A hundred members of the 5th Saffron Walden Scout Group overcame chaos and delays to enjoy a four-day adventure in Normandy.

For several of the group - the youngest of whom was just six years old - this was their first time leaving the country.  

Unfortunately the group was delayed by 22 hours at the port of Dover, with leaders embracing the challenge to keep the scouts entertained during the enforced wait at Folkestone services.

Games were played, food was provided and the scouts even met a Belgian trainee teacher group who ran an impromptu Zumba session to keep spirits up.

Saffron Walden Reporter: The 5th Saffron Walden Scout Group enjoying a campfireThe 5th Saffron Walden Scout Group enjoying a campfire (Image: 5th Saffron Walden Scout Group)

Around 33 hours after departing, after an over 10-hour wait at the services and a further 11 hours at border control, the group finally arrived at the Normandy chateau and enjoyed dinner and a campfire.

While the scouts were in bed, the leaders rearranged the itinerary to squeeze as much of the planned activities into two days as they could.


The next morning, after a breakfast of pain au chocolat and fruit, the group visited the largest WWII cemetery in France at Bayeux, as well as the town's famous deportation memorial and tapestry.

They then went on to the German gun battery at Longues-sur-Mer, visited Omaha Beach, and saw views of the Mulberry Harbour.

Saffron Walden Reporter: The scouts enjoying themselves despite the wait at Folkestone servicesThe scouts enjoying themselves despite the wait at Folkestone services (Image: 5th Saffron Walden Scout Group)

Finally the group visited the British Normandy Memorial and laid wreaths on behalf of the scouts and the Saffron Walden branch of the Royal British Legion.

While there the scouts presented scout troop leader Ken Lowe with the Commendation for Meritorious Conduct in recognition of his "incredible" service and dedication to scouting through a time of personal difficulty.

The journey home proved less challenging than the journey out. At the back of the ferry the group invested four of the members, presented six awards and gave a heartfelt thank you to the organisers for overcoming challenging circumstances.

The 5th Saffron Walden Scout Group has vacancies for adult helpers, both with the young people and behind the scenes, as well as a desperate need for a piece of land.

To get involved go to 5thsaffronwaldenscouts.co.uk.