Scouting in Greater London
The Scout Association has recently defined Greater London as a Scout Region with a Regional Commissioner, Dean Jefferys.
- 1 History of Scouting in London
- 2 The Scout Association Counties
- 3 Activity Centres and Camp sites
- 4 21st World Scout Jamboree
- 5 Gang Shows
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 External links
History of Scouting in London
The first Commissioner for London of Baden-Powell Boy Scouts was Sir Francis Vane. Vane later became the second President of the British Boy Scouts which had begun in Battersea, London. In 1909, the London Diocesan Boy Scout Corp, was formed by the Church of England. One of the oldest Scout Groups in London is the 1st City of London Scout Group, which is still notable as the only Scout Group in the traditional City of London.
In September 1909, a Boy Scout Rally at Crystal Palace was attended by 11,000 Scouts including a patrol of "Girl Scouts". The 1st World Scout Jamboree was held at Olympia, London in the summer of 1920. Here Baden-Powell was designated as Chief Scout of the World.
The service performed by Scouts during war and particularly during air raids and the Blitz on London in World War II is recognised by their presence every year on Remembrance Day at the Cenotaph in London.
In 1961, Baden-Powell House was opened in South Kensington, which included a small museum of the story of Robert Baden-Powell. In 1965, the new County of Greater London was formed; the Scout Association reorganised their boundaries accordingly, replacing the former Scout counties of London, London over the Border and Middlesex, with the seven new Scout counties (Greater London Central, North, North East, North West, South, South East and South West). Included in these new Scout counties were districts which had previously been part of the neighbouring home counties, but were now within the borders of Greater London.
London Scouts celebrated the centenary of Scouting on 1 Aug 2007 in many ways, including the New Year's Day Parade in which many Explorer Scouts were led by the Enfield District Scout Band, LIVE 07, Festival of Scouting, and a Sunrise Ceremony at the London Eye. The first UK international camp of the new Scouting century was Campdowne 2008 in July 2008, where nearly 2000 participants from the UK and 23 other countries camped at Downe Scout Activity Centre.
The Scout Association Counties
The Scout Association in Greater London is administered through 6 Scout Counties.
Greater London Middlesex West Scout County
Greater London Middlesex West Scout County is a Scout County of the Scout Association in the United Kingdom, covering an area stretching from the City of Westminster in the east to Stanmore in the north, Feltham in the south and Uxbridge in the west. It serves the London Boroughs of Brent, Ealing, Harrow, Hammersmith and Fulham, Hillingdon, Hounslow, Kensington and Chelsea, and City of Westminster.
The County has 145 Scout Groups serving over 6,500 young people with 1,600 adult volunteers. It is divided into a number of districts, some of which are based approximately but not exactly around present London Borough boundaries:
- City of Westminster
- Ealing and Hanwell
- Greenford & District
- Harrow and Wealdstone
- Hayes and Harlington
- Pinner and Headstone
- Ruislip, Eastcote, Northwood
- Stanmore and District
- Thameside Grand Union, a new district which came into being in 2009, taking in the former districts of
The name of this district is taken from the River Thames and the Grand Union Canal, both of which flow through the area. This name was chosen rather than Hounslow district, because the Acton area falls partly in the London Borough of Ealing, although most of the district is within the London Borough of Hounslow local authority
Greater London North Scout County
Greater London North Scout County is a Scout County of the Scout Association in the United Kingdom, covering an area stretching from central London directly north out to the M25. It covers the London Boroughs of Barnet, Camden, City of London, Enfield, Haringey and Islington 
The 2006 Scout census showed that the county has 5029 members.
The County is divided into six districts, with over 6,000 Scouts in 80+ Scout groups.
- Barnet Borough (Barnet District, Hendon and Edgware District and Finchley, Friern Barnet and Golders Green District joined together)
- Enfield (Edmonton District joined the Enfield District in 2007)
- North London District (Haringey Camden, City and Islington Joined to form new District in 2014 stretching from the Thames to the North Circular Road)
- Dockland Scout Project (Incorporating Discovery Sailing Project)
Enfield District Scout Band
The band was formed in 1976, and is a corps of bugles and drums. The band is a member of the Traditional Youth Marching Band Association, and competes regularly in competitions run by the Association across the UK.
Since its formation, the band has continued to lead the District as it marches through Enfield Town for the Remembrance Day and St George's Day parades which are a traditional part of the Scouting calendar.
The band is also available to play at fetes, carnivals and other parades. In recent years the band took part in the 2002, 2007, and 2008 Lord Mayor's Shows, a Royal Visit to Enfield by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh in 2003.
