Scouter Karen Ritchie (right) gives Jayda Andrew

Scouter Karen Ritchie (right) gives Jayda Andrew

Fort Rodd Hill prepares to host large Cubs group

14th Juan de Fuca Scouting pack out of Metchosin among the West Shore groups planning to attend.

With Parks Canada celebrating the country’s 150th birthday by offering free admission, nearly that many Cub Scouts will descend upon Fort Rodd Hill this weekend to help remove invasive species and learn more about this historic site. [Update: This event has been postponed due to weather conditions, a new date has not yet been announced.]

“They’ll be coming from all over Vancouver Island actually … it’s basically in our spirit of helping them learn about Parks Canada’s history and the cultural and natural history of Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse,” said Aimee Pelletier, species-at-risk communication officer with Parks Canada.

Among the scouting group’s themes are celebrating Canada, learning about their natural surroundings and giving back to the community.

With that in mind, they’ll be removing invasive Scotch broom and daphne as well as learning about the crucial Garry oak ecosystem.

One of the other highlights for the Cubs, who range in age from eight to 10, is likely to be some education around the site’s weaponry.

“They’ll find out why the fort is here, what makes it special and they’ll check out the fastest gun in the West,” Pelletier explained.

Scouter Curtis Becker, who volunteers with the 14th Juan de Fuca Scouting pack, sees the Feb. 4 rally as a good opportunity for his Cubs – most are new to the program – to work towards acquiring badges and get to know other Cubs from around the Island.

“I think they’re excited about seeing a lot of other Cubs and also going to Fort Rodd Hill. These kids are lucky; it’s kind of in their backyard and it’s one of those places they love to go and visit, especially in this age group,” Becker noted. He added that the artillery and big guns make the site particularly exciting for them.

Becker’s group, which meets out of Metchosin Community Hall, has eight members and is one of several Cub Scout groups on the West Shore.

The 14th JDF pack is always looking to add local volunteers and interested Scouts to their organization.

For more information, contact Scouter Bill Schulte, the group commissioner and registrar, at 250-881-3845 or by e-mail at wschulte@scouts.ca.

joel.tansey@goldstreamgazette.com