Rovers and Venturers are off and racing

The Old Scotch Rovers are off to an action-packed start for 2004. Already we have had some great combined nights with the Venturer Unit, building and racing billy karts. With Rover Katherine McDonald joining Venturer leaders Phil Schneider (’94), Andrew ‘Snapper’ McKeon (’92) and Rob Evans, we look forward to many more joint activities with the Unit as it reaches a new high with more than 20 members, including girls.

2003 saw the Old Scotch Rovers crew spending plenty of time in the snow, including a cross-country trip to Mt Disappointment for Ben Hallenstein’s (’99) belated 21st birthday celebrations. Eight members of the crew visited the Rover’s W.F. Waters Chalet on Mt Baw Baw, and enjoyed skiing, snowboarding and kayaking on the slopes. Several crew members attended week-long ski parties at the Rover Chalet at
Mt Bogong. Tim Archer also represented the crew at a number of snowboarding events across the year, until a bad fall put his wrist in plaster and meant no more snow fields for the remainder of the season. Undeterred, Tim is already planning a trip to Mt Buller for both the Rover Crew and the Venturer Unit to enjoy this July.

Coming in to the warmer weather, the crew shifted to water activities, with canoeing to Herring Island for BBQs and a few pool and spa nights over the holidays. Special thanks to the Garde and McDonald families for hosting us! For our end-of-year trip, Matt Moore took the crew to Sydney where we visited his old crew and the amazing Blue Mountains. Matt and his Sydney mates introduced Ben, Sarah Dobson, Em Tham and Mat L’ (’95) to canyoning and liloing, which was spectacular! Tim, Katherine and James Stewart (’97) flew up specially for New Year’s Eve, and everyone really enjoyed the fireworks and atmosphere.

In March and April, the crew has been rock-climbing, canoeing, participating in Clean Up Australia Day, the Great Melbourne Bike Ride, catering for Venturers at Deep Thought, helping with jelly activities for Venturers at AG, and running a stunt at Hoadley Hide.

This is a big year of change for the crew, with five members being ‘Booted’ as they reach 26. Last year we said goodbye to Paul Sheer (’94). Sarah Dobson has moved to Wodonga for work and is sorely missed, while Mark Wilson (’00) is on leave due to studies in Lilydale. New members stepping up to fill the gaps include Kelly Wilson, Euan Anderson (’02), and Jono Newnham (’03).

With an exciting program lined up, the Old Scotch Rovers are looking forward to an excellent 2004 and would like to invite any 18 to 26-year-olds to join us. Inquiries to Crew Leader Ben Hallenstein (mobile: 0401 752025), or Assistant Crew Leader Katherine McDonald (mobile: 0410 277082).

Originally published in Great Scot magazine.