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Mayor joins Scout party; CENTENARY CELEBRATIONS: Hundreds gather to renew their promises.

Byline: By Emma Cullwick CHIEF REPORTER

HAPPY birthday to you!

Hundreds of youngsters flocked to Birmingham city centre today to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Scouting.

Beavers, Cubs and Scouts from across the Midlands were renewing their promises to do their best as a huge party was staged in Victoria Square.

Musicians played "Happy Birthday" as youngsters blew out candles on a special cake and balloons were launched into the sky to celebrate the milestone.

Victoria Square then became a sea of colour as a giant street party was staged for the youngsters before they set off to play a version of Monopoly.

Sent out in small groups, the Scouts were due to spend the day completing tasks, solving clues and taking photographs in a bid to be crowned winners of the Birmingham Monopoly board.

Peter Oldham, County Commissioner for Scouting in Birmingham, said he was proud to be a part of the movement.

"Scouting has consumed a large proportion of my life for more than 50 years since I became a Cub at the age of eight," he said. "For the past 100 years Scouting has played an important role in society, with core values that have stood the test of time.

"All our members learn to make informed decisions, have discipline and respect.

"These centenary celebrations are a way of showing the world of non-Scouts what they are missing out on."

Lord Mayor of Birmingham Coun Randal Brew, who joined in the celebrations, added: "I

was a Cub and a Scout many years ago and I am proud to have an affiliation with the Scouting movement.

"I can't think of any other voluntary organisation that has had such an impact on so many lives and sustained a presence at the forefront of communities the world over for so long."

The news comes after scores of Midland Scouts and their leaders set off to Essex last week to join thousands of their counterparts from across the globe for the ten-day World Scout Jamboree.

The event at Hylands Park, Chelmsford, forms part of the centenary celebrations and is the first world jamboree to be held in England since 1957, when it was staged in Sutton Coldfield.

MORE SCOUT PICTURES IN TOMORROW'S MAIL

Tell us your scouting memories

Freephone 0800 138 2555 or 0870 830 6985 between 8am and 5.30pm, log on to www.birminghammail.net or write to us at Birmingham Mail, PO Box 78, Weaman Street, Birmingham B4 6AY.

CAPTION(S):

BE PREPARED... Scouts Daniel Hobson, Annmarie Cotton and Luke Turton ready for the big Scout event.; Photosales No.: TR010807SCOUT-1; FUN DAY OUT... (top) Scout leader Sara Billingham, from Sutton Coldfield, with her children Daniel and Elizabeth; and Scout leader Pat Powell watches Beaver Aaron Madden.; Photosales No.: TR010807SCOUT-9; Photosales No.: TR010807SCOUT-2; CENTENARY... Adam Soares (left) and Ben Bardell.; Photosales No.: TR010807SCOUT-6
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Aug 1, 2007
Words:474
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