When most people think of Waterloo, they think about that famous battle fought way back in 1815. Covering just over 21 square kilometres, in the province of Walloon Brabant, our Waterloo is home to a community of Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorers.
Scouts helps children and young adults reach their full potential. Scouts develop skills including teamwork, time management, leadership, initiative, planning, communication, self-motivation, cultural awareness and commitment. We help young people to get jobs, save lives and even change the world.
Whilst it is true that the site of the Battle of Waterloo is a brisk walk from our meeting place, in Scouting we are committed to peace whilst seeking out adventure and personal growth. Waterloo is a multilingual town and there are people living here from all over the world, and this is reflected in our Scouts and leaders. As a rule, all communication with us is in English and we follow the British system of Scouting. Our Scout troop have called Waterloo home since 1977.
We welcome you to the 1st Waterloo International Scouting community. If you do not find what you are looking for, please do contact us.
This history section, provides a summary of 1st Waterloo and charts our journey.
1978 – To celebrate the Groups first birthday the Scout Troop was inaugurated, with 14 Scouts. At that time the Pack consisted of 27 Cub Scouts. The first equipment purchase authorised by the committee were Pack and Troop flags. These apparently took a very long time to arrive: not until September 1980.
1979 – The Scout Troop in its early days suffered from a shortage of Leaders (what’s new?); the first known wide appeal was made in May 1979 and unfortunately on 9th September 1979 the fledgling Troop was suspended due to a lack of Leaders.
1980 – This summer saw the purchase of the first three tents and the opportunity for the boys to camp using the Groups own equipment. By this time there were 17 boys in the Troop and it was growing fast.
1981 – In March the Scout Leader returned to the UK and appeals for Leaders were renewed. During this crisis it was minuted that Chris Garratt (District Commissioner) would be prepared to help in an emergency.
1982 – At the end of the first five years the Group had three tents, some cooking utensils, two flags, a lot of enthusiasm and twenty two thousand Belgian Francs in the bank. What a beginning ….
1984 – This year saw the opening of the first Beaver Scout Colony with 12 boys.
1985 – 1st Waterloo sent 23 Scout to the Group’s first overseas camp – the Portumna Jamboree in Ireland – which attracted more than 10,000 Scouts from 23 different countries. Another major milestone was achieved with the formation of a Venture Scout Unit. Also saw the first of the annual fundraising Brunches which continued successfully for 15 years.
1986 – The Cub Scout Pack was taken on a winter, indoor Pack Holiday which became an annual event without a break up to now, 2003.
1987 – By the end of 1987, after 10 years in existence, the Group had grown to include a Beaver Scout Colony, a Cub Scout Pack, a Scout Troop and a Venture Unit. It had assets in the form of equipment to the value of some BEF 170,000 and a further BEF 40,269 in the bank. The annual Brunches and joint fireworks events were in full swing, well-attended and playing a vital role in fundraising that kept the Group in equipment as we grew.
1988 – The first “clean-up” day was organized by the District at the Benelux District campsite at Grobbendonk. This rapidly expanded into hard-working weekends and, as the Army kindly took over more maintenance work, these weekends became more of an excuse to enjoy the beautiful surroundings while justifying our presence with a little hard work on the site and buildings.
1989 – The Chief Scout, Garth Morrison, was welcomed to a BSWE camp in Holland, attended by most of our young people.
1991 – Go for a Million campaign aiming to get a million British Scouts and their families under canvas on the same weekend. Around 80 from 1st Waterloo camped at Grobbendonk that weekend. Girls were accepted into British Scouting and the first girl joined the Scout Troop of 1st Waterloo in 1993 or 1994?
1992 – An experimental three-night Father-Son camp was launched over the Whitsun weekend at De Kluis and proved a resounding and continuing success (now renamed parent-Cub camp). The Cub Pack sent a Six as usual to compete in the annual BSWE Cub Scout Skills Camp in Germany and took second place out of 22 Packs attending. We continued to compete for six years.
1993 – HM the Queen and the Duke of Wellington paid a private visit to Waterloo and the Embassy invited 1st Waterloo and 1st Brussels Scouts and Guides to form a front-row welcoming party. The Venture Unit made a trip to Poland and which was hosted by Polish Scouts who returned to visit 1st Waterloo at a camp at Grobbendonk in 1994.
1994 – The Group was now the strongest we had ever been with 147 young members and eventually two Beaver colonies, two Cub Packs, a Scout Troop and a Venture Unit. We remained at roughly this strength for four years before a leadership crisis hit us yet again. We welcomed Garth Morrison, Chief Scout, to Grobbendonk. His helicopter landed right behind the “Waterloo Field”. In September, Prince Andrew visited Brussels for the celebration of 50 years of Belgian liberation from German occupation and 1st Waterloo Scouts formed the Guard of Honour. A young Wellington Pack girl Cub offered the scissors on a velvet cushion to cut the ribbon. Jam Roll (BP’s Rolls Royce) was also brought over for the occasion, together with other old-timers from that period including Montgomery’s Rolls.
1995 – Our Scout Troop won joint first place with 1st Paderborn at the BSWE Scout Skills Competition. Four 1st Waterloo Scouts joined the BSWE contingent to the 18th World Jamboree in the Netherlands and the District contingent leader was supplied by 1st Waterloo, Nelson Pack ACSL.
1996 – 1st Waterloo Beavers attended District Camp with their parents, becoming the first Group in the District to take Beavers camping.
1998 – Two 1st Waterloo Scouts joined the BSWE contingent to the 19th World Jamboree in Chile and, guess what, the BSWE contingent leader came from 1st Waterloo, Nelson Pack CSL.
2000 – In June the England football team was in Belgium and invited 1st Waterloo to send some young members to watch the team practice. Photos of Tony Adams and the rest of the team in Waterloo Neckers were taken with pride.
2002 – The Scout Troop went to the UK for a joint summer camp with 1st Long Buckby. Christmas / 2003 New Year – three of our Scouts attended the 20th World Jamboree in Thailand.
2016 – Along with District camp, we also sent Young People to Brextal Bendorf, Germany for the Summer, and the Kandersteg International Scout Centre, Switzerland, for the Winter. The family Autumn camp theme in this year was Rokin Rio, which was well received and attended.