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Pictures - Brown Sea Island Aug. 07

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It was 100 years ago that Baden Powell held the first camp at Brownsea Island, and what better way to celebrate than to go down to Brownsea Island itself. In August 1st Willingham Scout Group took the long five hour journey to Brownsea Island. Not the best way to start a camp, but probably better than losing a few scouts on the trains!

Five hours later we arrived in Poole harbour, unloaded all our bags, and crossed the short stretch of sea on a small yellow ferry to Brownsea Island.

Our stay on the island was not welcomed by the mosquitos, and by the end of the camp nearly everyone was bitten. We hired tents and equipment from the National Trust, so we weren’t expecting the best, but the scouts were not too happy when they received the old style canvas tents to put up. We usually have the modern ‘dome’ style tents.

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It is a beautiful island. We camped near to a beach and could hear the sea lapping on the shore as we woke each morning. Our time on the island didn’t just involve laying on the beach. Every scout group that visits the island is expected to do some form of conservation work. For us it was cutting down the Rhododendron bushes, which cover a large amount of the island and need to be controlled. Brownsea Island is host to a number of wildlife species, including red squirrel, sika deer, chickens, peacocks and a variety of birdlife.
Some of us were lucky enough to see the red squirrels and deer.

After spending ages burning our group name into a bit of wood for a sign post, and carrying hundreds of bags of shopping between us, a trip across to Studland Bay was definatly in order. We spent a good lot of the day on the beach and in the sea, even though it was freezing!

Overall the five day expedition was a great camp, and we all thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s definitely worthwhile going to Brownsea Island and learning the history of the past 100 years of Scouting. After all, if it wasn’t for that first experimental camp Baden Powell held for 20 boys 100 years ago, the Scouting movement would not have benefitted over 28 million young people worldwide.


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