Origins of the Golden Fleece
In the spring of 1999 a group of scouts and a number of intrepid leaders set off on a cycle camp with an overnight destination in the beautiful Wolds valley of Givendale.
The campsite is set on one side of a steep sided grassed valley and on that day in 1999 the whole valley was bathed in late afternoon sunshine. On arriving at the site, tents were pitched, refreshments sorted and the leader’s camp chairs set out to look across the valley and take in the late afternoon sun.
The scouts now being in a relaxed mood decided it was their chill out time and went off to play wide games or just relax in their tents. The three oldest scouts decided that they had a much better idea and would go to the far side of the valley with their survival bags and have a go at dry sledging down the side of the grassed valley. The three set off and climbed to the top of the valley side under the constant observation of the leaders relaxing in their camp chairs.
On arriving at the top of the valley the three scouts unravelled their survival bags (bright orange in colour) and gave them a good shake in the air so that they could sit inside them to sledge down the valley side. As the grass was rather dry the scouts found that they could not get any momentum to sledge to the bottom. Being ever determined that they would achieve this the younger of the three was placed inside his survival bag and the older two decided they would set him off by giving him a good push.
Unobserved by these three scouts but in full view of the leaders, further along the valley a herd of sheep had been grazing. When the three scouts had started waving their bright orange survival bags about the sheep lost interest in grazing. They thought the farmer had come along with the bright orange sacks containing the feed that he gave them. The sheep started to gently move towards the scouts and this movement gradually became a run. Initially the scouts did not see the sheep approaching as they were too busy trying to push the younger scout down the slope. The two scouts doing the pushing finally heard the sheep rushing straight for them and deciding it was every man for himself, gave one last push to the scout in the survival bag and ran to the nearest fence which they cleared at a great speed. The scout left in his survival bag finally discovered what was happening and a new world record was set for running up a hill and over a fence to safety.
Never before have so few scouts made so many leaders cry with laughter, to sit there in the late afternoon sun and be entertained in such a way without even knowing that you were providing the entertainment was priceless. One of the people watching this spectacle was our late chairman Bob Gunby and the laughter and merriment that this caused set a seed working in his brain. At the next AGM of the scout group Bob presented a special award to three scouts who without knowing it had provided so much laughter and entertainment to others. The award became known as The Golden Fleece Award and since 1999 has been presented to a number of people, including leaders, who by certain unintentional acts have provided a great deal of laughter and enjoyment to others.
It is a fitting tribute to the memory of Bob Gunby that this walk has been called The Golden Fleece Circuit.