SCOUTS ON THE RISE
Local group biggest in the region
THIS year may as well have been the Year of the Scout in Chinchilla.
In 2018 the town scouting population exploded with more than 40 children signing up to become joeys, cubs, scouts and venturers.
Chinchilla Scout Group also welcomed a handful of adult leaders to the pack but there are two particularly devoted parents who have made this year such a successful one.
For Leanne and Adam Fitzgerald, becoming scout leaders has allowed them not only to build upon a community program for Chinchilla youth but to create their very own scouting family.
Adam first got involved with Scouts after daughter Samantha joined the Blackwater group as a joey when she was six years old.
Several years later and the family has made the Chinchilla Scout group a way of life, bringing new energy into the old den which hadn’t seen much action in quite some time.
“A lot of parents bring their children to Scouts in the hopes of getting them off their computers and phones,” Mr Fitzgerald said.
“Scouts is an excellent way for kids to learn some vital life skills and gain a bit of confidence. We teach a range of things, from how to make a sandwich to how to change a tyre.”
The hard work and dedication from Mr and Mrs Fitzgerald shows in the Chinchilla Scout Group numbers alone.
Starting off the year with a humble group of 30, the Fitzgeralds said the den was now home to 72 children, ranging in age from 6–15 years, making it the biggest group in the Darling Downs region.
This year the Chinchilla Scout Group has taken on a number of exciting events and community activities, including Clean Up Australia day, a recycling program, regular visits to Illoura nursing home as well as a number of challenging outdoor adventures like white-water rafting and abseiling.
Next year is already looking to be packed to the brim with opportunities as the Chinchilla group expands, opening up a venturer unit for older scouts aged 14–18.
“We couldn’t do what we do without the generous support of our sponsors,” Mrs Fitzgerald said.
“Apex, Chinchilla McDonald’s, Roma Fire and Safety, Ivan Hewett, Browns Carpets and The Commercial Hotel have all played a huge role in getting our Scout Group to where it is today.”
The next sign-on for the Chinchilla Scout Group will be held at the start of the school year, with sign-ups for joey scouts being held on Tuesday, January 29.
Mrs Fitzgerald urged adults considering signing on as volunteers to come along as the Chinchilla Scout Group is unable to expand numbers without more adult supervisors. There is no extra cost involved, adults receive complimentary training, blue card registration and uniforms when they volunteer to become scout leaders.
■ For more information on registering, contact Leanne Fitzgerald on 0408 205 750.
SCOUTS’ HONOUR: Samantha, Leanne and Adam Fitzgerald celebrate the end of a successful year for the Chinchilla Scout Group.