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Scouting back in fashion thanks to Bear Grylls TV show

ADVENTURER: Bear Grylls filming in crocodile-infested waters at Mount Borradaile, Arnhemland, Northern Territory, in May last year.
ADVENTURER: Bear Grylls filming in crocodile-infested waters at Mount Borradaile, Arnhemland, Northern Territory, in May last year. LUIS ENRIQUE ASCUI

SCOUT groups are on the rise in Gladstone, thanks in part to the growing popularity of outdoor adventure TV shows such as Man vs Wild, according to a local Scouts group leader.

Gladstone-based Dolphin Sea Scouts leader Quintin Redshaw said his group had seen a more than threefold increase in numbers in the past three years, which he attributed in part to increased popularity of adventuring culture.

"About three years ago we had nine scouts and 10 cubs," he said. "Now we have about 70 in total."

Outdoor activities such as abseiling, canoeing, camping and hiking run by the group are popular with Gladstone's young people.

Mr Redshaw said as soon as enthusiastic adult leaders joined his group, membership went through the roof.

"The more motivated leaders you have, the more youth you'll pick up," he said.

Kareeba Scouts' Peter Vaissiere said while interest in Scouts dropped in Gladstone about 20 years ago, it had peaked again in the past five years.

"It's a great alternative for kids who aren't so interested in sport," he said.

"Some kids just love grabbing a compass and getting out there in the bush or on the water."

The Scouts' graded learning system ensures that as children grow older, more complex skills are taught and higher levels of responsibility are expected before graduation.

Chief Commissioner of Scouts Queensland Kirsty Brown said there had been a statewide increase in scouting "which is a really good thing for youth".

"I think young people are looking for education for life and that's why people are turning to scouting," she said.

Ms Brown told The Observer scouting's aim was the development of young people so they could take a constructive place in society.

"We achieve this aim by providing a self-education program, which focuses on initiative, team work, co-operation, community service and spirit," she said.

"There's also a significant emphasis on the development of leadership skills."

Mark Hodge is leader for the new BITS Scouts.
Mark Hodge is leader for the new BITS Scouts. Brenda Strong

Boyne Scout group back in action

OUT of action for a decade, Boyne Island Tannum Sands Scouts was last month brought back to life by a group of locals passionate about giving kids bush survival skills and teaching them leadership skills.

Group leader Mark Hodge said the new group started again three weeks ago and would hold several events in coming weeks to welcome new members.

Mr Hodge said he had wanted for years to revitalise the group after noticing the empty Boyne Scouts Hall some time ago.

His dream for BITS Scouts to become an active club again has since been realised, thanks to nine volunteer leaders and more than 30 members who have signed up to be involved.

SCOUT GROUPS

Kareeba Scout Group, Gladstone

Contact Peter Vaissiere on 0447 797 100 or email scoutskareeba@yahoo.com.au

Dolphin Sea Scouts, Gladstone

Contact Quintin Redshaw on 0438 734 087 or email qredshaw@bigpond.com

Boyne Tannum Scout Group

Contact Mark Hodge on 0412 015 073 or email bitsscouts@gmail.com

Calliope Scout Group

Contact Jeffrey Wilkinson on 4978 4522

Biloela Scout Group

Contact Stephen Kydd on 0407 776 130

Topics:  bear grylls camping gladstone outdoor-living outdoors scouts



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