1st Whitby Venturers join Service Team at Gilwell Park Campsite, London UK for Beaver/Cub Days 2003

Riding the Ariel Runways at Gilwell Park Campsite Beaver/Cub Days 2003 On 19 June 2003, after pulling some strings to get out of school early, members of the Scouts Canada- 1st Whitby Venturer Company boarded a plane bound for England.

Those in attendance were the two leaders Brian Wick and Greg Luke along with members Ryan Mitchell, Larry Wood, Amy Caldwell, Brendan Hendel-McCarthy, Rob Caldwell, Keith McGinty, Graham Luke, Selena Lam, and our two honourary members Kevin Larson (Stratford) and Iain Tait (Windsor).

We arrived at London Heathrow in the morning of June 20th extremely jet-lagged and hungry. We hopped onto the underground (a subway) and headed to Gilwell Park Campsite for Gilwell’s Beaver/Cub Days 2003 .

A well deserved break from the day's activities Gilwell Park was to be our home for the next week in England, and a very nice home it was. We stayed in a brand new Lodge for the duration of Cub Days and then moved to an older log cabin (PHC) or Dorothy Hughes Centre. Both dwellings were much nicer than tenting and the showers were much appreciated after a hot day in the sun.

The purpose of our travels was mainly to be volunteer staff at the Gilwell Park Cub Days. Upon arrival we were informed that we would be helping at the Arial Runways activity--a zipline set up to run kids down a hill called "The Quick" from a large log tower. Right off we knew the activity would be among the favourites, and later our theory was proven. One of the highlights of the trip was to hear the comments from the kids after getting off the swing at the bottom of the hill. They thought it was amazing. The event ran for 2 days through which we probably put about 3,000 kids through our event.

Grass Sledges were a lot for work for Keith and the Service Team Ryan helps a frightened rider After Cub Days was over we spent time touring London and the surrounding area, but still used Gilwell as our home. We travelled to see castles (such as Windsor Castle), churches (Westminster Abbey) and museums/other places of interest (Royal Observatory) at Greenwich.

In between attractions we would stop at a restaurant and have a good meal. It was generally found that English food is quite similar to Canadian, so there were rarely issues with acquired tastes. In one restaurant, however, some of us found that an English pepperoni pizza comes with pepperoni, red/yellow/green peppers and CORN! It was an odd mix, but enjoyed nonetheless.

On the last day of exploring the company went to see a play at the Fortune Theatre called "The Woman In Black." It was an excellent play with good effects and we all enjoyed it. Looking back on the trip I'd say most people had an excellent time and would be willing to go back someday to help with the camp again. Maybe next time we can take in some more sights and tourist attractions that we missed on this trip.  (Composed by Venturer Selena Lam)

Tim takes a break from his activity-belly surfing on water slides Partial funding for the project came from the generosity Scouts Canada-Whitby Area and the Optimist Club of Brooklin . For more information contact Brian Wick .

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