Today, the group has over 100 young people on the books and over 30 adults who give up their time to support the running on the group. Some of these are the leaders you see week in week out but there are also many who are not always seen and heard. The group committee meet on the last Tuesday of each month (with exception of July and December) to oversee the long term success of the group, and when you read below, you will understand how remarkable that has been over the years. There are also lots and helpers and supporters of the group who help with everything from assisting with events or camps to maintaining the fleet of boats or camping equipment which has almost reached levels you would see at commercial premises!
But why do they do it? To see the smile and enjoyment on the faces of all the young people, whether they are starting out in Beavers or finally taking charge of a powerboat with Explorers it is always rewarding to see them grow into the young men or women they turn into.
How do we do this? The group is committed to putting young people first, often to the sight of the treasurer's tears! We have invested a lot of time and effort as you will read below whether it is in bricks and mortar or providing well trained and experienced adults to run the activities we do. As mentioned, all this does come at a cost and the group runs various fundraisers through the year. If you are interested in being part of this great team, give us a shout!
The group was founded by Rev. A. A. Midwinter in 1910 (Scout Leader 1910-1928) and was originally known as the St. Mary's and St. Saviours Scouts. It was more popularly known as "Middy's Angels " at the time. Troop meetings started at Walmer Parish Hall and then moved to Canada Road. After the Great War the troop became known as the Walmer Sea and Land Scouts.
In the 1920's the troop acquired a hut on the beach at our present site, the cost £64/7s/4d and this was used for boating activities only. The troop was then known as Walmer Sea Scouts and was around 20 strong.
In 1932 the Troop amalgamated with the Lands Scouts and Cubs of Walmer and became known as the 2nd Deal and Walmer Scout Group. It was at this time the group first wore blue and maroon neckerchiefs. The membership naturally increased and was now some 30 scouts and 24 cubs. The major problem of having their meeting place began to arise at committee meetings.
In 1933, the land scout section was disbanded and the group became known as the 2nd Deal and District, but still popularly known as The Walmer Sea Scouts.
In 1934, the hut was extended by 15 feet to a length of 35 feet. The group had at last found its own meeting place!
The Hut was officially referred to as the headquarters but even today it is affectionately known as the hut. A statement of accounts, year ending September 1934 shows the group ran on less than £100 and that was including the cost of the extension
In 1939, with the outbreak of war, the HQ was commandeered by a search light company. The troop managed to tick over during the war years, meeting at various places, one being a cowshed in Sholden Village and another in the boathouse and paddock of Walmer Place, kindly loaned by Contessa Di Sant Elia.
Unfortunately, during the war the hut and the few boats the group owned were destroyed and it was very much as case of starting again.
At first the troop used Sholden scout hut whilst the committee searched for a suitable new hq. At last in 1946 a hut was found in Wingham. It was 18 feet by 12 feet and the cost was £15!
It was not until 1948 that the new HQ was completed and in use. It was at this point it was decided to re-start the cub pack which had disbanded in 1939. The Group was back in business and numbers quickly grew to 30 scouts and 24 cubs once again.
During the 1950s the Group steadily grew and at the same time acquired more boats and equipment. All this had to be stowed in the hut and again the urgent requirement was for a larger headquarters.
Bit by Bit the money was raised and a brand new HQ was built and opened in May 1958. The old hut was dismantled and to this day the concrete base remains showing just how small the old HQ was.
With the new HQ the group went from strength to strength although numbers were kept at roughly 40 scouts and 30 cubs.
In 1970s two small rooms and a boat store were added to the building and the original boundaries of these are still there to see in the HQ.
In 1987, Beavers were added to the ranks just one year after they came into existence in the Scouting world. The beaver colony was founded by Lou "Goldie " Martin who set the colony well on its way to being the highly popular one we know today. There is also now a venture unit which brought in older teenagers.
In the early 2000's, with equipment being donated and boats getting bigger in size and numbers the group found they had again outgrown the HQ and the decision was made to commission another extension to replace the old caravan, shed and lockups that had housed the various bits of equipment. The new store room runs the entire length of the south side of the building and houses two rescue crafts, boating equipment and all the camping bits we use.
In around 2003, Ventures were rebranded by the Scouting association to Explorers and with it came a change in age bands. The result being that older scouts who held the experience of boating and camping were being lost to Explorers. At this point the group and district decided to start the Lange Wapper unit who would run in partnership with 2nd Deal. To this day the partnership is still strong with many scouts choosing to progress to this unit. They still get to use all the boating facilities and in return offer their services as young leaders to the younger sections to give them the valuable experience.
A few years later, the hut was extended once again, and due to planning permissions and costs as much as possible! Such is the success of the group accepting female members we found the need to improve the facilities for them to change in. At one point we had around a dozen females rotating use of the office room. Now, the new extension has added some more space and a designated changing room for them alongside the female toilets.