Group commissioner, David Bratzer (left), and treasurer Grace Seabrook are excited to see the 1st Douglas Scout Hall in Saanich reopened for the first time since the pandemic began. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)

Group commissioner, David Bratzer (left), and treasurer Grace Seabrook are excited to see the 1st Douglas Scout Hall in Saanich reopened for the first time since the pandemic began. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)

Scouting alive and well in Saanich; 1st Douglas Scout Hall celebrates 40th anniversary

Families invited to drop in Saturday, ask questions about the programs

Saanich’s 1st Douglas Scout group is celebrating its 40th anniversary of their hall.

The troop hosted an public open house on Thursday (Oct. 28), and another is set for Saturday (Oct. 30) from 10 a.m to 1 p.m. at 3266 Glasgow Ave.

The small community hall near Rutledge Park has more than 60 neighbourhood kids enrolled in its programs.

Volunteer commissioner David Bratzer said this Scouts Canada group is a great resource that families in the area might not know about.

“We want families to know we’re here for them,” he said.

Like many local Scouts Canada properties, the 1st Douglas hall has been closed throughout the pandemic as a public safety precaution, but the group is excited to announce its reopening on a reduced schedule.

“We’re only open right now for scouting programs and we also have a licenced childcare provider that operates out of here,” Bratzer said.

Scouting offers a multi-decade investment in youth and families, providing programs for young people age 5 to 25, he said, describing the focus of the age-appropriate programs.

Beavers, for children aged five to seven, offers lots of play and outdoor activity; Cubs, for eight to 10 year olds, implements youth-led programming giving kids a say in their activities. Members move up through Scouts (age 11 to 14), Ventures (age 15 to 17) and Rovers (age 18 to 25), with each offering increasing levels of challenge and involvement.

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Equipped with a dinosaur garden, plum trees, a space-themed bathroom, animal posters and a foosball table among other amenities, the 1st Douglas hall is designed to host indoor activities, with the park a short walk away.

Grace Seabrook, treasurer for the 1st Douglas group, said scouting is alive and well. She and other leaders are passionate about maintaining its programs for the benefit of youth and the community at large.

“My son is 50 and he still has friends from when he was a scout,” said Seabrook. She encourages anyone interested to check out scouts.ca for more information about programs and nearby Scouts Canada groups.


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