Hackney Scouts mark 100 years with an indoor camp fire

One hundred not out!

Scouts in Hackney celebrated their centenary year with a camp fire singsong inside a church.

The 14th Hackney St John at Hackney Scout group held the event at the church on The Narrow Way on Saturday (May 14) with 100 Scouts giving voice to traditional camp fire songs which they more usually perform beside their tents on a camping holiday.

The 100 Scouts of all ages enjoyed the get-together, including a display by the ‘synchronised swimming’ group.

They also held a service at the church the following day before planting a field maple outside to mark their hundredth birthday.

Group Scout Leader Jim Phillips said the troop was one of the first in the country as it was formed just four years after the Scout movement began in the UK.

“It just blossomed from there.”

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He said youngsters enjoy a range of activities which give them opportunities to make friends and develop new skills.

To mark their special birthday they will be enjoying a day trip to try out the rides at Thorpe Park in Surrey.

They will also be hosting a tea party for older Hackney residents and are joining a big sleepover and some of the boys will be heading off on a trip through France and Spain.

Mr Phillips said: “I’d encourage anybody and everybody to join. We don’t turn anyone away.

“When you see children who have come in off the streets and you see them coming out of themselves it’s great.”

Some of the children have never ben out of Hackney before they head off on camp or an overseas adventure and Mr Phillips said it is terrific to see the impact it has on them.

Scouting’s founder Lord Baden-Powell’s family name is familiar to generations of pupils in Hackney, with Baden-Powell school in Ferron Road, Clapton and the family home was nearby, with Clapton Pond originally named Powell Pond.