Thursday, August 21, 2003

Matt's Trip to Girt Island

After weeks of inactivity, I finally decided to get involved with the local Yeppoon Scout Group. After speaking with the Group Leader, we decided that it would be best for the group if I helped as a Assistant Scout Leader. It's not quite the role I had in mind when approaching the group but I was happy to accept the challenge, especially since I've never actually working in the scout section before as a regular leader.

The first couple of meetings I've been too have been great. The Scout Troop has about 14 youth members and one leader, Doug. It appears to be a relatively young-aged Troop but the kids are great, though a little noisy at times. Nothing I haven't been able to handle on previous activities with Scouts.

The first night we worked on leadership and listening skills. I got to know some of the kids pretty well and found out that several of them were planning to head down to Adelaide for the Jamboree next year. The following week we concentrated on pioneering which was interesting for me because I really haven't done much construction work since I left Scouts. We built a couple of small towers with some limited success!

I was also invited to attend a going up ceremony for two Scouts on their way to Venturers. This was to be held on Girt Island near Keppel Sands. With this information in hand I presumed that we'd be going there on some sort of boat. How wrong I was! The plan was to walk to the island and back while the tide was low! Luckily we have really big tides in the area, apparently 4m between high and low so I was told.

I arrived at the small town of Keppel Sands ready for the trip across. I was told by the Venturer Leader, Alan that Keppel Sands is famous in that some point in history a bunch of South Sea Islanders were dropped off near by and used for labour in the Sugar Mills near by.

The walk to the island was pretty uneventful, except that most of the way I couldn't actually see where the sandbar that we were following was. Luckily Alan knew what he was doing and we ended up on the island without even getting our knees wet. We then spent some time exploring the island and tormenting the local crabs.

We eventually made our way to the top of the island for the going up ceremony. The two Venturers renewed their promise and Alan and I made a few quick speeches on the importance of going up to Venturers and the new avenues that it opens up to them. We then spent another 1/2 hour exploring the island

On the way back we discovered that the tide was coming in a little faster than we expected. Before long we were above our knees in water and still had a way to go before reaching dry land! Luckily for us the shallow sand bar was closer than we thought and we made it back without getting too wet!

Over all it was a great day with the guys and I had a good chance to speak with the Venturers, Leaders and even a couple of parents while walking along the beach. Got some great photo's too. Check them out in the Scout section of the photo album.

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