Cubs and Keas back and doors are open

South Waikato News - - NEWS -

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.

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