Scouting for a New Home
The Cayman Islands Scouts got a big push towards building their own home, thanks to the all Foundation, a Norwegian charitable trust.
Operating through its trustee, Bridge PTC Ltd., a registered Cayman Islands private trust company, the foundation donated $100,000 towards the Scouts new headquarters to be constructed on Middle Road in George Town. Trustee Director Mrs. Sophia Harris handed over the cheque on Thursday, 10 May to Scouts Chief Commissioner Mr. Orrett Connor, MBE, JP, in the presence of Executive Commissioner Mr. Winston Hayle, Scout leaders and members.
Mr. Connor outlined that plans would be submitted to the Planning Department by August, with construction slated to commence in September. The existing, uninhabitable, government-owned building on the lot, which was a casualty of Hurricane Ivan in 2004, would make way for the new construction, he explained.
Government has leased the property to the Cayman Islands Scouts Association at a peppercorn rate for 33 years, with the option to renew twice more for a total of 99 years, Mr. Connor elaborated.
"We last had a building of our own in the 1960s. The new building will also serve the needs of the Girl Guides and Girls Brigade, housing offices, storage facilities, conference and computer rooms, a uniform and accessories shop as well as a place to display memorabilia, salvaged and in storage since Ivan," the Chief Commissioner said.
Commented Mrs. Harris: "We are very impressed with the positive impact of the Scouts in the Cayman Islands over the many years and now more so than ever. It is a good time to invest in our youth and we consider it a very worthwhile cause."
She lauded the progression of former Cubs and Boy Scouts to Scout leaders which testifies to the solidness of the foundation laid. Particularly noteworthy is the fact that none of the Scouts over the years has been in trouble with the police or for committing crimes, she added.
The Chief Scout is His Excellency the Governor, Mr. Duncan Taylor, CBE.
Scouts' Long History in Cayman
The world Scouts movement has currently over 30 million boys and girls in 161 countries. The Cayman Islands Scout Association is a branch of the UK Scout Association.
Scouting has thrived in Grand Cayman since the 1930s and remains one of the Islands' foremost character and leadership building organisations. Many Caymanian leaders, businessmen, clerics and civil servants were Scouts when boys.
Currently, just over 300 Scouts function out of 15 troops, packs and colonies. Scouts include Beaver Scouts (ages 5-8), Cub Scouts (8-11), Scouts (11-16) and Venture Scouts (16-20). The majority of Scouts in Cayman are Caymanian (about 80%); the remaining 20% are Jamaican, American, British and Canadian boys. About 10% come from "at risk" backgrounds.
Adult Scout Leaders are invariably former Scouts, drawn from varied backgrounds and professions, including teaching and the police.
For further information contact: Bina Mani