Nathan Flaherty (Liverpool Universities' SSAGO)
Thursday 4th of May 2023
CentenaRally happened in Liverpool from 3rd to 5th March 2023, celebrating 100 years of Student Scouting/Guiding in Liverpool. It was pretty fun
CentenaRally saw nearly 230 SSAGOers descend on Liverpool to help celebrate LUSSAGO’s 100th Birthday! The weekend was filled with fabulous food, a wide range of activities, live music, cake and drinking Responsibly.
Set up began on the Thursday as the committee started the first of many trips between Liverpool and Ormskirk. The most memorable of these trips involved the transport of copious amounts of carpet from our storage facility (the poor treasurer’s house) to site in a minibus (after breaking the suspension of the van we had on the site speed bumps). This carpet formed our now iconic marquee flooring and along with ridiculous amounts of double width gaffa tape successfully lasted the whole weekend.
By Friday evening the committee had everything just about set up and began to welcome everyone in their bright yellow hats and blue fleeces (a SSAGO first). Clubs began settling in on the Friday evening with a chilli and cous cous – a combination that allowed food to be served hot and fresh as clubs arrived. This was then followed by a typical quiz and a chill evening getting used to the site and all the space available.
Saturday morning started bright and early with breakfast being served at 7:26am (4 minutes EARLY!!!) This allowed for an amazingly smooth morning with coaches leaving early at 9:20am. As we arrived on campus, we were created by Liverpool Uni having kindly closed half the campus for building work but space was found to congregate and people were quickly split off into their morning activities. These ranged from a standard monopoly run to a craft room, board game room and morning in spoons. After meeting in the guild courtyard for lunch people once again split off to do their afternoon activities including the Williamson Tunnels, Bounce House, Cathedral Crawl, Museum Crawl, and the Quirky Corner. For those not wanting to leave site there was onsite activities including, ax throwing, archery and mini cross bows running on site all day as well as a beach walk setting of from Crosby and a long hike leaving from site.
While the afternoon activities were in full swing on the other side of campus our Ceilidh band and the University of Liverpool Big Band were being loaded into a minibus and headed out to Tawd. After a rehearsal with the caller the band were ready. Once all of SSAGO were back from their afternoon activities and fed the Ceilidh began … this was great fun for all involved and even the patchwork floor remained in place. Once the Ceilidh finished CentenaRally shared the cake brought by clubs and welcomed the University of Liverpool Big Band who gave us a jazzy set and featured our co-chairs on Saxophone and Trombone. The evening was finished off with a disco and campfire in true SSAGO style.
The Sunday morning saw the National SSAGO AGM filled with bids for events and National Exec nominations, after a few hours sat in the marquee members got the opportunity to stretch their legs in the pram race. An activity revived from the LUSSAGO archives and consisted of teams of three racing participants in prams round a course – the winners were the University of Bristol Guides and Scouts and won a bundle of kit from Access Expedition Kit who kindly donated us prizes for the event.
As clubs began to head home the committee started the packing up – after a long weekend and a year’s worth of hard work a very happy but tired committee were glad to get everything back to Liverpool and climb into their comfy but cold bed (as the heating decided that weekend was the weekend to break – thanks student housing)…