St Eugene’s Scout Group celebrates 40 years of leadership and teamwork

AT THE BEGINNING... A photograph of the first ever St Eugene's Scout Group investiture in May 1972, which includes Scout Leader John Fox, Commissioner Robert Boyle and group leader Martin McDaid. If you would like to get involved with St. Eugene's Scout Group, contact: 71. 263800. (2004JC6)
AT THE BEGINNING... A photograph of the first ever St Eugene's Scout Group investiture in May 1972, which includes Scout Leader John Fox, Commissioner Robert Boyle and group leader Martin McDaid. If you would like to get involved with St. Eugene's Scout Group, contact: 71. 263800. (2004JC6)
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Derry’s St Eugene’s Scout Group will celebrate 40 years in Scouting next month, with a special Anniversary Mass marking the occasion.

Ahead of their anniversary celebrations, local scout leaders are calling for potential new leaders to get in touch, as well as people with skills to share and any photographs charting the group’s history over the past four decades.

St Eugene’s Scout Group began back in 1972 in the old Rosemount Girls’ School and, despite the conflict of the time, the group remained resolute and carried on regardless.

Unit Leader Celine Taylor explained the ethos behind the scouts. “The overall aim of the scouting experience is to help develop its young people aged 6-18 years-old through adventure, fun, camping, cooking, looking after themselves, team-work, but most of all, by having fun. This, in turn, helps enhance their skills by increasing confidence, building character, improving leadership skills and creating firm and long-lasting friendships.”

St Eugene’s owe these 40 years in scouting to the dedication of its leaders past and present.

Indeed, Celine Taylor and her husband Dessie have been instrumental in the group’s long success, having spent almost three decades with St Eugene’s Scout Group.

Local parents are full of praise and admiration for these two leaders and the valuable contribution and commitment they have shown towards scouting in Derry.

Oblivious to this high praise, Celine Taylor remains dedicated to the group and says: “We managed to keep going all this time, even through the Troubles, with the help of all our excellent leaders, who are all voluntary. I think there have been as many as 200 leaders altogether over the past four decades.”

“There have been many boys and girls who have passed through our group and now their children are coming to us too, which just goes to show how wonderful scouting can be,” Celine adds.

“We’re also looking for new scout leaders aged between 18-70 years-old to join us for fun and adventure. No experience is necessary as all training will be provided, but you get the satisfaction of helping develop our young people, helping them to look after themselves and the environment. Please do come along and join us - we’re confident that you will find the experience very rewarding.”

Celine Taylor also called for the public to submit any photos of the last 40 years of St Eugene’s Scout Group so the group can share them.

If you have old photos of the scouts, just write your contact details on the back of each and St Eugene’s scout leaders promise to copy each photo and return each photo safely to its owners.

Anyone with a certain skill or talent are also called upon to contribute to the scouting experience.

You don’t need to become a leader to get involved and if you have a skill to share with the young scouts, contact Celine Taylor at: 71. 263800.

A special Anniversary Mass celebrating 40 years of St Eugene’s Scouting Group will take place at 12.30pm on Sunday, May 27, at St Eugene’s Cathedral. All past leaders and scouts are warmly welcome.