Over 400 young people accompanied by around 70 adult volunteers had a fun filled weekend at Ferny Fest - Explorer 20 to celebrate the 20th birthday of the Explorer Scout section.
Back in 2002, the section for those aged 15.5 to 20 was called Venture Scouts, then in 1976 it was the first program of The Scout Association opened up female participants. The Venture Scout program was replaced by the Explorer Scout (14-18) section and Scout Networks (18-25) in 2002.
Fast forward to 2022, after having to be online for near 2 years and with face to face scouting seemingly back for good, a team of adult volunteers and the staff at Ferny Crofts Scout Activity Centre came together to plan the first Ferny Fest.
The weekend started with an opening ceremony complete with pyrotechnics soon followed by the choice 2 films. Some of the Explorer scouts sat down to enjoy Guardians of the galaxy whilst the majority made a beeline for the Bee Movie.
Saturday morning kicked off the first day of activities. From high ropes, inflatables and archery, to Go karts, laser clay pigeon shooting and trek cart racing. There were so many options so everyone had something to enjoy.
The atmosphere around the site was alive with music, cheers and laughter.
After a long day of activities the Explorers rolled in the night with a campfire, arcade and a disco. With the addition of a photo booth, glitter art and a free ice cream van the party kept going through till midnight.
Sunday again saw the start of another action packed day. With new high rope activities and the addition of Zorb football and sumo wrestling to name a few. As lunch time rolled by tents started to come down and the camp came together to reflect and celebrate what an amazing weekend they all had.
Tom an Explorer scout said “All the activities were really fun and everyone was super nice. Meeting all the explorers from other groups was an amazing experience."
"The weekend at Ferny Fest was very eventful and fun, lots of cool activities to do. I enjoyed my time and made some good friends there." Bethan said, she went on to say "I enjoy being an explorer because I can chill and hang out with my friends but also get to do things I wouldn’t normally do"
Explorer Scouts are young people aged 14-18 and we have groups all across Hampshire. Visit our Explorer's page to find out more and to get involved.
Article by: Michael Doncom
Contributions from: Tom, Bethan
Photography by: Dave Jenkins, Adam Russell