Our scout troop is called Kuoreveden Kotkat. In English it means The Eagles of Kuorevesi. We’re located in the Central Finland, in the village of Halli in the town of Jämsä. Our troop members live in Halli and nearby smaller villages. Halli is a rather small place, but there is a large company, Patria, which produces aircraft and defence systems. Many people who live in Halli work for Patria.
KuKo has approximately 50 members. We belong to the Mänttä area within Häme scout district. We have a lot of common activities with other local troops in for example Mänttä. We have been on common hikes and summer camps with scouts from Mänttä and have arranged scouting skill competitions with the troops of Mänttä area.
The history of scouting in Halli
Scouting actions in Halli started immediately after the wars in the Fourties when a Boy Scout group called Korven Pojat and Girl Guide group Suopursut were founded. The course of these groups ended already in the late fourties. Then there was about 30 years break in scouting of Halli until new scout group, Kuoreveden Kotkat was founded year 1977. In the best years there has been up to about 140 members in KuKo.
Camps, competitions and other happenings
Our local group is very active in camping. One reason is propably that our town is small and in middle of forest. In Finland we don’t camp at so called camping sites, but we bravely take our journey to the forest. Most of the camps we organize ourselves somewhere near our meeting place, for example at woods owned by the church near Halli.
In Finland we have different kind of camps. We have trips that last a couple of nights and there is usually a patrol or a cub pack. Then we have camps that last longer than three nights with size from a local group to whole district or even the whole country. We also go hiking. A hike usually takes place in some kind of a national park or other area in the nature. At hikes we sleep in bivouac or a light tent.
In Finland we have so called scouting skill competitions where a patrol travels a route from about seven kilometres to thirty kilometres depending on their age. In spring and autumn we walk and in winter we ski the route. On the way we perform many tasks that contain woodwork, cooking, orienteering, knowledge of local culture and nature and a lot of fun and teamwork. Competitions are organised from own group’s level to the national level. A lot of people in KuKo are keen on competitions and our activity is good. Even some prizes have been won in district and national level.Besides camps, trips, hikes and competitions Kuko has also floorball tournaments with neighbour scout groups, Christmas bazaars and other happenings for all ages. For example, Joti is been arranged now for the fifth time in group’s history. Cub scouts may prefer adventure-like funny happenings to challenging hikes. Older scouts then perform bigger projects and more challenging trips and hikes, and do it more by own hand.
Five age groups
The whole scouting Finland is moving on to a brand-new age classification. Now we have five age groups with their own new programmes: cub scouts (7-9y), adventurers (10-12y), trackers (12-15y), explorers (15-17y) and rovers (18-22y). In KuKo, this so called programme reform has started just a couple of months ago and it’s evolving very well to it’s final form. Patrols are performing their new activities and the system is becoming quite clear for everyone. At the moment we have three cub packs, one adventurer patrol, two tracker patrols and one explorer patrol. We don’t have a rover patrol yet, but it’s expected that some people will form one soon.