March 20th, 2013
As some of you may know my husband and our 3 adult children are very involved in Scouting, my husband and son since 1993 and our daughters more recently. Last month there was a very important week in the Scouting and Guiding community, Scout/Guide week. Specifically Feb. 22 which is know as “Founders Day” or “Baden Powell Day”. The events written about below are one of the ways some of the youth celebrate it and promote Scouting at the same time.
Most of the following is taken directly, word for word, from an email to me from Mark. I have reworded parts of it to put it in the 3rd person so it is more like a story.
A few years ago Kit went to a Jamboree in the Netherlands. At the Jamboree part of the opening ceremonies was for all the Scouts to go out into the surrounding town and area and put their necker on statues, monuments and sometimes people.
Kit took a picture and that’s where Mark got the idea from. He wanted to do something for Scout/Guide week, and wanted it to involve Rovers (ages 19-25). This seemed to be a perfect fit. The Neckerchief is one of the most recognizable icons in the world and is the one thing that links a Scout from Australia to Canada to the Netherlands to the United States with a Scout in Zimbabwe. They wanted to promote Scouting and encourage people to join. Put A Necker On It (aka Neckerbombing) is also completely leave no trace ~ they come and clean up the neckers that haven’t already been removed after the week is done.
In early 2012, Mark started this thread: Necker Bombing YVR and history was made. They procured some fabric and a bunch of rovers from the North Shore, Abbotsford and Vancouver set out in their communities to Put Neckers on statues. Below are Mark’s Three Rules for Neckerbombing or the “less suspicious” term Put a Necker On It:
1. Do not put a necker on Religious, Indigenous or War Memorials. Also, If you’ve got security guards coming out to ask what you’re doing, be completely honest: Explain what and why you’re doing it and in our experience they’ll turn a blind eye for awhile.
2. Be super safe about it: A lot of statues are very old and can’t support the weight of a Venturer or Rover climbing on them to put a necker on them. Plus, the activity gets cut short if we have to take you to hospital.
3. Have fun.
This year Scouts Canada has made #putaneckeronit as a major social media thing. Venturers in Kelowna have neckerbombed, an Area back East is holding a competition, Vancouver Rovers have stepped up and made the news, and Mark heard and saw more and more photos and reports of people Putting a Necker on something. As he tweeted that week: for the Vancouver statues it was 60 dollars in materials, 15 dollars in gas, 3 hours of prep and 3 hours of activity = 1 minute on provincial television. That’s better than any commercial buy on the market.
This year my husband and our kids participated in the Put A Necker On It campaign. Here are a few photos of their statues.