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77 Years of Scouting in Ballyclare

The current Ballyclare group was registered in 1929 although there may have been scouts in the town several years before that.
Mr Arthur Fowweather, headmaster of the then Ballyclare Intermediate School was the first Scoutmaster with two patrols, the Lions and the Tigers. The first camps were held at Magilligan, troop members making the journey by train and then from Castlerock by donkey and cart. A central park in Liverpool saw the first “overseas camp”. This site had been established by The Scout Association as one of a number throughout the UK and indeed the following year (1937) saw a visit to another such site,
at Brymbach in North Wales.

In the spring of 1939 Mr James Granger took over as Scoutmaster and he had a great influence on Scouting not only in Ballyclare but throughout the District as District Commissioner and in Co. Antrim as County Commissioner.

Fifty years ago the troop was represented at the Jubilee Jamboree in Sutton Coldfield so it is fitting that it has representation this year at the Centenary Jamboree.

In 1966 the Troop was divided into a Scout Troop
and a Venture Scout Unit and Cub Scouts were
established in September 1967.

The following year saw the introduction of the District groundball competition.
Venture scouts purchased a landrover and
travelled to Norway and France to climb.
1972 saw the Troop travel to Munich and this camp
included visits to the Olympics with 51 in the party
including many old boys.

Numerous continental camps followed with several visits to France and Switzerland and Jamboree opportunities allowed boys to travel worldwide. Mr Wilbert Hollinger had now taken on the role of Scoutmaster.

Beaver Scouts were established in 1980 by Mrs Marina Powers and they quickly made a valuable contribution to the Group and provided many recruits for cubs and in turn scouts.

The good work of scouting continues in Ballyclare with leaders again providing service to the District and beyond

Numerous former members look back on their times in scouting here with fondness and freely admit that valuable foundations were laid down during these times. Let’s hope many more young people will continue to enjoy such benefits in the future and let’s thank all the leaders who so willingly give of their time and talents.
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