Advance Party Report 1966

Cambridge District Scout Archive

The Advance Party report of 1966 advocated many changes and was the point of a great deal of concern that Scouting was stepping away from the form prescribed by B-P. Locally the Rovers were, perhaps, most vociferous, certainly they left more hard evidence of a strong awareness of the passing of the old ways.

7th Cambridge log book

The following piece from the Cambridge Scout Gazette of 1972 suggests that in Cambridge District the revitalization of Scouting resulted in a swift resurgence of numbers. The implementation, of those report recommendations accepted, was in 1967 and 1968 was the first year of clear figures.

Cambridgeshire Collection

Geoffrey Datson was DC of Cambridge City (an overseeing role coordinating the DC’s of the three Cambridge Districts- not yet formally split). He reported greater numbers than at any time since 1950 (the height of the post war bounce) and a 38% increase since 1968. Numbers continued to rise steadily to 1980 when they settled into a slower rate of increase.

The key summary of 1972 figures is –

  • 12 more Cub Packs than in 1968 (42 : 30)
  • 6 more Scout Troops than in 1968 (31 : 25)
  • 3 more Venture Units than in 1968 (11 : 8)

The Venture Units lack direct comparison with the Rover Units. By 1966, the last year of clear figures, Rover numbers for the District were 36 in eight Crew, by 1968 Ventures had 86 and by 1972 176 members. It became, for a while, an aspiration among young people both in and out of Scout to join a Venture Unit.

Cambridge DC Lt Col Harry Mainwaring (later CC) was a member of the Advance Party committee. Tony Claydon recalled ‘I was reading the Advance party report. Harry came and joined me (He was part of the group that came up with the changes). I made some comment about the fact that some parts seemed rather restrictive. His response was ” Have you seen a scout publication in hard back.” My response was no . His response was ” That means that there is some flexibility in the them” .

  • see also Structure/ Trends/ Annual Scout Numbers
  • see also Structure/ Sections Rover Scouts/ Rover Scouts in Cambridge – for Rover numbers.
  • see also Structure/ Sections/ Venture Scouts/ Venture Scouts in Cambridge
  • see also Individuals/ People/ Cambridge Scouters/ Harry Mainwaring

JWR Archivist Aug 2021