To celebrate 10 years since the formation of their Troop in All Saints’ Parish, Antrim, 5th Antrim Scouts held a Summer Jam at Breckenhill Activity Centre in Doagh.
More than 30 young people attended, taking part in activities such as Splatmaster, archery, bush craft cooking, raft building and the Drumdarragh Challenge.
The Troop was set up in 2011 by the Rev Adrian Halligan, who was curate in All Saints’ at the time and a very experienced Scout, along with parishioner, Fiona Simpson. This was part of a diocesan initiative to encourage parishes to try something new.
On that first night in September 2011, nine boys and three leaders attended, and by the end of the session in June 2012, the troop had more than 25 Beavers, Cubs and Scouts and 10 leaders.
The vicar of Antrim, the Ven Dr Stephen McBride, said: “Since then we have grown and grown, and on most Tuesday evenings there are upwards of 50 boys and girls aged from 6-16 enjoying themselves in a variety of activities and gaining an armful of attractive badges for their hard work.
“Such is the popularity of our Troop that we regularly have a waiting list to join our Beavers, Cubs and Scouts.”
Those who took part in the Summer Jam at Breckenhill enjoyed the late summer sunshine, and the camp activities concluded with a celebratory cake.
Archdeacon McBride said: “We are indebted to the Education Authority who provided us with a grant in excess of £5,000 towards the camp and also granted us over £2,000 towards new camping equipment.”
He added: “Although my previous experience of a youth organisation had been in the Boys’ Brigade where I went through the ranks, I was aware of the importance belonging to an organisation such as the Scouts has in the formation of a young person’s life, helping them to develop a whole range of life skills.
“As a parish we are grateful to all the initial support that was given to us by the local district and look forward to our next 10 years.”