1st Swaffham Scouts have Beaver, Cub and Scout sections. We have a friendly, hard-working team of volunteers including A GSL, Section Leaders, Assistant Leaders and Young Leaders who offer leadership and support across the three sections. Although we are a town scout group, we are very fortunate to have our meeting place set in a rural location; we meet at the Black Barn, Old Iceni Village, Cockley Cley which is approximately three and a half miles from Swaffham. We really enjoy meeting on this site as we have access to large grounds on which we have our own shooting range. The site is also very close to the local forest, which we regularly use for hiking as well as other outdoor activities.
Our section meetings usually run weekly as follows during term time:
- Monday 7-9pm Scouts
- Tuesday 6.30 – 8pm Cubs
- Thursday 6 – 7.30pm Beavers
Over the years, the Swaffham Scout group has met in various places in Swaffham. The Scout section has been present in Swaffham for over one hundred years. From a publication called ‘Swaffham in The Great War’ written by the Swaffham Heritage Group:
Baden Powell announced his new scheme for scouts between 16 and 17 in November 1914. The Corps would be ready, should invasion occur, to do whatever was necessary. Scouts were to be trained, generally, as infantry, although there were also cycling divisions. Scouts were required to drill with real rifles and to learn how to shoot. Some troops were equipped with miniature rifles for target shooting purposes. Links were encouraged with the regular army and no unit could be “recognised” until an inspection had been carried out by a regular officer. The vicar of Swaffham and local scout master is raising patrols to be trained for war service in shooting, army drill, judging distance, signalling, entrenching, pioneering, scouting and first aid. The conditions are that the candidates must be sixteen years of age, be total abstainers and nonsmokers. ( Lynn News 13 Nov 1914 ) The scouts struck a deal with the Volunteer Training Corps, who were drilling with wooden rifles —for the use of the Swaffham shooting butts in return for the lend of the rifles. The scouts patrolled the town and villages by night, warned the police of approaching zeppelins and marshalled the public plane spotters at Narborough.
In later years, 1st Swaffham Scouts met in the gymnasium at the Old Grammar School in Swaffham when it was a closed group for that school. The group was then opened up so that non-grammar school boys could attend. By the late 1960’s/early 1970’s, the Scout Group met at an old Church Hall on Lynn Street. After this, parents and supporters built the Scouts a hall from an ex-military Nissan hut near Northwell pool. This was known as the Halfacre. By the 1980’s, Scouts were meeting at the Church Rooms on the Campingland before moving to the premises we hold today.