Scouts

Centenary Parade

Centenary Parade

Centenary Parade

Centenary Parade

The 5th Greenock and District Scout Troop meets in the Youth Hall of Greenock Westburn Church on a Thursday evening from 7 – 9:30 pm
The Scouts are open to boys and girls aged from 10 to 14 years old.
Scout Leader is Mr Campbell Cairns – Tel 01475 710706
If you or if you know someone who would like to come along please speak to Campbell Cairns

This summer, the troop had a succesful summer camp at Hesley Wood Scout Activity Centre in the Peak District.

Plans are already underway to participate in a range of camps and outdoor activities

Douglas McIntyre a leader in the scout section has successfully completed his Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

There are currently 12 Scouts in the Troop and are looking for new members.  Ideally 30 would be what we hope to work towards.

The 5th are Scottish Champions for the third time in seven years.

In September 2010, four very young Scouts set a new record for Greenock and District Scouts by becoming the only Greenock Troop to have become Scottish Champions for the third time.

They follow in the footsteps of Calum McKechnie, Neill Hewitt, Douglas McIntyre and James Henderson who first won the trophy in October 2003.The 2010 team of Colin Lapsley, Donald Lapsley, Jack Pollock and Scott Boyle were very much younger. Three of them are only 12 years old. Scott, the youngest in the team, is a Scottish champion for the second time having been in the winning team in 2009 together with his brother Fraser, Keiren McGarity and Calum Henderson.

The Pentland Challenge is a two day competition. On the Saturday, the Challenge consists of a twelve kilometre all day incident hike in the Pentland Hills with a series of eight challenges to complete at various points throughout the hike. Good map reading and compass knowledge are necessary to complete the course. The Sunday consists of an orienteering course set in Bonaly Country Park.

The team also won the the Lunar Challenge.This challenge consists of a 5 km midnight speed hike. In 2009, the 5th  were second in this competition

Our Scour Leader, Campbell Cairns, is congratulated for his efforts in leading the Troop to this success.

The Troop is again looking forward to defending the trophy at the end of September 2011.

This year, the Troop took part in a couple of midnight hikes, 3 trips to Nevis Range sledging, a trip to Glasgow Climbing Centre and white water rafting while on a winter camp to Lochearnhead Scout Station.

west-highland-wayA major achievement for the Troop was the walking of the whole of the West Highland Way 95 miles in six days by seven Scouts and 3 Explorer Scouts during the first week of the Easter holidays. Not only did they complete the walk but four of the Scouts were walking in aid of a range of charities including Ardgowan Hospice and Cancer Research.

The annual Founder’s Day Parade and Service of Celebration took place on Sunday 25th May 2008. The Service was held in Greenock Westburn Church of Scotland. During the Service the follow tribute was given by District Commissioner David McCallum.

