Swell year

The Fremantle Sea Scouts (above) enjoy some calmer waters.

THE Fremantle Sea Scouts have finally found some fair weather after a tough year.

Last year the scouts lost access to the Leeuwin Scout hall after a bruising run-in with co-tenants the Hurricane Dragon Boat Club, who they’d complained weren’t abiding by strict child safety measures or tidying up after themselves.

The tension prompted East Fremantle council to step in, but they sided with the Hurricanes; principally because they had more locals involved, and the scouts lost the use of their home of 40 years.

The council pointed out that the Scouts also have Camp Waller Scout Hall on the waterfront below the cricket and soccer fields on Preston Point Road nearby.

Scouting parent Tim Chambers recently joined the sea scouts committee and says they’ve been trying to make the most of the limited space they now have.

“The hall we have, called Camp Waller, is in a beautiful location but it’s difficult to get boats in and out of the water,” Mr Chambers said.

He said the scouting community put in long hours refurbishing the new space and building more storage facilities, though having two halls would be ideal to accommodate different sized boats.

Another ill wind blew in Covid, which forced the cancellation of the sea scout’s most anticipated event, the annual Swanabout competition, a 30-hour sailing marathon.

But they banded together to hold their own replacement event, which was well received.

“It was fantastic. I had a great time and learned heaps,” crew member Alba Chambers-Farre says.

Now they’re snug in their new home and the Covid wave has peaked, Mr Chambers said their next push would be to increase membership.

“The more people you have involved, the more diversity in skills you have to support the young people going sailing,” he says.

More sailing events are planned throughout the year and the Sea Scouts are hosting an open day on May 28 for anyone interested in joining.

“The Sea Scouts and the Scouts organisation in general is a great way to make friends and learn valuable skills,” Mr Waller says.

“It teaches you discipline, problem solving and gives you a taste for adventure.”

Camp Waller Scout Hall is on Jerrat Drive, East Fremantle.

by DUNCAN BAILEY

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