The 1st Neston and Box Scout Group has weathered a century of change and two World Wars, and is celebrating its centenary this month with a traditional Scouts activity day.

Less than three years after Major-General Robert Baden-Powell held the camp on Brownsea Island in 1907 that led to the formation of the Scout movement the Box Scout Group was born.

It began in a very different society to today: the Great Western Railway was in its 75th year, Halley’s Comet was due to appear in the skies above the village, and the Boer War was still a vivid memory, with boys play-acting re-enactments of the siege of Mafeking or of Ladysmith.

Kingsdown was the first venue for the Box Scouts’ 10-day summer camp, which 25 Scouts attended on August 4, 1911. It was much more of a military affair than it is today, with strict timetables and rules to follow.

During the First World War Box Scouts were assigned the important task of guarding Widdenham Pumping Station against possible enemy attack.

In 1939 the group was under the leadership of ‘Colonel’ Phil Lambert. In contrast to their popular image, the newly formed Box Rover Crew did not spend all of their time trekking through woods and learning how to make a variety of knots but also enjoyed discussing literature and music.

The group suffered during the Second World War. By the end of hostilities all Scouting activities had ceased and the Scout hut was being used by the Home Guard.

However in 1949 an interest in the group rekindled and new Cub and Scout groups were formed.

David Ibberson, who wrote Lambert’s Way, Scouting in Box, Wiltshire 1910 to 1985, for the groups’ 75th anniversary said: “I feel the biggest change in scouting since I was a (cub) leader is that you could suddenly decide to go away on a camping trip for a weekend, but now you have to plan it for months and you are pinned down by health and safety and clearance forms.”

One thing that does remain the same is the need for constant fundraising to make trips and activities possible, something they have been doing for the past century.

Despite modern day technology and games threatening to lower the interest in Scouting, Box Scouts has grown considerably and now has more than 100 in the area, meeting at Neston Memorial Hall.

The centenary celebrations in Box begin on Sunday with a barbeque at the Selwyn Hall from 2pm.

Anyone who has been involved with the movement in the past is warmly invited to come along to this and other celebratory events.