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Thread: St Georges day parade

  1. #31
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    Obviously getting into potentially ornery territory, but I don't know of any Scottish scouts who parade on or for St George's day. I know our Cub section have learned about him (and the dragon), a quick Google brings back nothing about Scottish scouts doing it - I was going to say, no pictures either - but 10th Finchley Scout Group do march (or did), and they wear kilts. They're closely aligned with Clan Gordon... Great stuff... But they're in Barnet, North London...

    The thing is, I think English Scouts should march or parade, for either reason (that he's the Scout's Patron saint and/or that's he's England's patron saint). You guys should be reclaiming that sort of thing for civic nationalism instead of leaving it to the headbangers.

    The advent of Union meant a dilution of identity for all concerned, that's long been known - more so up here, less so down in England, presumably because English national identity was and is so closely tied into British national identity. It's a total fudge, and a deliberate one that usually ends up with people kicking back. But lets not get into that one though.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnR View Post
    Well, here's my theory. The explanation given for a lot of what Scouts do was invented after the fact. The left handshake is to show trust and comes from BP seeing it used in Africa - tosh! The left hand shake was invented because BP started Scouts for Edwardian boys, and Edwardian boys were brought up on adventure stories involving secret handshakes and the like, so he threw a special handshake into Scouts to press as many buttons as possible and then had to think of a rational for it. The Scout badge, the first one, has two stars with 10 points to reflect the 10 Scout laws - tosh! BP copied the Scout badge from a N arrow on an old map then tried to think of something symbolic to assign to everything in it. I sometimes wonder what the 11th Scout law was, that BP had to drop because he couldn't fit it into the symbolism.

    Why SGD Parade? Because BP wanted Scouts to be seen, and to be seen as something special. What better than a parade behind a band, closing the street and saluting the Mayor? When to do it? Sometime in April would be good, the weather's not too bad, and there's better things to do in the summer. Easter wouldn't work. What else happens in April that we could adopt as an excuse, if we hadn't yet realised that this thing is going to go global?

    Is my theory.
    Yup.

    So much of everything is somewhat revised over time.

    I have issues with the left handed hand shake, it's awfy cultish and feels a bit strange. As for the rest? I make stuff up all the time - usually because it's mildly diverting for the kids. I did tell a story while out on a walk in local woods. I was trying to go down the ghost story route. To be honest, I'm still not sure if I did make this up, I'm 99.9% sure it didn't actually happen, I certainly can't find any mention of it anywhere, so I must have made it up... I said that back in the very early 20th century, the local primary school's head teacher was accidentally shot dead by one of his pupils in woods, and that on the anniversary of the incident, he returns to take one boy in revenge for his death - and you'll never guess when the anniversary is... TODAY! You know, that sort of thing.

    Much later, I heard a parent asking if anyone had heard about the head teacher who was killed in the woods, did anyone have any links or history, because she was curious about what happened. One of then kids must have went home and retold the story and it entered village folklore... Strangely, the other story I told about radioactive beavers who live in the ha-ha's who liked to eat deer and children didn't get the same traction...

    I didn't mean to do it, honest...

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnR View Post
    Well, here's my theory. The explanation given for a lot of what Scouts do was invented after the fact. The left handshake is to show trust and comes from BP seeing it used in Africa - tosh! The left hand shake was invented because BP started Scouts for Edwardian boys, and Edwardian boys were brought up on adventure stories involving secret handshakes and the like, so he threw a special handshake into Scouts to press as many buttons as possible and then had to think of a rational for it. The Scout badge, the first one, has two stars with 10 points to reflect the 10 Scout laws - tosh! BP copied the Scout badge from a N arrow on an old map then tried to think of something symbolic to assign to everything in it. I sometimes wonder what the 11th Scout law was, that BP had to drop because he couldn't fit it into the symbolism.

    Why SGD Parade? Because BP wanted Scouts to be seen, and to be seen as something special. What better than a parade behind a band, closing the street and saluting the Mayor? When to do it? Sometime in April would be good, the weather's not too bad, and there's better things to do in the summer. Easter wouldn't work. What else happens in April that we could adopt as an excuse, if we hadn't yet realised that this thing is going to go global?

    Is my theory.
    Rational, as ever.

    And, I do agree with the thinking that BP had no idea that Scouting would go Global - maybe for Brits in the Empire, but ... Hungarians? (I have absolutely nothing against Hungarians).
    Ewan Scott

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  3. #33
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    Our scouts are mostly seen at our jumble sale...

    I doubt that would catch on though.




