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The Hook Yell

The below information was relayed to Peter Menhennett former Group Chairman by Harold “Skipper” Oakey the first Group Scout Leader and founder of 1st Hook.

In the early days of the group, which at the time met at the church hall in hook road, the rover crew were the mainstay of the group. They used to attend a large county rover camp at Ranmore Common every year, with the normal practice of walking from Hook with all the camping gear on a trek cart up to Ranmore Common and pitch their tents along each side of the roadway. However as each crew arrived from Richmond or Kingston they would shout their own yell to let everyone know who was arriving. Hook rover crew did not have a yell so Skipper made one up based on his old school chant from Rutlish school at Raynes Park.

The other reason Skipper mentioned was that at the time Hook was not winning anything and so he went around to the other groups and found out that it was the supporters that shouted these yells with and to the Scouts that pushed them on to win things. So along with the yell there was also a small green ribbon with a hook that was worn by supporters to show that they were with Hook. Skipper by this time with the help of the other founder members, one of which was his brother Ralph, had gone to each of the parents and involved them to run social events such as dances to fundraise.

Skipper said that the yell was always to be used at the following events:

  • The presentation of the Queens Scout award
  • The winning of camping competitions, swimming galas or district events
  • The presentation of various badges or other high awards
  • As a sign of appreciation to someone in the group for a special reason

It was shouted in such a way that by modern standards it could and was taken by some as a sign of arrogance by those who were not in the group. But for those in the group it was sheer pride at being part of a winning team. It was perhaps that success that saw a downturn of the use of the yell, for it was very demoralizing for those groups at competitions to be beaten and then hear the victors shouting their own name louder than anyone else could.

In recent years (2010+) there has been a resurgence of the use of the Hook yell. It is taught to all sections within the group and is still used to mark significant awards and achievements, thanks & appreciation and at campfires.

H O O K - HOOK

YOU CAN ALWAYS RELY ON HOOK

WE PLAY THE GAME

WE FIGHT THE FIGHT

WE’RE ALWAYS FIRST IN THE FIELD

H O O K - HOOK!!

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