The recent 9th Victorian Cuboree has set a new record for Australia’s largest Cub Scout camp – and one of the largest Cub Scout events in the world.

More than 3600 Cub Scouts (boys and girls aged 8-10) spent five days and four nights camping outdoors at Scouts Victoria’s Gilwell Park campsite near Gembrook. They were supported by 1800 older Scouts, Leaders and parent helpers.

Cuborees are massive camps, held every three years, where Cubs engage in a challenging activity program plus night-time entertainment.

Apart from the non-stop action, the logistics of such a camp are enormous.

The Cubs travelled from across Victoria in 97 buses. They lived and played in 96 Packs, each of 42 Cub Scouts, five Leaders and three parent cooks. Older Scouts and Leaders worked in 37 Service and Activity Teams. The site had more than 1000 tents.

Cuboree had a medical team of 14 doctors and nurses, plus a dentist, nine trainee paramedics and first aiders, a 20-bed hospital and an on-site ambulance. Welfare teams also supported the Cubs and Leaders, as well as a security team of 13 police, including on-duty Victoria Police members, and volunteer former police.

The main (temporary) issue at Cuboree is homesickness, while stringent hygiene and food handling protocols in all campsites prevent other health issues.

The budget of Cuboree was just over $1.7 million, including $515,000 for food, $406,000 for site services, $206,000 for merchandise, $151,000 for activities and $150,000 for transport

But doesn’t include the 213,000 volunteer-hours preparing and attending Cuboree which would have added more than $3 million to the budget.

The Cuboree shopping list included:

  • 21,060 apples
  • 7345 tomatoes
  • 7 tonnes of meat
  • 7 km of sausages
  • 100,632 slices of bread
  • 1142 litres of custard
  • 4141 litres of milk
  • 3904 litres of juice, and
  • 16,521 wraps

An extra challenge for the Catering team: 595 people had modified diets.

Cuboree is just another opportunity to put the Scout method into practice: learning by doing, learning in the outdoors, and learning in small groups. For 110 years the Scout program had helped develop leadership and resilience in young people.

As one parent commented: “It’s only five days away from home, but they come back two years older.”

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