Submitted by Maurice Mazurat
Scouting originally started in England in 1907 by Lord Baden Powell of Gilwell and has grown to be a movement of 160 million members worldwide in over a 150 countries.
First Ponoka Scout Group has been serving Ponoka youth nearly 100 years. In April 1911, the first Scout troop was formed in Ponoka. A meeting between a Scout commissioner from Calgary and town council was held and an existing boys club became a part of the Scouting movement. Rev. Dallas from the United Church then became the first Scout leader in Ponoka to lead a Boy Scout troop.
The group met above the Butcher Block in downtown Ponoka. Since that time the group met at a hall in the area that is now Centennial Park, and at the current location on 46th Street.
The movement has been going in Ponoka since that time, only to close during the First World War since there where no adults to lead the boys, since many of the leaders left to serve their country during that time.
Scouting is a volunteer organization and there have been many adults who have given many hours of effort into Scouting programs for youths. We will salute these numerous people of our community, then and now, that have served in the Scouting movement during this time.
Each year, the First Ponoka Beavers, Cubs and Scouts enjoy a general membership of 20 to 40 participants. Beavers meet weekly at the Scout Hall to have fun while developing basic social skills and gaining self-confidence. Through a variety of non-competitive games, crafts, music, storytelling and exploring the outdoors,
The Cub Scout program is also built around a variety of games, crafts, music, storytelling and exploring the outdoors, with a focus on six key areas: the natural world; outdoors; creative expression; healthy living; home and community; and Canada and the world. Individual interests and skills are recognized through a badge program.
The Scout program helps youth expand their leadership skills and gain confidence, develop self-reliance, pursue hobbies and personal interests, work co-operatively with others, and be of service to others.
Scouting movement is based on three broad principles that represent its fundamental beliefs: Duty to God, Duty to Others and Duty to Self. These beliefs have not changed throughout the time the movement has been in existence.
We are making plans for celebration events to start in September 2010 (the beginning of the Scouting year) to celebrate this event and announcements will be soon to come.
Some of the events planned are:
• Fort Ostell museum display and opening public tea.
• Scouter Reunion banquet and campfire for all former Scouts and leaders.
• Area Cuboree (Wascasoo area)
First Ponoka Scout Group is restructuring and reorganizing to provide the best programs possible for the youth of the community. We will work at being our best and being an active part of the local, national and international community because that’s what we do and what Scouting is about.
If you wish to help make these changes happen please become a volunteer and help build a better world. We will be also looking for the support of the community to help celebrate this achievement. If you or your organization would like to help, please give us a call.
If you have any questions about the changes we are making or about First Ponoka in general, please do not hesitate to call. I am always happy to talk Scouting.
Also if you or someone you know has ever been a part of the Scouting movement, please call. Also if you have any artifacts, such as pictures, that can be used or copied, let me know so that I can keep as much of the history as possible.