First Richhill Scout Group are celebrating after receiving a grant of almost £10,000 from the Big Lottery Fund.
The grant will be used to buy tents, outdoor stoves, first aid kits and water carriers to enable the older groups to camp while sporting and craft equipment and benches and tables will be bought for the younger groups.
The award of £9,950 shows how far the group has come since its formation at the beginning of 2013.
In summer 2012 Paul Walker and the recruitment team from Scouts Northern Ireland put out feelers in Richhill village to see whether there would be any interest in starting up a local Scout group.
An inaugural meeting of volunteers was held in November 2012 with a view to starting a group at the beginning of 2013.
The first registration event was held on February 27, 2013. Just over 100 children registered to join the Scout Association. With help from 4th Portadown Scout Group and 1st Tandragee Scout Group the group hit the ground running.
They have held weekly meetings for each of the five groups, Squirrels (4-6 years old), Beavers (6-8 years old), Cubs (8-10.5 years old), Scouts (10.5-14 years old) and Explorers (14-18 years old) running concurrent with the school term. Highlights have included a visit to Pizza Pit Stop to see how pizza is made for the Squirrels, a treasure hunt at Richhill Castle for Beavers and a six-mile hike through the mountains for the Cubs.
A spokesman for the group said, “Our leaders have had to beg, borrow and wheedle resources and equipment from other Scout groups, parents and local traders. Not forgetting the huge financial and in kind contributions of the volunteers who lead the group. Even so, we have been unable until now to plan any of the most exciting camping hiking and adventurous activities due to a shortage of equipment and funding. With this huge grant from the Big Lottery Fund we will be able to purchase. Without this funding the group would have been very limited in the number of activities offered. So we say a big thank-you to Big Lottery Fund.”