History was front and center for the 1st Maryhill Scouting troop last weekend as they learned about aircraft used by Canadians or Canada’s military from the beginning of World War II up to the present. The troop, made up of Beaver and Cub scouts from Maryhill and Breslau, spent the entire night at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum in Hamilton. Along with over 120 other Scouts from the area, the troop learned all about science of flight and was given the chance to sleep under an authentic Second World War airplane.
During their stay they built styrofoam jets and learned how to build hot air balloons; they were taught the physics behind flight, including lift, weight, thrust and drag.
It was not all science for the Scouts as they learned about the history of the Second World War with an emphasis on the London air raids.
They were given a Blitz “Night Ops” tour with a lesson on how London dealt with air raids and then experienced what it was like to be in London during the war.
“They learned that during the war when the air sirens sounded no one was able to use any kind of light so the Germans would not know where the city was that they were bombing. A real air raid recording was used during the demonstration and the Scouts were led into a room with no lights and told to shine their flash lights on the ceiling to mimic the search lights the English used,” said Suzanne Wilson, leader (Akela) of the Cub pack.
After the air raid demonstration they were treated to a tour of the museum including viewing a replica of the Silver Dart, the first aircraft built in Canada.
The troop slept under the wing of a Hawker Hurricane which is very similar to the Spitfire and was responsible for 80 per cent of the enemy aircraft destroyed by fighter command during the Battle of Britain.
Other troops had a chance to sleep under a bomber aircraft that flew during the Second World War.
“It was a really cool experience for both the kids and the adults that attended,” said Wilson.
The overnight trip to the museum is only one of the many trips and outings the troop partakes in over the year. This September the group will be participating in the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 at Fort George in Niagara-on-the-Lake.
“We went to the fort last year and all the kids had a blast and they keep asking when we are going back, it was really entertaining for them,” said Wilson.
Currently there are 20 members in the 1st Maryhill scout group and they meet every Monday night at Breslau PS at 6:30 p.m.
Anyone interested in joining the group are invited to drop in at the school or can contact the group’s administrator Robin Managh at (519) 648-3109.