Scouting in Limavady three decades on

The members of the 25th/28th Limavady Scouts Ireland this week presented food item to the St Vincent de Paul (SVP). Kevin King, leader and the scouts are pictured at the presentation which was received by Margaret McLaughlin president SVP and Sean O'Neill volunteer. INLV5115-643KDR

The members of the 25th/28th Limavady Scouts Ireland this week presented food item to the St Vincent de Paul (SVP). Kevin King, leader and the scouts are pictured at the presentation which was received by Margaret McLaughlin president SVP and Sean O'Neill volunteer. INLV5115-643KDR

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When 25th Derry Scouts Group (Limavady) was started in 1981 by Parish Priest Fr Irwin, the unit grew from strength to strength.

The success was greeted well by those involved, including the first unit leader, Brian McWilliams.

Mary Owens and Christy McCann, Limavady scout leader.

Mary Owens and Christy McCann, Limavady scout leader.

However, what they weren’t prepared for was just how popular the unit would be.

“The unit grew from strength to strength, and became two groups. with a total of 120 young scouters and leaders. Belfast, Donegal, Scotland, Dublin, England and a camp in America at a jamboree, to name but a few were venues for scout camps,” said Cub leader Mary Owens.

“They met weekly in the local hall, Bethany, which was attached to the old Termoncanice School,” said Ms Owens. However, the group were forced to look for a new home in 2010 when a fire destroyed the building.

The association is headed by the Chief Scout, currently Christy McCann.

Mrs Owens said the unit, part of Scouting Ireland, is steadily building its numbers.

“At present we are building our numbers back up and, under the fantastic training team of Scouting Ireland, we train new leaders regularly. We have 15 beavers, 20 cubs and 12 scouts,” said Mrs Owens.

“Scouting has opened so many doors for so many young people - Neil Armstrong was one of the many famous scouts, Richard Branson of Virgin airline fame; Jason Black who climbed Mount Everest and hails from Donegal, and current astronaut Tim Peake have all worn proudly a scout neckerchief.”

Ms Owens encouraged anyone who is thinking of volunteering to get in touch.

“We always need help and new leaders. If you feel that you can give up a little of your time in a week, and no skills are needed - just enthusiasm and a bit of fun - we would love to hear from you,” said Ms Owens.

“Of the 750,000 people between the ages of six and 18 in Ireland, approximately six per cent are involved in Scouting Ireland,” said Ms Owens.

25th Derry meet at LCDI on Scroggy Road in Limavady.

Beavers, aged 6-8, meet on a Thursday betwen 6.30pm-8pm.

Cubs, aged 8-11, meet on a Tuesday night between 6.30pm-8pm.

Scouts, aged 11-16, meet on a Thursday night between 7-9pm.