Highlights & Challenges
2014 was a productive year for Beecroft Scouts. We were active in our community with our fertilizer drive and assisting Rotary with their book fair. We celebrated Emma Mees achieving scouting’s highest award, the Queens Scout with a winter feast. We not only arranged the family camp in November but also a winter camp, making use of scouting facilities in Jindabyne. We started off the year with a working bee on Cheltenham Hall (on the Crescent) that involved vegetation clearance and roof gutter maintenance. We finished the year with a Christmas party at our scout hall off Welham Street. Additionally, we were also successful in obtaining a community grant for a new trailer (to the value of circa $3.7k), as our existing one has provided many years of loyal service but is starting to show its age. Challenges for the group include keeping on top of the ETTT (Third Rail) alliance. We have liaised regularly with the ETTT to keep our fire pit. Current issues associated with ETTT include drainage under the hall, future noise, graffiti and roof access via the recently constructed train impact wall. In my opinion, the greatest challenge to the on-going success of the group lies in filling vacant committee positions with active committee members. The end of 2014 saw many of the group’s active committee members leave the scouting community including Glenn Druce, Samir Somaiya and Rizwan.
Dan Bennett and Mark Boulter continued on as venturer leaders from 2013. The venturer unit was active at the winter feast were we celebrated the Queens Scout achievement with Emma Mees. I understand there are some other venturers working their way towards a Queens Scout award and the committee wishes them success. Venturers were also active during the fertilizer drive our largest fund raising event.
We are very fortunate to still have Spencer Jarret, our very experienced and longstanding scout leader, assisting us in 2014. Spencer was supported by John Wybrow and Craig Barton along with some senior Rovers (part of the Epping troup). Unfortunately for the scout group at the end of 2014 we said goodbye to Craig Barton as he moved his family to the Blue Mountains to be closer to work. Scout leadership remains a key issue for the health of the Beecroft Scouts as we expect a steady stream of cubs progressing to scouts in 2015!
Our cub unit is very strong and credit for this must go to all the cub leaders, including Lachlan, Stephen, Mike and Kerry. Our cub pack is at capacity and we have a significant waiting list which speaks volumes for the future of our scout group.
One of the major reasons for Beecroft being a productive scout group in 2014 was the drive and energy our group leader Ben Mees injects. Ben is passionate and active particularly in scouting and venturer activities. He is also one of our chief negotiators on the third rail development and has also spent considerable effort looking at alternative scout hall locations as part of our negotiations with the ETTT.
Looking behind the scenes I would like to thank everyone on the committee for their time and effort in making things happen. We had a successful year with fundraising (fertiliser drive and hall hire), the family camp, winter camp, a working bee at Cheltenham Hall, a winter feast and the Christmas Party. Your 2014 committee were:
- Samir – Treasurer
- Rizwan – Secretary
- Jono – Fund raising
- Philip – Trustee
- Eric – Trustee
- Mary (Hall Hire)
- Glenn (Website and former Secretary)
- Charles (Chair adviser and former President)
- Katrina (Administration/Membership)
- Andrea (Communication incl. successful community grant application)
Finally, I would also like to thank parents and family who assisted during the year when the call came out for help. It’s not possible for me to name you all but you know who you are. Special thanks go to Ron Williamson for dealing with the trailer rego and working bees and Matt Morrish, our Master Chef extraordinaire at Family Camp and the winter feast (pig on spit!!!).
Sam Henwood – Chairman