Cambridge University Scouting:  The advent of CUSAGC

Cambridge District Scout Archive

Organised activities between University based Guide units and the Rovers were recorded in the minutes.  In 1925 a campfire is mentioned in which the ladies left and ‘the gentlemen retired to witness the second half of the smoker’.  In 1928 Rovers held a campfire with the Newnham and Girton Guides ‘with 27 Rangers’.

In 1933 a meeting with the Newnham and Girton Rangers was abandoned as the cooperation had broken down between the pair.

1944    ‘should be doing more combined activities’ (with the Guides and Rangers).

John Parry University Rover Leader for ten years from 1937.

John Parry was Senior Proctor in the late 1940’s at the time when women were finally admitted to full membership of the University. In this role he spoke the ‘Placet’ from which later followed the origins of CUSAGC as a club for both Scouts and Guides.

(from a biographical note on the 1995 reunion dinner)

1950’s In the 1950’s an Inter Varsity Magazine was published twice a year to link University Scout and Guide organisations. This was advertised in the Sky blue newsletter of Cambridge University Scout Group. An intervarsity S&G rally was run, although the drive was not clearly Cambridge and appears to be from London and Oxford.

1953    The start of CUSAGC

The first identified proposals for liaison with the Guide Club(s) was in November 1950 and in January 1951 joint planning was in place.  The University Guide Club and Homerton Guide Club were mentioned.   In February 1953 the University Guide Club was described as moribund and it was ‘better to start a Scout and Guide Club’.  A proposal to this effect is recorded.  Not everyone was in favour.  It was recorded in the CURST Crew Council Minutes ‘The opposition pointed out that women were not of any great importance to us…’

Whilst clearly organised beforehand the Inaugural Ordinary General Meeting of Cambridge University Scout and Guide Club occurred on 3rd March 1953 at St Luke’s Hall, Victoria Road at 8.30.

The Court of Honour was in place and the draft constitution prepared.  Representatives from Downing, Homerton, Newnham, Caius, St John’s, Trinity and Emmanuel were present.  The later involvement of other colleges was described as ‘colonisation’ and, for example, in 1955 members from Peterhouse and St Catherine’s were recorded. 

The Rover Court of Honour became Crew Council in 1953.

In 1958 the inequity in male and female members at a social function was discussed with the suggestion that male members could bring girlfriends.  It was decided that this would lead to ‘pairing – an antisocial pastime’ and to invite local Rangers instead.

A full history of CUSAGC is planned.

JWR Archivist Sept 2022