Inverurie Scout Group, like a small number of other groups, can trace its routes back to 1906 when a boy’s club was formed teaching scouting skills from Baden Powells book “Aids to Scouting”.
The history of the boy Scouts officially begins in 1907 when Baden Powell formed the nucleus of the group as we know it today. Perhaps the story begins before that, however, for in Inverurie in 1906 a young apprentice blacksmith recognised a problem. He had a class of fifteen boys to whom he was teaching club swinging in the shoeing-shed of the blacksmiths shop in which he worked. The shed was small and ill fitted to accommodate the number who wished to join. As an unorganised group, they were not entitled to larger quarters, and indeed, such were hard to find. One evening while browsing in a book store, Frank Robb came across a small magazine called “The Scout” and his problem was solved Although the scouts in the book were messengers who took the place of wounded or captured soldiers, this young man envisioned a troop for peaceful activities. He formed a troop and was given permission to use the drill hall for meetings. Before long there were forty scouts in Inverurie.
Their uniforms consisted of short pants, slouch hats, staffs donated by the local millwright, neckerchiefs and shirts dyed khaki – which, unhappily became un-dyed if the boys were caught in a downpour! Frank Robb’s uniform varied somewhat, in that he proudly wore the kilt, sporran and belt of the Argyle and Sutherland highlanders and carried a water bottle and Red Cross bag brought back from the South African War. He also had a policeman’s whistle.
In the summer of 1907, the scouts held camp for ten days on a farm near Dyce, and, upon reaching their site, were greeted by the laird, his family and a number of local farmers. The laird made a speech of welcome and presented the boys with potatoes, a side of deer, several rabbits, and vegetables. The cost of camping in that year was 1/- a day – for tent rental – and their time was spent distinguishing bird and animal tracks. On Sunday night they put on a concert and on Sunday caused quite a stir marching to the nearby Kirk.
Frank Robb continued organising scouting activities in Inverurie, holding meetings in either the Drill Hall or ‘Elsie’s Schoolie’ which ever was available. In 1909, he came to Canada leaving his Troop in the capable hands of Mr. William Grant, who gave eleven years to Scouting “.
The group was officially registered in 1910 along with 3 other groups: Peterhead, Huntly and Fraserburgh.
In the 1930’s the troop set up an annex in the then thriving village of Burnhervie some 3 miles outside Inverurie
The original Scout Hut stood on the same site as today’s more modern hut. It was an ex Army hut that had also seen life as a tool shed and hen house. The Scouts purchased the hut in 1925 and relocated it to Inverurie in the spring of 1926. It was formally opened by Lord Forbes – then County Commissioner – on June 5th 1926. The site the Scouts chose was then on the outskirts of Inverurie, separated from the nearby school by a field (now right in the middle of Inverurie!).The present Scout hut was built for the sum of £3000 in the 1960’s shortly after the Group split to form 1st and 2nd Inverurie, Luckily the hut was big enough to hold both groups with a temporary partition wall down the middle.
In the 1990’s the group went through a rough patch and merged again. When this merger took place the central partition was removed leaving a large hall, which is suitable for group events, section evenings and drying tents. Since then the hut has undergone several internal changes and requires regular maintenance.
During the merger the sections were given their names; the Beavers and Cubs took the names of local castles Leslie, Barra and Harlaw, while the Scouts and Venture Scouts took the names of birds of prey Merlin’s and Condor’s respectively.
Since then we have added Ury Beavers and the Condor Ventures became Garioch Explorers.
Following the closure of Garioch Explorers in 2016 Inverurie Wildcats opened up. From small numbers they hosted a bunch of district events including the regular survival camp!
In 2017 we opened another Scout Troop – 2nd Merlins. We are super excited to have grown Scouting in Inverurie.