When new scout leader, Ann Gibson talks about the role of the Scouts and the impact it can have on society you can hear the pride and passion she has for the organisation.

Almost 40 years ago Ann joined the St. Michael’s Scout Group and she has not looked back on a journey that now sees her take on the role of Scout Leader.

Family has been a big part of Ann’s association with the Scouts, with every member of her family being part of the organisation in one way or other.

“It was like a family affair,” explained Ann. “I let the children join Scouts, then I was asked if I would take on a leadership role and my husband took one on too.”

The role has given her great satisfaction as she see the way the children who join Scout develop throughout.

There are six sections of St. Michael’s Scouts - Beavers, Cubs, Scouts, Ventures, Rovers and the Scout Band and Ann loves working with all of them.

“I love working with them. I love working with the Beaver group and you get great satisfaction watching them play their games and making their crafts.

“We went to a camp at Castle Archdale and it rained but they were out in the canoes and they just loved it. They had never been in a canoe before and it was just so exciting for them.

“It’s nice to see the children moving up and developing.”

And Ann has extended the invite to children and adults who may have an interest in joining to Scouts to come along as they are always on the look out for new recruits as she aims to strengthen the Scouts.

“We do need leaders and we need more youngsters coming in because it’s just a great association and they really do learn a lot.

“It gets children out and about and lets them interact with different people.

“I just hope to achieve a stronger unit with good leaders. We have brilliant leaders but we could do with a few more.

“And the children, I just want them to be happy I want them to come every night and see the Scouts thriving and the children coming and enjoying life.”

Ann is determined to be a member of the Scouts for as long as possible as she feels she owes it to the children to keep on going.

“It’s a great honour for me to be asked to take on the role of group leader to one of the oldest groups in Scouting Ireland.

“A whole lot of my friends who were leaders have left due to illness or due to commitment or due to different things and I just feel im letting the children down if I stop because I just love working with them.

“I know I’m not getting any younger and I think my camping days are over for we were out the whole night and I never warmed,” joked Ann.

“I had a hot water bottle and everything but it was freezing but I’m going to keep scouting as long as I can.”

And Ann knows that without support from those within Scouting and the community the organisation wouldn’t be as strong as it is today.

“I am very lucky to have Tracey Breen as assistant group leader and I look forward to working with her. I would also like to thanks Maire O’Connor for all her hard work within the unit, her dedication was second to none.

“I would like to thank the community for their continued support. Without it would not have our magnificent scout centre.”