Scouts boom

SCOUTING is booming in Perth, with so many kids desperate to sign up that Scouts WA is scrambling to find enough scout halls and volunteers.

Subiaco has a four-year waiting list for the woggle while the West Perth troop is looking for a new hall after the building it used was sold (it can stay till development gets under way).

“There’s no doubt that people want their kids to come into scouts, but we’ve got groups that are absolutely full,” Scouts group development manager James Maughmer told the Voice.

Scouts WA chief commissioner Larry Lucas says the organisation desperately needs more adults willing to help plan events and activities, supervise and fundraise.

He says volunteering provides busy parents with a great way to socialise while spending time with their kids.

As for the scout hall shortage, Mr Maughmer says “councils are not building halls in the way they used to”.

Instead of big spaces with sturdy floors and plenty of room to store gear, councils these days build “multi-purpose” function rooms that don’t always stand up to the rigours of scout games or crafting activities. Leases are shorter too, with the uncertainty preventing big retrofits.

Open spaces surrounding halls where scouts once did outdoor activities have been increasingly filled in with houses, shops and carparks.

Mr Lucas says the Barnett government’s directions 2031 blueprint—which aims to grow Perth by 500,000 new residents over the next 16 years—must include facilities and open space for activities like scouting.

“There’s a lot of change, there’s change everywhere and we understand that, but where are the kids going to go?” he asks.

He acknowledges the days of scouts having exclusive use of halls are “gone”. “We’re looking to partner with other organisations to share space,” he says.

If you’re looking to volunteer (or have a tip for a scout hall anywhere between West Perth and Mt Hawthorn) get in touch with Mr Maughmer on 6240 7712.

The organisation provides a certificate 3 training in business and volunteering will take up about four hours a week. And you’ll need police clearance to work with children.


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2 responses to “Scouts boom

  1. Its great to see that Scouts is gaining popularity. I have 2 children attending Tuart Hill Yokine scouts and feel that it offers so many postives. Scouting is lots of fun, its educational and they learn many skills such as first aid, camp craft among skills and knowledge in many other interest areas.They learn leadership, team work and caring for our community and it gets them outdoors! Being in scouts has provided many opporunities for my kids, for my daughter particularly, as well as camps and visits locally she has taken part in a cultural trip to Singapore, participated in turtle rescue in Lombok, enjoyed activities locally with scouts visiting from the Philippines and in May is heading to Manila to take part in more fun and cultural activites with their new found international friends.
    I can’t speak highly enough of the Scouting movement and think that more people should be aware of the great things that it has to offer. I do encourage that if your closest scout group is full, look to see if there are groups in neighbouring suburbs with available spaces and for adults to become involved, the scout leaders that we’ve met locally and that have been involved with the international trips have been great people.

  2. Dear Scouts, there is a surplus of buildings and grounds in almost every suburb that aren’t in use when you want to do your stuff, and as an added bonus, they have been constructed to withstand active youngsters.
    They are called schools.

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