[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Wednesday, 1 August 2007, 09:33 GMT 10:33 UK
A hundred years of scouting memories
Prince William at the Scout Jamboree
Prince William meets scouts at the 21st World Scout Jamboree
It's a hundred years since the scout movement was founded.

Millions of scouts across the world have renewed their vows to mark the centenary and 40,000 are attending the largest ever Jamboree in Chelmsford to mark the occasion.

The BBC News website has asked current and former scouts from around the world for some of their stories.

Grant Whitehouse, 40, Sydney

New Zealand Scout Jamboree camp site
Camp site at the 1981 New Zealand Scout Jamboree

I joined the scouts in New Zealand in 1978 and left in 1982 aged 15. My dad was also in the scouts and used to amaze us with stories about boiling water in a paper bag over an open fire. True? I'm not sure, but it was a great story.

My scout days were great. At times a bit mismanaged and difficult with no funding, but the adventures were superb.

Our den was a dilapidated structure down an alley near a cemetery. It was filled with old scout stuff, the tents, blocks and tackle, cooking gear - all ex-army equipment that looked like it had spent a fair bit of time in active service.

The old books were filled with amazing structures that could be constructed from two twigs and a shoe lace plus recipes for rabbit stew and camp bread.

We lost a lot of the gear in a flash flood while on camp and we were lucky not to lose any scouts when a river rose eight metres in a couple of hours one night. We picked clothes out of tree branches the next morning.

Scout Alistair Cooper on a bus
Grant's friend and school mate Alistair Cooper

I went to a jamboree near Hastings in the eastern North Island of New Zealand in 1981. It was a great time. We built an impressive camp with timber gateway and a huge mess tent.

The skills I learnt at scouts are too numerous to mention but a couple certainly stick out. First aid - since that time I have drawn on those more times than I want to remember including using CPR to bring a man back after heart attack. Cooking - I got hooked at scouts, I'm still not brilliant but definitely more competent than a lot of guys I know. Bush craft, sailing, fixing cars, running a budget - you name it.

I guess scouts is not the same now as then, but if kids today get half of what I got out of it, they'll have a ball and hopefully turn out to be half decent adults.

Elliot Kretzmer, 84, Israel

The boy scout troop I belonged to was in the town of Kroonstad in the Orange Free State in South Africa. The troop consisted of about six or seven patrols, each of seven members.

The troop itself was known as Thring's Own Troop, because it was named after a Colonel Thring of the British Army who was a friend of Baden-Powell and who at one time lived in our town.

Lord Robert Baden-Powell
Robert Baden-Powell on Brownsea Island on 1st August 1907

The town also had a girl guide group with its junior branch, the brownies. Once a year we all met on a Friday night around a huge bonfire, and sang all the songs we had learnt while in our various groups.

I was fortunate enough to attend the Boy Scout Jamboree in East London, South Africa, in 1936. Baden-Powell himself was present and I was privileged to be one of the few who shook his hand. There must have been close to 500 boys present.

I really enjoyed the fun, comradeship, the challenges, the week-end camping, the hiking, the cycling, that made being a scout such a wonderful part of my teenage life.

Pete Rearden, Fort Worth, Texas, USA

I would have to say first and foremost that I value my Eagle Scout rank more than any other award which I've earned in my life. Choosing one experience as defining is almost impossible. My troop was very outdoors oriented. Every month we were rock climbing or backpacking or canoeing.

The most important lessons learned in scouting are timeless lessons. In fact we may need scouting now more than ever.

I guess my fondest memories come from Longhorn Council's Aquatic School. The Longhorn Council of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) offers a one week camp after regular summer camp is over.

At camp you must take swimming, rowing, canoeing and lifesaving merit badges. You must also earn the BSA lifeguard award and do the 1-mile swim. You also learn time management, leadership, team work and training for instruction of the merit badges you earned. It was a lot of fun, a lot of work, and one of the best times I can remember.

As an Eagle Scout I can say that the most important lessons learned in scouting are timeless lessons. In fact we may need scouting now more than ever.


Were you in the scouts? Are you marking the centenary? Send us your experiences using the link below.

We particularly want to see your pictures and moving footage. You can send them to yourpics@bbc.co.uk or text them to +44 (0)7725 100 100.

When taking photos or filming please do not endanger yourself or others, take unnecessary risks or infringe any laws.




VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Scenes of celebrations as thousands of scouts unite



SEE ALSO
In Pictures: Scouting centenary
01 Aug 07 |  In Pictures
Scouting centenary: Your pictures
01 Aug 07 |  In Pictures



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific