History of Scouting in Coffs Harbour

Sir Robert Baden Powell started scouting in England in 1908.  Now there are over 28 million scouts in 216 countries.   Baden's sister, Agnes, started Girl Guides. 

Scouting started in Coffs Harbour in 1909 by Harry Tuson, after he arrived back from a trip to England to see Baden Powell.   The first meeting was held in a tin shed within a sawmill yard,  located in Edinburgh Street Coffs Jetty.   They wore cast off army uniforms with a plain green scarf.  Jujitsu, boxing, first aid and camping skills were part of their programs.  

During WW1 scouting in Coffs was in recess.  In 1921 the first Scout group marched in the ANZAC day parade.  Fees were 2/6d (25cents) registration and 3d (5 cents) a night. 

1933 We got our first female scout leader, Rose Boyden, and we had 24 Scouts. 

1948  Army tents were supplied for camps.  Scout Master Len Pozzey  had 32 Scouts.  Scarves were dark green with red stripes and they wore a white lanyard.  Maroon epaulets signified a senior Scout.

1948 The Scout troop now meet in the St Johns Anglican Church Hall.  A stamp was issued for the first time to commemorate Scouting.  A Jamboree was held in the Royal National Park, Cataract Park, Sydney.   Sawtell  Scout troop was established. 

1952  It was first proposed that land for our current site became available to Scouts.  We had 48 Cubs, 21 Scouts and five leaders.  Fundraising and volunteers took four years to build the hall.

1958  There were now  1st, 2nd and 3rd Coffs Harbour Scout Troops.  2nd Coffs Harbour remained until 1974.  Coffs 2nd and 3rd met at various Church halls around Coffs.

1973 Venturers at Coffs Harbour was started.  Girls were now allowed to join Scouts in all states but NSW.

1975  1st and 3rd Coffs Harbour merged together. 

1977  Two 16ft Canadian canoes, six vests and four paddles purchased at a cost of $428.  There were 60 Cubs under five leaders, 36 Scouts under five leaders and six Venturers under one leader.  13 Scouts went to the New Zealand Jamboree after raising $2418.

1982  Coffs Harbour City Council designated land on Elbow Street Coffs Harbour as ‘Sir Baden Powell Park’.  Scouts cleared and cleaned-up the park.  A time capsule was buried, identified by a bronze plaque.  Eight trees were planted to commemorate the event – none of which survive today. 

1988  Girls allowed to join NSW Scouts. 

1996  First recorded flood through the Hall. 

2009  Coffs Harbour Scouts celebrated 100yrs of  Scouting in Coffs Harbour.  State MP Andrew Fraser opened the celebrations.  Scout dad, George Gardiner, presented the City Council and Coffs Harbour Scouts with a book he wrote about “a chronological time line record of the Coffs Harbour Scouting Movement of the first one hundred years”.  

Coffs Harbour Scouts were the third group in Australia to achieve 100 years of continuous Scouting, just behind Northcote in Victoria and Toongabbie in NSW.