A week of many emotions.
|Menin Gate Last Post Ceremony||De Lork||Poperinge|
|German Cemetry||Brugges||Belgium Scouts Activity Afternoon|
|Tyne Cot Cemetry||Zonnebeke||Belgium Scouts|
|Ferry & travelling||Bellewaerde|
Repeating one of your most favourite trips ever generally means it won’t ever be the same the second time around. The only thing different about this trip was the year, 2014 instead of 2008, other than that it was almost an exact repeat, except of course for the Scouts, they were different… of course. Even our coach, complete with driver, was exactly the same as before, Ken being an excellent addition to the party. With so many highlights of the week it’s difficult to find a starting point. The Menin Gate Ceremony, however, stood out as particularly special and memorable. There were lots of people in 2008, this year, double it and add plenty more and you have over a thousand people watching. Sadly, we did not get to parade down the middle, not to complain though because actual war veterans did, we were in a special place behind the Pipers. Praise indeed to our Scout flag bearers and Scout wreath layer, they set an excellent example and conducted themselves superbly, as did all the others who stood at attention for quite some time. Even our little Beaver Scout! As leaders we could be nothing less than proud of the conduct of our Scouts throughout our ‘war day’. The day had begun the evening before, if that is ever possible, with the uniform inspection, shoe shining club, ironing guild, knecker rolling league and badge sewing society all taking place merrily in the dining hall of De Lork. The Scouts enthusiasm for a hot iron and bit of polish is quite astounding. However, praise where praise is due, all the Scouts stayed exceptionally smart throughout a very long day, leaders actually wanted to associate with them! The day itself started with a visit to the massively extended and brilliant, Zonnebeke Museum. Hands on and glass cages (something for everyone…) all rolled into one. This was followed by a visit to the German Cemetery and the enormous Commonwealth Tyne Cot Cemetery. Walking past the wall and seeing the graves for the first time, provoked a short intake of breath from the Scouts near me at the time. Our visit was poignant and reflective, everyone I spoke to in our party had found it so in one way or another. The day ended at the Menin Gate, going by previous experience we though no point turning up till such a time as no one was there last time and we all got freezing cold waiting around, whoops, cue an almighty rush and push through the extensive crowds. We made it though and the sight of the Scouts walking down the road with the flags at the helm was impressive against the lights of the Menin Gate!
We’re going back! It’s been 5 years or more since we stayed with our Scouting hosts in Poperinge, Belgium. Being that 2014 is the centenary of the beginning of WWI visiting at this time is an opportunity we cannot let pass. In an almost exact replica of 2008, even the dates are the same, the only difference being that it’ll be 2014 and different Scouts.
Belgium has been highly regarded by past Scouts as one of the best camps ever.
Now it’s your chance.
Tuesday 28th October
Sunday 2nd November
|Accommodation in De Lork Hostel, Kemmel.
Travel with Eagle Coaches, who will stay with us throughout.
|“The centennial in 2014 of the start of the First World War”||
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Who is going:
Photos and report