At 12.5 years of age I can finally join my family friends at 10th Caulfield Scout Group!!! I had been a brownie and a girl guide (for all of 2 minutes) and really wanted to join the boys. Gary Brand finally allowing me join as the first girl to enter his troop (and I don’t think he ever forgave me)
Scouting for me was a place where I was confident, even when I wasn’t so confident in other areas of my life scouting was always a safe and fun place to be. I strived very hard in my 2.5years to complete as much badge work as I could; getting as far as gaining my citizenship in adventurer level, with not enough time to complete the whole thing. Scouting taught me basic life skills that I continue to use in everyday life, many times the things I have accomplished or been prepared for and people ask me how and my answer is “I’m a scout”. I remember a school camp (year 11) that we went on that we had a camp fire, the teachers had gone to bed and we were still up, a log rolled out of the fire towards someone and silly me pushed it back in burning my hand in the process, I ran it under cold water and followed first aid procedures. When I showed the teachers in the morning they were glad it happened to me and no one else because I knew what to do because I was a scout.
Some of the other amazing things I did in my time were, initiative courses, roaming through the mud, making friends, camping (I think I went on all except 1), hiking, first aid; the list could go on and on… One of the best things was also having my mum there as a leader. Sandra Yelen was a great asset to our fabulous team of leaders and I really enjoyed my mums company during her time there. The memories I have made during my time at scouts will never be forgotten!!!
One of the amazing things I did in my short scouting period was go on a Jamboree, that was a remarkable experience in Queensland. I celebrated my birthday there and even had a sleepwalker walk through my tent one night, I was the only girl in our troop and I didn’t let that stop me.
After scouts I joined 28th Glen Eira Venturers where it just wasn’t the right atmosphere for me and I moved to Mirage Venturer Unit in Bentleigh East where I had the time of my life. I was able to be independent as I moved away from some of my friends back at 10th Caulfield. Venturers gave me many opportunities to be adventurous, and get involved with many different fantastic activities. The snow was one, I went two years in a row one year there was snow and one year there wasn’t, I ventured outside of the chalet the year there was no snow J I hated the cold. I was also very heavily involved in badge work and due to having more time at venturers I was able to gain my Queen’s Scout Award and my grandfather’s proudest moment was when I was presented with it at Governor House.
After venturers I decided that Rovers was not for me, so I became a youth helper at 10th Caulfield Scout group. I have been an Assistant Scout Leader on and off ever since and believe that scouting has given me so much in my life, confidence, resilience, life skills and much much more; I am really lucky and grateful that I can now return the favour and help other children gain as much out scouting as I did.