19th Argyll Scouts share their summer adventures

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The 19th Argyll Scouts have had a busy summer, from humble barbecues in their own backyard to globe-trotting trips to America and Malaysia.

The summer session started with a memorable family barbecue. It would be fair to say the midges enjoyed a feast, chewing both young people and their guests with vigour. But they didn’t dampen the spirits of the Scouts who were presented with numerous awards including Bronze, Silver and Gold Chief Scout Awards.

The highlight of the evening was the presentation to Martha Payne of her Diamond Chief Scout Award, the second highest award in Scouting. Martha has been an enthusiastic and active member of the 19th Argyll for more than seven years.

After gaining her award she said: ‘I have loved my time in Scouting – it has provided me with so many opportunities and memories.’

Shortly after receiving her Diamond Chief Scout Award, Martha and her sister Polly, jetted off to join 45,000 other Scouts from around the world at the 24th World Scout Jamboree in West Virginia. This event is held every four years in different countries. The objective is to promote peace and understanding and to develop leadership and life skills in those attending.

While Martha and Polly were in the United States, seven members of the 19th Argyll travelled to the world’s oldest rainforest in northern Malaysia to take part in a community development project with members of the Orang Asli tribe.

The project had been organised by the West Region of Scouting in Scotland supported by the Yayasan EMKAY foundation. This charity exists to improve the living standards of the people living in this remote and challenging area. In total the group comprised 11 leaders and 44 explorers (14 to 18 years of age) and networkers (18 to 25 years of age) completing four projects.

The projects included renovating a classroom to allow the villagers to attract a primary school teacher (currently the only formal education available is to those who are pre-school), building a playpark (the rainforest is too dangerous to allow children to play in it unsupervised), preparing fields for planting of fruit trees, herbs and vegetables, and building a table for the elders to meet and discuss village business.

Working in the rainforest was challenging with very high levels of humidity and temperatures regularly touching 40C. The whole group had an amazing adventure with memories and friendships formed that will last a lifetime.

Finally, two members of the 19th Argyll had their first outings as members of the Mid Argyll Pipe Band. Robert Toner (piper) and Martha Moir (drummer) took part in the recent Ardrishaig Gala Day.

David Smart, Scout leader, 19th Argyll said: ‘This has been an amazing summer. We are so proud of all our members who have grasped the opportunities that Scouting provides. Scouting for the 19th is all about having adventures, whether small ones or big ones.

‘Last year we ran two camps for our Beavers, our Cubs attended the Adventure Centre at Lochgoilhead and won the District Camping competition, our Scouts completed a number of weekend camps including the Snowdrop Challenge Hike, and our Explorers had their first taste of ice climbing. Next year is our 50th birthday and we are planning a whole host of activities and adventures to mark this milestone.’

John McCartan, chairman of the group, said: ‘Scouting in Mid Argyll is as strong as it has ever been. The leadership team, guided by the young people, have developed a fantastic programme in all of the sections.

‘We are keen that as many young people in Argyll take up the opportunities that Scouting provides. We have a stand at the forthcoming Mid Argyll Show and would be delighted to discuss our plans.’

If you are interested in finding out more about the 19th Argyll Lochgilphead Scouts, email 19thargyllscouts@gmail.com or call 07758 130576.

The group runs four sections – Beavers (age six to eight), Cubs (age eight to 10), Scouts (age 10 to 14) and Explorers (14 to 18). There are spaces in all sections for boys and girls. The group is also keen to talk to adults about how they can help the group either as uniformed leaders or as supporters.


Martha Payne and Polly Payne at World Scout Jamboree. no_a32scouts01

Cameron Garrett harvesting bamboo in the rainforest. no_a32scouts02

Anna Turner designing a Jungle Book mural in the renovated classroom. no_a32scouts03

Andrew Smart and Lorne Barrie building the playpark for youngsters in the village. no_a32scouts04

James Urquhart drilling components for the play park. no_a32scouts05

Anne Smart, leader of the agricultural project. no_a32scouts06