After the year of lockdowns, Tamworth families have turned to scouting, with local troops reporting record rates of sign-up.
North West Scouting Commissioner Brett 'bear' Grimmond has big plans for a rejuvenated movement, including a third Tamworth group and an active section in Gunnedah.
With many of the new recruits set to experience their first major region-wide meeting this weekend, Mr Grimmond hopes parents will sign up as volunteers.
"Both groups in town report that they've got waiting lists. Interestingly enough one of the groups we can't go forward until we get more trained [adult] leaders," he said.
"If I had 100 extra adults in this region, I'd have 1000 extra kids, easy."
Some 120 children from around the region will gather at the Lynchwood scout camp this weekend for the Spirit of the North West camp and AGM for the volunteer organisation. It's the first major scouting meeting since the coronavirus pandemic began over a year ago.
Mr Grimmond encouraged parents interested to come have a look at the movement and consider signing up.
The scouts have local expansion plans, including designs on another Tamworth group, or to expand the Peel Valley scout group, which is currently a venturer group with a single leader.
"If we could get interested leaders in that, then we could open up that group and that group would be able to fill in a number of holes," he said.
"We do have the population in town."
He also hopes to generate interest among adult volunteers across the region, particularly in Gunnedah.
"At the moment the scout groups' in recess. My goal this year is to have a couple of people trained up or in training by the end of the year so we can open Gunnedah next year. If I could get two leaders I could start a section as soon as they're trained."
Kids from around the region, from as far as Moree and Glen Innes, will attend the overnight camp. There will even be some leaders travelling from Queensland. Kids will learn a range of camp skills.
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