Gino Lucrezi (lucrezi@IINF01.ING.UNIVAQ.IT.)
Fri, 8 Jul 1994 18:13:20 -0600
Here is something I received from Gilwell Park thru my National
Headquarters. Is anybody planning to go?
I apologize in advance for the many transcription errors (my copy was
a fax of a fax..)
75 Glorious years of Gilwell Park
When P.B. Nevil brought the first group of Rover Scouts to the then
derelict Gilwell Park, to begin the clearing of the site, and he
camped that first night in the pig stye, he could hardly have dreamed
of the millions who would follow in his footsteps, as visitors and
campers to "The Park" over the next 75 years.
* Reminiscing the past 75 years
Gilwell Park, this year, celebrates its seventy-fifth year as a camp
site and, as it has been many times in the past in its growth from its
original 20 hectares to the 44 hectares (50 acres to 108 acres) it is
today, is in the throws of substantial change and development.
Perhaps, never before though, have the changes been so dramatic, and
in some ways shocking, for those who know Gilwell Park well.
For many, it is the familiarity ad the constancy that brings many
'back to Gilwell', and when the re-development is complete, many will
relish the White House back in full use and returned to its full
glory. For the time being though chaos reigns and yet the site is
fully open and operational.
* Dramatic changes
Today's visitors will be faced with some unexpected sites.
The Branchet Field has sprouted a "portacabin city", to house all
the Gilwell staff, spreading a third of the way along he length of
Wilson Way car park and across the field out toward the copse. The
White House is empty and surrounded by a high wire fence to keep
curious Cub Scouts and Beaver Scouts at bay - not to mention the
adults! The International Centre is closed and out of bounds and a new
Resource Centre appeared beyond the Hostel, almost as fast as South
Africa House disappeared. Behind the barn, the two new accomodation
blocks are coming on fast and all the work is apparently progressing
well and on time.
For peace, tranquillity and stability though, turn left at the top
of the drive and you will find the most important parts of the site,
the camp square, camping grounds and camp fire circle, just as they
always have been, filled with activities and young people enjoying
* Cub Scout and Beaver Scout days - remain the same
Cub Scout and Beaver Scout days - Gilwell Reunion 1994 - Due to the
re-development, it has not been possible to stage the sort of major
event that a seventy-fifth anniversary would seem to deserve but, at
the time the preparations were made so little was known of the plans.
The site remains open nonetheless and the higly successful Cub Scout
and Beaver Scout days will still be running on June 18 and 19 - on a
Western theme, so dig out your stetsons partners!
* Gilwell Reunion 1994 - with a difference
Gilwell Reunion will also be running on September 2 to 4, to
celevrate seventy-five years of the camp site. All Wood Badge holders
will be more than welcome (remember, no children and no dogs please).
With all the development, the Reunion will be different without a
doubt, so please be prepared.
With no buildings available - most activities and some
entertainements will be outdoor and active, so bring your trainers,
swimming costumes, boots and cagoules.
Please, also, be prepared for the differences, the real best advice
would be to go back to basics and camp and travel light because...
o Space on the Branchet Field will be very limited - so no fenced
areas, or reserved spaces will be possible
o Caravans and all vehicles in essential use will probably be
confined to a separate area
o More campers will need to use sites other than the Branchet Field.
Your friendliness and consideration of others will be essential!
* Entertainment for the weekend
On the positive side though, a vast and varied range of activities
will be on offer throughout the weekend - including a barn dance and
quiz night, an activ-8 programme - replacing the bases on Saturday.
The camp fire and a spectacular 75th Show eill be put on for Saturday
On the Sunday there will be a range of entertainments and guided
tours of the new developments, as well as the usual Annual General
Meeting and Service on the Sunday Morning - all for the slightly
reduced price of 15 pounds.
So do come along and take a fresh look at a very active,
participative Gilwell Reunion.
* And what of the future...
So what of 1995 and beyond? Well the next 75 glorious years are
really up to you! Happy Scouting.
Gino Lucrezi @ Universita` "V. Rivera" - L'Aquila - Italy
FIDO: 2:335/602.1 2:335/601.4
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