Volunteers the backbone of Cuboree 2023

Published Tue 10 Oct 2023

Scouts NSW members put their myriad of skills to good use, with almost 1000 volunteering their time to deliver Cuboree 2023.

The event, which is the largest for Cub Scouts aged 8-11 in NSW, is managed by a volunteer Organising Team, who are supported by members from the State Service Centre and on-site staff at Cataract Activity Centre.

790 adult members, including Leaders, Adult Helpers, Rover Scouts and Fellowship members volunteered their time, as did 248 Scouts and 77 Venturer Scouts who acted as Junior Service Leaders at the event.

What did our volunteers think?

Victoria McGloin – Service Leader (Subcamp support)

Victoria McGloin from 1st Wearne Bay Scout Group – a volunteer in the subcamp team – shared her experience on LinkedIn.

“There were 49 Cub Unit camp sites under our care as we supported almost 1600 8-11-year-olds to Explore the World with Scouts NSW,” she wrote.

“The whole event was led, coordinated and delivered by paying volunteers – using our leave to deliver amazing experiences for our young people.

“My jobs included site marking, counting and packing 3500 badges, fire safety reminders, helping a few Cub Scouts whose Leaders couldn’t count moving targets very well, some Cub Scout crowd control at peak times, returning lost property and the major operations of welcoming Cub Scouts off buses and making sure we got them and their bags reloaded quickly and safely onto the correct bus.
“I made some lovely friends across NSW, met my own Cub Scouts a few times and learnt a fair few practical skills for maintaining toilet and shower blocks used by many hundreds of independent young Cub Scouts every day!

“Many thanks to the GWS Scouts NSW subcamp team who took ‘Nessie’ under their wing in the Emerald and Ruby ‘Town Hall’ and trained me for assisting with future major events for Scouts Australia and next year, I hope, in Scouts Scotland.”


Jake Henry – Service Leader (Entertainment)

Jake Henry, an Assistant Scout Leader at 1st Terrigal Scout Group and a Rover Scout at 1st Gosford Rover Unit attended Cuboree 2023 as a member of the Entertainment and Technology Scout Fellowship. This was the first major state event he had attended as part of the Fellowship.

“My role at the event was to assist with the various tasks required to run the night entertainment for the Cub Scouts,” he said.

“Our first task was to assist the contractors with the setup of the main area, which included the lighting, sound, video and the pyrotechnics.

“The opening ceremony livestream on the Friday evening was a success, having more than 1500 viewers. It was great to get behind the camera for the video streaming aspect. The collaboration and expertise as a Fellowship team made for a successful event. We also ran a movie night and disco for the Cub Scouts that appeared to be thoroughly enjoyed by all.

“As with all great events, it must come to a close. Monday evening saw the closing ceremony with entertainment provided by Hornsby Gang Show, for which I ran the lighting.

“Overall, I had a great experience as a volunteer at Cuboree. It was great to experience a large event from an operational side as opposed to a Leader of youth.”

Annette Ruhotas – Unit Leader

Annette Ruhotas from 2nd Mortdale Scout Group attended Cuboree with her 10-year-old daughter. “The whole event was led, coordinated and delivered by volunteers – such a phenomenal effort,” she said.

Among the other volunteers providing support ahead of the camp was Gavin Riddell, who was appreciative of his employer for allowing him to volunteer. “I was fortunate to spend time with parents and volunteers ‘bumping in’ or setting up the 1st Sailors Bay Sea Scouts campsite for the 7th NSW Cuboree,” he said.

David Jacobs – Service Leader, (Entertainment Manager)

The Assistant Chief Commissioner – Events David Jacob had a variety of roles both prior to Cuboree and during the event.

“In the lead-up to the event, I worked with the program team and the Hornsby and Cumberland Gang Shows (part of the performing arts arm of Scouts NSW) to provide the infrastructure for Cuboree 2023 entertainment,” he said.

“This involved working with various stakeholders and commercial vendors to meet all the requirements for running Cuboree entertainment. The program presented some exciting challenges such as organising staging, sound and lighting, as well as live streaming, pyrotechnics, and our entertainment.

"I was also the lead pyrotechnician, designing an exciting show for the Cub Scouts to make the event special. There is nothing like the feeling of putting on a great show and seeing how excited the crowd gets, bringing the whole Scouting community together.

“As Leaders, it’s easy to fall into the trap of ‘doing the same thing over and over.’ Cuboree challenged us to present something new and different. We also had the pleasure of working with our Junior Service Leaders, who assisted with delivering the entertainment program. They enjoyed their experience, and it was great to see them learn, develop, and improve their skills in the entertainment industry, which is a truly unique opportunity.”


Thank you

Scouts NSW also appreciates the support of the numerous businesses across NSW who allow their staff the time to be able to volunteer.

Our volunteers are our everyday heroes and the backbone of our organisation – shaping young people’s lives for the better, while challenging and finding out a whole lot about themselves in the process.

Week after week, our volunteers empower thousands of young people to learn new skills, make new friends and stand on their own two feet.

Who can volunteer with Scouts?

Anybody! You do not have to have been a Scout when you were younger, or know how to put up a tent. Regardless of who you are, or what you do in life, Scouting is for you. Our door is open to people of all ages, genders, abilities and backgrounds.

To find out more about volunteering, click here.

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