Trinidad scouts come a-calling
The cartoon character called the Thing in the Fantastic Four, just before he starting a battle would shout “it’s clobbering time”, but for us in Barbados, the Trinidad campers who came a-calling a few days ago, after having deplaned, cleared immigration and customs in Barbados before boarding two buses from the airport would perhaps have shouted: “It’s camping time again!”
The 54 members “Sons of the Pioneers” Scout Group from the Naparima District of the Trinidad Scout Association recently spent seven days as guests of the Barbados Boy Scouts Association. This group opted to follow through on their plan to camp in Barbados during the Barbadian Scout Centenary.
It should be noted that Barbados was chosen to host the Scout Jamboree in 2012 but after a decision was taken to defer the Jamboree to a later date, the leadership of this Scout Group did not want to disappoint the Scouts who were eagerly looking forward to being in Barbados and sharing activities with their Barbadian colleagues.
This was even more special as many of these campers had never visited Barbados before and after reading and hearing about the featured attractions, such as Harrison’s Cave, the trip on the Atlantis Submarine along with the many places of interest which can be seen on an island tour, they were even more determined to make the trip possible.
Under the direction of Group Scout Leader Anand Rameshwar Singh, these members arrived and pitched their tents at the headquarters of the Barbados Boy Scouts Association and did not allow the persistent rain and the fact that after completing a tour, returned to Headquarters to find the interior of all of their tents filled with water to dampened their spirits. For the most part they adjusted, modified their programme and acted as though the entire country was their camping ground.
Sons of the Pioneers
In conversation with the Chief Commissioner who was curious with the name of the group, the leader explained that for 19 years prior to 2012, the group existed as a youth group. He explained that as he was a Scout Leader, having joined the Scout Movement in 1968 at First San Juan Scout Group, it was natural for him to teach the young people the skills he had been taught in Scouting.
He further stated that there was an annual pioneering competition where the challenge trophy was a flag bearing the inscription “Sons of the Pioneers”. As Patrol Leader he encouraged the Scouts to attempt to bring glory to the Scout Troop by winning the Flag. This they did for three consecutive years which coincidentally was the duration of the period for the challenge and the flag was given to them permanently. The group then derived the permanent title of “Sons of the Pioneers.”
From all reports the camp was very exciting and the Saturday night camp fire was almost like icing upon the cake as the visiting campers sang and entertained their Bajan guests with songs, yarns and skits. Prior to all the fun around the camp fire, Lt. Col. Owen Springer, the acting Chief Commissioner brought remarks on behalf of the Association. After this, everyone retreated to share in a typical Trini meal of roti and all the curried delicacies.