Ottery scouts celebrate successful German visit

PUBLISHED: 15:14 22 August 2009 | UPDATED: 10:03 18 June 2010

FRIENDSHIPS were formed as a group of German scouts and leaders visited their Ottery counterparts this month.

FRIENDSHIPS were formed as a group of German scouts and leaders visited their Ottery counterparts this month.

More than 40 Scouts & Explorers aged from 12 to 17, from Ottery and its twin town Ilsfeld, enjoyed a week of camping near Salcombe Regis along with 20 leaders.

The visit, hosted by the Ottery Scout Group was the first in what is hoped will develop into an enduring relationship between both towns' groups.

"It was great to see friendships flourishing so quickly across the language divide" said John Green, Ottery's group Scout leader, "even where there is little common language there is great co-operation and a sharing of Scouting values"

"For most of the visitors this was the first time they had visited the UK. For the Ottery Scouts this was the first time most had experienced this type of international Scouting event."

"Both groups hit it off straight away, being thrown in at the deep end, learning each others Scouting promise."

As a sign of friendship being forged, all members were invested into the 1st Ottery and Ilsfeld Scout Group, exchanging neckerchiefs joined together with a friendship knot.

During the visit both groups enjoyed a host of activities including a flaming torch light procession, mackerel fishing, Sidmouth Folk Festival, and an open day at the Norman Lockyer observatory.

On winning a prize at the observatory, one plucky Ottery scout kindly handed the prize to his Islfeld counterpart.

Rebecca Kubler, an Ilsfeld Scout Leader, said: "We have been made most welcome here and we hope to welcome the Ottery Scouts & Explorers to Germany in 2010 if enough funding can be found.

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