Cambridge District Scout Archive

The growth of photography as an activity for hobbyists is, co-incidentally, closely aligned with the start and growth of Scouting. S J Parson (at Peas Hill from 1913, at Mill road until c.1938) advertised in local Scouting.

There has always been a photographers badge and in 1929 (1931 UK) Kodak manufactured the Kodak Boy Scout version of their Vest Pocket Model B to encourage sales to this market.

Much of the periodical Rovers World (1934 – 36) appears to have been funded by adverts for cameras, camera equipment and film, and a number of articles and competitions reflect that interest. See Local History/ Communications/ The Rover World. The Scouter, too, carried adverts for cameras and equipment.

Few references are made by individuals or in group Accounts on photography as a ‘Troop’ activity. The 12th (below) were a very active group with a clear sense of recording their history. However, the purchase of a single camera does not suggest a ‘patrol’ activity. We can only rely on the remaining photograph’s to know that cameras were used.

Some badges encouraged the use of cameras. The stalkers badge required proof of a close stalk, the options being a sketch from life or a photograph. A ‘kill’ was not an option.

Formal photograph’s were taken by some groups, yearly, or on occasions. The ‘Our Scout Column’ Column in the local paper took Group photos in 1920 See Local History/ Communications/ Our Scout Column.

Ivor Meadows GSL 44th (undated) with bellows camera in canvas case.

District Archives

1911 6th Cambridge (Higher Grade School) demonstrated the photographers badge at the 1911 Cambridge Rally attended by BP. The Headquarters Gazette, precursor to ‘The Scouter’, reported ‘here was a troop of photographers snapping, developing and printing‘. This was a school for further education (those who stayed on beyond 14) and the Troop was very active, able and advanced.

2nd Cambridge 1950’s

Photographs were included in Hike reports alongside the description, sketches and maps.

1967 12th Cambridge Purchase of Camera for Group £10 part exchanged in 1971 for another camera

44th undated

JWR Archivist Oct 2020