 Hampshire Cub Scouts celebrate 100 years

Steve Backshall

TV’s Steve Backshall

Cub Scouts up and down the country are celebrating 100 years of adventure with Cubs 100 Promise Parties – with some heading to major landmarks for the event. On the 16th of December – exactly 100 years from when the Cub Scout Movement was launched – Cub Scouts will join thousands of others to renew their Promise.

Cub Scouting has reached its centenary. That’s 100 years of fun and friendship, 100 years of challenge and adventure, and 100 years of positive impact on young people and society. In Hampshire alone, 5,023 boys and 980 girls try something new as Cub Scouts week in, week out.

The official birthday of Cub Scouts is widely seen as 16th December, as this was the day in 1916 when the section was launched. Cub Scouts from across the UK are therefore celebrating with their widest ever party. 150,000 of them will be remaking their Promise at 19:16 (7:16pm) tonight, pledging to do their best and to help over people.

Locally, the region’s Cub Scouts have already descended on Portsmouth’s Spinnaker Tower. Alongside their volunteer Leaders, they looked out over Hampshire during this morning’s frosty sunrise. Elsewhere, throughout the day, there are events taking place throughout the County; from a lantern parade through Winchester, campfire and BBQ in the New Forest, to sleepovers at JJ’s World of Fun and Gosport’s Explosion Museum.

The birth of Scouting in 1907 had been so successful, that its founder Robert Baden-Powell realised that he needed to cater for a younger age group. Based around Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book characters, the first Wolf Cubs gathered around their Akela in 1916. Within a year, there were nearly 30,000 of them.

Now, Cub Scouts are aged 8 – 10 ½ years and they take part in a wide range of activities designed to be interesting and challenging. A Cub Scout meeting consists of games and activities with plenty of time spent outdoors as part of an adventure packed programme.

Chandlers Ford Cub Scout, Jessica Jones, aged 9, said: ‘I’ve had some amazing adventures with Cub Scouts, it’s awesome! I get to go canoeing and climbing, play games with my friends and learn really useful things like First Aid and DIY. Being a Cub Scout is all about doing your best and I try to do this every day.’

More than 150,000 Cub Scouts take part in life-changing adventures every week, with the help and support of adult volunteers up and down the country through it programme of everyday adventure. Over 200 activities, including adventure camps, climbing and water zorbing, are on offer.

Adventurer and Hampshire Scouts Ambassador, James Ketchell, said: ‘It’s fantastic to see the Cub Scouts celebrating their one-hundred-year anniversary.

‘The positive impact that Scouting brings to young people is magnificent. 100 years of adventure, meeting new people and learning lifelong skills is certainly something to be celebrated. I’d like to wish everyone a very happy Promise Party.’

Chief Scout, Bear Grylls, added: ‘I am super proud to see so many young people renewing their Cub Scout Promise to do their best and to help other people.

‘I am excited to see Scout numbers continue to rise across the UK and the big reasons for this are the adventures made possible by the amazing volunteers from Hampshire. Whether it’s the opportunity to be involved with some incredible adventures, learn practical life, outdoor and teamwork skills, or helping to improve their local communities, Scouts and volunteers have a brilliant time.’