To celebrate National Volunteer Week 2020 we caught up with the Group Leader of Pt Chevalier and his team to see what they have been up to and why they choose to volunteer with SCOUTS New Zealand.
“It’s so much fun and a real buzz watching the kids grow up into adults” John, Scout leader and member of the group for 25 years.
“Watching them develop and learn skills apart from what they get at school and sports is so rewarding,” Heleen, Scout Leader.
“It’s the reward of teaching young adults and being of service to the community,” Simon, Cub Leader.
“Being a part of our youths lives and helping them find their way is the reward” Melissa, Kea Leader.
And for Mike another veteran Scout Leader it’s about “Giving back what he got from Scouts, which was a lot.”
With over 80 years combined experience as Leaders it’s our volunteers who are the heartbeat of Point Chevalier Air Scouts. Without them we simply wouldn’t exist.
And it’s this passion and enthusiasm that kept our Group not only operating but growing during the Lockdown period. Each section had a different approach to Scouting From Home. Keas and Scouts met online twice a week on a Monday and Thursday evening for an hour or more each time.
For Keas, once Melissa figured out how to translate hall activities into online fun, they were off and running with activities such as Badge work, Scavenger hunts, Arts and Crafts and Knot tying. 69 badges were handed out at the end with 2 Keas achieving their Gold Award Badge.
For Scouts it was a bit more challenging keeping 11-14 years olds engaged in non hands on activities. But with perseverance Photography was a big hit and the Kahoot quizzes soon took off.
Guided by Stella, with 25 years as a volunteer, our Venturers embraced the online life like they were born for it….. baking competitions, learning a musical instrument, online safety and loads of planning for the year ahead sees them ready to go camping as soon as the green light is given and a very busy year ahead.
Simon took a different approach with Cubs and set up Orienteering courses all around the neighborhood that involved code breaking and mapping skills. He would post a new course online and it wouldn’t take long before the Cubs had run the course and were ready for more.
One night that was a real success was our May the 4th night (you guessed it Star Wars!) We organised a group online meeting for all sections. Dressing up as your favourite Star Wars character was mandatory, Jedi training skills were learnt, and an intense Kahoot Quiz and Star Wars dance offs meant the 1 hour meeting became 2 + hours. And they wanted more!
When coming out of Lockdown and getting back into the halls there was such a buzz and energy in the air, every section had fire pits going, badges were awarded, members moved up sections, parents were all staying longer to chat and we had 5 new members turn up.
Looking ahead we really want to focus on the group as a whole, having more group events and keeping that community feeling going. Point Chev is such a diverse community and we are really keen to get the word out that Scouts is open to all.
I am so privileged to have such a wealth of experience and enthusiasm in our volunteers that I am confident the group will continue to grow and reach more and more people. As our newest volunteer Leanore says “Everyone needs to get involved, put in a couple of years with your child and it’s good family time and great fun”