As we say goodbye to 2018 and move into the New Year, we look forward to another action-packed year of camps, activities and adventure. Copthorne Scouts as we know it has been a part of village life since 1953, when the first troop was founded by schoolmaster Godfrey Rugg, known universally as Geoffrey. Some older leaders in the group tell me there were definitely Scouts in the village in the 1920s and probably a good deal earlier, of which records must have been lost through time.

Through the years Copthorne Scouts have always been a thriving and successful group, with numbers reaching in excess of 180 young people throughout the late 1970s and early 80s. All these years later we move into 2019 with a membership of around 120 young boys and girls in our Beaver Colonies, Cub Packs, Scout Troops and Explorer Unit.

There have been many changes in living memory, one of the largest being in May 1967 when ‘The Boy Scouts Association’ was renamed to what we know it as now – ‘The Scout Association’. Girls were invited to join Venture Scouts (now Explorers) in July 1976 and by July 1991 official changes to the Royal Charter meant that girls were then allowed to be invested into all sections of the movement. As we start 2019, we currently have girls in Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorers and continue to offer adventure and inclusion to all genders, backgrounds and abilities.

In the second half of 2018 the Scout Group started to approach members of the community to join a new team of volunteers that want to be involved in the adventure, but without the regular commitment of leadership. The Copthorne Scout Active Support Unit will allow volunteers to support the group in a flexible way that suits them. The group is always in need of help at our many fundraisers and activities such as our bonfire & fireworks night, jumble sales and carnival stalls.

In November this year Copthorne Scouts & Guides will once again take to the stage at The Hawth in Crawley in another ‘Gang Show’ variety performance. The Scouts & Guides from the village have always been linked and the two organisations work closely together. Every young person will get the chance to perform on stage with their friends, without the need to audition for a role. Copthorne Scouts produced their first Gang Show in the village hall in 1958 and have continued bi-annually ever since. In 1991 the first performance was held at the Hawth and this year will be the 13th show that we have performed there. Tickets go on sale after Easter – see you there!

If you would like any information about how to help the group, join the Active Support Team or become a leader with us then please get in touch with me on my email below.

Owen Cheesmur

Group Scout Leader

1st Copthorne Scouts