HUNDREDS of Scouts from across the North-East joined millions around the world in celebrating the birth of the movement 100 years ago at sunrise events yesterday.
People aged from six to 60 united at Penshaw Monument, in Sunderland, to renew their Scout promise and to commemorate a century of scouting.
At 8am yesterday everyone from beaver Scouts to explorer Scouts and their leaders and families gathered at the top of the hill to mark the beginning of the second century of Scouting.
The event also saw scores of new recruits being invested – becoming the first Scouts of the next century – watched on by many retired members who were also invited to celebrate the momentous occasion.
They joined about 28 million members of the Scout Association in more than 160 countries worldwide, including locations as diverse as Lebanon, Serbia, Rwanda and Argentina, in marking the centenary.
A commemorative camp was also set up on the same site as the very first one run by founder Robert Baden-Powell on Brownsea Island in Poole Harbour, Dorset, in August 1907.
The Lieutenant General in the British Army ran the camp for 20 boys from different social backgrounds after being inspired by his experiences in the forces.
He went on to write his ideas in a book called Scouting for Boys, and the movement was born, with boys around the country using it as the basis for camps, treks and other activities.
And yesterday hundreds from the region used the anniversary to reaffirm their Scouting promise to build a tolerant and peaceful society, and to look towards a bright future.
Fatfield Scouts’ Nick Spencer, 15, said: “For us to celebrate 100 years is an achievement I am proud of. I enjoy being a Scout and believe we have a lot to offer in the 21st Century. I love taking part in a range of activities and events, which are fun and challenging and feel rewarded from my time in Scouting.”
District commissioner Richard Lydiatt added: “Scouting is a world wide movement and this something which is being signified perfectly.
“It about much more than renewing promises, for young people this is an exciting time as they get the chance to take Scouting forward and lead the way for the next 100 years.”
Celebrations have already taken place across the UK and abroad in the run-up to the anniversary. On Saturday, Prince William joined about 40,000 youngsters at the 21st World Scout Jamboree in Hylands Park, Chelmsford in Essex.
BP’s words of peace
AT yesterday’s global gathering at Brownsea, British Scout Alastair Frankl read out Baden-Powell’s words from 100 years ago to the entire camp.
In the speech, Baden-Powell called for peace, comradeship and cooperation instead of rivalry between “classes, creeds and countries which have done so much in the past to produce wars and unrest”.
Alistair, 16, from Manchester, said: “It has made me think how one man has changed the world.
“One man started off with 20 boys on a small island and now it’s a world wide movement. It is one world, one promise. We are all here as peace ambassadors.
“We are the next generation. We are the ones bringing peace forward into the world.”
It's terrific beano for the youngsters
SCOUTS celebrating their centenary anniversary at an international jamboree will be treated to their own brand of coffee – thanks to a family-run North-East firm.
Pumphreys, of Newcastle, has been brewing its own coffee for more than 250 years, and its skills were put to the test when one of the caterers for this years World Scout Jamboree said they wanted a unique blend.
Restaurateur Robert Pickess, who is running two of the catering venues at the event in Hylands Park, Chelmsford, Essex, contacted the firm to see if they could help supply him with a new brand to brew and to sell.
After days of blending the family team eventually came up with a medium Fairtrade espresso which is now being poured out to scores of Scouts at the two-week event, which sees more than 40,000 youngsters from 150 countries gather to commemorate their commitment to the Scouting association.
And the blend has special significance because Scouts from across the country competed to choose its name.
Sales and marketing manager for Pumphreys’ Paula Jean Archer said: “All the children were invited to come up with name for the brew and we had a great long list to go through.
“We particularly like the winner – Jambeanee.”