If you’d gone down to the woods last Saturday (July 11), you would have been sure of a big surprise.
Soldiers, machine guns and escape tunnels made it look like a scene from wartime Britain. And lots of eager beavers, cubs, scouts and explorers were there, immersed in all things Second World War.
Young troops from across York Minster District Scouting dug into the woods at Snowball Plantation, Stockton-on-the-Forest.
It was part of a ‘Bring History Alive Day’ recalling Britain’s darkest hour.
Re-enactment soldiers dressed in American, German and British uniforms explained the history, methods and weapons used in the war.
Two D-Day veterans, Ken Cooke of the 7th Battalion Green Howard’s and Ken Smith of the 5th Battalion Duke of Cornwall Light Infantry, brought a touch of reality home.
They explained patiently to the enthralled scouts a little of what they experienced during the Normandy landings.
As well as the history lessons, the youngsters got to crawl through escape tunnels, battle the assault course and feast on Second World Wars classics – pan haggerty and cottage pie.
A touch of home front authenticity was added with rhubarb crumble using fruit grown by the Stockton & Christchurch troop in the community garden.