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Den mother shaping young minds
Be alert: Margy Collins has
been leading Waikaka's Cubs
for 20 years and she has no
intention of slowing down.
Photo: ELYSIA TILBROOK
Local faces -- The people who shape our community
With Margy Collins
Who would you most like to
have dinner with? Tom Hanks.
If tomorrow was your last day
on earth, how would you spend
it? I would get my kids together
and spend the day with them.
If you could have picked any
profession, what would you be?
A biologist, or something in the
If you could change one thing
from your past, what would you
change? I wish I had got a
qualification. I once had the
opportunity but turned it down.
What super power would you
most want? Super strength.
Keeping the Cubs on the
right environmental path
If you live in Waikaka and
have children then there is a
good chance that you know
For the past 20-odd years,
Margy has been the Waikaka Cub
leader, teaching young children
outdoor survival skills.
She initially got involved when
her young children joined Cubs.
The club leader at the time, Judi
Dennis, needed another leader to
help with the high number of
''That was a good partnership. It
was good to have her as a senior
leader,'' Margy said.
Her three children, Belinda, Kurt
and Nick attended cubs.
Margy said it was never really an
issue being a cub leader while her
kids were cubs.
''I tried to make sure it wasn't an
issue,'' she said.
Because it was hard to recruit cub
leaders, Margy decided to
continue her role after her
children grew up.
''I have been the only leader for 14
or 15 years,'' she said.
''It keeps me in touch with new
families, especially the kids.
''It's great getting to know new
parents and their kids.''
Although families come and go
from the region, Margy said most
families who became involved
with cubs and scouts stuck with it
when they moved ro another
Cubs are aged between 71G2 and 101G2
and spend a lot of time learning
outdoor survival skills.
Margy loves the outdoors, so most
of her programme involves
''I am a real outdoor girl and the
weather is never an issue,'' she
Cubs learn the basics on
environment safety, first aid,
tying knots and survival skills.
''They know they can use their
scarf as a sling or how to make a
stretcher,'' Margy said.
''Tying knots is not always easy to
master, but they don't forget the
The biggest skill is learning the
outdoor code -- respecting the
environment. ''Take photos, leave
footprints,'' she said.
Camping is a major part of cubs,
and Margy aims to take children
out two to three times a year.
''Most rural kids have had that
experience, but some have never
slept in a tent,'' she said.
Survival skills is not the only part
of cubs, but also following rules
and certain protocol.
''I like the fact that we have a
uniform, and there is flag
We expect cubs to be alert,''
''The kids like wearing their
uniform and their badges, they
are always proud to earn badges.''
Although there are only nine
Waikaka cubs at the moment,
Margy has been the leader for up
to 22 at once.
''Most of the kids in the district do
it, it's always seen as a positive
thing in Waikaka.''
Despite racking up so many years
as a cub leader, Margy has no
intention of giving it up any time
''I'm not sick of it, I don't breathe
scouting and I have been doing it
long enough to know what's
happening,'' she said.
''I keep telling the kids I am too
old, but I would hate to see it fold
if no one was available.
''I would never let it fold.''
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