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An ode to Scouting

Loving parents who provided a secure home, a good education and a variety of experiences gave me the best start in life that a child could desire. Part of that education was encouraging me to join Cub Scouts as an eight-year-old in 1957. Make no mistake, while we did not live on the wrong side of the tracks, we were rather close to those tracks.  Our life was simple and modest, with few luxuries. Even so, my two sisters and I were very happy and never thought that we were missing out.

In 1964 when 15, as part of the Quartermaster’s badge for my Queens Scout Award, I planned, organised and took a patrol of Scouts from Darwin to Yirrkala for a week-long camp with Aboriginal Scouts in the bush on the Gulf of Carpentaria. It involved my first flight, which was in a DC3 – an iconic plane, even if spartan by today’s standards. It was a wonderful, spontaneous experience, full of lessons that only an informal educational setting can provide; it was added to when I attended the 7th Australian Jamboree in Victoria later that year.  I have no doubt that the Queens Scout Award played a significant part in my being selected as an AFS exchange student to spend a year in a United States high school.

My point is simple.  Providing a good education, both formal and informal such as Scouting, is one of the best gifts that a young person can receive. I am forever grateful for the opportunities I received.

As a former Chief Commissioner, Board Chair, a Scout Leader working with youth and as a parent whose children have been Scouts, I have experienced the enormous and lasting benefits the Scout program provides to young people. Little wonder that I whole-heartedly support the Scouts WA Foundation.

The ‘Foundation’ will enable our Association to deliver projects and bursaries to youth such that we will continue to offer a first-class program and facilities and adventurous activities for all, regardless of means. Building the capacity of the Foundation will take time, but we are fortunate to have  the legacy of past generations and today’s generous donors. Donations, including bequests, are enabling us to assist youth who would not otherwise benefit from the Scouting experience and to enhance facilities and programs for adventurous activities for everyone.

What better achievement is there, what better gift can one make than to make a positive difference to the life of another and none more so than a young person embarking on life’s journey?

Please read the attachments. I hope that you and your family will join me as a donor to the Foundation as an investment in our youth and future generations.


Peter Walton OAM CF