Sunday, September 24, 2023

Belper District Scouts To Head Stateside

In the summer of 2017 the Belper District Scouts will visit Missouri for an exchange program with their American counterparts. 14 ambassadors of Scouting from Belper and Duffield have been selected for the exchange.

For the last 30 years there has been a cultural exchange between Belper and Duffield District Scouts and the Pony Express Council of Missouri, USA.

Every five years up to 14 Scouts and 3 leaders journey to America for approximately three weeks to meet similar minded members of the World Scout movement, make lasting friendships and immerse themselves in American culture. In exchange, Scouts from Missouri come over to the UK for the Derbyshire ‘Peak’ camp every five years, the last time being in 2015.

For the Scouts taking part this will be a journey of a lifetime. Part of the experience will include an induction into the Tribe of Mic-o-Say. The Tribe are an honour society used by two local councils of the Boy Scouts of America, Heart of America Council and Pony Express Council. Mic-o-Say’s ceremonies, customs, and traditions are based on the folklore of the American Indian.

The journey gives the Scouts an opportunity to experience American camp life, live for a week with an American family and then travel to San Francisco where they will not only be experiencing the city life and its attractions but also travelling into Yosemite National Park for 3 days camping.

Gavin Brooks, Contingent Leader, said: “Whilst in Yosemite they will be hiking, seeing a vast array of nature’s gifts and participate in white water rafting. This incredibly enriching experience will produce the leaders of the future and will open the eyes of the youngsters going to the possibilities of Worldwide travel.”

As part of the experience there has been much fundraising and the efforts so far have got the group three quarters of the way towards their target of raising £20,000.

Their next fundraising venture is on Friday 3rd March where they will be holding an ‘Auction of Promises’ at The Strutts Centre in Belper. There will be many ‘Lots’ up for auction , including meals cooked for bidders, tickets to Donington, a basket of ironing done and a family portrait photographed by local photographers.

A ticket for the evening costs £7 per person and this will include a curry from The Elachi.  If you would like a ticket or if you feel you are able to support them by offering a ‘Lot’ for us to auction, please contact Gavin Brookes at

Claire Meese


2 thoughts on “Belper District Scouts To Head Stateside

  • Clare Wagstaff

    Twenty years ago, I was part of this amazing trip to the USA. The family I stayed with in Kansas City are still close friends and a true bond is there. I now live and work in Seattle and became an American four years ago. The experience these teenagers are about to have opened up the world to me and placed a key role in who I am and where I am, today! Enjoy!!!!

  • Roland Jakes

    Which Scout Group were you with Clare, as my son was on that trip.

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