Ardrossan Scout Group has a long and rich history. It started in 1908 when two local lads, James Lambert and Jack Vickers, inspired by Baden Powell’s “Scouting For Boys” publications, formed two Scout Patrols that met regularly in various premises around the town and organised joint hikes in the surrounding countryside. In 1909 they persuaded local schoolmaster Peter Cunninghame to be their Scoutmaster and the 1st Ardrossan, 15th Ayrshire Scout Group was officially registered with the Imperial Scout HQ in London.
The group has been active in the town ever since (apart from a short break towards the end of WW1 due to the Scout Leaders being called up). In 1932 its first permanent headquarters were built by volunteers in Winton Lane. The group moved to Kilmeny Terrace in 1945 and purchased the site in 1951, building the current premises in 1967.
Ardrossan Scout Group has a great reputation, built up over many successful years. A large number of boys over the years have achieved King’s and Queen’s Scout Awards (the highest Scout award). At one period in the 1970 and 80s, Ardrossan held the highest number of Explorer Belt awards (much sought after) in the UK.
Camping, International Gatherings, Jamborettes and World Jamborees have been attended by members going as far as Japan, Chile, Canada, Norway, USA and many other European destinations. Next year one of the Ardrossan Scouts is going to the world Jamboree in Japan, a rare opportunity and a superb achievement for being selected from stiff competition. The Blair Atholl International Jamborette in Perthshire, held every two years, has been a favourite amongst leaders and members for many years. This always involves foreign scouts coming to stay in Ardrossan with local scout families. The explorer scouts associated with the Ardrossan group are heading to Switzerland for a summer camp in 2015 where an exciting, adventurous and educational programme is planned. The Beavers and Cub Scouts will also be undertaking many exciting and challenging activities in the coming year.
Today scouting is an entirely different world from its early days, but it continues to thrive at Ardrossan with the same spirit of adventure it has always had. As in the past, today’s scouts continue to excel in their badgework and engage in all sorts of activities, all with a view of developing them as responsible individuals.
1948/49. If you know of anyone who may have been in the Rover Scouts at this time, here is a fascinating and entertaining account of their activities during the period. It's well worth a read!