The Gilwell Reunions began back in 1919 when Lord Baden-Powell ran the first training course for Scouters in England.
All Scouters at the course received a set of “Beads” on a leather rope which Scouters now wear as part of their uniform. Along with this set of beads the Scouter also receives the Gilwell Scarf.
A Gilwell Reunion is held on Ontario every year, the first weekend after Labor Day, at The Blue Springs Scout reserve near Acton. The first reunion in Ontario was held at Blue Springs in 1952.
Scouters who have completed a Woodbadge II course come from all over Ontario and nearby USA Cities travel to Blue Springs for the weekend to reunite with fellow Scouters; they may have worked with or had training with over the years.
A full weekend of activities are planned by the Elected Gilwell Committee as well as many varied events, draws, games, sing a longs, a fun planned by the over 70 “Contingents” of Scouters. Many Tents and Marques are set up on the Main field and Ebor Park, where Scouters from the various areas of Ontario meet up for their meals, and events that they plan.
Any registered Scouter in good standing completing a Woodbadge II training course in any section is invited to join a contingent and attend the Gilwell Reunion.
A traditional song written by Ralph Reader many years ago is usually sung at the Saturday evening campfire and it goes like this:
In my dreams I’m going back to Gilwell,
To the joys and the happiness I found
On those grand week-ends
With my dear old friends and see the training ground.
Oh the grass is greener back in Gilwell,
And I breathe again that Scouting air,
While in memory, I see B.P.
Who never will be far from there.
West Sub Region Gilwell Contingent
The West Sub Region Gilwell contingent is comprised of mostly Scouters from the Old Mill, Alders, and Humber West Areas. There are really no rules that state that Scouters from other areas can join any Contingent. Currently (2015) we expect to have about 18 members.
We are constantly looking for new members to join and encourage those who have completed their Woodbadge II course to contact Rebecca Marnoch at firstname.lastname@example.org
We typically meet a few times prior to Gilwell to plan our weekend and talk about what events we would like to organize. This also gives us a head count for ordering the proper tent size and shopping.