In 2007's Centenary of Scouting, the band took part in the London New Year's Day Parade, and played at the 21st World Scout Jamboree. In November the band formed part of the Promise Centenary Scout Band at the Lord Mayor's Show, and also played at the Scouting's Live '07 show at The O2 in Greenwich, London.
Greater London North East Scout County
Greater London North East Scout County is a Scout County of the Scout Association in the United Kingdom, to the northeast of London and covers the London boroughs of Barking and Dagenham, Hackney, Havering, Newham, Redbridge, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest.
The County currently has over 7,000 members in 139 Scout Groups, supported by a County Leadership Group, consisting of the County Commissioner, the four Deputy County Commissioners, the County Chairman and a Young Person Representative. This Group meets every two months to review the growth and development of Scouting in Greater London North East.
The County is divided into eleven districts:
- Barking and Dagenham
- East London
- Epping Forest South
- Ilford East
- Ilford NorthWest
- Squirrels Heath
- Waltham Forest South
Greater London South Scout County
Greater London South Scout County is a Scout County of the Scout Association in the United Kingdom, covering the London Boroughs of Wandsworth, Lambeth, Southwark, Lewisham and Greenwich, an area stretching from the South Bank in the north to Thamesmead in the east, Putney in the west, to Crystal Palace in the south.
The County currently has over 6,000 members + 1,200 Scouters in 106 Scout Groups, led by Paul O'Brien 'POB' the County Commissioner, the four Deputy County Commissioners and the County Team. The County Team is support by the County Board of Trustees.
The County is now divided into five districts which have the same boundaries as the five London Boroughs.
Greater London South East Scout County
Greater London South East Scout County is a Scout County of the Scout Association in the United Kingdom, covering the London Boroughs of Bexley and Bromley, an area stretching from the Orpington in the southeast to Bexleyheath in the north.
From 1 October 2011 the four heritage districts of Beckenham, Bromley, Chislehurst and Orpington were merged into a new single district, called 'Bromley Scouts' (as opposed to the old 'Bromley District Scouts'). The new district is the largest Scout district (by membership) in the UK.
The County is divided into two districts:
Greater London South West Scout County
Greater London South West Scout County is a Scout County of the Scout Association in the United Kingdom, covering an area stretching from Sanderstead in the South East to Hampton and Whitton in the North West.
The County is divided into five districts which have the same boundaries as the five London Boroughs:
Activity Centres and Camp sites
Three of the six Scout Association Activity Centres are in Greater London. Baden-Powell House is a hostel and conference centre in central London. Gilwell Park is a camp site and activity centre, as well as a training and conference centre for Scout Leaders. It is close to Chingford, London. The White House at Gilwell Park has been the headquarters of The Scout Association since 2001, although Baden-Powell House (the former headquarters) still facilitates some departments of the Scout Association. Downe Scout Activity Centre is in Kent, but was owned by the Greater London South East Scouts from 1987 to 2005, when the site became under the direct control of The Scout Association.
The Greater London Middlesex West Scout County (GLMW) is responsible for the PACCAR Chalfont Heights campsite 30 minutes from London at Chalfont St Peter in Buckinghamshire. Originally purchased in 1938, it was operated by Scout Headquarters until 1970 when it taken over by the Greater London Middlesex West County as its County campsite and Training Centre. The current name was adopted following major sponsorship from a charitable foundation owned by PACCAR Inc, the multi-national heavy vehicle manufacturer.
Danemead Scout Campsite, Scout Park, Bounds Green (Haringey District Scouts) and Frith Grange are associated with the Greater London North Scout Association County. The Training ship RRS Discovery, Captain Scott's Antarctic expedition vessel, moored on Victoria Embankment near Temple tube station was used by the Scouts between 1937 and 1979, when it was handed over to Maritime Trust and relocated in Dundee. The Dockland Scout Project was then created. The Project is on the Isle of Dogs, in East London, east of the financial City of London and opposite Greenwich across the River Thames.
The Greater London North East Scout Association County also owns (through its Districts) the following Scout Activity Centres: Crow Camp, Fairmead Scout Campsite (East London District), Hargreaves Scout Campsite (Ilford East District), and the Michael Mallinson Centre ( Waltham Forest South District).
Hammerwood Scout Campsite, located in East Grinstead, is owned and operated by 6 Groups in Lewisham. It is 27 acres (110,000 m2) of woodland plus a field. The forest is mostly unpartitioned - popular with Scout, Cadet and Duke of Edinburgh groups - with an unmanaged area for survival training weekends.
Lewisham Scout District is responsible for Frylands Wood Scout Campsite.
Wilberforce Scout Centre is owned by Bromley Scout District of the Greater London South East Scout Association County.
