Rovers, a scouting section targeted at young adults aged between 18 and 26, is celebrating 100 years since the very first Rover Crew was formed and as such, we have been reflecting on the history of our movement and our group on this significant occasion. The Old Scotch Collegians Rover Crew was itself formed in June 1931 and has been meeting continuously ever since, this year we celebrated our 87th birthday with cake in the Rover crew’s den.
Part of our rich history is found on the banks of Chum Creek in Healesville, a property which was donated to the scout group by Major-General ‘Pompey’ Elliott in 1928, 90 years ago this year, in appreciation of what scouting meant in the development of his son, Neil Campbell Elliott. A year later a hut known as Elliott Lodge, after Harold ‘Pompey’ Elliott was built on the property and officially opened by the Major-General in 1930. Late last year, the Old Scotch Collegians Rover Crew has added to this history by knighting (a full investiture) Nick Pike and Tom Howison-Haworth into our crew at Elliott Lodge. More recently, the crew have held another investiture ceremony in Melbourne to squire (a partial investiture) two of our new members, Emma Stent and James O’Neal, into the crew.
The crew has gotten up to Elliott Lodge for a couple of weekends a short while ago, the first of which was a service-based weekend where we split firewood for the approaching winter and stacked it in the woodshed to dry. When the Scout Troop goes up there for their main camp it will make it much easier for them to start their cooking fires. For the second weekend the crew celebrated Christmas in July, an Australian tradition of hosting a Christmas party in the middle of Winter. During the weekend we decorated a tree in the lodge, had a Christmas-themed feast and watched ‘The Hogfather’.
Earlier in the year, over the Australia Day long weekend, the crew enjoyed camping out with hundreds of other Rovers at Eumeralla Scout camp, located just outside Anglesea. Whist there we tried our hand at Archery, kicked back on the beach and danced late into the night.
The crew is currently looking forward to the skiing season and attended the Rover Ski Expo at EMC to make sure we had the right gear to hit the slopes, given it’s not long until the Rover Ski Day at Lake Mountain, which is just a short drive from Elliott Lodge in Healesville.
Whilst some history is to be reflected upon warmly, a new online treasury system and transitioning to online banking has made keeping the books in balance that much easier. The crew has also conducted an update to our website, using a fresh new wordpress template and adding a footer to each page with all of our contact information and social media links. We’re looking to update and flesh out the history of the scout group and rover crew on the website, so if you have any old scouting photos or knowledge to pass on, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. Our website is still at its old address: www.oldscotchrovers.org.au
Christopher Brack (2012)
Old Scotch Collegians Rover Crew
Originally published in Great Scot magazine.