The Smithton Scouts are calling for the young and young at heart to enrol in their program for the year.
The club takes part in a range of indoor and outdoor activities to develop youngsters’ skills in leadership, teamwork and communication, and build confidence and resilience.
The Cubs program, catering for children aged eight to 11, has a massive year ahead planned with boxing, fishing, boating, hiking, swimming and bike riding.
The older Scouts are planning to do big things too, with a hike to Cradle Mountain in the woodwork as well as firelighting practise, learning bush and survival skills and geocaching.
Heading into its 103rd year in Smithton, Scouts has long been an integral part of life for youngsters in the region. In recent years however, numbers have slowly dwindled as many leave to pursue weekend sports.
“We tend to lose a lot of kids as they graduate from Cubs into Scouts, which is really sad,” says Smithton Scouts group leader Shaun Kingston.
“It’s not just the kids either, we’ve got a real shortage of personnel on the committee.”
With 30 years of scouting experience under his belt, Shaun is a passionate Scout and a big advocate for kids getting in and amongst the outdoors on weekends.
“As a club we want to train more leaders and boost the program back to what it used to be,” he says.
“We’re willing to train new people and cover the cost of their courses and relevant identification if need be.”
The club took a particularly large hit last year, losing 65 per cent of their personnel in just 12 months, with many kids leaving as they reached the end of the Cubs age range.
Scouts gain valuable skills for life through running fundraisers annually, including cooking and selling 600 Christmas puddings every year and a battery drive for scrap metal.
Juniors looking to join can come along to any of the Cubs meetings for a free taste of life in the scouting program on Tuesday nights from 6.30 to 8pm at the Smithton Scout Hall.
Older kids can head along to the Scouts, held on Wednesdays from 5.30 to 7pm.
Adults looking to help out can head along to the Annual General Meeting on this Tuesday (May 7) at the scout hall.
For more information, contact Shaun Kingston on 0418 143 309.
Sophie Britton, 11, says “scouting is fun and adventurous” while Jaiden Charles, 9, says that “going camping” is one of his favourite pastimes with the Smithton Scouts’ Cubs program. Picture: Isaac Popowski.