Big year for Rovers


The Old Scotch Rover Crew had another big year, which included enjoying a social calendar full of excitement, productivity, laughter, and downright muddy fun. The year also included the formation of new Scouting districts.

The crew kick-started the calendar with the annual Surfmoot held at Anglesea. This camp is held every year over the Australia Day weekend, and crews from across the state and the nation get together for a few days of camping, beach activities – and, importantly, nights full of partying and entertainment.

Manimoot, our region camp, was held this year at Scotch’s very own Elliott Lodge. More than 30 Manibobar region members congregated for the final farewell to the Manibobar region before the district restructuring. The Manimoot camp would not have been possible without many weeks’ planning by the Manimoot committee and a working bee held at Elliott Lodge.

Weekend activities ranged from small group activities held at Elliott Lodge, to some pretty hairy 4×4 sightseeing through Toolangi State Forest. Community service included contributing to the construction of an enclosure at the local wombat rehabilitation centre in Yarra Glen.

The Mud Bash weekend at Mafeking Rover Park had plenty of full throttle entertainment, with about 50 vehicles from across the state getting together for this annual event. Unfortunately we were unable to enter a car, but we still managed to have a good time partying hard and enjoying the muddy entertainment provided by the race vehicles.

The theme of the annual Melbourne Area Rover Ball was ‘out of the toy box’. It’s quite a sight to see more than 400 people dressed up in some of the strangest costumes you would ever see. A live band and a beautiful three-course meal made this a night to remember, and we look forward to next year’s ball.

Family Day, 9 October, began early for the Rover Crew – on Friday night at a 4×4 track. After three hours of vehicle recovery we had some genuine Scout vehicles ready to be displayed at Family Day. During the day the crew also sold raffle tickets to raise funds for the Scotch Scouts.

There have also been a busy couple of working bees at Elliot Lodge. The crew cleaned up the campsites around the property, installed timber bollards on the driveway and split a lot of wood.

As well as all this, the crew has met regularly every Monday night to enjoy activities ranging from ice skating to movie nights, bowling nights or just quiet coffees.

The crew warmly thanks Steve Wilson, caretaker at Elliott Lodge for the past 17 years, who has retired. The Rovers have greatly benefited form Steve’s intimate knowledge of the flora and fauna at Healesville and Toolangi. We will miss seeing Steve at the property during our weekend visits, and we wish him a happy retirement.

If you are aged between 18 and 25, male or female, please feel free to join the crew. You do not need to have gone to Scotch to become a member. Please phone Eric Wilson on 0400 815 333.

Originally published in Great Scot magazine.