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Chairman’s Report 10 December 2009

posted Feb 26, 2010, 8:30 PM by Admin SJSS   [ updated Feb 26, 2010, 8:32 PM ]

St James Sea Scout Group


Annual General Meeting


10 December 2009


Chairman’s Report


The year has seen significant the growth in numbers of youth participating in Keas, in our new Cub Pack and with the Scouts.  At last count we have over 35 families involved in the St James Group.  This growth in our youth members has been great to see and bodes well for St James.  As with any community group, the growth can only occur with the support of parents, leaders and other individuals who give so much to provide a full and fun programme for the children. 


This year we have a real need to introduce new leaders in all our sections to support the great work that is going on.  We recognise that we must provide an environment that welcomes and encourages our parents to be leaders and which support our leaders in their learning journey.  Please talk to your section leader and Eileen if you’re able to help our youth by providing leadership.



To deliver the programme for the sections requires resources and materials.  We must also maintain the building and other facilities, including the boats, in safe and tidy condition. 


We have had another year of successful fund-raising with just over $9,000 raised through telephone directory deliveries.  The local directory deliveries in March raised $2,930 for the group, and the main white/yellow pages delivery completed last month raised $6,117.  A significant sum earned by the group.  While a lot of effort goes into the packing and delivery of directories, the excellent turnout we had from the St James families meant that the majority of the work is not particularly onerous.  We are fortunate that we have incurred very few expenses, with fantastic support provided from local businesses: Kevin Rikys providing trucks from his Super Liquor business to move the pallets, local businesses Peter Baker and Jets Transport offering us use of their forklifts, Business Solutions Limited providing a very large warehouse space, and last but not least, Café L’Affare providing free coffee for the packing day.


This coming year we will again bid for the contract to deliver telephone books. 


Scouts New Zealand has put together a campaign for groups to raise money selling hot cross buns in the first term of next year.  This has the potential to raise a significant amount of money for our Keas Cubs and Scouts for relatively little effort.  


Maintenance on the building and boats continues to dominate our spending, but we have been fortunate that much of the money needed for this purpose comes from grants through various trusts.  While we do have some quite significant expenses that we need to cover from our fundraising, a significant amount is used for activities and resources that directly support our Keas, Cubs and Scouts.  With our solid record of fundraising, we have also been able to keep subscriptions very low which means that we need to continue to raise funds with our community activities, which all require the support of our families.


This year, as with previous years, we have again been generously allocated funding from the Eade Estate.  I would like to acknowledge the value of this support to our group operations.  Apart from funding for maintenance of boats and building, we have received a grant that goes a long way towards the purchase of three new masts and sails for our cutters.  Some of the previous funding from Eade Estate for a new boat ramp has been used for an engineers report and initial design that, with an updated design provide by Simon Therkleson, is necessary for resource consent from the Hutt City and Wellington Regional councils.  We are about to submit the consent applications. 


We had also received $1500 from the Hutt Mana Energy Trust for the purposes of installing a fire escape ladder from the balcony on the river side of the building.  The initial concept for a fire escape would have cost the group about $3500.  During the past year we had a review of our plans and of the fire safety of the building and received advice that a large aluminium fire escape platform and ladder was not necessary.  We did consider that we should improve our ability to evacuate the building and to replace or update some of our existing fire safety equipment.  Chris approached the trust administrators who agreed to re-purpose the grant and to provide us further time to return receipts.  We subsequently purchased new fire extinguishers, fire blankets, fire buckets and flexible evacuation ladders that have significantly improved the safety of the den and boatshed, as well as enhancing our camping fire safety equipment.


We have a number of projects to improve both the building and the boats which means that we will be increasing our focus on obtaining funding from community grant organisations. 


Over and above our normal programme, in the coming year our Scouts and some older Cubs will be fundraising for the 2010/11 Jamboree.  This is an exciting opportunity and an important growth opportunity for our Scouts.  Again, parent help is essential to reach the target in time.



We have, through Donna’s connections, purchased the paint we need to paint the outside of the hall.  Early in the New Year we will be calling together a working bee to prepare and paint the front of the hall.  Access to the side and back walls is more challenging and we will get to them in time.


As mentioned above, pending resource consent, we are going to build a boat ramp.  The building of this is estimated to cost somewhere between $5,000 and $7,000.  We have the majority, if not all, of the funds for this from grants.  When we get close to starting work there may be a request for some assistance from parents.


Ongoing maintenance work on the boats has, again, been led by Simon Therkleson and the fact that we have a good number of boats available for sailing and rowing is a testament to his commitment.  Thank you Simon. 


One of our more unusual initiatives, which I would like to see expanded if we can, is that the group has 2x Optimist yachts that are excellent introductory boats for young sailors.  We won’t use them for Scout sailing on the river for a variety of reasons, but we have been able to provide one this year for a Scout to use in a local yacht club learn-to-sail course.  Typically yacht club courses are limited by boat availability and cost of boat rental.  By providing a St James boat, keen scouts or older cubs can rapidly gain sailing skills at a relatively low cost, and Julie gains skilled sailors who can help St James do well at the regattas we attend.  We need to consider how and in fact if, this programme will proceed, and how we fund things like sails, rig updates and boat maintenance.




I would like to thank the committee, and express my appreciation of the effort they have put in to making the group function for the benefit of the keas, cubs and scouts.  Rodney came forward to be the treasurer for this year when our previous treasurer retired, and Chris joined the committee as Secretary early in the year.  Both of them have made a huge contribution to the running of the group. 


We need more parents on the committee, as we have been operating on reduced numbers recently, which limits the amount we can do to support the leaders in running the youth activities.  I cannot express strongly enough that we must have a balanced committee with parent representation from kea, cub and scout families. 


Serving on the committee is an important function in keeping the group operating.  The committee manage all the administrative and financial matters so the leaders can focus on delivering the activity programme to the keas, cubs and scouts.  If you are not thinking about becoming a leader, then you should be thinking about serving on the committee for a period.  The modern scout movement is a co-operative where each family needs to contribute to the running of the group.  The current committee members are willing to stay involved but we need more members.  The offices of the committee are assigned at the first committee meeting and again, we have the existing chair, secretary and treasurer willing to continue in those roles if elected.


Finally, I would like to acknowledge and thank Eileen and her team of leaders, without whom the group would not be the great organisation that it is.  They all deserve our full support.


Scott Rodgers

Group Chair