Young people in Motherwell are being encouraged to join a revitalised new scouting group after two new scout leaders decided to breath new life into it.
The well established 10th Motherwell Scout Group has been in existence for more than 20 years, but at the end of 2014 it was in the position of not having any members.
Unwilling to let the group just cease to exist, life-long scout Tristran Prescott, who has been involved with scouts since he was four-years-old, and fellow scout Jack Diver decided to do something about it and set about attracting new members.
Tristran (18) from Motherwell said that numbers had been dwindling for many years and it all can to a head a couple of years ago at the start of 2014 when there were no scouts in the group at all.
Tristran, who is studying agricultural engineering said: “I have been involved in scouting all my life and thought it would be such a shame if others were not given the opportunities I’ve had to explore and learn new skills.”
So Tristran and Jack set about bringing the scout group numbers back to life.
Tristran, who is currently away in Austria for 10 days completing his Explorer Belt with a group of other scouts from Scotland, explained: “We have nine members at the moment and meet at St Bernadette’s Church Hall every Monday in school term time.
“The hall is quite large so we are keen to build up this number as much as possible. I think we could probably take up to 60 which would be a really healthy number to have.”
Among the activities that have been organised recently were a fundraising barbecue at the beginning of June in Strathclyde Country Park. This helped raise greatly needed money for the group’s running costs.
Tristran added: “We are keen to organise trips away but transport can be quite expensive, so we are always needing to raise money to subsidise our trips.
However the group also got involved in community projects that directly benefit the local area.
An example of recent community involvement included helping Wishaw Baptist Church to restore their bedding plant bed as part of the members Naturalist badge.
Tristran said: “We learned all about the different plants and how to plant them and look after them. We really learnt a lot and would like to thank Wishaw Baptist Church for letting us take part.”
And last week members had a baking night at St Bernadettes which was followed by an evening of games where the members built a rope swing.
The 10th Motherwell Scout Group come under the umbrella of the Clyde Scout section which has welcomed the efforts to bring the group back to life again.
Gary Bainbridge, development officer at Clyde Scouts said: “Clyde Scouts is delighted that Scouting has returned to St Bernadette’s in Motherwell and looks forward to working with local volunteers to help scouting grow and provide opportunities for young people to develop life skills.”
The group is open to all youngsters aged eight to 14 who are keen to learn new skills such as orienteering and camping crafts. The group is friendly and both Tristran and Jack are keen to help people develop to their full potential.
“It is amazing the difference in the youngsters when they have been here for a while. I am just keen to get the kids off the streets and learning new skills that they can transfer to other parts of their life like organising themselves and being self reliant.”
The 10th Motherwell Scout Group is building on a rich history of scouting in Scotland which can be traced back to 1908. The 1st Glasgow Scout Group has a claim to be the first Scout Troop, as it holds a registration certificate dated January 26, 1908, although The 24th Glasgow Scout Group’s reckons it was also formed in January 1908, although this is not currently recognised by The Scout Association.
Oral tradition suggests that the 12th Glasgow (1st Lenzie) troop was the first troop outside central Glasgow.
In April, 2008, a report for the scouts said there were 582 Scout Groups in Scotland and that in the previous year there had been an increase in new members of 1500, raising the total to nearly 30,000. However, these figures were unaudited and the increase seems to have resulted from changes in the way the statistics were collated.
In recent years numbers have fallen, but the organisation has responded with adventure activities.
The 10th Motherwell Group meet between 6.30-8.30pm. If you are interested call Tristran on 07428 579489 or search for 10th Motherwell Scout Group on Facebook.