Kings Lynn, 14 December 2016 – The Duchess of Cambridge has paid a special visit to young people at a Cub Scout Pack in Kings Lynn this evening to celebrate the Cubs’ 100th anniversary through a range of fun activities designed to help them to learn vital life skills.
The Duchess, who previously worked as a volunteer with a Cub Scout pack when she and the Duke of Cambridge lived in Anglesey, North Wales, joined 24 girls and boys aged between 8 and 10½ – all from the Kings Lynn area.
The Duchess kick-started the evening’s activities by leading the children in some parachute games, which are designed to help develop teamwork and cooperation skills. She then helped other leaders to run three further activities designed to:
The Duchess also helped the Cub Scouts celebrate this milestone by cutting a special 100th birthday cake, joining in with an upbeat rendition of Happy Birthday.
A special moment in the evening was the Cub Scout Promise renewal. The Duchess recited the Cub Scout Promise alongside the young people, as each of the 150,000 other Cub Scouts across the UK will be doing this week.
Alex Peace-Gadsby, the Scout Association’s Chief Commissioner for England, who also leads a group of young people in Ashfield in Nottinghamshire, welcomed the Duchess to the event and said:
“We’re thrilled that the Duchess has been able to join us as we celebrate the Cubs’ 100th birthday. We have hundreds of events planned across the United Kingdom, with a chance for each and every one of our 150,000 Cubs to take part.
“We passionately believe that Cub Scouts gives young people the skills they need to succeed in life, helping them develop resilience, self-reliance, confidence and initiative. In fact, recent research has showed that the mental health benefits of participation in Scouting activities in childhood last well into later life.
“Our challenge as we head into the next 100 years is to ensure that as many young people can take part as possible. Scouting has seen eleven straight years of growth and the only way we can keep pace with demand is to recruit more adult volunteers.
“That’s why I’m encouraging adults from all sections of the community to help ensure that the next generation of young people can be Cub Scouts. Not only is volunteering highly rewarding, our adults also learn valuable practical and employability skills themselves.”
The Duchess was shown around by Cub Scout Leader Hazel Coley, 32, who became a volunteer four years ago because she supports the skills Scouting offers young people. She said
“Meeting the Duchess has been the best birthday present this Cub Scout Pack could have possibly imagined. It’s an evening that they will never forget, and the most exciting thing that has happened to me in all my time as a volunteer. The Duchess helped our Cub Scouts learn valuable skills for life and in reality that’s what Scouting is all about, adults and young people alike having fun, enjoying new adventures and learning new skills.
“As a volunteer, you get to see first-hand how the Scouts can change the lives of young people in your community. That’s why I would recommend volunteering with the Scouts to anyone.”
The official birthday of the Cub Scouts is 16th December, when thousands of Cubs across the country will be renewing their Cub Scout Promise at 19.16. Promise renewal ceremonies will take place at a number of famous landmarks including the Natural History Museum, Edinburgh Castle, HMS Belfast, the Spinnaker Tower and the Angel of the North.
The Scout Association will also host ‘CubFest’ at the PACCAR Scout Camp at Chalfont Heights, where hundreds of Cub Scouts will enjoy a range of activities and live entertainment, including a performance from the band Scouting for Girls, who all met at their local Cub Scout group in Ruislip, London.
The Cub Scouts was officially founded on 16th December 1916 with a public display at Caxton Hall, London. Within just one year, over 1,000 Cub Packs had been formed, with almost 30,000 young people having joined up.
Today, there are over 150,000 Cub Scouts in the UK, and almost a quarter are female, 25 years after girls were first welcomed into the Scout Movement.
There are now 62 badges for Cub Scouts to earn, compared to just 12 in 1916. Original Badges include Woodworker, First Aider and Swimmer. More recent Badges include Digital Citizen, Community Impact and Global Issues.
The Scout Association estimate that over 10 million people have taken part in Cubs over the last 100 years.