Frustration as Scout troop is left in ‘limbo’

Frustrated parents of kids in First Jordanstown Scout troop have appealed for the organisation’s governing body to re-instate the group.

The group has not met since December after, it’s believed, a number of financial issues arose following a trip to Spain in September.

In January, parents received a letter from the organisation stating that there were a number of “unresolved issues” and the group would not be meeting until further notice.

One parent told the Times the association had left everyone connected with the group in “limbo”.

The man, who asked not to be named, said: “We have no idea what is happening with the group.

“Anytime I, or anyone else, has contacted the Scout Association it has refused to tell us what is happening. We are just met with a complete wall of silence.”

He added: “I have paid up the full fees for the year but only got half the time my son was supposed to get.

“He has been part of the group for six years and he absolutely loves it, but now he is always asking when he will be back and I don’t know what to tell him.”

“It’s nearly the end of the year and I don’t know if I should sign him up to another group - if one has the space - or wait and see what happens with Jordanstown. Either way, it’s not fair on my son.”

Local leaders of the group refused to comment to the Times, instead referring us to the Scout Association in Belfast. However, this paper understands, they are as frustrated as the parents over the delay.

Ken Gillespie, from the Scout Association would not disclose the reason behind the group’s sudden closure, however, he said that while the issues were “complex” they were “minor and not serious”.

He added: “The district and county commissioners are working hard to bring a resolution to this matter and hopefully we will be having a meeting very soon with parents.

“My understanding is that parents will receive a pro-rata refund and I can only apologise that this matter has been going on for so long.”

Mr Gillespie said he could not give a definitive time scale of when the group would be back, but said he would be “stunned” if it wasn’t reinstated by the start of the new scouting year in September.