“Not everyone is into sport, even though I’m mad into it myself!”
So said Evonne McLoughlin when she spoke to the Roscommon People recently about the remarkably successful birth of a Scouts movement in the general Kilglass/Tarmonbarry area.
Evonne and Bryan McLoughlin from Kilglass are the couple who kick-started this good news story.
They felt that more activities and support was needed for young children in the area. Not everyone is ‘into’ sport, as Evonne puts it – and setting up a Scouts presence in the area was seen as something worth trying.
The initial exploratory meeting took place in early 2014, and now, after much hard work and volunteering, almost fifty children attended a Scouts Investiture just over a week ago.
Once they’d had the initial idea, Bryan and Evonne McLoughlin received assistance from Noel Leahy, the Scouting Support Officer in Connacht; County Chairman Charlie Gibbons; Michelle O’Donnell from Ballinamore and Tom Gill from Ballyboro Scouts.
A public meeting was held in February 2014 in Kilglass GAA Clubhouse to try to establish the level of interest in the parish and beyond regarding setting up a Scout Group. At this meeting the need for volunteers was also emphasised.
There was a positive response and the decision was taken to proceed. Training for leaders commenced in May 2014 and a Leader Skills Training Day took place in Lough Keel, Forest Park, Boyle.
On Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 the first ever Scout Group commenced in Kilglass/Tarmonbarry area at Tommy Gaffney’s Shannon River Adventure Centre in Drumminamore.
Since then, the new Scouts have met on a weekly basis and been on several exciting trips in the locality.
The Kilglass/Tarmonbarry Scouts group is divided into three age categories – Beaver Scouts: 6-8 years; Cub Scouts: 9-11 years; Scouts: 12-15 years.
Activities include camp, games, stories, songs and skills. Badges are given to encourage participation in activities and to recognise individual achievements.
They meet at the Shannon River Adventure Centre for an hour and a half every Tuesday evening (from 6.30 pm).
“It’s a big commitment, but it’s very rewarding” says Evonne McLoughlin, who added that the relatively new group would welcome a helping hand from new volunteers.
Anyone interested in joining up as a volunteer (or in enquiring about enlisting a child) should contact Bryan McLoughlin on 086-4107196 (or any of the other leaders).
Meanwhile, imagine the sense of joy and celebration on Friday, June 19 last when up to 50 Scouts (as well as leaders) attended an Investiture ceremony.
Truly a good news story!