By Mark Squibb | Vol. 12 No. 5 (March 7 2019)
Alan Goodridge, who has been involved with Scouts in the Goulds for the last 38 years, says that this 2018-2019 season is the first time he can remember that there hasn't been a Scouting program.
"You might say it's the first year in decades that there's been no program," he told the Irish Loop Post.
Once upon a time, he says, there were as many as 200 Scouters in the Goulds.
The program caters to youths of all ages, with children being divided into different programs, such as Beaver Scouts or Cub Scouts, depending on their age.
Goodridge said that it's not so much a lack of interest on the part of youth, but a lack of leaders, as many leaders have moved on from their positions.
Jeff Marshall, who went through the Scouting program in Central Newfoundland as a boy, is one parent who hopes to volunteer with the club this coming season.
"I never really pictured myself as a Beaver leader but I guess I will be," he laughed.
He hopes that others will step forward to help keep the club going and has been rallying parents to volunteer with the group.
"Alan has done a lot for Scouting in the Goulds and in the province in general for a long time, but understandably I think he wants to scale back his involvement a little bit, because he's been involved for so long, and pass it onto a new generation," said Marshall. "Sometimes the prospect of something that is so important to the community going away is enough to motivate people to really get involved."
Marshall noted that many of the people he's talked to had been enrolled in the Scouts when they were young and in some cases even had Goodridge as a leader.
He says that the program is all-around good for the community.
"Whenever you're developing young kids and young minds and having people outside and being physically active and learning skills and socializing, that's an indirect benefit on the whole community,” said Marshall.
So how many leaders will the group need?
Well, that depends on how many clubbers show up.
Goodridge explained the average ratio is one leader per four or five younger children, with a two leader minimum regardless of group size.
"But at the same time, you need more than that, because what would happen if someone has work commitments, or someone has other activities on the go and they can’t make it," he explained.
Enrollment for clubbers will begin this May.
For more info, contact Marshall at 747-7844 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.