A lack of Scout leaders means there are waiting lists in place for some South Canty youths
While the number of young South Cantabrians involved with Scouts is healthy, a lack of leaders is preventing more eager youths from being able to join.
About 100 young people attended the South Canterbury zone's annual church parade at Wilson Street Baptist Church on Tuesday night as part of their faith awareness, zone leader David Blaikie said.
"Just because it's part of our thing, that the children have to go to a church parade as part of their faith awareness."
Those involved with Scouts made a promise to do their best to develop spiritual beliefs, Blaikie said.
There were currently 233 young people involved in Scouts within the region, and there were 73 leaders, Blaikie said.
The zone spanned from Waitaki to Rangitata, and included Geraldine, Pleasant Point, Waimate, Temuka and Timaru.
"We're always looking for leaders, more leaders are better. It just makes everyone's life easier," Blaikie said.
There was a waiting list for children wanting to join Gleniti Scouts in March last year, and Blaikie said there there continued to be waiting lists in place at some of the zone's eight groups.
Blaikie attended meetings for leaders of Scouts within the Upper South Island each quarter, and said a lack of leaders was a common issue among many groups.
Leaders needed to be vetted by police to prove they were "a worthy and outstanding citizen", Blaikie said.
Leaders were then issued with a warrant, and could have parents help them out.
"But [you have] still got to have someone there that knows the rules and regulations," he said.
"It's always hard to find someone for voluntary organisations.
"I think that's across the board. Everyone seems to be having these issues ... Everyone could do with more leaders."
Groups would advertise, and hope for parents to get involved as new children joined up, he said.
Volunteering to lead a group of Scouts was not a "strenuous task", and it was made easier if it had a well run committee, he said.
Cub and venturer leader Teresa Beswarick said she enjoyed being a leader because it meant she got to spend time with youths.
Ranui cub Ella McLean, 8, said on Tuesday night that she had been a member of Scouts for two years.
"I like doing all the fun things and activities, earning badges," she said.
McLean had four badges - conservator, artist, swimming and computer, and had her sights set on gaining her sports badge next.