    (It's happening a week on Saturday. I'm going to try and set up a time lapse camera in the scout hall then in the community centre. You'll hopefully be able to appreciate the horror of it.)

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  5. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnR View Post
    Well, here's my theory. The explanation given for a lot of what Scouts do was invented after the fact. The left handshake is to show trust and comes from BP seeing it used in Africa - tosh! The left hand shake was invented because BP started Scouts for Edwardian boys, and Edwardian boys were brought up on adventure stories involving secret handshakes and the like, so he threw a special handshake into Scouts to press as many buttons as possible and then had to think of a rational for it. The Scout badge, the first one, has two stars with 10 points to reflect the 10 Scout laws - tosh! BP copied the Scout badge from a N arrow on an old map then tried to think of something symbolic to assign to everything in it. I sometimes wonder what the 11th Scout law was, that BP had to drop because he couldn't fit it into the symbolism.

    Why SGD Parade? Because BP wanted Scouts to be seen, and to be seen as something special. What better than a parade behind a band, closing the street and saluting the Mayor? When to do it? Sometime in April would be good, the weather's not too bad, and there's better things to do in the summer. Easter wouldn't work. What else happens in April that we could adopt as an excuse, if we hadn't yet realised that this thing is going to go global?

    Is my theory.
    Clever bloke that BP.

  6. #35
    ESL and DESC ianw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnR View Post
    I sometimes wonder what the 11th Scout law was, that BP had to drop because he couldn't fit it into the symbolism.
    A Scout doesn't get caught.
    Ian Wilkins
    Farnham District Explorer Scout Commissioner

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  7. #36
    Senior Member big chris's Avatar
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    i think BP answered this in one of his yarns "a scouts is not a fool"

    - - - Updated - - -

    found it:
    Screenshot 2019-04-29 at 10.22.09.png

    Oh and again... he was ahead of his time. that paragraph about controlling your drinking and sexual urges was a century before the #metoo movement.
    Last edited by big chris; 29-04-2019 at 09:25 AM.

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  9. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnR View Post
    Our SGD parade is called a Renewal of Promise celebration. Our kids come because it's cool that the police close off the main street through the centre of Exeter for us. Patron saint - what's that?
    Hmmm - I recall a parade down the closed high street where a bus was stopped for 20 minutes by the parade and which apparently held every school acquaintance of the Scouts in the upper deck as they thoroughly enjoyed watching the (discomfiture as they saw it of the) Scouts. The Scouts on that occasion didn't use the word cool as I recall!

    R

  10. #38
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    I was in a Scout Shop in France a few weeks back and they had St George's Day greetings cards on sale

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  12. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard T View Post
    This year our annual District St Georges day takes the format of a parade, followed by a service at a local leisure centre... Just got a feeling that we will be moaned at again for not supporting the District
    So, now the dust has settled...what happened?

    And out of interest, I asked some scouters in the USA if they do anything, and it was a definite no, St George is not really part of their "Scout lore" over there. Adding fuel to the fire that it's no coincidence that it's mostly an England thing. Though I saw pictures on 1st Facebook from Malta too.
    Ian Wilkins
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    Jambowlree - Worldwide Scout Ten Pin Bowling Competition
    All sections, all countries, runs December 2018 - May 2019
    http://www.jambowlree.org

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    Quote Originally Posted by ianw View Post
    So, now the dust has settled...what happened?

    And out of interest, I asked some scouters in the USA if they do anything, and it was a definite no, St George is not really part of their "Scout lore" over there. Adding fuel to the fire that it's no coincidence that it's mostly an England thing. Though I saw pictures on 1st Facebook from Malta too.
    I have unconfirmed reports of Scouts in Linlithgow doing some sort of badge presentation at Linlithgow Palace. It's not known if it was an SGD tie-in though - or if it was a thing at all, the Scouts may have just been visiting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ianw View Post
    So, now the dust has settled...what happened?

    And out of interest, I asked some scouters in the USA if they do anything, and it was a definite no, St George is not really part of their "Scout lore" over there. Adding fuel to the fire that it's no coincidence that it's mostly an England thing. Though I saw pictures on 1st Facebook from Malta too.
    What happened?? not a lot, The Group has just over 100 youth members and out of that lot we had just one Scout turn up, The Beaver leaders were away for the Easter break, as were the Cub leaders not to mention a large proportion of the youth members. On top of that the local youth football club, Rugby Club, and ( from what i understand) cricket club had an event on. Add into that that SGD parade - traipsing through the nearby towns high street, followed by a service in a sports hall ( with terrible acoustics) isnt exactly what you would call an adventurous or even interesting activity.

