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Ideas for vacation in the UK


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#1 That Scouting Guy

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 03:01 PM

My son and I will be vacationing in the UK this summer. He is a Webelos II and I am his den leader and I thought that we should do something related to Scouting since we'll be in the country of its origin. While in England we will spend four days in London and four days in Grantham, while in Scotland we will spend three days in Edinburgh.
  • Is the Baden Powell house worth visiting? Would he find anything on interest or be able to buy any unique Scouting souvenirs there? http://www.towntocou...co.uk/bpHouse/
  • Would it be worth reaching out to a UK Cub Scout den to see if they're doing anything or would like to meet?
  • Are there any patches or awards related to International Scouting that he could work on? (He already has the Traveller Webelos Activity Badge)
Do you have any other suggestions?
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#2 Austinole

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 03:50 PM

Check out Gilwell Park. If it doesn't have meaning to you yet it will eventually.
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#3 Tampa Turtle

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 07:40 AM

We did just that last summer. London is crawling with scouts from europe over the summer--that was fun. Met some Girl Guides on an outing as well. Stirling near Edinburgh has a super cool old Scout Hut/Boys Brigade building--I'd try to meet up with some. Bring extra council patches/neckers for trade. I was not that impressed by BP house. BTW visit the London Museum of Science south of Hyde Park my boys thought it was awesome (and they have been to a LOT of that sort of thing). We wore our Troop shirts a lot and got stopped once in a while. Maybe you can connect up with a local leader there and do a presentation at a meeting--the kids can Skype first and then meet up. Some of the guys in our Troop play games with Brit scouts over the internet now. As for awards--I don't know. I think you can help THEIR scouts get one. I think it is a requirement for the Queen's Badge (like the Eagle). Highly recommend the Ceremony of the Keys at the Tower of London in the evening. Google it. Need to request for tickets way ahead of time but it was really cool to be in a small crowd at night with a 600 year old ceremony. Email me if you need more help.
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#4 Moggie

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 12:49 PM

Hello From over here,

You will be welcomed by any cub pack you wanted to visit, a good place to try is:
www.escouts.org.uk
London: Personally I wouldn't bother with BP House there are plenty of other things to see and do,
I concur the Science Museum is great as is the Natural History Museum next door. Pop over to Greenwich and you visit the Old Royal Naval College, the National Maritime Museum and the Royal Observatory where you can stand in both the eastern and western hemispheres.

About the UK:
Remember to look the other way crossing the roads - and you wont get arrested for jaywalking. Travel costs will be absolutely horrifying, especially if are driving. Traffic may well be faster than you are used too.
The UK is not as big as we think but its not that small either.
It's also further north than the lower 49 States so you get more daylight (significantly more so in late June and July).
The weather is best described as....damp. What does this mean? well it will rain at some point but it has an odd effect on the temperature you feel. Sometimes it will seem that its a lot hotter than the thermometer says but equally you find youself convinced that device is just plain lying and wondering why you feel so cold.

What do want to get out of meeting UK cubs?

I'll answer your questions where I can.

Gareth
1st Westbury Cub Scouts
use the qr code to visit the group website
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#5 Tampa Turtle

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 01:38 PM

The Science, Natural History, and V&A are all right next to each other in case one is too crowded/not interesting. Greenwich is pretty cool. When I was in Scotland in July I experienced cold damp foggy morning, a mid-day monsoon, a pleasant sunny afternoon, and a hot evening all in one day. Layers! Many places do not have AC. A temperature swing of 30 degrees is not unusual. I found the TV weather there not particularly helpful. We lived off the 'Meal Deals' at the shops. Also younger son sampled 20+ UK candy bars of which 90% were better than any here in US. And the Crisp (Potato Chip) flavors were fun to try--Pickle and Prawn anyone?
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#6 That Scouting Guy

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 04:13 PM

What do want to get out of meeting UK cubs?

