When Scouting came to Croxley

Hertfordshire holds an unique position within the Scout Association – the world’s largest youth organisation with more than 30 million members in more than 161 countries.  It was in Hertfordshire that the first organised Scout County was formed in 1909, just two years after the association’s founder, Robert Baden-Powell, held his famous experimental camp on Brownsea Island in Poole Harbour.

Scouting came to CCroxley Scouts in  1909roxley in 1909, with 17 Scouts recorded in the first-ever census out of a total of 787 boys and leaders in the county.

With the outbreak of the First World War, scout skills were used to support troops on the front line with several local leaders and Scouts reported to have signed up with the 16th Kings Royal Rifle Corps.  In 1915 a Wolf Cub Pack started in the stables behind Feanley Cottage – a year before the official Cub Scout section started in response to younger boys wanting to copy their older brothers in the Scouts.

Immediately after the war it appears the Church Lads Brigade was more prominent in Croxley, with boys who wanted to join the Scouts having to join the Rickmansworth Groups.

In March 1928, eight boys were invested into a Croxley Scout Troop in a ceremony at the schoolroom behind the Methodist Church in New Road.  Six months later a further four Scouts had been invested, and their first summer camp was held in Micklefield.

Around this time, May Barton Smith became the Guide Leader in the village.  Croxley Green Scout Group was started in 1928 as 3rd Rickmansworth and Chorleywood, 1st Croxley Green Group.  May’s son, Arthur Barton Smith – known as Kal – became the Group Scout Leader in 1929, a post he  held for nearly forty years.

At some time there were several Groups in the village, with the 1st and 2nd Croxley Green Scout Groups merging in 1967.

The 2nd Croxley Green Group, St Oswald’s Church, disbanded in the late 1960s and became part of the renamed Croxley Green Scout Group.