SORRENTO Sea Scouts leader Christopher Clark believes Scouting teaches young people self-control, to look after their friends, and respect for others – all qualities valuable in society.
The Rye resident was speaking after being awarded the prestigious Silver Koala award by the Governor-General and Chief Scout of Australia, Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC, on World Scout Day 1 August. The Silver Koala award is for distinguished service over 14-16 years.
Mr Clark has spent most of his life at the Sorrento troop, joining the Cubs as an eight year old and progressing through the ranks to become a Scout, Venturer and now leader. His children are following in his footsteps.
“The Sea Scouts also teaches young people practical skills, such as knot tying, boating and seamanship, that they probably wouldn’t learn elsewhere,” he said.
“Whatever young people put into it, they will get out of it.”
Mr Clark, who was awarded the Silver Wattle award five years ago, said the Sorrento Sea Scouts was a strong club with 20 Cubs, 20 Scouts, eight Venturers and 10-15 Rovers, with the youngsters drawn from southern peninsula primary schools.
A Silver Wattle award for outstanding service over 10-12 years was presented to Frankston District Joey Scouts leader Lynette Swaine, of Frankston South.
Ms Swaine, who is in charge of all Joey activities and oversees the work of other leaders in her district, was a Girl Guide and Ranger before joining the 1st Frankston troop when her son and daughter became Cubs and Joeys.
“Young people come from all different backgrounds and situations and Scouting teaches them to work together, gives them leadership experience and instils good character,” she said. “I love it for what the children get out of it. I see them grow and develop from shy and timid youngsters to confident young people.”
Special Service Awards went to Mari Albiston, provisional group leader, 1st Mornington; John Bennett, adult helper, 1st Balnarring; Cory Bixler, provisional assistant Scout leader, 1st Mornington; Kathleen Hudson, group chairman, 1st Balnarring; Dale Kent, Cub Scout leader, 1st Tyabb; Theshia Kent, Joey Scout leader, 1st Tyabb; Scott Lines-Perrier, assistant Scout leader, 1st Ranelagh; Stuart McKellar, assistant Cub Scout leader, 1st Mornington; Raelene Burnett, provisional group leader, 1st Sth Frankston; Anthony Gustus, assistant Venturer leader, Baden Powell Park; Paul Rodgers, group leader, 1st Langwarrin, and Katherine Scott, group chairman, Baden Powell Park.
Meritorious Service Awards went to Wayne Hicks, district leader – Cub Scouts, Mornington Peninsula District; Carolyn Danaher, Cub Scout leader, Baden Powell Park; Scott Rosicka, district commissioner, Frankston District and Sandra Sunkel-lozell, district leader – Scouts, Frankston District.
Scouts Victoria chief commissioner Brendan Watson said adults in Scouting gave 1.7 million hours each year to “helping young people grow up to achieve their best”.
“For most, their contribution is supporting weekly meetings at the local Scout hall, and occasional weekends away, such as camping, hiking, or learning new skills, such as canoeing and rock climbing,” Mr Watson said.
“At the same time, they are developing our future leaders.”