Photo: Kirsten Drysdale

Paekākāriki Scouts

Scouting in the village

Paekākāriki Scout Group is a thriving community group catering for children and young people aged from 6 – 18 years. With over 90 young members we are one of the 400 groups that belong to SCOUT New Zealand; we are proud to say we are one of the largest in the Wellington Region. As a Group, we strongly believe in supporting and encouraging our tamariki to challenge themselves and to have a positive outlook on life and the opportunities it presents. Scouting in this village would not exist without the support of the community, and in particular the dedicated adults that lead and guide the groups each week.

The Paekākāriki Scout Group provide a wonderful opportunity for Paekākāriki tamariki and rangatahi (and those in nearby regions) to thrive in their environment – growing in confidence and sharpening their skills. Many of the opportunities provided are classic to SCOUTS – tying knots, making bivvys, stoking a camp fire; but also many go far beyond this including International cooking nights, arts, skits and plays. In addition to the thrills of the weekly sessions there are camps! Each section will have different camps and excursions throughout the year and every Spring we all gather for an EPIC few days at Brookfield SCOUT camp in Wainuiomata.

In a village by the sea we have access to a stunning natural environment that provides the ideal playground for development and growth activities. These activities focus on leadership, teamwork and making good decisions.  We offer these opportunities and activities because we want our young people to be problem-solvers, tenacious when confronted with a challenge and able to be safe when taking risks and pushing the boundaries. We want them to look outside themselves and into the natural world, to be able to relate and connect to others, to be aware of others’ needs and to help where they can.

The fact that we now have a thriving Venturers Section for our young people is a reflection of their positive experience of Scouts over the years gone by. Many of those that started in Keas in are now venturers today with a truck load of badges to go with it!

“Empower youth through adventurous experiences to lead lives that make a positive difference” 

Paekākāriki Scout Group embrace the SCOUT vision & hold true to the SCOUT values.

History:

Most will be familiar with the Scouting movement and know that it is both popular within New Zealand and abroad. The Scouting movement was founded by Sir Robert Baden-Powell – an artist, soldier, actor and free thinker. In 1908 he wrote a book – Scouting for Boys, which soon made its’ way to New Zealand and was embraced by David Cossgrove, a school Principal who was the first to start organising the Scouting Movement here. Whilst we have come a long way from Scouting being for boys only – the original values of exploring and growing confidence remain strong.

The Scouting tradition has existed in the village since 1920. However, the strength of the group and numbers have fluctuated over time. In 2010 the Paekākāriki Scout Group only had one small section with 12 tamariki and one Scout leader. At this time there was a real threat of closing down the Paekākāriki Scouts. A committed group of parents demonstrated incredible foresight and determined that they would power on and grow the group into what it is today – a thriving hive of activity with over 90 enrolled tamariki and a bulging waiting list. This remarkable growth is due to the way the group is run and the value the community places on the group.

 

Supporting Adults:

Leaders:

We have a group of dedicated leaders, most of whom are parents to children and young people enrolled. Our leaders are the life and air of the Paekākāriki Scout Group – they plan and prepare and turn up each week to guide the tamariki through each session. We have all sorts in there and a great mix of skills, ideas and gender! Without these guys there would be no scouts. The Leaders are supported by Group Leader, Richard Ward, who works closely with the zone and wider Scouting New Zealand.

Committee:

The Group is supported by a committee also, who meet quarterly to support the running of the Paekākāriki Scout Group. The committee reflect that there are a few challenges ahead that we are currently working on – the biggest of them all is the improvement of our local den. The committee work hard to ensure we have a fundraising programme in place to support the groups ongoing sustainability.

 

Scouting sections:

Scout groups are organised into sections. The sections meet once a week during school term and take part in a variety of additional activities like camps and excursions throughout the year. The sections are grouped by age.

Keas 

Ages 6-8 (Monday 4:30 – 5:30pm)  

Leaders – Susan Cook (Cookie), Mike Gibson, Andy McKay, Hayden Lucas

Cubs

Ages 8 – 10 (Tuesday 6:30 – 7:45pm)

Leaders: Maria Cameron (section leader), Pete McLaughlin, Michael Lloyd, Chris Bainbridge

Scouts 

Ages 10 -14 (Wednesday)

Leaders: Joshu Mountjoy, Julia Truscott, Alia Bloom

Venturers 

Ages 14-18 – (Tuesday evenings )

Liana Stupples and Steve Bright

 

Hall hire:

Our Den is available for hire and makes a great space for birthday parties, exercise and dance sessions. Please get in touch with us via our email if you have any queries about this.

 

Community Events and Fundraising:

Local Paekākārikians will be familiar with seeing the local kids in uniform at various events and fundraising activities within the community. The Group is grateful for the ongoing support we receive – we rely on it to keep us going. You will spot us at the local ANZAC memorial, running car washes, and selling pinecones! Events held by the group include the annual Quiz event, winter dips and fun fairs in Campbell Park. From time to time there will be extra efforts – like those heading off to Jamboree who need to fundraise to make this happen.

 

The community’s continued support for the group is key to keeping us going. If anyone would like to make a donation to Scouts or offer to “fund a Scout” this is greatly appreciated – just send us an email.

Our kids have been Paekākāriki keas, cubs, scouts and now venturers. That’s a fair few camps and wonky bivvies made in the Campbell Park bushes. I can also attest from various outings that Paekakariki Scouts are not quite like the Scout Groups from elsewhere – we have our own microclimate. We are, as Paekakariki School promotes, barefoot learners. That might not mean biggest awards always for tidy uniforms or salutes to flag and Queen (though Madam and flag are given their due in the cosy Scout Den in Campbell Park). But ask these tamariki to climb to the top of a tree, make a decent raft, toss someone high in the air with a tarp or head off out into the great outdoors and you’ve come to the right place. They’re a creative, nature loving bunch.

As befits our small village, Scouts is one of those cornerstones of wider social community interaction with strong parent involvement. The groups have grown and grown since our boys started as youngsters when the Scouts was revived by a fantastic group of intrepid parents some 10 or more years ago. The kids that go along are very mixed and its strongly male and female, with a welcome number of women as scout leaders too. Activities are equally diverse taking advantage of the great beach and forest environment on our doorstep, camps numerous and fundraisers involving families like pine cone collecting, car washes and an annual quiz night legendary. Its a great way to be part of the village.

To our scout leaders: on behalf of other similarly grateful parents, we (with barefoot) salute you!

Mark Amery, Scout Parent    

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