Darlington Scouts visit Trooping the Colour Rehearsal in London 

Ten Scouts from Darlington were lucky enough to attend a rehearsal of Trooping the Colour in London last weekend. From 7-9 June, Scouts from two groups in the town, the 12th Darlington based in Elm Ridge and the 27th Darlington based in Skerne Park, were in attendance at the Colonel’s Review of the event.  

The Colonel’s Review runs the week before the King’s Birthday Parade and included over 1,400 soldiers of the Household Division and The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery, including 400 musicians from the Massed Bands. The Metropolitan Police organise a Youth Enclosure on the corner of The Mall and Horse Guards Parade for up to 500 members of uniformed youth organisations, including the Scouts, Girlguiding and cadet forces for the police, St John’s Ambulance and Fire & Rescue services. This year, Darlington Scouts were one of the groups lucky enough to be selected to attend. 

For the Scouts from Darlington, it was a really exciting weekend. Three of the seven young people, and one leader, had never visited London before and so were quickly immersed in the different cultural offerings of the capital city. After the Colonel’s Review, the Scouts visited a range of sightseeing sites including Buckingham Palace, Madame Tussauds and a trip to the top of the Shard. 

The trip was supported by donations from Cllr Libby McCollom, ward councilor for Park East – which includes the 27th Darlington Scout Group, as well as Durham Freemasons, ensuring that the young people were able to fully participate in the event. 

Ben Hodgkiss, Group Lead Volunteer of the 27th Darlington, said: 

“It’s such a privilege to be invited to see a Review of Trooping the Colour with some of our Scouts. Since being founded in 2018, our Group has gone from strength-to-strength with now over 70 young people, aged 4-14, from Skerne Park and the surrounding areas taking part in the lifechanging experiences that Scouting can offer. Whether our youngest 4 year old Squirrels having their first sleepaway from home to our oldest 14 year old Scouts learning skills from skiing, hiking and first aid – we are dedicated to ensuring that all young people in Darlington can make the most from the skills for life that Scouting brings. 

We are massively grateful to both Cllr McCollom and Durham Freemasons for their support to ensure that our young people were able to participate in this opportunity.” 

Georgina, aged 13, a Scout at the 12th Darlington Scout Group, said: 

“We got to experience many things we wouldn’t have been able to otherwise – Trooping the Colour, Madame Tussauds and going up the Shard where we could see all the way to the edge of London. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity and we’re very grateful!”