A History of Vision & Faith 1959 – 2000
Written by Charles Dunk, First warden 1961 – 1972
A bequest in 1959 enabled the purchase of 11.5 acres of Woodland from Maidstone Borough Council. The woodland had originally been regularly coppiced but had been sadly neglected in more recent times.
A committee was elected to plan and finance the purchase and development of the wood into a campsite and training ground and Alan Blake, who was placed in charge of the project, suggested that the concept should be based on the Baden Powell principles of scouting for boys.
Funds were raised from Christmas bazaars, individual Scout Group efforts and grants and donations from other organisations and individuals. An old site office was used as a workshop and road making and root clearance began in earnest, with a toilet block soon being built to set a high standard for the site once water rights had been purchased.
Hamlet Wood was officially opened on 19th June 1965 and since then, a constant improvement to the site has been made, with coppicing re-introduced, sets of pioneering equipment being provided and the first building for a sleeping base and activity centre.
The next few years saw improvements to the camping areas and footpaths throughout the site, the construction of a new car park and the purchase of an additional 15.5 acres of woodland. The new admin block was completed which included site workshops and stores, QM stores, Gang Show storage and County Scout stores.