Cubs and Keas back and doors are open
It’s been at least 20 years since Cubs and Keas were last seen in Mangakino. However, these thought to be extinct species are back and numbers are healthy and growing.
Part of the Scouting movement, the Mangakino Districts Scouts group is the latest to join the Waikato Scouts District.
The first New Zealand Scout Troop was officially registered at Kaiapoi on July 3, 1908 and in 1911 the first all-maori Scout Troop was formed at Ohinemutu. Waikato District Scout Leader Jane Hansen said she was thrilled to be working at grass roots level with young people. ‘‘ This is what I love to do,’’ Ms Hansen said.
Along with her colleague Gillian Hunter and Scout leaders from Cambridge, Jane has for the past month travelled to Mangakino once a week supporting the new branch and training the Scout leaders.
Eventually the Mangakino group will run itself with help on hand from Jane and her team if needed.
It was initiated by John and Kirsty Trueman, who have four children of their own and one due early next year. The couple believe the skills and camaraderie Scouts teach young people provide them with tools for life and living.
John, who is the new Cubs leader, was part of the Mangakino Scouts back in the 1980s and recalls the camps, hikes, survival skills and team building exercises he took part in.
‘‘Scouts was a lot of fun and taught me things I have passed on to my sons and daughter like tying knots, building a fire, putting up a tent, working as a team.
‘‘These are skills you always fall back on at some time in your life,’’ John said.
The Cubs recently completed their Athletics Badge and more are planned for next year.
Like many similar organisations, Scouts relies heavily on parent and community members volunteering their time, a sentiment not lost on former Scout member Craig Snowball. Craig is a volunteer fire fighter in the Mangakino Fire Brigade and the new Kea leader.
In just four weeks the Mangakino Scout group has signed up 20 members made up of Keas (6 to 8 years) and Cubs (8 to 10 years) and it hopes to start Scouts (10 to 14 years) next year. Scouts activities include camping, bush walking, outdoor cooking and helping your community. They also visit exciting places, play cool games and learn what to do in an emergency.
There are badges to earn by doing activities such as cycling, computing, swimming, fishing, photography and many more.
There are about 16,000 Scouts in New Zealand and this number is growing every day.
The Mangakino group meets once a week in the Mangakino Area School Hall for about an hour.
All interested parents please contact Kirsty or John Trueman on 882 8663 or 027 335 5267.