Sunday 19 August 2018

Sunday Snap – The Scouting Island

We were at a Purbeck castle for last week's Sunday Snap. I asked the name of it and the answer is

Corfe Castle.

Storming the barricades with the right answer were Kara and Anne.

This week we are staying in Dorset and off to Poole Harbour. In the harbour there are a number of islands of which this is the largest. Just like Corfe Castle this location is thought to have been a source of inspiration for Enid Blyton and her Famous Five books. Whilst Corfe Castle was transformed into Kirrin Castle this is Kirrin Island itself.

The island though is much famous for other adventures that have taken place on there over the years. In 1907 the then owner of the island, Charles van Raalte, invited the Boer War hero Robert Baden-Powell to use the island for his first experimental camp for boys. In 1903 Baden-Powell had become vice-president of the Boys' Brigade and was keen to introduce the idea of scouting and other outdoor activities within the organisation. With the island at his disposal he devised a week long programme of activities which included woodcraft, chivalry, saving a life and patriotism. The boys who participated were a mix of local boys from the Boys' Brigade in nearby Poole and Bournemouth and school boys from Eton and Harrow. This mix of social backgrounds was uncommon in Edwardian England but became a feature of the future organisation. Baden-Powell never intended to start a separate organisation but a year after this camp his book Scouting for Boys was published. The book was a phenomenal success and before long Scout troops started to form around the country.

Scout camps continued on the island until 1927 when it sold after the death of van Raalte's widow, Florence. The new owner, Mary Bonham-Christie, allowed 500 Scouts to camp on the island in 1932 for the Silver Jubilee of Scouting. After that the island was closed to the public as it had become overgrown. In 1934 when a group of Sea Scouts were camping on the island a large fire broke out which engulfed most of the island. Although the fire started in another part of the island to where the Sea Scouts were camping she blamed them for the fire. No more Scout camps were allowed on the island after that. When Bonham-Christie died in 1961 her family had to pay inheritance tax and in lieu of the death duties due the government allowed for the transfer of ownership of the island to the National Trust. It was reopened to the public in 1963 by Baden-Powell's widow. Since then a Scout and Guide camp area has been maintained on the island. This week's question is

What is the name of island?

We were joined last week by Susan and some bubble blowing. Sara's favourite things this week include a Peruvian lily and fuzzy peaches. In Bournemouth Kara has been to the big wheel and having fun at cub camp. It was time for a big birthday hug at Anne's. Finally, Jesh has been thinking of getting ready for school.

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Sunday Snap

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  1. Is it Brownsea Island? Hope you’re enjoying the summer x

  2. Funnily enough we were there yesterday - it's Brownsea :)

  3. What a beautiful photo and very interesting to read about the early history of Scouting. My eldest is leaving Explorers this week, after being in Scouting right from Beavers. My younger is still an Explorer and my daughter is a Scout.


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