THE Millicent Scouts Group could be forced to close its doors due to a lack of community support and a decline in membership numbers.
The group currently offers Joey, Cub and Scouts programs in Millicent, however there are only seven members involved and two adult leaders.
Group leader Patrick Smith made a call for help last month, reaching out to the Millicent community and service clubs to offer assistance with a number of essential upgrades to the scout hall.
Mr Smith believes upgraded facilities could potentially attract and retain members and make the hall an asset to the town.
“I sent out a letter to community groups, basically we need some form of help otherwise the group will fold,” he said.
“If the group folds, then the Girl Guides will end up with no home and so on and so forth – there is a huge knock on effect.
“Given the recent closure of the Millicent and District Community Club, we could end up losing more and more places, which we definitely do not want.”
The group is calling out for assistance with hanging new doors, painting walls, grounds maintenance, cabinetry and storage replacement and plumbing of new toilet facilities, tank and hot water services.
They also need people to help with book keeping, program delivery, stock take, asset register and grant writing.
“What we really need are people that are able to help with general maintenance and the upkeep of the hall,” Mr Smith said.
“The premises has been neglected for so long and over a succession of different group leaders coming through.
“As a group we have realised there has been a bit of a brand damage so to speak of Scouts in Millicent and we are trying to work through that.”
Mr Smith added while there were options of travelling to Mount Gambier for Scouts if the group ceased to exist, it may deter Millicent members to join and would be a loss for the community as children would be limited to joining sporting clubs.
“Scouting gives people a rounded way of feeling like they have gained those life skills that do get missed in a formal education setting such as school,” he said.
“It builds resilience and confidence in young people and enables them to show some leadership and initiative.
“Across Australia, scouting as a whole has been going through a program review.
“We have spent the last five years looking at what the whole program is about, going through what we think we should be doing and delivering … that is due to be released next year.
“Scouting-wise, it is an exciting time to come in because we are all going to be on this whole new journey.”
However, it is not just members the Millicent Scout Group needs, but also adult leaders as Mr Smith and local Narelle Thompson are the “only two who are keeping the club going”.
Following a changeover this year, the duo has been working hard to settle into the club, follow scouting guidelines and build a cooperative relationship with the Girl Guides and a strong community presence.
Mr Smith said the group was grateful for the community’s support over the past six decades, however relied on continued support to come through.
“We appreciate the assistance that we have been getting from the Lions club every now and then,” he said.
“They helped us out with Geltwood, which was great to see.”
The Scouts meet once a week for an hour and participate in a wide range of fun and interactive activities.
As well as exploring the outdoors, they focus on healthy eating, creative ways to make ice cream, astronomy and star gazing, arts and crafts and cooking.
“We do a bit of crafting activities, a bit of cooking activities, mixed in with some more outdoor adventure stuff,” he said.
“We cover a variety of different areas of personal growth.”
People interested in helping out the Scouts or joining as a member can email email@example.com for more information.