SEEONEE’S LEGACY FOR
Dear South Australian Scouting Friends,
The legacy of Seeonee Hills is to be re-shaped as an exciting new YOUTH ACTIVITY CENTRE at Woodhouse!
After extensive and extended consultation and considerable discussions at the Board level I can announce that Scouts SA will sell the property known as Seeonee Hills at Mt George with all proceeds being directed to Woodhouse - specifically, a new indoor Youth Activity Centre.
As a Wolf Cub I was privileged to be on the very first camp to be held at Jubilee Lodge, Seeonee Hills when it brand new and shiny, and the plastic was still on the mattresses!
Today (50 years later), to retain the Seeonee Hills property would require replacing or updating the sleeping quarters, the bathrooms and the kitchens – in other words, almost starting again. We can’t use the property during the bushfire season because it is undefendable and difficult to escape from. In the height of winter it can be really boggy. It is little wonder that even generating enough revenue to cover basic maintenance is unachievable. The most logical strategy is to consolidate our efforts into Woodhouse.
As I am sure you have seen, the Woodhouse 2020 project is progressing strongly, benefiting from substantial chunks of capital investment. Recent highlights include:
· Western ASU completely refurbished into Gilwell Basecamp
· Northern ASU completely refurbished into St George Basecamp
· Challenge Hill refreshed with new challenges and old ones renewed
· Restoration on the Old Woodhouse Manor (stage 1)
· New activities including ice blocking
· Progress on repurposing Stag’s store
Coming this year will be two monster new activities for all ages:
· Tube Slide
· Ever Changing Maze (sounds like something from Harry Potter)
And starting (but perhaps not finishing) in 2018…
… a brand new Youth Activity Centre called Seeonee Refuge
Located north of the Rymill Centre and overlooking Cox Creek will be an indoor activity centre designed specifically for Scout youth programs. It will be a refuge from the elements – rain, heat and fire for campers at Woodhouse.
The new facility will incorporate two separate Scout hall size spaces as well as bathroom and kitchen facilities. There will be equipment storage areas with resources for games, badge work and other indoor activities.
Full-length double glazed windows will bring views of Cox Creek indoors and state-of-the-art AV equipment will also ensure that the centre can also be used for training and conference activities or simply showing a movie on a wet night at camp.
The Seeonee Refuge combined with the repurposed Stag’s Store and refurbished Basecamps will mean that camping can happen all year round with confidence knowing that even on wet days, great scouting can continue. Of course, regardless of the weather sometimes an indoor area is exactly what you need on a Pack Holiday.
Finally, the centre will be fully outfitted as a FIRE SAFER REFUGE. Fire suppression features including fire proof cladding, sprinkler systems on the roof, alarms and closable shutters over the windows will combine to make this building the safest possible refuge for up to 250 people in event of a bushfire threat while awaiting evacuation. The proximity to all our major buildings and the adjacent roads will allow for rapid refuge and evacuation if needed.
The fire refuge aspect of the new Youth Activity Centre will satisfy the safety demands of local authorities and ensure that we can continue to enjoy Woodhouse all year round.
Plans are being drawn up now for the SEEONEE REFUGE. We hope that the sale proceeds from Seeonee Hills will cover most of the cost, but the BEC has committed to fund the shortfall. Stay tuned for further news and in the meantime enjoy….