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Troop set to celebrate 50 years of Scouting in Kirkcaldy

First aid company winners from the 115th Fife group during the 1970s

First aid company winners from the 115th Fife group during the 1970s

 

A Kirkcaldy Scout group is preparing to celebrate half a century of Scouting with an open exhibition and dinner.

And all members, past and present, who have been connected to the 115th Fife in any way are invited along to reminisce and share happy memories.

The exhibition event is not until September, but the group is keen to contact as many people as possible and to collect old photographs and memorabilia from over the years.

As many young people’s organisations, including other Scout groups, struggle to keep going, the 115th is going from strength to strength.

Six of the group’s former Explorer Scouts for those aged 14-18 years, have recently gone on to become leaders, and this fresh blood, alongside outdoor action man Bear Grylls becoming the organisation’s Chief Scout, has perked up the group’s fortunes, with the 115th seeing a 15 per cent rise in membership over the past two years.

“We have been really lucky here in that we have always had a very strong leadership of originals mixed with youngsters coming through from Beavers to Cubs, Scouts then Explorer Scouts,” said group Scout leader Ken Gilbert, himself a former Scout with the 115th since the age of 13.

“Whereas lots of groups lose their young people when they leave to go to college or university, we have been very lucky because many of ours have stayed on in the town and gone to Fife College or taken up apprenticeships.”

Last year the 115th Fife also scooped the Scottish Scout Community Project of the Year for the work it did during Community Week in conjunction with the Kirkcaldy B&Q store, which it has formed strong links with.

Youngsters from Beavers through to Explorer Scouts took part in an awareness raising stall within the store at the Fife Central Retail Park along with a tombola stall which raised £300 for the Scout Development Fund.

They then did a litter pick around their Scout hall in Chapel, followed by a visit to Chapel Level Nursing Home along with staff from B&Q to do work in the home’s garden.

All this work resulted in the group being nominated for the Community Award which it was presented with in November last year.

Since 1996, the 115th has been proud to have representation at every world Jamboree, and next year in Japan it will be represented by Scout, Tomas McCrae (12), and Explorer Scout Callum Henderson (16).

They attended a selection camp for the East Region and were delighted to be selected to attend.

“We have done very well over the years and won a lot of awards for things like first aid and camping skills, and hopefully the group will continue to do as well into the future,” said Mr Gilbert.

Anyone who wants to get in touch about the exhibition and dinner should contact Ken Gilbert on (01592) 268970.

The 115th Fife (Kirkcaldy) group was formed by a policeman and a fireman in 1964. They started up a Cub pack which originally met in Torbain Primary School.

Two years later the Cubs were joined by a Scout troop, and a thriving Beaver group started up when Beavers were introduced to the Scout movement in 1989.

In 1965 the group was offered the former Chapel school as a base, and it has been there ever since. Over the past ten years grant funding has meant it has been able to renovate its building, blocking up windows and adding new roughcasting as well as repairing a boundary wall and putting up railings.

Inside, a new central heating boiler was installed and the building has been decorated, with new linoleum laid.

The group now boasts 108 members from Beavers through to Explorer Scouts, with 25 leaders.

 

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