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ScoutHike 2014

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1st Epping Scout Group was formed on 3rd July 1915 by Mr Bill Hunt, a local Plumber, only 8 years after the Movement was founded by Lord Baden Powell at Brownsea Island in England. It has operated continuously since that date, and is one of the oldest Scout Groups in Australia to have done so but is now just called Epping Scouts.

Early records show that meetings were held in various local premises, until in 1925 the present Group Headquarters at Essex Street was completed (at a cost of 695 Pounds). This building, with several extensions and modifications, has continued in use since that date; originally, the land extended to the corner of Oxford Street.

With changes in local population, Group numbers rose and fell in the following years, with numbers between 20 and 200 recorded (although section configurations were different). The Group assisted the formation of additional Groups in the District: 2nd Epping (1924-27 and 1948-60), 3rd Epping (1938-48), 1st North Epping (1961- ), 1st West Epping (1947 - 2010), and 1st North Carlingford (1945 - ) (amalgamated with 2nd West Epping to form 1st Roselea).

Having introduced a Sea Scout Section in 1934, the Group was fortunate to obtain in 1939 a boatshed site at Meadowbank, when AWA handed over their jetty, previously used for transport to the Homebush transmitter site. The original shed was built under wartime restrictions, rebuilt in the 1950s, and finally replaced with the present brick structure in 1977. Boating activities have been a feature of the Group’s program, although the Sea Scout section was merged with the General Troop in 1987 to consolidate training.

An Air Scouts section also operated from 1960 to 1987, and a few members have obtained flying qualifications through the Scout Air Base, now at Camden.

In 1990, Female membership was extended to the Cub and Scout sections, and has improved training as well as the opportunities for families with children of both sexes to support a single youth activity.

The Group takes pride in its record of service to the community, and youth training standards, which have produced no fewer than 37 Queen Scout Awards since 1953. Former leaders from the Group have served in senior positions in the Movement, including the present Chief Commissioner and two Branch Commissioners.”

(Reference: 1st Epping Scout Group Annual Report 1997)
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