Yr Hen Neuadd ('The Old Hall'), Bethesda, Gwynedd, North Wales, originally a Salvation Army Hall, was converted in 1970 by the Greater London South West Scout Association County as an Activity Centre.
The Bears Wood Training Centre and Pinewood Campsites are the responsibility of the Croydon District
Polyapes Campsite lies just outside the county boundaries but is managed jointly between Royal Kingston and Esher Districts.It has been in continuous use since 1929.
The City of Westminster Scout District is responsible for Coombe Farm Campsite, located in Addington.
21st World Scout Jamboree
The Greater London North East Scout County sent forty-five Scouts to the 21st World Scout Jamboree. Thirty six, plus four leaders, acted as a whole contingent while the remaining nine were part of another contingent with Guides from Cambridge and a Scout troop from Montserrat.
Two contingents from the Greater London South East Scout County attended.
Greater London South West (GLSW) had two full contingents (of 36 Scouts plus 4 leaders each) named Victory Unit and Nelson Unit. GLSW Additionally provided a patrol (9 Scouts) and the overall unit leader in the most diverse unit at the jamboree, consisting of 25% GLSW Scouts, 25% Scouts from Fife in Scotland, 25% Guides from Somerset and 25% Scouts from Mauritania in North Africa. This unit was named The Discovery Unit. Two of the unit were present at the Sunrise Ceremony on Brownsea Island to welcome the 2nd century of Scouting at the movement's birthplace.
- Southwark Gang Show in Greater London South, started 1950. Originally named Bermondsey Gang Show, then Thameside Gang Show, then Albany Gang Show
- SOUWEST Gang Show in Sutton - started 1982. Greater London South West Scout County.
- ShowStoppers Gang Show. Greater London North East Scouts Gang Show. Started 2003.
- Erith and Crayford "CAPERS" Gang Show.
- Greenford Gang Show - started in 1953.
- Harpenden & Wheathampstead District Gang Show - started in 1949 by Eric E Thair. One of three Gang Shows currently running in Hertfordshire, this is the longest continuously running Gang Show in the world, as of their 2013 show. (the 2013 show will be the 64th consecutive annual run).
- 1st Leyton Scout Group Gang Show,started in 1947.
- Waltham Forest Gang Show - started in 1959. This was formerly Walthamstow Gang Show.
- 2nd Whitton Scout Group Gang Show - started in 1951.
- Woolwich Gang Show (known as Showtime) - started in 1954.
- Greenwich Gang Show (known as OurShow)
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- Greater London Scout Region
- Students of London Indie Collective (SLIC)
- A Bibliography of the British Boy Scouts
- 1st City of London (Lord Mayor's Own) Scout Group
- Moynihan, Paul (2006), An Official History of Scouting, Hamlyn ISBN 978-0-600-61398-5 (pp. 48 & 170)
- Moynihan 2006, p. 172
- BBC Program on the Scouts at the Cenotaph
- Moynihan 2006, p. 180
- Baden-Powell House, London
- Nevill, Percy Bantock (1966). Scouting in London, 1908-1965. London Scout Council.
- LIVE 07, Festival of Scouting
- Scouts Sunrise Ceremony at London Eye
- BBC London report of Campdowne 2008
- London Scout Leader Elected to World Scout Committee
- John May Scouting Biography
- Greater London Middlesex West Scout County
- Greater London North County Website
- Enfield District Scout Band
- Greater London North East Scout County
- Greater London South Scout County
- Greenwich Scout District
- Greater London South East Scout County
- Greater London South West Scout County
- Kingston & Malden Scout and Guide Band
- 1st Hook Scout and Guide Band
- Wimbledon, Wandle and Sutton District's Scout and Guide Band
- Chalfont Heights camp site
- Ealing Scout District
- History of Dockland Scout Project
- Dockland Scout Project
- Fairmead Scout Campsite
- Hargreaves Scout Campsite
- Michael Mallinson Centre
- South London Scout Centre
- Hammerwood Scout campsite
- Frylands Wood Scout Campsite
- Greater London South East Scout County Local Campsites
- Yr Hen Neuadd
- Polyapes Campsite
- Coombe Farm Campsite
- Greater London North Jamboree Unit
- Archives - Centenary News - Contingent
- 2007 GLSE Scout Contingent
- Southwark Gang Show
- SOUWEST Gang Show
- ShowStoppers Gang Show
- Erith and Crayford Gang Show
- Erith and Crayford Scouts showcase talents in annualshow
- Greenford Gang Show
- Harpenden & Wheathampstead Scout Gang Show
- 1st Leyton Scout Group Gang Show
- Waltham Forest Gang Show
- 2nd Whitton Scout Group Gang Show
- Woolwich Gang Show