A Picture of 50 years
Introducing some of the Scouting volunteers of Oliver from decades long past.
In the 1970s and 1980s Don Shippitt and Gail Blidook were instrumental in the leadership team of 1st Oliver Wolf Cub Pack, which had grown to two large Cub Packs in 1978. Blidook was carrying on a tradition begun by her Father, Harvey Skelton, who had spent many years as a volunteer in Oliver Scouting circles.
In the mythology of The Jungle Book, Shippitt was Akela, the leader of the Pack. Blidook was Raksha, the wolf who raised the mancub Mowgli as one of her own cubs.
The contribution made by Glenn Davies was on the administrative side, by serving on the Group Committee, for many years as Chair of the Group. These volunteers were responsible for budgeting, fundraising, registrations, and generally offering assistance to the Leaders when the Group participated in larger community based or district based activities.
Both Shippitt and Davies were honoured with Scouting Service Awards and 10-year Service Pins in recognition of their volunteer contributions. Davies moved on to the District level, where he found opportunities to assist at Camp Secrest, the Scout camp near Oliver. By the time he stepped away from Scouting, he had contributed more than 25 years as a volunteer.
In 1988, Davies was awarded a 10-year Service Pin and a Service Medal. This was followed one year later by a Medal of Merit, and in 1998 a 20-year Service Pin. While records for 1st Oliver Group are incomplete, we know that Davies also served briefly as Assistant Regional Commissioner. As with many other volunteers, his service has not been accurately recorded when he was involved with the Camp Properties Committee at the District level. With a small group of other adults he was responsible for keeping Camp Secrest available to a busy Scouting District. This included the performance of ongoing repairs and maintenance, down to ensuring an adequate supply of firewood.
The faces of Scouting have changed many times since the program came to the South Okanagan 110 years ago. The number of adults from Oliver who have donated their time to the community through Scouting is lengthy. This year we honour them all.
By Gerry Lamb
Photo courtesy Dan Roberts