Duchess of Cambridge to Visit the Scouts’ Early Years Pilot

Duchess of Cambridge
The Duchess of Cambridge during a visit to the King Henry's Walk Garden in Islington, London


Gilwell Park, Essex

Thursday 28th March, 2019

The Duchess of Cambridge will visit the Scouts’ headquarters at Gilwell Park on 28th March to learn more about the organisation’s new pilot to bring Scouting to younger children. The visit to Gilwell Park will also celebrate the site’s 100th anniversary year.

In November 2018, the Scouts announced 20 pilots in England to explore the potential of providing Scouting to children between the ages of four and six. Research has shown that the first five years of a child’s life are more pivotal for development, and for future health and happiness, than any other single moment in their lifetime. What a child experiences during its earliest years shapes the development of the brain and influences interactions at school, work and in society. The new pilot will see Scouts test its exciting programme of activities – which currently reaches 473,000 young people between the ages of 6 and 25 in the UK – to younger children, equipping them with the life skills and values of teamwork, leadership and resilience.

2019 also marks the 100th anniversary of Gilwell Park, a site recognised internationally as the home of Scouting. Located on the edge of Epping Forest, it is a Scout campsite, training and adventure centre, and home to the organisation’s UK headquarters. Each year, the Park welcomes thousands of Scouts, schools and youth groups to develop their character skills, including taking the initiative and tenacity; employability skills such as leadership, teamwork and problem solving; and practical skills like cooking and first aid.

The Duchess will join a number of sessions with young children currently taking part in the pilot scheme, including activities to improve communication and teamwork, such as boat building and balloon rocket assembling. A group of Scouts aged 14 to 18 will also show Her Royal Highness a number of Gilwell Park’s iconic features, including the famous Gilwell Oak, named UK Tree of the Year in 2017. Prior to departing, The Duchess will plant an oak sapling to mark the 100th anniversary of Gilwell Park.

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