“WE are making better members of society and having fun while doing it,” said first Wingham Scouts leader Michael Brayne.
He is talking proudly of the skills children learn through their involvement with the Scout movement.
In particular we are discussing the two patrols that represented Wingham in what is considered the premier event for patrol scouts in NSW.
Two patrols from the first Wingham Scouts attended the 2013 State Scout Rally in Sydney recently.
The nine scouts, aged between 11 and 14 travelled to the NSW Scouts HQ – Cataract Park in Appin to compete against 150 other patrols.
“This was pretty exciting for the kids,” said Michael.
Michael and Stephen Yam (VL) were the accompanying adults but the kids were required to be very independent on the camp.
“They had to do it all themselves,” said Michael.
Led by Patrol leaders Anna McFarland and Jarod Bosmans the patrols carry all their own gear including food, tents and cooking equipment.
They set up and pull down camp and are judged on how clean they leave everything. They even have to plan their menu, being judged on the nutritional value of the meals.
“They have to eat it too,” laughed Michael who said there was no room for sneaking anything else onto the plate. “They are great kids, they had such a good time,” said Michael who said the whole weekend is geared towards fun and respect.
“They get to live the scout law.”
With more than 500 other scouts attending from all corners of the state, the children learn many skills and make friends too.
But there was a definite air of competitiveness in the camp grounds of Cataract Park.
With some patrols dressing up in wacky costumes to try to win over the judges, Michael said there was a fair bit of showmanship among the youngsters. “It’s all for fun,” he said.
Results are pending for the competition but Michael is certain the Wingham patrols will finish mid competition, “they’re a pretty switched on group,” he said.