The 53rd's Flags
The 53rd has 2 main flags the cub-scout and the scout flag. In 1983 the priest of St Barnabas church was cleaning out the church
when he noticed that one of the flags behind the alter was the 53rd St Barnabas Scout Troop flag. Knowing that the group had
re-opened he contacted Mr Ben Whelan the then Group Scout Leader, and arranged for the flag to be returned to the troop. In later
investigation it was discovered that the flag was taken there for safe keeping in 1975 after the group closed. Unfortunately the flag
had been rolled up and was full of holes. So two new flags Cub and Scout were ordered from the UK in 1983 and a blessing for both
flags was held at Epi Garrison Church. These flags only come out for the two lantern marches and for every investiture of a cub or
scout. The person chosen to carry the flag for the lantern march is responsible for their cleaning and the polishing of the brass,
therefore keeping the flags in good condition. Now a days the 53rd has stopped using these flags for the Lantern Marches and only
for Investing Cubs and Scouts.
In 1983-4 the venture scouts
and senior scouts made four
of these Canoes. Today the
group has 2 Canoes left. The
other two were donated to the
281st Moutayiaga Scout
Group in November 2009
when they became a Sea
Camp fire Blanket.
Every Scout should have a Camp fire Blanket on which they sew old cub and
scout badges or badges they trade for from other Scouts. The idea is to have a
record of your time scouting. The Blanket is worn at Camp fires and adds to the
atmosphere. Cubs that have gone up to Scouts should make blankets using
their Cub badges to start with.
Left is my Camp Fire Blanket which I started as a Scout. In time I managed
to collect many badges from overseas trips and Scouts visiting Cyprus.
You will have this opportunity but you must make a start by finding a Blanket.
53rd at BP House London.
As a scout the Baden Powell House in London was always talked about as a placed a scout must visit. I was able to finally visit the
House and the statue of Baden Powell. It seems that more 53rd members will also have the chance to do the same. Take a
picture with the statue and send it to me so we can start a photo album for BP,s house. Marina and Dalia will also visit in August
07 after the world Jamboree.
Above: A rare sight of all four
Flags use for investitures of
Groups all round the World have
different Going Up Parades ,
some passed down through
Scouting Generations . The
Going Up Parade is the
passing of a Cub to Scouts.
The 53rd has it own tradition.
Cubs that are going up stand in
front of a raised log and take off
their Cub uniform. They then
climb over the Log which
symbolises the Going Up to
Scouts. On the other side the
Patrol Leader waits for the new
Scout and helps them dress
into their Scout Uniform so they
can be Invested.
53rd Camp Oven
Its not until camp that you hear " That camp oven has been around a long time".
Every Summer Camp in the past 20 years it is tradition for the 53rd to have a
party night around the camp fire. The main attraction is our faithful camp oven
which cooks pizza's every year. It can cook two at a time. But the oven is older
than that. As a Scout at the 53rd almost 30 years ago I also grew up using this
oven but in those days cooking stews or chicken at Happy Valley Scout
Campsite. We now know that the oven was made by one of the Parents back in
1981, Mr Morris who made similar stoves for the Christian Aid Movement
helping poor nations. ( Thanks Skip Ben Whelan 81-86 for that input. )
To the left you can see the oven used to cook pizzas at the 2015 Summer
Camp Platania. The oven has also cooked for us on the Summer Camps at
Mari, Doros and Loumata.
Natalie Aug 08 top
left and Samantha
Aug 09 top right.
53rd Members July 09
Dalia Aug 07
The Going Up Log.
K1.5 Assault Hike.
The K1.5 Hike is the first hike for most Scouts and has been for the last 20
years. Not many know the history of the hike and most take great pride in their
collection of K1.5 T-shirts. The 2016 T-shirt, Never Underestimate a Scout., is
the new addition to the collection. In 1988 on the third day of the Senior Horse
shoe Hike half the teams found it hard to complete the route which was bondou
bashing north of Mesapotamos Monetary up to Troodos. These teams got stuck
on the mountain side and it was getting late and dark. They were taken by truck
to their night spot once at the top. The route was never used again as it proved to
be too hard. In 1993 the 53rd decided to hike from Siattas to Olympus and try the
hard uphill north of Mesapotamos Monetary. The hike was a great success and
it was decided the following year a T- shirt would be made.
Making a T-shirt also meant the hike needed a name. K1.5 was chosen because the original hike was nearly a total of 1500m height
gain. Assault was also added because of the 600m continuous uphill bondou bashing. The first T- shirt was orange with black writing.
The idea was that orange was visible from a distance. In 1995 the K1.5 hike was made into a sponsored hike by the Scouts to raise
money for the T- shirts. The orange T- shirt was used every year until 2009. In 2009 a pink T-shirt with the logo I survived the K1.5
started a new trend which lead us to the 2013 Keep Calm and hike on. The two pictures above right show the first five K1.5 T-shirts.
Since 2009 the T- shirt colour and design is kept secret and is reveled at the top of the 600m climb when each hiker gets one.
Irene F Aug
The Thales Challenge Hike
The 53rd's first Pinkie
Charlie Mackenzie spent the
summer 0f 2016 volunteering as
Summer Staff, known as
Pinkies, at KISC the Kandersteg
International Scout Centre in
Switzerland. He working as part
of the program department,
guiding hikes, climbs and
The 53rd first visited KISC in
2010 and again in 2013 and is
planning a visit next summer in
2017. Well done Charlie on this
achievement and the 53rd hopes
more of our Members will
This Years K1.5 Hike
T-Shirt - Never
In 1986 a 53rd Explorer named Thales Panayithis needed to do a five day hike for his Queen Scout Award requirement. He decided
to plan a hike from Pomos to Timi, crossing Cyprus. Together with four other 53rd Explorers and under the guidance of the then
Group Scout Leader Ben Whelan, they started preparing for this challenge. By April 1986 the five were ready and started the
unassisted hike. All five hikers had completed many Horse Shoe Hikes and hiking was something they all enjoyed. They completed
the hike in 4 days and were all surprised on how much they had enjoyed this difficult challenge.
In 2000 the 53rd Explorers wanted to do something special for the Millennium. They had heard about the hike in 1986 and decided to
take on the Challenge, crossing Cyprus in 4 days. They made T-shirts and of course the hike needed a name, The Thales
Challenge. During their hike it rained nearly every day, but the 8 Explorers would not stop. They finished and also for them it had
been the best hike of their Scouting life.The next Thales Challenge hikes were in 2010, 2013, 2016 and 2017. These hikes have
become a main requirement for the Republic Award for 53rd Explorers.
Above: The start of the Thales
Below: 8 Explorers at the finish.