Hundreds of Beavers, Cubs, Scouts, Leaders, families and friends from across Hemel Hempstead District wended their way to Phasels Wood on 13th October to find themselves face to face with a Bear!

With a promise of traffic chaos many of our young people hiked to the event from points across the west side of Hemel, with an army of leaders and parents to escort them. As always, everything was organised so well that there was no queue to be seen on the A41 after all.

The GR8 BIG B@SH was the biggest party the campsite has seen since Sunrise back in 2007 when several thousand members camped overnight and renewed their promise to commemorate 100 years of Scouting.

This time the celebration was due to Hertfordshire Scouts having recently announced that membership of Scouting in the county is now at its highest ever, with 16463 members across all ages.

The party was also part of ‘Bear in the Air’. Bear Grylls, our Chief Scout, has taken to the skies recently to visit as many major Scouting events as possible, and even the cold, wet weather didn’t keep him away. With his helicopter grounded due to low cloud, he arrived by car to a crowd of 3,500 and a carnival atmosphere.

With just a few words on stage to thank the young people and adult volunteers, Bear’s message that we need more helpers to fulfil the Scouting programme was loud and clear. Then he waded his way through the crowds of young people to see first hand some of the fantastic activities that are available at our local Scout site.

The cloud lifted, the helicopter arrived and whisked Bear off to his next adventure; but not before he had signed scarves, ‘high fived’ hundreds and been snapped thousands of times! Our Explorers from HHEX escorted their hero throughout and were feeling very pleased with themselves after he had gone.

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