Opened in 1965, the Hamlet Wood Scout Campsite in East Farliegh, just outside Maidstone has been providing camping, outdoor activities and training facilities to members of the Scout and Guide movements and other Voluntary Youth Organisations for over 50 years.
Situated in 27 acres of woodland, the campsite and training facilities are only open to members of the Scout and Guide Associations and other Voluntary Youth Organisations and is run cooperatively by the three Maidstone Scout Districts.
In early 2021, it was originally planned to simply change the fuel for heating and hot water system in the toilet and shower block from multiple gas cylinders to a central gas tank. Following a review of requirements, the project was expanded to total refurbishment and after a successful fundraising campaign including a donation of £13,860 from the Mark Benevolent Fund (MBF) and other Mark and masoinc units from both West and East Kent Craft Provinces, it was successfully completed earlier this year at a total cost of £35,000.
L-R W.Bro. Peter Hayler – Provincial Grand Almoner, W.Bro. Mark Costello – APGM, East Kent and Secretary of Robinson Lodge of Mark Master Masons, W.Bro. Phil Clare – Provincial Grand Charity Steward, R.W.Bro. David Ashbolt – MBF Trustee, Bro. Arthur Roberts – Charity Steward of Robinson Lodge of Mark Master Masons and R.W.Bro. Roger Richardson – Prov.G.M. Sussex and MBF Trustee.
The works, apart from specialist services, were carried out by volunteers from the local scouting communities meaning that Hamlet Wood can begin its second half-century of providing many different facilities and activities such as pioneering, abseiling, canoeing and hiking with confidence.