Thursday, 21 March 2019


Whitianga Sea Scouts Cubs need more adult leaders

The Scouts movement is a worldwide organisation dedicated to educating and providing adventures to young people. Scouts New Zealand currently has 16,000 members across five age sections - starting with Keas (from age five) and going all the way through to Rovers (from age 18), with Cubs, Scouts and Venturers in between.

Many people have the perception that Scouts is all about boys tying knots and navigating through the bush with a compass, but there’s so much more to it. Scouts are for boys and girls and encompass encouragement, friendship and learning in all kinds of ways.

Everyone is welcomed. No one is excluded, left out or picked on. Scouts are taught to help and encourage their peers as they accomplish tasks as a team.

The Whitianga Sea Scouts is one of the largest Scouts groups in the North Island and continues to grow, but they are in need of some extra help. The group is struggling to provide enough adult leaders for their number of members, particularly in the Cubs section (eight to 11 year olds). There are approximately 30 Cubs at the moment, with a lengthy waiting list of kids wanting to join, but being unable, due to a lack of leaders.

Becoming a Scout leader is not only an opportunity to help young people and the local community, but an opportunity for some self improvement as well. Rachel Cornwall, one of the existing Cubs leaders, says being a Scout leader is a fantastic experience. "Previous experience is not necessary for becoming a leader," she says. "You just have to be enthusiastic. You don’t have to know how to teach, you just need to be friendly and adventurous and willing to learn.”

Scout leaders are put through a short training course and have to obtain a certificate in first aid. To be a leader is not a particularly time-consuming commitment as it only involves a few hours a week and the occasional weekend. Each age section meets once a week for activities and the leaders facilitate these activities.

The activities are not just enjoyable for the young people, but for the leaders as well. “You get to see the kids happy and excited and you get to have those same feelings as well,” says Rachel.

“We do all sorts of things and go camping too. Sometimes the camps are close by, like Riverglen, and sometimes they’re further afield. Dive Zone Whitianga took us all snorkelling once. We got to see all around Cathedral Cove and Gemstone Bay. It was great, the kids learned a lot and it was just fun.”

Rachel says it’s an extremely rewarding feeling when the members of the Whitianga Sea Scouts succeed. “The best part is when you see the kids achieve something because of their own hard work,” she says. “When you present them a badge they’ve worked for all holidays, all on their own, that’s the best part. The kids want to be there and they enjoy being a part of the Whitianga Sea Scouts. Also it’s keeping them out of mischief!”

To find out more about becoming a Scouts leader, simply show up to the weekly Cubs meeting at 5:30pm on a Thursday at the Mercury Bay Rugby Club in Albert Street, Whitianga, check out the Whitianga Sea Scouts Facebook page or email Rachel at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Caption - Last week Wednesday was national Scouts Scarf Day. Pictured are a proud group of Keas and Cubs wearing their scarves with Whitianga Sea Scouts leaders Rachel Cornwall (back at the left) and Rice McDonnell and Graeme Coleman (back at the right).



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The Mercury Bay Informer is a highly popular community newspaper, based in Whitianga. The paper is distributed throughout the Coromandel Peninsula, coast to coast from Thames to north of Colville.