Royals Visit City of Nottingham Scouts
The Queen was joined by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge for her Diamond Jubilee visit to Nottingham.
The Royals visited Nottingham City Cetre, and Vernon Park during their visit. The Scouts participated at both venues.
Read the City of Nottingham Scouts inside story of the event, and how Prince William and Princess Catherine met Nottingham Scouts at Vernon Park
Preparing for our Royal Visit
We were first tipped off about a Diamond Jubilee Royal visit to Nottingham about six months prior to the visit. The District Commissioner, District Chairman and Assistant District Commissioner have a formal meeting with the Lord Mayor twice a year to discuss the development of Scouting in the City of Nottingham, and the support the Council may be able to provide to Scouting. This relationship is very positive.
In 2012 we have had 3 major public events in which the City Council, and City of Nottingham District Scouts have collaborated. These were the Lord Mayors St Georges Parade in April, our Celebration of Scouting in the Old Market Square on the 9th June, and the Diamond Jubilee visit by the Queen, Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge on the 13th June. This is relevant as we had a number of meetings to plan the St Georges Parade and our Scouting Celebration where we picked up snippets of information relating to the Royal Visit. For example we received confirmation of the date at one of our St Georges meetings.
As you might expect, the detail of a Royal visit are kept secret until the last minute for security reasons. We had no idea in the involvement we would have in the visit until 25th May, when we were invited to take part at the Vernon Park venue. We were asked how much space we would like, and how many people we would like to attend. We then arranged to meet the event organiser on site on the 28th May to discuss our requirements. Fortunately, as we had been planning our Celebration of Scouting in the Market Square for some months, we were able to pinch some ideas from that event to take to Vernon Park. On Monday 28th we discussed with the event organiser the types of activities we could, and could not put on. We were strongly discouraged to do anything to do with fires, gas or stoves.
The following day, on Tuesday 29th May there was a meeting of all participants at the Vernon Park event for a general briefing. We then had a week to submit a list of participants and to finalise the events we were putting on.
At the same time as the Vernon Park preparation was taking place, we also had to submit names through our County Commissioner for Explorer Scouts for “special duties” at both Vernon Park and the Council House. All these contact details were to be submitted to Clarence House for security clearance.
In amongst our final preparation for our Celebration of Scouting we finalised the list of activities to be put on for the Royal visit, and prepared a floor plan of the area. The list of young people then had to be assigned into nine teams.
The day prior to the visit, we had to take all equipment required onto site, and prepare the activity area as no vehicles could be taken on site the day of the visit. There was a security check even the day before entering the site with a vehicle, where the police searched both the vehicle and the trailer.
We received our final instructions on which gate participants were to use on the day, and published this through Group Scout Leaders.
The final part of the preparation was getting everybody officially registered on the morning of the visit, and splitting the young people into their activity teams.
We were ready!
Inside Story - 13th June 2012
City of Nottingham Scout were privileged be involved in the Queens Diamond Jubilee visit to Nottingham on the 13th June 2012. We had a presence at both the Old Market Square and at Vernon Park.
Joshua Barraclough, a young Scout Leader from the 111th Nottingham was selected to lead the youth group for the external portico stair party at the Council House. Two Explorer Scouts from the City were selected for inclusion to the youth group, Scott from Tempest Unit, and Rhiannon from 1st Clifton Explorers and a young leader at 1st Silverdale.
Josh can be seen in the photo with the Duchess of Cambridge.
Chris Smith represented Adult Leaders for the County, with two other Explorer Scouts from the County represented in the other youth group on the stairs in the Council House.
At Vernon Park the City had two other Explorer Scouts who had been especially selected for Royal Special Duties, Josh from the 88th and Ellie from the High School.
City Scouts also had an area 27m x 12m for activities, with over 60 representatives from nearly all Scout Groups across the City, and a team of about 15 volunteers. See the article on Preparing for the Royal Visit for how the team was selected.
Leaders were due to be at Vernon Park for 8:00am, young people for 8:45am, so we could register everybody between 9:00am and 9:15am. Registration was followed by a briefing to both the young people and volunteers, and putting all the young people into teams for the day. The teams were made up of a mix of Beavers, Cubs, Scouts, and Explorer Scouts.
We had 9 activities on offer, and 9 teams of young people. The plan was to move the young people onto a new activity every 20 minutes. We started the activities at 9:40am. The activities on offer were parachute games, tent pitching, blind trail, assault course, ski races, tower, mini pioneering, badge and survival bracelets, and rope making.
The Royal party arrived around 11:20am, when we let all the young people and volunteers go and watch the Queen perform her formal duties of renaming the park. From where we were, we could see more on the big screen than what was actually going off on stage. Most of the Beavers, Cubs and Scouts then lined the exit route for the Queen just behind the Scout area to watch the Queen depart, where they had a fantastic view and a good look at the Queen as she passed by smiling and waving. Following the Queens departure, it was back to the activities.
Some 10 minutes later, Chris Flewitt the District Commissioner welcomed the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to the Scout area.
The Duke and Duchess split up while in the area, visiting different activities and talking with different groups of young people.
Kate visited the parachute games first, and the DC invited her to have a go. To the delight of the young people doing the parachute game, she joined in. Kim Rigby of the 111th Scout Group was asked to explain the purpose of the game, and they played for a good few minutes.
After parachute games, the County Commissioner, Matt Rooney invited Kate to have a go with the tent pitching activity. Again she responded positively and had a go, while speaking to some of the Cubs and Scouts.
William started at the assault course, talking with the young people,
and was then taken over to the tower. The DC invited him to climb the tower, but he responded “not in these shoes”. He chatted to the members of the Scout Network that had built, and who were operating the tower. They were belaying while the teams of young people climbed the tower.
Both Kate and William continued talking to a number of Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorers, before being presented with a posy of flowers by the Explorer Scouts before leaving our area.
The young people were allowed to leave our area to meet parents and follow the Duke and Duchess until they departed from the park. All that was now left to do was to dismantle the activity area...
What an amazing day!