Our Own Chapel at Jordan Heights (WHAT IS A SCOUTS’ OWN?)
Scouts’ Owns were introduced at the Crystal Palace Rally in 1909. They were originally meant to be simple, interdenominational religious celebrations. Often consisting of songs, prayer and a yarn, the Scouts’ Own encouraged quiet times of reflection and were used at camp and in Scout and Guide meetings. Although invented by ‘Uncle’ H. Geoffrey Elwes, these ceremonies increasingly mirrored Baden-Powell’s ideas about individual development and expression. Scout and Guide lore was blended with religious stories and ideas in writing and in practice. Emphasis was on good deeds and upright character, not on salvation after death. As Baden-Powell wrote, ‘You will find that heaven is not a kind of happiness somewhere up in the skies after you are dead, but right here and now in this world’. "Uncle" H. Geoffrey Elwes was a prominent early member of the Scout Movement and before that was involved in the Boys Brigade. Founder of the 1st Colchester troop, editor of the Headquarters Gazette from 1911 to 1922 and Scouter from 1923 to 1926. He had to use a wheelchair after 1922 but worked with the Scouts until his death in 1936. He supported Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of Scouting but clashed with him over religion, Elwes was staunch in his Christianity while Baden-Powell favoured a less sectarian approach. He invented the idea of Scouts Own (known as Guides Own by Girl Guides) and introduced at the Crystal Palace Rally in 1909. He was a solicitor, admitted in 1895, and founded a young men's club in 1902 in Colchester before founding a Boy Scout troop there in 1908. He was a member of the Headquarters Committee of Scouting from its establishment in 1909 until his death in 1936.
(The altar here at Jordan Heights)
THE POWER OF TEAMWORK
You get one member up the front flapping their 'wings' and they're the lead goose. Then you get the next two standing at his/her shoulders also flapping their 'wings' as the next geese in the skein. And so on until you have all of them in a 'V' formation all flapping madly while you tell the yarn about the geese migrating and how much easier it is for them to slipstream each other. Then you take the lead goose by the 'wing' and peel them off the front of the skein and drop them in at the back to demonstrate how the 2nd in command takes over to give the leader a rest. Then you show how part of the skein will peel off and fly slower than the rest of the main group to protect an injured or tired goose until they can all catch up on the feeding grounds again as a big team. If you can keep the yarn flowing while they are all doing the actions it's pretty effective and a bit of fun with a serious message.
The lovely setting for our Chapel at Jordan Heights
Put a mirror in a box. Tell the Scouts that the box contains the most incredible thin g in the world. Just for fun, ask them what could be in the box. ...follow by a confidence boosting talk about how blinking wonderful they all are, despite what other people might say!
Inside the chapel at Jordan Heights
SCOUTS INVENT THEIR OWN LORD’S PRAYER
Dear Lord – please spare us from porridge and I pray next camp its cornflakes
Dear Lord – please teach our leaders map reading so we don’t get lost on the hike again....and so on...
WHEN A WORD HAS BEEN SPOKEN...Explain all about people getting on a soapbox, especially in London’s parks, to speak their mind...This is a short poem on reminding children to be careful what they say, and think before they speak...You can whisper, you can thunder, You can chatter, you can roar, You can question, you can threaten, You can even be a bore. You may stammer, you may stutter, You may find your words to fail, You can mutter, sputter, Mumble, grumble, tell an idle tale. But, before you climb upon your soapbox, Before your words run on ahead; Remember once a word is spoken It can never be unsaid!
SMARTIES – WE ARE ALL ALIKE
Props – Packet of Smarties, small bowl of water, sieve. Start by explaining your feelings about racism, how it affects other people, and how it should be avoided at all costs...colour especially. Take a handful of Smarties and show them around, ask some Scouts which is their favourite colour. Throw the Smarties into the water and swill them around until all the colour fades away. Pour them into the sieve and show to the Scouts. Moral: Everyone has their favourite colour but if you wash the colour off, we are all the same deep down. THE
The entrance to the chapel
Start by explaining to the young people that they each have a bank account which is credited with £86,400 every day. The money is theirs to spend. However at the end of the day, what's remaining is taken away from them. The following day, a fresh £86,400 is credited to their account and the cycle begins again. You then ask for suggestions as to what the young people would spend this money on and after two or three days spending, they very quickly begin to run out of ideas. This is when you ask them if they've made the most of what was available to them and begin to question whether they can see further meaning in the discussion. The final point is that there are 86,400 seconds in a day and once they've gone, they'll never be available again. This should make young people reflect on how wisely they use their time, and is particularly suitable for a long camp to encourage them to make the most of it.