From the iconic to the everyday our new exhibition ‘Scouts, skills and a century of change: the untold story of Gilwell Park’ has a range of objects which tell the story of 100 years of Scouting at Gilwell Park.

The exhibition is being hosted by Epping Forest District Museum in Waltham Abbey.  Visitors can explore the 700 year of history of the Park which includes highwaymen, society scandal and Victorian inventors before the arrival of the Scouts in 1919.

The exhibition provides a background to the opening of Gilwell Park including the amazing growth of the Movement during its first 11 years and the devastation wrought by the First World War.  It then highlights Gilwell’s development over the last 100 years and its important place in world Scouting.  This has enabled the inclusion of objects including shoulder knots worn on the Brownsea Island camp and the kudu horn Baden-Powell sounded during the camp to a 1919 Scout first aid kit (complete with surgical needle) and Gilwell canteen cookware set as well as many other items which are usual kept in the Heritage Collection Store.

Epping Forest District Museum; Gilwell100; kudu horn; Gilwell Park; William de Bois Maclaren
Scout, skills and a century of change exhibition

Robert Baden-Powell said on the opening of Gilwell Park:

Even one hour spent there will give them ideas, while a weekend, or better still a week, will, I venture to wager, be an eye-opener to many and a heart-opener to all.

We hope this exhibition will provide a taster of the inspiration Gilwell has to offer.

Opening event

A celebration event was held on 8 August with Scout Ambassador and polar explorer Dwayne Fields formally declaring the exhibition opened.  We were also delighted to have speeches from Councillor Helen Kane, Vice Chair of Epping Forest District and Gareth Davies, Trustee of The Scouts.

Exhibition launch event: 8 August 2019

One very special visitor was Rosemary de Bois Nelson, great niece of William de Bois Maclaren whose generosity 100 years ago enabled Gilwell Park to be purchased for the benefit of Scouting.  Rosemary was delighted by the exhibition and recognition of her great uncle’s legacy.  In acknowledgement of her family’s impact on global Scouting Dwayne kindly presented her with his UK scarf.

Scout Ambassador Dwayne Fields and Rosemary de Bois Nelson.


Based on the fun these families were having in the exhibition it looks like it is going to be a hit.

Exhibition information:

The exhibition is on until Saturday 12 October. Entrance to the Museum is free

The Museum is open 10:00 -16:00 Monday, Tuesday and Friday and 10:00 -17:00 Saturday

Epping Forest District Museum, 39 Sun St, Waltham Abbey EN9 1EL

Closest car park is on Quaker Lane a 2 minute walk to the museum