The Group was founded in 1950, in response to the increasing demand for Scouting particularly in Fleetville and the newer Marshalswick area of St Albans. It started with a Cub Pack and Scout Troop: that was us, long before we acquired the name 'Aquila'. For many years the Cubs and Scouts met at the Homewood Road Presbyterian Church. This is now the United Reformed Church but always has been our sponsor.
By 1967 the Group followed the pattern of many Groups in the area and acquired its own “Hut” as numbers expanded. Ours was truly a hut of its time, having previously been used on the construction site of the new M1. The building was then transferred to the Group’s site by the Wick Wood and served us well for many years. However, its wooden construction was a growing drain on resources, and it had limited space.
The Group expanded through into the 80s and 90s with addition of a second Cub pack, the Venture Unit going mixed and then the formation of two Beaver Colonies. This took Group numbers to close to 150.
In July 1998, the building was gutted by a fire laid by an arsonist. The building and contents were lost. A focussed rebuilding effort led to a new purpose-built headquarters on the same site. Since then, fund raising and donations have allowed the Group to re-equip both the headquarters and activity equipment such as for camping. The two Cub Packs merged during the period of exile during rebuilding, but we have now reverted to two Packs again.
DEREK TURNER CHALLENGE TROPHY
This is the main inter-Troop competition for St Albans District and involves a night hike around various Challenges in the Hertfordshire Countryside. In Winter!
While we have won the Trophy several times in the current series, it is likely that our win in 1987 was our first. The First Place Certificate was recently rediscovered and is here (as pdf).
Note that back then, we were the ONLY 18th Troop, so no "Aquila" on the certificate.
Information about the current Challenge for Aquila Scouts is here