ABERNETHY SCOUT GROUP
At the time of writing (end of July) the Leaders have been enjoying a very much deserved month off during the summer holidays and I imagine feel very much like school teachers, with the last year behind them but already starting to think about the next academic year ahead. The scout group are all volunteers and have work and family commitments of their own so we appreciate the time that they find to run such a fantastic group, I can’t thank the Leaders, Section Assistants and committee members enough for all the time and effort they put in, as someone once said to me “scouting will take every available minute you have and more”, which is very true, so a huge thanks to them all with what has been a very challenging couple of years.
Reflecting on the Scouts that have recently left at the summer, some have been with us for 8 years having joined as Beavers at (6 years old) then Cubs (8 to 10 ½ years) before becoming Scouts where they can remain until they are 14 years old. This was the reason that we decided to start the Scout troop so that we could offer the kids the chance to continue with the Abernethy Scout Group for another 3 ½ years more or less doubling their time with the group, so hopefully they will have enjoyed their experience and their own adventure as much as the leaders have enjoyed working with them and I hope that they look back on their scouting adventure with fond memories with hopefully some going onto become leaders someday.
The Beaver Colony has continued to grow and over the last term they enjoyed various activities with a woodland walk and litter pick, den building and attending Willowgate Activity Centre which is located on the river Tay adjacent to the Friarton Bridge. This is a fantastic place to enjoy water sports safely and it’s on our doorstep, where years ago we would need to travel to Lochgoilhead to undertake water activities at a Scout Centre.
The Cubs managed to get back to the normality of camping after having to cancel the last two years due to the pandemic and managed to attend their now traditional annual camp to Fordell Firs Activity Centre (Near Dunfermline) where there’s a variety of activities with the all-important trained Instructors, where they can go climbing, abseiling as well as crate climbing and high ropes. This really takes the pressure off leaders with the training and risk assessments needed to do anything remotely adventurous. Years ago, as a scout we would periodically attend at Abernethy Quarry tie a rope round a tree make some kind of rope harness with our brief being don’t let go of the other end of the rope whilst scouts were trying to abseil down. Nobody got hurt well not anything other than bruises but trying 1980s Scouting would certainly get you into a lot of trouble in today’s risk averse society.
As the cubs are awaiting breakfast you can tell from their faces that there’s not been a great deal of sleeping going on during the night.
A bit of trepidation as the Cubs await their turn to go crate climbing, which is just milk bottle crates stacked singularly upside down with the task of being to be able to get to 16 high and stand on top without them falling over. The higher you get the trickier it is to add another crate to the top while you stand on the handles at the sides. The picture doesn’t do the Cubs any justice to the amount of fun they had, but again for some of the Cubs this would have been their second or third camp if it wasn’t for the Covid pandemic, resulting in this being the first camp for most, so fear of the unknown had a lot to do with the activities as they are designed to get them out of their comfort zones.
Over the past term the scouts have been busy with various activities. They were kayaking at Willowgate, they also took the time to learn about the area that they live in and contacted a local foodbank, who kindly came along and gave them an input on how it operates. The Scouts kindly brought along donations on the night for the foodbank. It’s sad that in today’s society that foodbanks have almost become a necessity for people to survive and we’re all proud of the scouts taking the time to find out about how it works and what they could do to help.
The Scout Troop is busy planning a camp to Meggernie Centre Bridge of Balgie, Glenlyon where they undertake a variety of activities in the middle of August, so again at the time of writing the Scout Leaders are busy planning and arranging so the Scouts can benefit from this experience. Hopefully the weather and the midges will be kind to them.
Again, I would like to take this opportunity to appeal to anyone in the village that was a scout in Abernethy to get in touch with any stories, pictures, and memories so we can start to collate information for our forthcoming centenary Abernethy Scout year in 2023. From my own enquiring I believe that Roy Miller and Ian Bett are the oldest Abernethy Scouts, and we are planning on speaking with them in the near future.
If anyone would like to join our adventure as a Leader or as a Section Assistance or Committee member, then please get in contact as I’m sure you’ll find it enjoyable and rewarding as we all do.
Finally, a massive thanks to Angela Dunn who has been with our group for five years firstly as an Assistant Leader and then as an Assistant Cub Leader. Her contribution to the group has been huge and we wish hBeaver er all the best with her future charity work. Angela despite having to carry the burden of supporting the fake Saints from Paisley is always enthusiastic and will be sorely missed. However, I have been reliably informed that her husband Euan is looking to assist with the Scout Group which will be a welcome addition to our team. (Now it’s in the Crier he’s committed to help).
Abernethy Group Scout Leader