Tribute to the ‘Dandy’ 5th by District Commissioner, David McCallum
Fellow Scouts, we are here today in this historical church building to celebrate the 100th birthday of a historical group, the 5th Greenock & District.
The Troop first met in the Territorial Drill Hall at the foot of South St, now the Sports Centre, In August 1908. They named themselves the 5th Greenock, having used the number of the Territorial Army regiment who met there also. Their first Scout Master, as they were called then, was a Sergeant Ferguson. The troop should really have been called the 1st, as they were the first group registered both in Greenock and the County of Renfrewshire.
In 1910 the Troop formed a pipe band which went on to win many honours in the 1920 and 1930, including the World Championship for scout bands in 1922. A set of bagpipes used by Charlie Park at that time are still being used today. The band went on for many years before joining the District Dunrod Scout band, which sadly disappeared in the 1980’s. Thanks to the enthusisam of 5th Scout Leader Campbell Cairns, the Leapmoor pipe band was started in 1999, the majority of members of whom come from the 5th. Campbell was awarded the medal of merit in 2006
In 1910 the Troop was presented with the first set of Troop Colours in Greenock by General Friend and the 5th, became known as 5th. A.& S.H. Troop [ General Friend’s Own ]. These Colours hang proudly here in Westburn Church today.
With the passing of the years, and changing times the military influence lessened and the church’s connection began to grow. The group registration was amended on the 1st of October 1914, to include in its title “West Kirk’s Own”. Thereafter, it was changed on 15th December 1967 to “Old Kirk’s Own”, and in recent times to “St.Luke’s Own” , and is now “Westburn Own”, to whom their connection is being enjoyed today. The support of the Rev Bill Hewitt is much appreciated by all at the 5th.
One young boy named Colin Finnie joined the troop in 1914. Colin remained in Greenock Scouting circles all his life and was awarded the Silver Wolf by the Chief Scout in 1983. He died at a right old age in the late 1980’s I have here today some of Colin’s Scouting treasures. His original 5th scarf, as sign of his membership and commitment to the troop, his wood beads, a sign of his commitment to training, his sheath knife, a sign of his outdoor and backwood skills and finally his Silver Wolf, a sign of his reward for dedication.
During the war years,with many of the leadership team on active service, and with war restrictions in force, there was very little opportunity to camp other than at Everton. Near to the end of the war in 1945 a welcomed summer camp was held in the Lake District. So off they went, on the train carrying their Identity Cards, Ration Books, and gas masks, slightly different from the Scouits of today with all our modern camping equipment, GPS, minibuses and the like
In 1946, Jimmy McElwee became Scoutmaster. Under his leadership, the Troop flourished to 50 Scouts and they took part in all of the local scouting activities of the day. Jimmy Introduced the troop to summer camps at Carnoustie, which became almost an annual event for many years. In this year, King’s Scout Badges were presented to 5 lads, Robert McKay, Gavin Hart, Andrew Harvie, Douglas Horne and David Hamilton. Jimmy went on to become an Assistand District Commissioner and was later awarded the Silver Wolf by the Chief Scout, Sir Charles McLean
Over the years the troop has had good representation at the World Scout Jamboree. In 1948, three members of the Troop  attended at the 6th World Jamboree near Paris. One lad attended the 7th WSJ in Austria in 1953 and another attended the WSJ in Thailand in 2002
Camping standards played at large part in troop life in the 1960’s, with the troop winning the prestigious County Flag 3 times in succession in 1961, 63 and 65, a terrific feat indeed by any standard.
In 1962, fourteen Scouts received the Scout Association’s highest award, the Queen’s Scout Award. This was, and probably still remains the highest number of recipients from one Troop, at any one time. They include:-
Robin Wallace, Donald Gray, Samuel Galbraith, Roderick Galbraith, Ian McConnachie, Alan Clark, Roy Patterson, Ian Nicholson, Douglas Russell, Ian Ferguson and John Morgan
Also in 1962, the Parent’s Committee presented the Troop with new Colours. These were later layed up here in the church in 1995 by Rev William Hewitt.
In 1967, Archie Hart took over at Group Scout Leader and Donald Gray becoming Scout Leader. Archie went on to have a notable career in Scouting within the District. He was appointed DSM(1967); ADC Leader Training (1972); District Commissioner(1975); Awarded Medal of Merit (1977); ADC Scouts(1986); ADC Scout Fellowship(1981); Awarded Silver Acorn(1994). Archie is currently a Honourary Vice President of the District
In 1991 Ronnie MacKay took over as GSL, a job he did for 5 years. He went on to do a variety of jobs in Scouting, and was appointed District Commissioner in 2003. He was awarded the Chief Scout’s Commendation for Good Service and later the medal of merit. Ronnie remains involved with the Scout Fellowship.
The current GSL is Steven Mitchell, who has 27 years warranted service.
This grand old group has produced many famous names over the past centuary including 2 MP’s, Albert McQuarry and Sam Galbraith, also a neuro surgeon. 2 District Commissioners and 2 Silver Wolf recipients. It has held many records of achievment with 11 King Scouts at one time, World Pipe Band champions and 3 in a row County Flag wins.
We all hope the 5th are here to stay for the next 100 years, and keep their close association with this church.
I would now say to the current leadership team of the 5th, you have a great history and should be proud of it. Please grow this great group so that the next generation can be as proud of it as you are today.
Please join with me in wishing the 5th  a very happy birthday.

Civic Reception

Civic Reception

Sir Albert presents Trophy

Sir Albert presents Trophy

To conclude their Centenary celebrations, the 5th Scouts held a Celebration Dinner on the evening of Saturday 28th March. Many old friendships were renewed with the oldest former member in attendance being a very active Jack Fraser who is 92 years young.

After an excellent meal, there was much reminiscing on the glorious days of the ‘Dandy 5th’

Speakers all spoke of their memories. Sir Albert McQuarrie who told of the early years,  Archie Hart gave his memories in verse. Steven Mitchell told of the present time.

District Commissioner David McCallum revealed the story of the young hero, Duncan Murdoch, who at the age of 13 years jumped off the Admiralty Jetty in Gourock to save a friend from drowning. The boys had gone fishing to get food for a stray cat. This happened in June 1952. He was awarded the Gilt Medal which was presented to him by Chief Scout Lord Rowallan.

Chaplain Bill Hewitt spoke of the importance of the Group as part of the life of Westburn Church. The vote of thanks was proposed by Ronnie Mackay.

Sir Albert McQuarrie presented the Group with  a Cup which will be competed for annually  by all members of  the sections of the Group. This was accepted by Scout Kieran McGarrity.

A number of photographs taken on the evening are shown below. Click on an image to view an enlarged picture.


If you or if you know someone who would like to come along please speak to Campbell Cairns

View the Greenock and District web site by clicking here

View the National Scout’s website by clicking here.

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