Timor-Leste Scouts and Australian Scouts share an Adventurous Activities Day - December 2018
On the 29 December 2018 an excited group of Scouts from Timor-Leste and their scout hosts from1st Haberfield and 1st Leichhardt scout groups enjoyed a day of outdoor adventurous activities with the RockSchool Team.
The 1st Haberfield fundraising group (1st Haberfield and 1st Leichhardt Scouts and other groups from the district) have been fundraising for the last 20 years. Since 2013 the group has sponsored a number of Scouts from Timor-Leste to attend the Australian Jamboree. This year they spent $28,000 to bring 6 scouts and a leader from Timor-Leste to Australia to attend AJ2019 in South Australia. The scouts are from all over Timor-Leste.
Fons Meenhuis, 1st Haberfield scout leader and Noel Davar from 1st Leichardt scouts are the driving force behind this venture. They brought 4 scouts and a leader over to Australia for the Jamboree in 2013, and in 2016 another group of 6 scouts and a leader. In 2018 Scouts Australia paid for 1 leader to provide 2 deep leadership for the group. Fons travelled to Timor-Leste in 2016 for 5 weeks to visit his new scouting friends and to raise scouting awareness. He was humbled by the welcome he received from the scouts all over the country. He is planning a return visit in 2020. This is a fantastic example of co-operation between international scouting communities.
This is an amazing experience for the scouts from Timor-Leste as well as their Australian sponsors and billets, one that they will remember forever. Bryan Davidson, South Metropolitan Region Commissioner visited on the day and will attend the Jamboree with the Timor-Leste scouts, as part of the B106 scout troop. If you are attending the Jamboree you are most welcome to visit and say hello.
The day started at Noorumba, a Girl Guide camp in Woronora with the RockSchool team in full swing. RockSchool is run by the Southern Cross Adventurous Activities Fellowship (SCAASF) and the team consists of Girl Guide and Scout leaders past and present. RockSchool has been providing an opportunity for youth and adult members to experience and learn abseiling skills for the past 21 years. Other adventurous activities facilitated by SCAASF including caving, bushwalking and canyoning. The RockSchool team has supported many different events and activities including the recent Hume Region All Girls Camp.
Despite the heat (35 degrees) the morning saw all the scouts and leaders experience the thrill of abseiling including overhangs. The language barrier resulted in some interesting miming from the abseil instructors along with lots and lots of laughter.
Welcome relief from the heat came while eating lunch in Prince Edward Park next to the Woronora River. The afternoon was filled with water and paddling fun, as the group kayaked and canoed their way up Forbes Creek. Bindaree, the Girl Guides Water Activity Centre provided the boats and equipment for the activity. Shady and shallow the creek was a perfect place to cool off.... that was to splash and tip out leaders and kids alike! Much laughter was heard on the water. Everyone helped in the pack up and the hugely successful day finished with the presentation of Certificates of Participation to the Timor-Leste & Australian Scouts, with many photos taken.
This joint venture between 1st Haberfield fundraising group and Timor-Leste Scouts, in partnership with the local Girl Guides and SCAASF demonstrates the Scout and Girl Guides’ Promise and Law in action.