It's hard to explain just how much happens in a single year at our Troop, but here are the numbers:
nights spent camping
Pioneer (red) Cords awarded
new adult Leaders
Australian Scout Medallions
Amazing Scout Troop!
The best parts of what we do can't be quantified though: The independence our Scouts gain, the adventures they go on, the laughter and fun times are too many to be counted.
If you'd like to be part of the action in 2016, contact Scout Leader Jonas Anderson on 0415 652 553 or at email@example.com to find out how you can become part of 5th Footscray Scout Troop.
Congratulations to Oscar and Matt who have achieved the highest award possible in the Scout section. On Saturday 14th November 2015, they were both presented with the Australian Scout Medallion along with 140 other scouts from across Victoria. To achieve the ASM, scouts must have achieved their Adventurer Cord and also have demonstrated an active leadership role in Scouting. They must have demonstrated abilities in campcraft and citizenship, as well as in an area of their choice such as water activities, construction, environment or emergencies amongst other things. To earn the ASM is a major achievement for any young person and the pinnacle of their scouting journey to this point. Matt and Oscar are both well equipped to have further success and show their leadership skills as they move to the Venturer section for the next part of their scouting adventure.
Over the course of the weekend, Scouts were challenged to built their own shelters to sleep in, locate hidden supplies and navigate across 7km of bush so they could reach the “emergency extraction point” – the local train station, where Scouts caught a train heading back to Melbourne at the end of the weekend. A local Country Fire Authority brigade even provided a truck and crew to enhance the realism of the scenario.
Although tired and muddy by the end of the weekend, it was clear every Scout would happily repeat the experience. “It was great fun,” said Olivia, 13. “Scouts is the only place where we get to try things like this and really push our boundaries.”
Five Scouts aged 11-15 have just returned from a three-day adventure undertaken almost entirely independently of adults thanks to game-changing new technology. Equipped with extensive hiking knowledge and a GPS tracking and communication device, several Scouts from 5th Footscray Scout Troop spent last weekend hiking 32km across the Brisbane Ranges free of adults, with Scout Leaders monitoring the hike remotely. A tiny SPOT tracker – small enough to fit in the palm of your hand – allowed adult Scout Leaders to track the progress of the group in real-time, while the Scouts had the ability to contact the Leaders and even emergency services despite limited mobile phone reception in the Ranges.
Rain and clouds weren't enough to stop more than a dozen Joeys, Cubs and Scouts aged 7-14 from 5th Footscray Scout Group participating in National Tree Planting Day. Despite the poor weather, the Scouts worked enthusiastically alongside the Friends of Cruickshank Park to help plant trees and ground cover near the new playground outside Clare Court Kindergarten.
"It's great fun, actually," said Matt, 14, who spent the afternoon helping younger Cubs and Joeys with the planting process. Leaders were not surprised at how willing Scouts were to help. "Giving back to the community is a big part of Scouting," said Scout Leader Jonas Anderson. "It's great to see so many of our youth members keen to help care for the parks they enjoy so much."
They may not be old enough to drive, but that didn't stop 5th Footscray Scouts when they arrived at this year's District Scout Billy Cart Derby. Throughout the day, 18 5th Footscray Scouts competed in a variety of events against Scouts from across the District.
"Scouting isn't about winning, it's about friendship and fun. The enthusiasm and spirit seen in our Scouts today was spectacular - they're a team who works together and are enjoying adventures like this that they wouldn't normally get to try," said Scout Leader Jonas Anderson
Although next year's Billy Cart Derby is 12 months away, the Scouts are already keen to begin preparations. New, faster billy carts and even a local event organised by the Scouts themselves were both discussed. When it comes to making their own adventures, 5th Footscray Scouts are never far from excitement.
Five local Scouts aged 11-14 were recognized for their community involvement and personal growth when awarded the Pioneer Cord tonight. Amelie, Olivia, Ruby, Jasper and Lachlan have all spent more than a year working towards the award, which recognizes both Scouting skills learnt such as navigation in the bush and water safety, but also personal growth and character. “The award is a huge step for any Scout,” said Scout Leader Jonas Anderson, “and earning it has required all five Scouts to show substantial maturity and initiative.” Planning their own camps – including organising details such as food and transport – was just one such activity Scouts had to undertake. “These young people are demonstrating a level of independence and self-organisation that many people don’t develop until years later,” said Anderson.
Although the Scouts were excited to receive the award, all were looking forward to new adventures. “Learning to make it all happen ourselves was cool,” says Amelie, 12. “I can’t wait for the rest of the camps we’re going on this year.”
It was a damp, cool day on Sunday 1st June, 2014 but that wasn't going to stop the official re-opening of our newly renovated scout hall. Many current members of 5th Footscray Scout Group and their families, along with a few ex-members, visitors and official guests gathered to celebrate this event. Scouts, Matt and Oscar greeted Brendan Watson - Victorian Chief Commissioner for Scouts, Bernie Finn MLC - Victorian MP for Western Metropolitan Region and Doug Dixon - Scouts Victorian Branch building supervisor and explained how the hall renovations had improved their scouting experience. Official greetings and speeches followed, and then an official commemorative plaque was unveiled. After the formal business was concluded, the children and some of the adults were keen to take a turn abseiling down the 8 metre tower set up in the park outside. Thanks to the very professional team from Scouts Victorian Branch Abseiling Council and their awesome mobile tower, many got to experience abseiling for the first, but probably not the last time. Those who weren't abseiling tried their hand at screen printing or making paper helicopters. With all this activity making people hungry, it was a good thing that there were plenty of BBQ sausages available as well as homemade scones with jam and cream. Thanks to the Rotary Club of Yarraville and Gerard White for allowing us the use of their BBQ trailer and for cooking the sausages. Thanks Akela for the scones. The dream of renovating the scout hall has taken about seven years to become a reality and only finally became possible in 2013 thanks to funding from the Victorian Government Department of Human Resources matched by funding from Scouts Australia. Although those grants account for the lion's share of the project's cost, sincere thanks must be given for the fundraising efforts of many parents over the last seven years, as well as the generous support from the Seddon Community Bank Branch of the Bendigo Bank, Yarraville Masonic Lodge, Omega Security Solutions and Mrs Beryl Whittle who have all helped make this a possibility.
On Anzac Day 2014, nine members of 5th Footscray Scout troop participated in the Melbourne Anzac Day march. After sleeping over at the scout hall the night before, they got up very early to catch the train to the city for the dawn service. After the dawn service and some much needed breakfast they joined other members of scouting at Federation Square where they were allocated to various veterans' groups to carry signs and banners in the march to the Shrine of Remembrance. After reaching the Shrine, some of the scouts returned to Fed. Square and actually marched again with different units. The scouts from 5th Footscray and all the other groups did a fantastic job on the day in supporting our diggers on this important national day of remembrance.