Scouts' hope to open new section to meet increasing demand

5th Woodbridge Sea Scouts are hoping to open a new section for eight to 10-year-olds

5th Woodbridge Sea Scouts are hoping to open a new section for eight to 10-year-olds - Credit: BARRIE HAYTER/ 5TH WOODBRIDGE SEA SCOUTS

A scout troop is hoping to open a new section for eight- to 10-year-olds in September due to ever-increasing demand. 

The 5th Woodbridge Sea Scouts has experienced a surge in interest as it prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary and there are currently 35 children on the waiting list in the eight to 10 age group. 

In total, there are 125 in all age ranges waiting to join the popular organisation. 

5th Woodbridge Sea Scouts take part in water-based activities on the River Deben

5th Woodbridge Sea Scouts take part in water-based activities on the River Deben - Credit: BARRIE HAYTER/ 5TH WOODBRIDGE SEA SCOUTS

The troop’s leader Barrie Hayter said he was aiming to start the new age section in September providing enough adults came forward to lead the eight to 10 group. 

He has two volunteer leaders so far, but needs between four and six to be able to run the section. 

He said: “There is a definite demand. It is just that we need to get parents to commit to leading the group.” 

Mr Hayter revealed that since the start of March alone, a further six children had joined the waiting list for the sea scouts and a couple of young people were coming forward every week. 

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In February, he said he believed the pandemic had led to a growth in interest as families spent more time outdoors doing activities which the scouts specialise in. 

“There seems to be a lot more interest in joining the scouts and learning those extra skills and doing those extra activities. It has renewed parents’ interest in getting their kids doing things outside and the scouts is a good, organised, safe way for their young kids to do activities outside,” Mr Hayter added. 

To celebrate the special anniversary, a series of events will be taking place throughout the year, including during the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee on 2 June when all youth, adult members and volunteers will be joining a big water session to get everybody on the water at the same time. 

There will be a barbecue and opportunities for past members to visit and see the current capabilities and leaders. 

The 110-strong sea scouts, formed in 1972, participate in many water-based activities and learn water skills safely, including sailing, rowing, kayaking and canoeing, while they also use power boats. 

Anyone interested in becoming a leader for the eight to 10 group should email gsl@5wss.org.uk.