Grimsby and Cleethorpes Scouts take to airwaves to make friends, share ideas and learn new skills
SCOUTS from all over the world were on the same wavelength – and the feedback was nothing but positive.
Grimsby and Cleethorpes Scouts took to the airwaves at Queen Mary Avenue Infants' School this weekend to talk to their peers all over the world in the annual Jamboree On The Air (JOTA).
More than 500,000 young people take part in the event worldwide, which was set up in 1957 to give international Scout groups the chance to get in contact with each other.
In the past, local groups had talked to others in countries as far away as Australia, Russia and America, and this year, Scouts found friends in Sweden and Germany within an hour of being on air. Andy Carlile, manager of the Grimsby and Cleethorpes District Scouts Active Support radio scouting team, said: "The event gives Scouts a chance to connect with people from the other side of the world, make friends, share ideas and learn a skill, which is what scouting is all about."
Scouts talked on the radio but also transmitted television images and Morse code, as well as learning secret codes and ciphers, how to make an emergency telephone call and sign language.
Josh Barrett, 8, said: "Practising how to make a 999 call in an emergency was really cool."
Stephen Bennett, chairman of the local Scouts Active Support, said: "I've been teaching Morse code and they really enjoy it but they are learning something important, too.
"Morse code could still save your life in an emergency situation.
"All you need is the knowledge of how to tap out 'SOS' and a torch and your signal can be seen for miles."
Mayor of North East Lincolnshire Councillor Mike Burton took to the airwaves himself – and had a surprise meeting with a friend.
When the Scout group got in touch with the group in Cleethorpes' twin town in Germany, Konigswinter, Mr Burton spoke to a woman named Monica who he had met during a visit to the town just two weeks ago.
Mr Burton said: "I couldn't believe it when she came on the radio – technology really is an amazing thing.
"Apparently, I just missed the mayor who had to go for a flu jab but he had been on the radio earlier in the day.
"Days like today show that in today's modern age, the Scout movement still has a very useful purpose."
Also in attendance were Cleethorpes Conservative MP Martin Vickers and local councillor Hazel Chase (Lab, Sidney Sussex), who once headed a cub pack of 36 when she lived in Devon, around 35 years ago.
She said: "We were only a little pack but we did something important in the community and it is nice to see that it is still going on.
"It is a fantastic day and with all this technology, it is great to see how the Scouts have progressed since the days when I was involved."