Birkdale Scouts celebrate 50 years of Scouting in the Redlands

CELEBRATING: Joey Scout Aliyah Byers and Ian Johnson, son of the group founder of Birkdale Scouts, cut the 50th anniversary cake.
CELEBRATING: Joey Scout Aliyah Byers and Ian Johnson, son of the group founder of Birkdale Scouts, cut the 50th anniversary cake.

FIVE decades after the Birkdale Scout group met for the first time, more than 150 people have packed the hall for 50th anniversary celebrations.

Past and present Scouts, parents, Scout leaders and group supporters attended the celebration at the Mary Street den on Saturday.

It was also attended by group matriarch Merrill Ovenden, the Queensland chief commissioner Daryl Scott and Cr Paul Bishop.

Acting leader in charge Steve Palmer said the group first met at the School of Arts Hall in 1969 with 15 cubs before moving to a tin shed at Mooroondu Soccer Club.

The then Redlands Shire Council the same year gave approval to use land in Mary Street and the leaders found a new temporary meeting place, a warmer shed in the yard of founder Len Bates," Mr Palmer said.

Plans were approved in May 1971 and the den then built by volunteer labour from material begged, scrounged and purchased.

"The den was completed and ready for use in July 1972."

Soon after completion a cyclone blew off the roof, dumping it in the nearby creek.

Group leader at the time Danny Lammas put it back on," Mr Palmer said.

CELEBRATING: Birkdale Scouts matriarch Merrill Ovenden who has been involved in Birkdale Scouts since the groups inception, with Cr Paul Bishop.

CELEBRATING: Birkdale Scouts matriarch Merrill Ovenden who has been involved in Birkdale Scouts since the groups inception, with Cr Paul Bishop.

The 20 foot by 30 foot block and corrugated iron building contained an old lounge chair - that was home to a family of mice - a larger wicker basket for storage and a small sink in one corner.

Attendees at the anniversary celebration included Ian Johnson, son of co-founder Joan Johnson, early leader Max Crane and Joey Scouts Aliyah Byers and Mitch Glider from long-time Birkdale Scout Group families.

At 11am on May 11, Scouts held a ceremonial parade and dug up a time capsule buried 25 years ago.

It contained photographs, letters from Scouts at the time and historical information.

Mr Palmer said the 50th anniversary marked the beginning of a new adventure for Scouting in Australia.

"Following the most comprehensive review in the movement's history, a New Youth Program is being implemented nationwide," he said.

"It is a culmination of six years of work driven by young people to revitalise Scouting and draws on best practice experiences from across the country and the world.

"Scouts can expect more adventure and challenges, higher achievements and most importantly more fun, as they take control of setting goals, programming and developing leadership skills as they manage personal progression with leader mentoring and guidance."

Mr Palmer said the initial focus in Queensland was on outdoor adventure skills.

Boys and girls can join Scouts from the age of five, advancing to Cubs around eight years, Scouts about 11, Venturers by mid-teens and Rovers from 18 to 26.

For information or to visit email birkdale.scouts.groupleader@gmail.com.