Scouting has returned to Gloucester

Following an absence of some 20 or so years, scouting has returned to Gloucester.

Last year, several enquiries were received from parents seeking information about scouting in the Gloucester area.

Two meetings with parents were held in the Masonic Hall, eventuating with five parents expressing their interest in becoming leaders.

Fundamental to the success of the evolution of the group is Heather Eggins.

Heather is a very experienced and talented scout leader with numerous scouting qualifications.

She moved from Grafton to Gloucester just as the Gloucester group was starting to emerge and instantly undertook the dual roles of Group Leader and District Leader for Special Activities.

Scouting embraces four age groups, 6 to 8 year olds are called Joey Scouts; 8 to 11 year olds are Cub Scouts, 11 to 15 year olds are Scouts and the 15 to 18 year olds are Venturer Scouts.

The time taken for the group to start to take root is absolutely unprecedented with the leaders paperwork submitted to Scouts NSW on September 12, 2017; police checks, working with children checks and all elearning done by October 12; residential course attended on November 11 and the first children starting on November 20.

The leaders training was completed during the residential course which was held at the Gloucester Showground, courtesy of the Gloucester Show Society.

In total, 26 Leaders from Ballina to Berowra Waters, undertook their training, camping at the showground, which could not have been achieved without the generous assistance of the Gloucester Show Society.

To achieve this, the Scout Association sent a training team to Gloucester to enable all the leaders to complete their basic training at the same time. This had never been attempted before and was an instant success.

On Saturday, December 16 the first joeys, cubs and scouts were invested as part of a Free Family Fun Day at the Gloucester Showground hosted by the new Scout Group.

The special guest was the Chief Commissioner for Scouts NSW, Neville Tomkins, who travelled from Canberra to Gloucester to participate in the investiture of the 24 new scout members. 

He said as Chief Commissioner, he had never attended a mass investiture of 24 new scout members and the establishment of a new Scout Group simultaneously.

Mr Tompkins also spoke with many of the parents, expressing his appreciation for their support for scouting, also commenting that he is impressed with the new young members and the leaders. He said he really believes the Gloucester Scout Group has a great future to look forward to.

Mr Tomkins expressed his gratitude to the Gloucester Show Society president, Alan Luscombe and committee members who were also in attendance.

Without a “home”, the Gloucester Show Society has extended their generosity even further by offering the new Scout Group the use of facilities at the showground.

Also in attendance was the Regional Commissioner for Hunter and Coastal Region, Steve Fernie.

Mr Fernie explained that during his 55 uninterrupted years in scouting, starting a new group and investing 24 new members at the same time, was a first for him.

He said he was very confident for the future of scouting in Gloucester, complimenting the new Group Leader Heather Eggins and the new leaders.

Generally, scouting goes into recess during the long Christmas School holidays, but not this intrepid team. Scouting activities will be held at the showground during the holidays.

For information contact Group Leader Heather Eggins on 0419 179 274.