I think my main goal would be to show my son that Scouting is an international movement. It's natural to only think about things on the Pack/District/BSA level, but it could be interesting to meet some boys around his age (10) from a different part of the world and see how their Scouting experiences are similar and different.
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#7 That Scouting Guy

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 04:19 PM

Check out Gilwell Park. If it doesn't have meaning to you yet it will eventually.

When I was young I did three years of Cub Scouts and four years of Explorers so I wasn't exposed to the youth leadership or Wood Badge programs. I hadn't heard of Gilwell Park before but it looks amazing.

Unfortunately, it looks like they're having a big event the week after we'll be in London. I'm assuming their activities are for groups only and not individuals but I'll try contacting them to see if the two of us would be able to do something there or join up with a larger group.
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#8 Moggie

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 01:16 PM

I think my main goal would be to show my son that Scouting is an international movement. It's natural to only think about things on the Pack/District/BSA level, but it could be interesting to meet some boys around his age (10) from a different part of the world and see how their Scouting experiences are similar and different.


Then I think joining escouts.org.uk is the thing to do, you might be crushed in the rush!
I'd say come and visit my group but we're off your planned route
Once you have made contact and agreed a visit you'll need to chat with I guess your special programmes people and get an International Letter of Introduction - this will make life easier.
Whatelse?
Bring lots of patches!
If you have the time perhaps visit Brownsea Island in Poole Harbour the site of the first experimental camp

Cheers

Gareth
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#9 Cambridgeskip

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 02:50 AM

Ah you're coming across the pond!

As Moggie said, forget BP House. It's just a scout owned hostel these days. Gilwell is a much better bet. Phone them in advance and you will find the staff very helpful.

Elsewhere round London the museums already mentioned are well worth a look. For other cheap/free things around London I;d suggest;

Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace. Normally around 11am (although check in advance) a truly fantastic bit of pomp and ceremony.
Watch the buskers and street entertainers around Covent Garden and Leicester Square. Some are incredible

If you want to splash some money (London is not cheap

Tower of London - see the crown jewels!
St Paul's Cathedral - view from the top of the dome is fabulous
London Eye (Big wheel opposite the houses of parliament)

If you want a day trip then I can of course recommend Cambridge! It's 45 minutes on the train from central London and I'm happy to meet you and give a bit of a guided tour (work/summer camp permitting) and of course our cubs would probably be pleased to meet up with you as well. When exactly are you coming? Our group website is here for info about us www.12thcambridge.org.uk

In Scotland you can easily spend 4 days in Edinburgh. One of the ghost walks or underground Edinburgh tours are well worth a go. I'd also though recommend getting out into the Scottish Highlands if you like the great outdoors. Be aware, our mountains may be small compared to yours but the conditions you can face can be very wild indeed. Make sure you go properly equipped!
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#10 Pint

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Posted 06 April 2014 - 07:01 AM

Hope you have a good holiday over here. a few questions.. Webelos doesn't exist in the UK as a rough guide Beavers are from 6-8 yearrs old, cubs is 8-10 Scouts 10-14, Explorers14-18 how old is your son? When are you planning to come over? a lot of Scout groups dont have regular meetings over the summer holidays ( ie school holidays ) which run roughly from the end of July to the start of September, however a lot of Scout troops will be camping at some point over this period, and you may be able to find a Scout troop with whom you could join in with at camp for a few days.If you would be intersted in this then a UK Scouter ( such as those above or myself ) may be able to point you in the right direction to ask someone.
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#11 Cambridgeskip

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Posted 18 January 2016 - 07:24 AM

It might be a couple of years old but I remembered this thread last weekend. I was with my scouts at Winter Camp, a national event that takes place at Gilwell, and noticed that they had installed the Gilwell Heritage Trail. It's a series of signs, explanations, pictures etc around the site talking people through the history of the site. There is some incredible stuff there and well worth a look if any of you are ever in London. I'd always thought they didn't make as much of the heritage side of things as maybe they could there but they've now done a really good job. (Only complaint was that the face of Big Mac, the campsite clock, that's meant to show Jamboree Time didn't show either Japan or USA but GMT!)


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