GROUP LEADER PROFILE
Hello and welcome to David Smith's profile.
Well I have been a big old luddite but i am slowly dragging myself to being half competent with one of these machines called a computer!
any spelling errors are because my fingers are too big !!
My scouting career dates to when I was 18 doing a Diploma of Arts (vocational writing !) thanks to Gough Whitlam and his studentships..they paid me to go to uni as long as I signed a commitment to teach for 3 years (Gough also dropped conscription which potentially saved me from going to Vietnam !!!)
anyway a student invited me along to Rovers one day .
"Whats Rovers? I asked
So I walked in to Rugby St one Friday night to end up joining Barwon District Rover Crew, and I was hooked. Camping, (after finding may way out of Geelong for the first time !)
Our hut at Eumeralla, Rover Moots, being independant, having a uniform and the sense of identity that it brings, plus the profound effect of learning the Rover Law and the all night sole Vigil that rover investiture can involve
In short ,Goodbye town lout who was bored and hello the world !
After Rovers , I was a Venturer leader at 17th Geelong Venturers, with my first wife.
Scout leader for a short time at 1st Belmont with Lynette's boys (my second wife and now manager Scout Opp shop)
a bit of a break from scouting
The BP Scout Guild Geelong, (picked up a flyer looking for ex.scouts at a Gala day..who says P.R. doesn't work ?)
experienced my first pie drive and when a self employed commercial builder delivered apricot pies to me at 10 PM to raise $300 or so ..well I said "fundraisers must be bigger and better than this........"
So the scout footy car parks were born
Then the Scout opp shop
At the same time someone in the Guild asked me if I would like to be Rover Comissioner !!
A most enjoyable five years as Geelong Region Rover Commissioner. When a 20 something year old , asks you for advice, well it makes you feel good !
3 Airshows co-ordinating internal traffic control checkpoints with 40 or so Rovers on Duty every day, added to the list of BIG fundraisers with Mafeking Rover Park being the Beneficiary.
When Jacinta thought she was a Rover at 7 years old , she wondered why she couldn't become a Cub ( no Joeys existed and Belmont didn't have girls !!)
I know some will say there's not much difference between Rovers and Cubs..just size really.
Belmont Scout Group also didn't have a Group Leader in 1996, and only 6 Cubs and 10 scouts who were leaving after the next Jamboree anyway.
So I put an offer to the FIRST BELMONT GROUP...(after finding another Guild member to try being Rover Commish.) you can have me for Group Leader but I arrive with your first female cub !!
Since then we have fluctuated between 70 and 20 youth members, started Joeys, closed and restarted them again,
I have had the joy of getting kids to, and coming back from Jamborees changed into young adults with a bit of self confidence and self esteem.
The frustration and sheer doggedness of being "Mr everything" determined not to let First Belmont fold.
The cycle goes on.
The hunt for new leaders and more kids continues.
I hope to keep enjoying seeing town kids get to Jamborees and Venturer Gatherings in New Zealand etc etc and enjoy the huge scouting world that is out there
It would also be nice to have Venturers this side of the river again and a Rover Crew re Born !!