St. Mary's group 8th Kildare Maynooth was founded in 1975. Up until recenty we knew nothing about the history of our unit, until the following article appeared in the Maynooth Community Newsletter which was celebrating 30 years in existence by reprinting some 30 year old articles.
Maynooth Boy Scouts
The Kildare Scout Troop, C.B.S.I., has now completed its first year of active scouting in Maynooth. The foundations of the troop were laid during the winter months of 1974, when under the leadership of James St. Leger, S.D.B., Joseph Lofrano, S.D.B., Kieran O’Reilly S.M.A, and Billly Flood – a teacher in the local National School, a small group of lads were trained in the basic skills of scouting. This first group were invested scouts on February 16th, 1975. The Investiture ceremony followed a Mass in the Parish church, which was concelebrated by Fr. O’Higgins, P.P., Fr. Hicks, S.D.B. – Troop Chaplain and Fr. Putzu, S.D.B. Among those attending from National Headquarters were Mr. M. O’Driscoll, National Director of training, and Mr. P. Butler, Unit Leader of the 44th and 93rd Troop, Crumlin.
In January 1975 a further sixteen boys were admitted to the troop, bringing the number up to twenty. The troop was divided into four patrols, these patrols form the nucleus of the troop and all activities centre around them. Throughout the following months the new boys were gradually introduced to scouting through various activities, primarily through the weekly meeting but also through hikes and weekend camps. A second investiture was held on the 27th of April bringing the number of invested scouts up to twenty. With the uniforming of the full troop we were able to take part in many parish functions, among them the Corpus Christi procession. During this month wee were joined by another leader – Eugene Gargan from Greenfields.
The Major event in any scout year is the annual camp. Last year, because the troop was still in its infancy, we decided to break the annual camp into two; the first part comprised a three-day patrol camp in Larch Hill (National Campsite of C.B.S.I.) at the beginning of august, this was followed by a five –day camp for the whole troop at Ballinakill, Co. Laois.
With the resumption of activities after the summer and extensive programme was carried out, introducing many new skills to the boys. On November 1st a Cub Pack, under the Leadership of Billy Flood, Ann Gargan, Fergus Tuohy, S.M.A., and Alfredo Agius, S.D.B., was started. Mr. P. Madden joined the scout troop as an officer at this time.
The activities throughout the past year are considered to have been very successful, both by the officers and the boys. Their success is indicative of the enthusiasm amongst the boys for scouting. It is noticeable that in the short time scouting has been established in Maynooth a strong scouting spirit has grown amongst the boys. It is hoped that this will continue to grow over the coming years. Judging by the response of both boys and parents we are confident that scouting has a very bright future in Maynooth.
The unit wishes to thank all those who gave so unstintingly of their time and energy to help with various functions during the year. A special word of thanks is due to all those who contributed to our various fund-raising activities in the past and whom I am sure will continue to do so in the future. A final word of thanks goes to Frs. O’Higgins and Supple for their continued support and encouragement.
First published in the Maynooth Community Newsletter 1976