    There is a lot of effort and work that goes into SGD from the district team, organising road closures , liaising with the local leisure centre for the use of their facilities, trying very hard to come up with a 'service/worthy event' that isnt dull, but sometimes you wonder whats the point of it ??

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  16. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnR View Post
    The Scout badge, the first one, has two stars with 10 points to reflect the 10 Scout laws - tosh! BP copied the Scout badge from a N arrow on an old map then tried to think of something symbolic to assign to everything in it. I sometimes wonder what the 11th Scout law was, that BP had to drop because he couldn't fit it into the symbolism.
    There were originally only 9 Scout Laws, the tenth was added in 1911. The two stars were added to the Scout badge in 1909, so the symbolism was without doubt made up later.

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    Our District enjoyed Groups to have their own events this year. We have a new DC and falling so close to Easter made it not that great. Plus change is needed, just too what?

    Our Group has strong connections to our local church. The church goers, those in the local Catholic school and the Scout community are very much the same crowd (but not exclusive.). We have a monthly Church Parade. We moved ours in April, mainly to avoid falling on Easter Sunday.

    Our couple of emails mentioned we were having renewal of promises. But I do not believe any parent or YP was expecting much more that a normal Church Parade. We did have slightly more of a turn out this time than the last few parades. We had about a third of the group rather than a quarter. But we compete with so many other things on a Sunday. It really is not worth worrying about it. For comparison I had five Scouts our of 24 attend.

    In addition to section flags we also had St George’s flag and the Union flag. The Guides also had the Papal flag, but that is carried most parades.

    We still could not get a seemless procession in and out of mass. But we never will. So again, just try to get it right and shrug when the Guide Section shoves the Rainbows out when we have started with the Scouts.

    We had our renewal in the mass. We had done that for years. So that was fine.

    The nice bit was we had Chief Scout awards to hand out afterwards. We had a District Youth Commission do that was added to the occasion.

    We were all done and dusted by 11:30 so back home for second breakfast.


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  18. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by claire.shadbolt View Post
    For comparison I had five Scouts our of 24 attend.
    Which underlines an issue - the last one that I did, we had 29/30 attending, plus the largest contingent of Cubs and Beavers - this from a band of heathen brothers... But I had a certain Esprit de Corps at the time that allowed that to happen.
    Ewan Scott

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  19. #45
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    Traditionally, our District used to hold a full St George's Day parade, getting police to stop traffic for a couple of hours (mostly on side roads, I should point out), hiring a local marching band (who loved the Blackadder theme, as I recall xD) and just about every Group in the District was well attended. There'd be an hour-long parade leading to one of the larger churches, everyone would go inside for a long - but ultimately for many of us YPs, dull - church service (I myself am an Atheist, so you can almost feel the boredom xD), and then a similar length of parade back to where we started from before the District was dismissed. Gradually, this shrank year on year as Group's went off and did other stuff, YPs and parents had other plans at the time, and a new generation of younger leaders started to take over in the late 90s who decided to basically kill the format as they felt it was too pseudo-military in look and feel. They didn't replace it with anything else though, they just killed it.

    Jump forward to when I was beginning to become a leader around 2010/11, and our then-DC tried to resurrect the St George's Parade...it failed spectacularly, because it had been missing from the Scouting calendar for so long that parents and YPs decided they didn't want to go, half the Groups therefore didn't even show up, and the rest were relatively poorly turned out. It limped along for a few years, but the DC left and our current DC scrapped it again because she feels its old-fashioned and shows the wrong stereotypes of Scouting. Hey, she may be right, I won't start a debate on that here...but if that's true, why not try to change it? Replace it with something else? Rather than simply scrapping it entirely and leaving that hole in the calendar again....

    On the other hand, the local Remembrance Day service at Streatham War Memorial has been going about 20 years, and early on there were hardly any Scouts there at all. A few started turning up, and now most of the Streatham Groups are well-represented every year, in spite of typically terrible weather that time of year. I think it's so well attended by our District largely because it's not a Scouting event, but a totally public event. We often get over half of our Group turn up now, and many Groups have similar turn-outs (with the exception of the Sea Scouts, who only have a few turn up; but their Group is so large, if they all showed up, there'd be no room for anybody else!).

    When it comes to getting the YPs to turn up to the Remembrance Day service though, we don't force them, and we don't offer anything if they do turn up (we sometimes award points to lodges/sixes/patrols for every member who attended - though this is not mentioned beforehand), we simply ask them to turn up with their families as their attendance and mutual support would be greatly appreciated.

    ...looking at that last sentence, it seems like maybe we guilt them all into showing up at the service? lol
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