Scouts mark 40 years of friendship with German group
MORE than 70 members of the Scouting movement from Germany have spent two weeks in the North West after meeting up with their longtime friends, the Formby Scouts.
The 5th and 9th Formby Scouts have held joint camps with the DPSG Weilburg Scouts from Hessen in Germany every two years for the last 40 years, since building a strong bond at an International Camp at Tawd Vale in 1978.
In July, two coaches carrying 72 DPSG Weilburg, Cubs, Scouts, Explorers, Network and Leaders arrived at Tawd Vale Scout Camp in Lathom to join 70 members of the same groups from Formby to celebrate their 40th Year Jubilee Summer Camp, exactly where it all started.
The week in camp was followed by a week spent with host families in Formby. The groups then enjoyed many activities and excursions together including a two day overnight hike around Morecambe Bay as well as days out in Skipton, Chester and Liverpool.
Martin Sutton, the Scout Leader of the 5th Formby Scouts, said: “This is quite a milestone in the Scouting history of Formby and the German town of Weilburg. This is one of the best kept secrets in Merseyside Scouts, and little known in general, even within the wider Scouting community outside Formby.
“We believe this is unique in the scouting world as we are not aware of any other groups having such an exchange over such a period of time.
“I have just taken part as Camp Leader in the 40th year German and English Scout Camp at Tawd Vale with 140 Scouts and Leaders from the 5th and 9th Formby Groups and DPSG Weilburg in Hessen.
“The 5th Formby Scouts hosted the 7th Weilburg Scouts after the camp in 1978, and we were invited back to Weilburg in Germany in 1980 where we were hosted. We were made very welcome there and had the best time ever sharing our Scouting together.
“The story continued thanks to the dedication of many past leaders and helpers on both sides of the channel. We've held joint camps at different locations in England and Germany so that we could see the many different places and cultures.
“The highlights of our joint camps are the camp fires and German Day where the visiting group run the programme.
“We are now looking forward to going back to Germany in 2020 where our 40 year journey on the road will continue.”