group of 54 local Cub Scouts are among 3,600 converging on Gembrook in Victoria’s South for a Cuboree so large organisers say it will boast its own onsite police, a 20-bed medical centre and even a commercial laundry.
Cuboree would be bigger than many small towns, with about 5300 people including Cub Scouts aged eight to 10 as well as group leaders, older scouts and parent helpers.
The ninth Victorian Cuboree is expected to be the largest in the events’ history, according to 1st Strathfieldsaye Group Leader Margaret Keech.
She said it would be rivaled in size only by the nation-wide Jamboree events the Scout held for an older age bracket of children.
“We start today and come back on Friday covered in mud, dirt and exhaustion,” Mrs Keech said.
Cub Scouts Pippa Symes and Sophie Hughes said they were excited about the camp and had a fair idea of the types of activities they could be taking part in.
Pippa said there was going to be a mud course while Sophie, already something of a climbing afficionado, was looking forward to the abseiling.
“It’s my favourite. It’s really fun,” she said.
Mrs Keech said children would have a busy week of diverse activities.
“It varies. We actually won’t know what the activities are all about until we get there,” she said.
Preparations for activities had been underway for six months.
Last weekend volunteers were sent down to the camp site to set up infrastructure for Bendigo Cub Scouts and volunteers.
“We’ve sent three trailer loads down already. That’s not all the gear, just tents, a kitchen … We have to take everything we cook with,” Mrs Keech said.
For many it would be the first camp away and parent Carly Reeves said it was a chance for her son to make new friends and experience something new.
“It is just something different from normal, everyday life. No technology, no this, no that,” she said.
“There will be no option for the kids to go switch on the TV if they are bored. They’ll live in the outdoors and enjoy life. That’s really what I want for my son.”
Ms Reeves was a sole parent and Cubs had helped her son learn skills she would not have thought to teach.
“Like tying knots or setting up a tent. They are simple things I never would have known how to teach him,” she said.
Now even Ms Reeves had caught the camping bug and she had found her self in the market for a tent.
Sophie’s mother Belinda Hughes was volunteering in the kitchens at the camp.
“It’s a big thing for both Sophie and I. It’s pretty special. We are going to have a pretty exciting week,” she said.