A GROUP of youngsters in South Tyneside don’t need to ‘scout’ for a new home any longer.
The 22nd Brownsea Scouts Group, which dates back to 1929, is now laying firm foundations for the future after switching to a permanent base at Whiteleas Community Centre in Hogarth Road, South Shields.
Scouts, beavers and cubs enjoyed their first meeting under their new roof last night, after completing a switch from temporary accommodation at St Wilfrid’s College.
The scouts have been on a tour of the borough in recent years – with Stanhope Complex and Margaret Sutton School also offering a place to call home at various times.
Now group scout leader Gary Jukes, who has been part of the 22nd Brownsea Scouts since signing up as a six-year-old, is delighted to have a fresh start.
Mr Jukes, 26, from Harton Nook, in South Shields: “Having our own permanent base gives us a lot more freedom.
“We have tried to find a permanent, but cheaper building for us to stay in. We didn’t want all the money from subscriptions to go on a building. Now we have more money left to do more activities.”
The 84-year-old scout group is showing few signs of wear and tear, but Mr Jukes still feels there is room for growth.
He added: “We have 35 children at the moment, but in the past we’ve had up to 100. Now we’ve got a permanent base, I’d like to start building and get to 100 again.
“Scouting is still popular, as it offers youngsters opportunities they don’t get when sitting playing computer games or standing on a street corner.
“There’s a lot of activities, like canoeing, archery, walking and going on camp.”
As well as beaver, cubs and scout groups, those eager to stay in the fraternity can join up with explorer scouts, aged from 14 to 18, and take on more challenges and complete award certificates.
The 22nd Brownsea Scouts hold meetings every Monday, from 5pm until 6.30pm for beavers (six to eight-year-olds), from 6.30pm to 8pm for cubs (eight to 10-year-olds) and from 7pm to 9pm for scouts (10 to 14-year-olds). For details, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org