Wild Ones cel­e­brates four years

PCYC re­pairs force group to take a break

Whitsunday Times - - KIDS’ ZONE -

THEY were started four years ago and, in that time, the Wild Ones has be­come one of the most suc­cess­ful youth pro­grams in the Whit­sun­days.

Cel­e­brat­ing their fourth birth­day on April 12, they have had to take a break as their head­quar­ters, the Whit­sun­day PCYC, awaits re­pairs.

While there will be a hia­tus in the 8-11 year old pro­gram, the Wild Ones Youth Man­age­ment Team will con­tinue.

Wild Ones co-or­di­na­tor Ron Pet­ter­son said it had been a re­ward­ing four years.

“The orig­i­nal con­cept was that there was no scouts at the time and I was look­ing for some­thing for my boys to do,” he said. “The PCYC had just done a study on the things miss­ing in the com­mu­nity and the need for a youth group came up.

“Be­tween Sergeant John Dick­in­son and I, we de­cided to start an ad­ven­ture, camp­ing, hik­ing, youth group.

“I grabbed my two boys and some other friends and the first night we had 32 kids show up.”

Last year the group peaked with 90 lo­cal kids and to­day some of the orig­i­nal Wild Ones still at­tend. They learn a range of skills from team build­ing to camp­ing and how to work in the com­mu­nity.

Mr Pet­ter­son said the best thing about the pro­gram was the com­mu­nity’s re­sponse.

“We’ve had a mas­sive amount of com­mu­nity sup­port through­out the years from busi­nesses do­nat­ing right through to help­ing us with our uni­forms to trans­port, to lo­cal own­ers pro­vid­ing food for camps, the army even let us come on base,” he said.

“Also the par­ents and vol­un­teers have given us a great team that come in ev­ery week and help it come to­gether.

“I’ve been watch­ing these kids grow up and there’s so much to be proud of.”

Mr Pet­ter­son said it would only be a tem­po­rary break.

“It’s been a great ride for the last five years and as soon as the PCYC is open it will be great to get back to nor­mal for big­ger and bet­ter things,” he said.

PHOTOS: CON­TRIB­UTED

WILD DAY: Wild Ones en­joyed a day at YMT Lavarack Bar­racks in Townsville last year.

PHOTO: PETER CARRUTHERS

BIG BIRTH­DAY: The Wild Ones cel­e­brate thier third birth­day at the PCYC in 2016.

Mak­ing a hu­man pyra­mid at a Wild Ones’ trip in 2014.

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