Scouts without a home

By Brooke Haffenden

THE 1st Doreen Scouts Group needs your help.

Living by the Scout Promise to do their best and contribute to the community, the young group of Joeys, Cubs, Scouts and Venturers are not only without a home but have no place to store their equipment, and now they are turning to the community for assistance.

Assistant Group Leader Dinnae Galloway told the Whittlesea Review that currently there are four sections split across three different locations.

As a result of the Laurimar Community Centre fire in January this year, the Joeys and Cubs have had to move locations and are based out of the new Orchard Road Community and Early Learning Centre.

Whittlesea Council confirmed repairs have begun on the Laurimar Community Centre, with groups expected to return by Term 2.

Although, the Joeys and Cubs will return to the facility, the group will still be split across different locations as the centre is not big enough to host the other groups.

Currently the Scout troop operates out of the Mernda Uniting Church and the Venturers out of the Eltham Scout Hall, which affects preparing for events and impacts on equipment storage.

“We are really, really spread out because we do not have a home of our own,” Ms Galloway said.

“It’s difficult to organise for events.

“When I was helping our scout leader get ready for camp in October she was running all around. She had to go to three different parents’ homes to collect equipment just to be prepared for the camp.”

At the moment, the 1st Doreen Scout Group is storing equipment in eight different garages, as well as a carport. As a result of their relocation, they are also borrowing equipment from other groups.

Ms Galloway said while the group doubled their membership numbers from 42 to 80 within a six month period, the split locations can affect membership.

“It’s a lot more difficult to have parents of youth that are trialling and to encourage them to stick around. They’re not going to stick around if they don’t feel welcome and they don’t feel comfortable, and they don’t feel like they have found a home,” she said.

“So, when you have this really disjointed organisation it’s very hard to get to know all the different leaders.”

Whittlesea Mayor, Cr Kris Pavlidis said council has been attempting to find a more suitable location for the group.

“Council understands that the Doreen Scout Club is growing which is wonderful for our community. We have been working with the club to try and find more suitable locations for them to meet but at this stage we have been unable to identify a building that would suit their needs,” Cr Pavlidis said.

“We recognise the value to our community of organisations like the Scouts and will continue to work with the Doreen club to support them.”

Ms Galloway said council has been fantastic, however while they wait they need to look at temporary solutions, including storage facilities.

The group has put a call out for anybody with a storage container that can be stored in Doreen or Mernda.

Ms Galloway also reiterated while they don’t have their own hall, the 1st Doreen Scout Group is “still an amazing environment for children to learn skills they don’t learn in school.”

For more information or to help the group please contact
Group Leader Malcom Noyle on 0499 549 337,
or Assistant Group Leader Dinnae Galloway 0436 122 993.

Alternatively you can visit the website at