WILTSHIRE West Scouts, including Scouts from Westbury, are appealing to local landowners in a search for a new campsite.
Wiltshire West Scouts have been developing and maintaining a clearing the Roundwood Scout Campsite and Activity Centre in Brokerswood for the past 40 years, using the area for camping and outdoor pursuits. However, they have now been given notice to leave the site and are seeking an alternative site “as a matter of urgency”.
Andy Kettlety, leader of Westbury Scouts, expl-ained the importance of the camp site and activity centre saying, “It’s on our doorstep so it’s very important to us. We’ve done everything from camps to end-of-term barbecues. There are other campsites, for example the county centre in Potterne, but that involves more travelling. For us, Roundwood is five minutes up the road and that makes everything a lot easier.”
Westbury Town Council has pledged £500 to help with the purchase when a new site is found. The Scouts need between 5 and 30 acres of woodland or land with trees or a copse, with a level area for camping, reasonable access, and a site where it would be feasible to connect to mains water.
District chairman John Cox said the organisation has money available to make the purchase and by agreeing to a proposal the landowner would be doing a great deal to help the youth in this corner of Wiltshire.
He said, “With our Chief Scout and TV presenter Bear Grylls camping in the jungle with Jonathan Ross and showing what fun can be had in the great outdoors, Scouting is undergoing something of a resurgence and this will undoubtedly be boosted by the example of the Duchess of Cambridge in signing up as a volunteer leader. What we are seeking to do is create a centre which will act as some form of hub for Scouts, Guides, other youth organisations and, indeed, the young at heart and to provide something for them to do which captures their imagination, helps them to succeed in life and, above all, provides fun and adventure in the open air.”
District commissioner Graham Belsten said that the aim of Scouting is to promote the development of young people in achieving their full physical, intellectual, social and spiritual potential, as individuals, as responsible citizens and as members of their local, national and international communities.
“We try to achieve this aim through the provision of exciting and adventurous activities and a campsite would provide an ideal focus for our efforts. Scouting is currently enjoying a sustained period of growth, particularly amongst teenages, and here in west Wiltshire we have over 740 young members aged 6 to 18, 140 leaders and another 100 adult helpers. These are organised into 12 Scout groups located in and around Warminster, Westbury Melksham, Bradford on Avon, and Trowbridge. We have no salaried employees; all of our members and helpers are unpaid and our groups are all self-supporting. Waiting lists are growing; the constraint is our ability to recruit more leaders. Whoever comes forward with the land that we need would greatly assist us to help a significant number of local young people realise their full potential and not become a burden to the state”
Anyone with land to sell is invited to get in touch with John Cox, chairman Wiltshire West Scouts, 01225 864 270 or email email@example.com
Anyone wishing to donate to the appeal should make cheques payable to Wiltshire West District Scout Council. Anyone interested in volunteering should get in touch with Graham Belsten (01225 352 243) or graham.belsten@ wiltshirescouts.org.uk
Pictured: Roundwood campsite, a facility the Scouts are trying to replace.