This year certainly has been a momentous one for our Group. After almost seven years in the wilderness, we finally have a new home. And, I am sure you will all agree; what a great home it is. However, it’s sad but true, that we can’t now sit back and relax. We still need to keep our focus up, to make those many final additions and adjustments to turn a great scout hall into an absolutely fantastic scout hall.
As I said it all in my speech at the official opening, there are many people we need to thank for their efforts in bringing this new facility to fruition. However, I find myself needing to once again specifically thank the leaders and the support committee members that have carried so much extra load in keeping our membership strong, during a time when 1st Mt Colah / Mt Kuring-gai could so easily have gone the way of the dinosaurs.
When I look back over the last seven years, the people who have held the Group together have all done so for their own particular reasons. Some for their kids enjoyment, some for their own enjoyment, some from a sense of duty, and some possibly even because they needed to escape their wife or husband for a few hours each week. Who knows! Regardless of the reason, they have all looked into their own lives and found some time for the benefit of our community’s youth. That’s all we can ever ask of them.
These thoughts, along with some terrible news I recently received about a young man who was a Cub and Scout in our Group, brings me to share my reasons for staying the course for so long now. Sadly, my reasons are strangely selfish. Everyone who has had much to do with me knows that I am fiercely patriotic. This, along with a realisation that today’s youth is tomorrow’s society, has lead me to do whatever I can to prepare today’s youth to be responsible and resourceful members of tomorrow’s society. Having been heavily involved in junior sport and having my own children go through various phases of dance and music, I know that Scouting is the best program around for delivering those responsible and resourceful members of society.
So, I hope you will all consider my logic, and test it against your own priorities. As always, I am more than happy to discuss my thoughts with almost anyone at almost any time.
On a less philosophical note, we have unfortunately had a serious safety incident this year, with one of our Rovers falling from a tree while hanging a banner during the Easter Dragonskin event. He probably should consider himself lucky, having a crushed vertebrae but not suffering any spinal damage. However this does highlight that Scouting carries some risks, as the exuberant youth push the boundaries in search of bigger thrills (and higher banners). So, I think we need to ask everyone to both be thankful that our Rover wasn’t more seriously hurt, and to also give serious consideration to the appropriate balance between risk and reward.
In closing, I would like to thank everyone again for their support this past year. Please join with me in looking forward to what promises to be a great coming year for 1st Mt Colah / Mt Kuring-gai.
Yours in Scouting
Greg McKinnon (Wombat)