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Monkstown Scout Group

Monkstown Scout Group began in 1962 with the establishing of an open Cub Pack initially of ten boys. The founder was Robin Craig who was working in community relations with youth groups in the area and foresaw the need for a youth group.

Other Leaders at that time were Joan Kelly and David Stewart. The original meeting place was in a room over shops which used to be at the junction of the Monkstown and Jordanstown roads. This is directly opposite the White Church which might be more familiar landmark to many. The original shops are now longer there but now are in the process of being rebuilt. Interest was high and numbers grew accordingly.

Later in the sixties Scout were started by Paul Gibbs, a micro biologist from England who was at that time working in Northern Ireland.
In 1970 with the opening of the Church of the Good Shepherd at the entrance to the Monkstown estate the group was invited to use their halls as a meeting place. Akela then was Carol Kay assisted by Dorothy Beattie.
The Group remained open attracting boys from all denominations.

The Troubles in the early seventies resulted in a
loss of members and the troop lapsed but the pack still boasted over 25 boys. The pack enjoyed many evenings outdoors exploring local landmarks such as Jack's Lane and the disused railway track which led to Greenisland. Due to development these places have long gone but
provided lasting memories of fun evenings for many
Cubs who passed through the Pack.

Pack Holidays, the predecessor of Nights Away, were popular visiting many sites as far a field as Ballylough, Carnfunnock and the former Youth Hostel in Ballygally.

In the mid seventies Scouts were revived by Tom Weir. The troop was very active with around 20 boys. Camping was a popular activity. Good times were had at Loch Goilhead, Garrison and Cladagh Glen both in County Fermanagh and a memorable canal boat trip near Birmingham to name but a few of the places visited.

Beavers were started in 1984 under Catherine Lunn, who had originally been a Cub Scout Leader in St. Catherine's 75th Belfast Cubs. This helped boosted group numbers for both Cubs and Scouts.

Coming more up to date the Pack is still active and in the last year the Troop has been restarted under the leadership of Stuart Ritchie.
The current Akela is Oliver Townsend who is ably assisted by Gail McKirgan.
We are actively looking for leaders to restart our Beaver Colony.

Monkstown has survived intact for 49 years and is still going strong due to the dedication of many people throughout the years who gave unstintingly of their time and talents. The next milestone will be 2012 when we will celebrate being 50 years old.

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