Mission Camp

Cambridge District Scout Archives

A very full report on a Mission Camp in 1912 is given in The Queens’ College magazine of 1912. Involving C T Woods nowhere calls it a Scouting event. However, the daily routine does include a ‘Scouting game’ between 10 and 12. It was essentially a Scout camp in format but without many of the Scout training aspects that would be expected, fire lighting, axe work etc. The boys came from Rotherhithe and also present was Mr Willoughby was the SM from Rotherhithe Mission. The report was written by H C Grace who was to die in German hands in the Great War. None of the named particiants appear on the list of Early Scouters.

The photograph below from 1919 comes from C T Woods album – another Mission camp.

C T Woods’ album 1919

Described as a Mission Camp this is more clearly a Scout camp – penknives, scarves, slouch hats, and shorts are evident for some if not all the boys. 

Held at Sawbridgeworth (Essexs – Herts border between what is now Harlow and Bishops Stortford) it is probably a London Mission supported or run by a Cambridge College.  C T Wood is known to have been involved in such Mission work and later made gifts to Abington campsite on the condition that Troops from London Missions be allowed to camp free of charge and with transport paid.

A number of descriptions of College Mission Camps (some Scout camps) can be read in editions of The Eagle, St John’s College periodical, between Lent 1912 and Lent 1915.

The Dial, Queens’ College Magazine, of Michaelmas 1926 describes a Mission Camp near Grantchester. The connection to Scouting is not clear other than mention of Copestake, a known Scout master who moved to run the Mission and specifically that the Dean (C T Wood, the CC) held a Scouts Own in the Chapel which two other troops attended. It is difficult to envisage a Scouts Own for those who were not Scouts. 70 boys camped and mention was made of a camp the previous year at Frinton. The Dean supplied the tents.

JWR Archivist Feb 2019