The 1st Walmer Scout Group, Port Elizabeth has been operating since 1926. For the last 20 years our group has experienced steady growth and stability, including having a solid uniformed and non-uniformed structure with the only active Rover Crew in the PE vicinity.
The Group is situated on the edge of the Baakens Valley, which runs through the heart of Port Elizabeth. Over the past 10 years, we have made significant improvements to our facility and grounds, by replacing the wooden floor in our hall, paving the outside entrance area, adding two 12m containers for our equipment and Rover Den.
The committee and parents have identified security as an issue that needs to be addressed urgently. The first step, Phase 1, was to fit a sliding gate to the property at the cost of R 10,000, which in future will be motorized. The reason for the gate was to keep the public off the property, due to vagrancy and illegal dumping activities. Additionally, children from the neighbouring primary school are vandalizing & littering on the Scout property. We have been regularly finding very unsavoury items, bottles and rubbish on our property because of the low-level perimeter fencing. Additionally, there is an area at the bottom of the property that separates us and the school and where there is no fence at all.
Phase 2 of our security plan is to erect a higher perimeter fence around the Scout property. The current fence is too low and is in a current state of disrepair and in some areas non-existent. The perimeter fence is approximately 400m long. The initial quotations received, from a reputable local supplier, are around R80,000 for the project We have started a fundraising effort but R80,000 is quite a challenge.
Port Elizabeth has 7 to 9 active Scout Groups, with no camping area. The PE Scouting camping area, GILSANDS was sold off as it was deemed unsafe for camping, approx. 15 years ago. Our vision is to establish a new camping area for use by all PE Scouting Groups on the 1st Walmer Scout property, as it is big enough to be used as a camping ground. It would be a privilege to call our camping area GILBAAKENS, as it is situated above the Baakens River valley, in the heart of PE.
There are numerous benefits of being able to share a secure Scout camping area, with other Scout Groups in the PE metropole. This would mean less transport costs, camping costs, security and additional opportunity for all Scouts to learn and be taught by others. Currently the less fortunate PE Scouting Groups are not camping and ISt Walmer is committed in providing this camping opportunity to them, as soon as a secure perimeter fence is erected.
We want all Scouts to have the opportunity to learn new skills through "learning by doing" and to be able to form long lasting friendships.
We would sincerely appreciate any contributions that can assist us in meeting this vision, to improve Scouting property assets and establish a GILBAAKENS facility.
Yours in scouting
1st Walmer Scout Group