Rover Scouts–14 April 2017
Rover Scouts is the final segment of the “path to adult life” of the Scouting movement and provides young people aged 18 to 26 with a balanced program of service, social and self-development experience. Each year Rover NZ organises a “moot” which is a get together of Rovers from all over New Zealand and Australia. The moot is held over a long weekend and includes fun events, adventure activities and a day of community service.
This year the NZ Rover Moot is being hosted by the Auckland Rovers and we were very happy when they selected CUE Haven as one of the sites for their community service day.
The Rover Moot organizing committee said they could provide us 36 enthusiastic young members and we had just the job for them.
The Rover group arrived mid-morning and included Adam, Andrew, Angus, Arabella, Ashleigh, Blake, Briana, Caitlyn, Cameron, Carl, Connor, Elliot, Emma, Jaime, Jason, Jess, Jessica, Kelly, Kieren, Kira, Liam, Matthew, Michael, Mikayla, Morgan, Rebekah, Richard, Robyn, Sekhaili, Sian, Stefan, Tanne, Tannen, Terry, Timothy, Terry and Vanessa.
We had a quick morning tea, a short introduction to the CUE Haven project and a safety briefing.
Earlier in the week, our other volunteers had just completed work on a 400 metre walking track at the top of the property. The last step to completely finish the track was to lay down a layer of gravel to make the track surface safe for visitors to walk on in all weather.
Because the track goes over hilly terrain, there are several sets of steps, so we can’t use machines or even wheelbarrows to get the gravel down to the track. The best way to do the job is to carry the gravel down by hand—one bucketful at a time!
We had a big load of gravel delivered to each end of the track and we wanted the Rovers to use empty ten litre paint cans to spread it on the track.
It was too large a group to drive up and our first task was to walk the kilometer up to the work site.
Once at the top, the Rovers split into two groups, one at each end of the track. There were three teams in each group and over the course of the day, people moved around among teams to work out a different set of muscles.
One team was stationed by the gravel pile, filling buckets with gravel.
The other team worked at the far end of the track, raking and smoothing the gravel that had been poured out.
The biggest teams were the ones carrying the gravel and returning the empty buckets. It was a challenging job because the buckets are heavy and you keep having to walk farther and farther each time as the team gets spread out on the track.
At midday the group took a break for lunch.
The teams switched around a bit and went back to work.
The two days prior to the moot, New Zealand was getting battered by the remnants of tropical Cyclone Cook with record rainfalls and disruption. We had prepared Plan B in case the weather was bad. Fortunately it cleared up in the morning but every so often rain clouds threatened to roll in from the harbor. But they all missed us!
As the groups worked away they got closer and closer to each other.
And finally joined up the two sections of track with the last bucketful!
It was an amazing effort. In just a few hours the Rovers managed to metal the entire 400 metre track and it’s looking great! Try it out!
We want to thank Rovers Auckland for selecting CUE Haven as one of their community service sites for this year’s moot. And a big thank you to Georgina and her organizing team for planning and setting up the visit. We enjoyed working with you.
And many thanks to our friend Kevin from Mataia for introducing us to the Rovers.
We also want to thank all of our fantastic volunteers who have worked on the track from its first conception and design in 2015 by environmental engineers Cecilia and Jerome, through the many different teams who cleared and built the track over the summers of 2016 and 2017.
And of course a huge THANK YOU to the very hard working Rovers.
You should be very proud of your efforts. You have made a much valued and lasting contribution to CUE Haven and New Zealand’s natural heritage and the community. The metal that you spread will make the track easier and safer to walk on year round. And your hard work will be much appreciated by the many visitors over the years as they explore the growing native forest at CUE Haven.
We very much enjoyed meeting you and working with you. It was great learning a little more about the Rovers and each of you and we wish you all much happiness and success in your future endeavours.
We hope the rest of your moot was as successful as today and we look forward to having you come back to visit us at CUE Haven and take a (less strenuous) walk on the track you helped finish.
Many thanks again!