A venture into public history

‘Be prepared for new adventure’
This is the motto used to encompass the vast organization of Scouts Australia which provides youth and adults ages 5 to 25 with fun and challenging opportunities to grow through adventure. From traditional skills such as camping and bush-craft to more adventure oriented pursuits such as abseiling, hiking and rafting, this youth development organization fosters the growth and development of youth with values of leadership, teamwork, problem solving and communication. Throughout my project as part of the HSTY3902 course, I will be working with my local chapter; 1st Picnic Point Scout Group which has been operating since the 25th of September 1958. Located on the banks of the Georges River in South West Sydney, the group is a staple of the local landscape working with hundreds of members and several local organizations including other Scout groups in the South Metropolitan area in the pursuit of education, adventure and community.
My experience with the group traces back to my own youth between 2004 and 2011 where I was a member of Scout group. Throughout my time with the group I learnt valuable skills such as knot tying, camping and survival skills, first aid and lifesaving and took part in overnight hikes, rafting, rock climbing and abseiling to name a few. The highlight of my experience with the scout group was the 2010 Jamboree; a triennial, 10 night camping gathering for the Scouting organization across Australia. These memories with the group and my relationship with the leaders who are still closely involved with the running of the chapter a decade later are what drew me to work with this awesome local organization.
After reaching out to Robert who runs the organization and being reminded of my less than ideal behavior from when I was seven we began throwing around ideas for my project with a focus on the collaborative construction of history. With the organization coming up to its 60th year and having undergone substantial growth since it’s well documented 50th anniversary the idea emerged to construct a scrapbook to commemorate the past ten years of the organization. After meditating on this and discussing with this organization, I decided that this might be too large scale of a project to fully commit myself too and moved towards exploring the recent establishment and growth of the branches Venturer group. Venturers are a mix of fun, adventure and personal challenge that brings together youth aged 14 to 17 in an inclusive and fun environment. I thought that this group specifically would be interesting to work with as it is more independent and member driven than its predecessors which allows interesting opportunities to create a public history in collaboration with both the leaders and youth in the group.
Moving forward, this project will involve meetings and close collaboration with the 1st Picnic Point Venturer group where I will piece together a content piece that explores the re-establishment and growth of the branch over the past few years and why this is important to not only the individuals involved but also the wider community.

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