In 1959 concern was registered regarding the lack of organised youth activities in the Greenhills area. On 20th April 1959 a public meeting was held in the Greenhills Progress Association Hall to discuss the desirability of forming a Scout Group. The meeting resolved to pursue the formation of a Scout Group. A steering committee was formed to establish the group. Once the preliminary arrangements had been completed, it was possible to commence the first section – Cubs.
The first meeting was held on 23rd July 1959 in the Progress Association Hall and continued each Friday night. Two parents Mrs. Dot Turner and Mrs. Agnes O’Donnell were the first unofficial leaders. On 21st August 1959 a further public meeting was held to adopt the Scout association by laws and formally established the founding Group Committee.
In October 1959 the first Scout Troop meeting was held under the leadership of Scout Master Bob Mills. Later that year David Barr was appointed Assistant Scout Master and Mrs. May McGregor became Lady Cub Master, with Miss Davies as an assistant. Mr. Ross McGregor was appointed Group Scout Master. Senior Scouts (now known as Venturers) was formed in 1964 with Ray Henderson as leader. Rovers began in 1970 with John Dadd as leader.
The 1st Greenhills scarf colours were bottle green with red binding. In later years when 2nd Greenhills Scout Group opened, the colours were reversed and the scarves were red with bottle green binding.
A Scout Centre was now required after there had been some concern raised over ‘the marks on the walls’ as a result of Scouts playing games inside. Negotiations with Heidelberg Council and the Scout Association were undertaken. Early negotiations of a couple of sites continued until in 1972 the present site was agreed upon by Council. The Scout Association and Heidelberg Council signed the lease.
Fund raising was an important aspect of life at Greenhills Scouts. Funds were raised to purchase equipment and a building fund was also established. Fund raising activities included lamington drives, wine bottling, frog and grog nights, bottle drives, progressive dinners, fetes, baby shows and honey sales. A grant from the Department of Youth, Sport and Recreation was also received.
The hall was built by Holesworth Construction Company and was officially open on Saturday 15th March 1975. The hall was opened by the then District Commissioner Alan Jones. Both 1st and 2nd Greenhills Scout Groups used the hall. Girls entered the youth sections in the 1970’s with Tahlia Jolly the first female Cub in the group.
For a while Greenhills Scout group had a strong association with Plenty Guides (only boys were allowed to join Scouts at the time), so the Scouts did a few things with the Guides. One of these was a combined camp at Bruce’s Creek which lots of people said wouldn’t work but it did. One of the girls sent Jack Griffiths a thank you note and asked to do more camping with the boys.
In 1981 an extension of the Scout hall was built. This included the Quarter Masters store, Rover Den and storage areas. The outside courtyard was built in 1985. The foundations of the extension go 12 meters into the ground!
On Saturday 23rd July 1984, Greenhills Scout Group celebrated its Silver Jubilee (25 years) with an open afternoon to which all present and past members were invited.
On Saturday 29th August 2009, Greenhills Scout Group celebrated its 50th birthday with presentations, activities, cake and a cannon being fired.
On Christmas day 2011 the hall was devastated by water completely flooding the hall. All carpet and cupboards had to be replaced and many resources had to be discarded. We received some insurance money, which was put towards replacing the carpet in the hall and the dens but unfortunately many of the books and other items can never be replaced.
In 2012 1st Greenhills Scout Group received a grant for the roof to be replaced, kitchen renovations and the hall to be rewired. We also secured another grant for updating the flooring, which enabled us to install vinyl floor coverings in front of the kitchen end of the hall. It was decided that it would be good if we could vinyl the flag pole end of the hall, so fund raising efforts enabled this to be done.
In 2017 the old wooden retaining wall was replaced with concrete sleepers, this was a massive job and a builder was employed to undertake this work for us. At the same time we also concreted the courtyard. This has meant that this area is used by all sections for a range of activities. A small grant was received from Banyule Council to help with the costs of replacing the retaining wall.
Our annual Christmas tree fundraiser started in 2009 with 40 trees sold. This has skyrocketed to nearly 300 trees being sold in 2018. This fundraiser, as well as others throughout the year, continues to bring much needed funds to assist our youth members attend major events like Cuboree and Jamboree.
The group has maintained consistent numbers for the past 10 years and we have had a significant number of youth members achieving the highest awards in their section including the Joey Scout Promise Challenge, Grey Wolf – Cub Section Award, ASM’s (Australian Scout Medallion) – Scout Section Award , Queen’s Scout Award – Venture Section Award and BP Award – Rover Section Award.
On Sunday 25th August 2019 the group held their 60th birthday celebration.
Many thanks go to Jack Griffiths who began the brief history of Greenhills Scout Group, Barbara Collins, Joan Griffiths, Judy Wainright and Noel Withers for their many cups of tea, stories, patience and time.