Approximately one year ago, Andrew Taylor and Luke van Ryn started on a journey that would change the lives of many disadvantaged local young people for the better. The First Fitzroy Scout Group, based in the inner northern suburbs of Melbourne, Australia, runs a Cub Scout Pack on Monday nights at the Community Hall in the Fitzroy housing estates.
The Fitzroy housing estates houses families from a range of backgrounds and cultures, some are first and second generation refugees, and typically the families residing in the estates don’t have a lot. After discussions with the local schools and police, the idea of creating a Cub Pack for the youth living within the housing estates became a reality.
The initial program was run over two sessions, each session for 20 kids, during school time in term two, 2012. Out of the 40 kids who attended the sessions, 20 wished to be involved. In consultation with the school principle, Mary Lawrey, the group decided to start small; On the 3rd of September, 2012, the first 12 Cubs were invested into the Cub Pack.
The local Member of Parliament, Adam Bandt, attended and presented the Pack with the Australian flag, the Aboriginal flag and the Torrens Strait Islander flag. Following a very successful first term, the Cub Pack expanded into 3 sixes in term four of 2012. The Scout Group is lucky enough to receive support from the local council who assist in funding for camps, uniforms and fees.
Through involvement in the Cub Pack, the local youth are able to experience opportunities they would never have been able to otherwise, and have made new friends with the common connection of Scouting. This is true not only within their own Cub Pack, but also with the Cubs from other groups who have co-hosted camps with Fitzroy Scouts.
Through the support of these groups, the pack has been fortunate enough to be able to attend several camps where the Cubs have been able to participate in activities much different from what they have experienced in their usual life. After a very successful year with the First Fitzroy Cub Pack, the group is looking to expand into a Scout Troop to allow more youth to be able to experience what Scouting has to offer.
How do you and your Scout Group help the disadvantaged within your community?
Posted on behalf of Scouts Australia, Victorian Branch, Fitzroy Scout Group.