Ascension : CENTENARY OF SCOUTING -New Stamp Issue
Submitted by The Islander (Ascension Island Government) 05.07.2007 (Article Archived on 19.07.2007)
2007 is being celebrated across the world as the centenary of Scouting. On August 1st 1907, Lieut. General Baden-Powell as he was then, the celebrated ‘Hero of Mafeking’ camped on Brownsea Island, Dorset with 21 boys, the children of his friends, and ‘town boys’ from Poole and Dorset.
It was an ‘experimental camp’ to prove that his ideas, taken from history and across the world, could be used to help train boys in ‘citizenship’.
Right from the start the founder was determined that Scouting should be for everyone. Each morning he woke his campers by sounding the Kudu horn that he had brought back with him from his African adventures. It was a clarion call and Baden-Powell’s message rapidly spread throughout the entire world. The 21 ‘pioneers’ have multiplied to more than 29 million Scouts worldwide and who knows just how many hundreds of millions more have ‘played the game’ since the Kudu horn first echoed over Brownsea Island?
Scouts on Ascension Island as Scouts everywhere experience a progressive modern programme that addresses exactly the same concerns that the Founder of the Movement, in his far-seeing way, recognised all those years ago. Young people thrive when given responsibility. It is even more vital in this modern world that they are given the opportunity to feel at one with nature and understand the issues of conservation. Above all children of our ‘global village’ need to feel a sense of belonging; to feel part of a family, their community and the wider world.
The Brownsea Island experiment worked, as Scouting continues to work. In tiny island communities, in the biggest cities on this Earth and on Brownsea Island itself Scouts worldwide will, on the morning of August 1st 2007, celebrate their centennial, the life of their founder Lord Baden-Powell of Gilwell and their shared heritage.
‘One World – One Promise’
(Colin Walker is the author of the ‘Scouting Milestones’ Scout History Website to be found at www.scouting.milestones.btinernet.co.uk and a recently published book. ‘Brownsea: B-P’s Acorn, The World’s First Scout Camp’)
The First Ascension Island Scout Group was formed in 1973 and has existed continuously since this time. Initially just a Cub Scout Pack, a Scout Troop followed shortly with eventually a Beaver Scout Colony in 1990.
We pride ourselves in having virtually 100% membership of the available youth on the island in the Group made up over the years of young folk from St. Helena, the UK, the USA and South Africa.
Ascension Island provides an ideal environment for Scouting with an entirely outdoor programme of activities as varied as volcanic caving, canoeing, swimming and fishing, climbing and walking all complimented by warm seas and an extremely pleasant climate.
On Monday, 9th July 2007 the Post Office will release a set of four postage stamps to commemorate the Centenary of Scouting. The denominations and motifs are as follows:
35p – Fleur-de-Lis - The Scouts lying on “Garden Cottage” lawn 2200 feet up on Green Mountain forming the universal emblem of the World Scout Association. It is said that Baden Powell chose this ancient emblem as he felt it depicted the 4 points of the compass.