A desire to get kids away from their screens and have some good old-fashioned outdoor fun has led a Puhoi couple to start a new Sea Scouts group for the area.
Dan and Sarah Watson have set up Slow Water Sea Scouts for five to 14-year-olds with weekly meetings at the Puhoi Sports & Community Club.
“My husband and I moved into the area a year ago and we have been scouting a long time,” Sarah says.
“He volunteers with the Spirit of Adventure and has close connections with the Orewa, Torbay and Greenhithe Sea Scouts.
“We’re both really passionate about kids’ development and thought it would be nice to be able to bring together local families and be part of the community.”
There are three separate age groups – Keas, aged five to eight; Cubs, aged eight to 11; and Scouts, aged 11 to 14 – and anyone interested in joining can have three free sessions to try it out before officially joining. Activities include bushcraft, survival skills, camping, and learning about nautical knots and flotation for the younger scouts, while the older group will get onto and into the water to learn kayaking, rowing, sailing and general watercraft, as well as attend regattas.
“We don’t have the sea, but we do have the lovely Puhoi River,” Sarah says. “We’ve made great connections with Puhoi Kayaks, they’re letting us use their kayaks, and the Awatuna Sea Scouts at Torbay have donated three of their old boats.”
The Slow Water group, which takes its name from the Maori translation for Puhoi, is raising funds by selling pizza at the Sports Club on selected nights. Scouts will meet on Wednesday nights from 6.30pm to 8.30pm, while Keas and Cubs meet on Thursday evenings at 5.30pm and 6.30pm respectively.