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.
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 2019 T-shirt, Scouting Green and 50 Year of the moon
landing, 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 Saittas 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. The pictures show all the 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 50
Years of the Moon Landing
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 three 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 four were ready and started the unassisted hike. They hiked 80Km
visiting villages along the way and learning more about Cyprus. They completed the hike in 4 days and
were all surprised on how much they had enjoyed this difficult challenge. All four hikers had completed
many Horse Shoe Hikes and hiking was something they all enjoyed. Pictured left are the hikers on the first
day, from left to right: Martin Payne, Richard Vlamis, Thales Panayithis and Peter Elton.
Above: The start of the Thales
Challenge hike 2000.
Below: 8 Explorers at the finish.
K1.5 T- Shirts:
2009 - Pink - I survived the K1.5
2010 - Grey - Never stop Exploring
2011 - Blue - 53rd Superman
2012 - Purple - Take a Hike
2013 - Black - Keep calm and hike on
2014 - White - K1.5 Troodos
2015 - Yellow - Bar code
2016 - Wine red - Never Underestimate
2017 - Coffee - Lets wander where
2018 - Red - Have a Hike Have a K1.5
2019 - Scouting Green - Moon landing
The back of the K1.5 T-shirt,
Scouts Leave only Footprints.
Left: Thales Panagides at
the finish of the 2019 Hike
congratulates our Explorers
on a well done. Thales
never thought it would be
the inspiration for todays
hike known to the 53rd as
the Thales Challenge hike.
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, 2017, 2018 and 2019. These
hikes have become a main requirement for the Republic Award for 53rd Explorers.
Above: A familiar sight for those
who take the Challenge. On the
road leaving Pendalia 1986.