19th Bolton (Bolton School) Scout Group Celebrates its Centenary
Saturday, 21 March 2015
The 19th Bolton (Bolton School) Scout Group celebrated its 100th birthday on Saturday 21 March with a Family Fun Day at its Brookside Scout HQ and an evening buffet celebration.
During the day, children and adults enjoyed a range of fun activities including pioneering, crafts, a chance to cook twists and sausages on an outdoor camp fire, face-painting, a climbing wall, a bouncy assault course and slide. On display throughout the day was memorabilia, photos and lists of former scouts from the past 100 years.
The evening event provided an opportunity for current and past scouts and parents to socialise and there was a raffle and auction to raise funds for the Centenary Summer Camp to Western Canada. Roger Kirk, who took over leadership of the Troop in the 1960s and has been involved with the Scouts for over 70 years, gave a great speech paying tribute to the work of the many people over the years who have enabled hundreds of young people from the School to enjoy scouting. Incredibly there have only been three group scout leaders in the hundred year history. The cake was cut simultaneously by the youngest members of the scout group who were present, Thomas Martin and his younger brother William.
The formation of Kangaroo Patrol by R S Chapman in February 1915 is seen as the inception of the Scout group we know today although the Bolton School magazine, The Boltonian, mentioned “Scout Games” as early as 1910. At the time, the formation of such a group would have been seen as a bold act, as Scouting was only eight years old, and although it was certainly taken up with enthusiasm in the Bolton area, in schools it was rare: such activities as camping and hiking were thought to be rather subversive, the prevailing fashion being more militaristic. Indeed, a corps of army cadets flourished at Bolton School at the time and the two organisations camped happily together for several years. The Scout Group went on to flourish and had a protracted residency at Woodlands HQ before the move to its current home off Ladybridge Lane, Brookside.
In 2007, all sections managed to celebrate the centenary of scouting; the Cubs renewing their promise on top of Rivington Pike; the Scouts, along with Scouts from other countries, at a camp in the Netherlands; and the Explorers by travelling around Austria.
In September 2008, the new Headmaster of Bolton School, Philip Britton, took over the mantle of Group President, having previously been Scout Leader at Leeds Grammar School.
In October 2013, the first group of Beavers was formally initiated into the 19th Bolton School Scout Group meaning it now has a full complement of Beavers, Cubs and Scouts, which meet on different nights of the week during term-time. Two years prior to that, the group took in its first girls to the Cubs and in September 2012 allowed girls to join its Scout troop. The 19th Bolton Group is a closed group, which only allows girls and boys from Bolton School to join. The 19th Bolton School Scout HQ also plays host to an Explorer Unit, which is open to children outside of School.
The next significant event for the group is the annual St. George’s Day Parade Service which will be held in the Great Hall of Bolton School Boys’ Division on Sunday 26 April.
You can learn more about the Scout Group here.