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History Committee Registration JOTA/JOTI Trophies



The word Boree means a gathering. The first Boree was held in September 1965, in the grounds of North Caringbah Primary School and run by the North Caringbah Scouter, Ron Stenson. This Boree was limited to Cubs, Scouts, Venturers and Rovers of the then Caringbah District, Caringbah Guides also attended after an invitation was sent their way. The first Boree was so popular they combined the Cronulla district with Caringbah. Following a successful Regatta for 1st Cronulla’s 60th anniversary, it was decided by the districts to combine the two events. Thus a full weekend of activity became the “Boree Regatta” in 1976 where events like canoe racing and sailing were introduced. It was held for Scouts from the Caringbah and Cronulla Districts. As the nuber of Scouts attending the Boree Regatta started to decline, the invitation to participate went to Scouts from other districts, such as Miranda. There have been a several chairmen over the years of the Boree Regatta including; Alan Mears (1986), John Dare (1987 – 1990), Geoff Sales (1991), Keith Holle (1992 – 2000), Ken Herbert (2001 – 2005), Alan Lidbetter (2006 – 2011), Paul Foley (2012 to present).

Girl Guides have attended since the first Boree, and gradually over time it has become a joint camp organized by both Girl Guides of Southern Sydney Rivers Region and South Metropolitan Scouts. The Guider in charge over the years has included; Jean Platt (1986 – 1992), Robin Oke (1993 – 1995), Lianne Dodge (1996 – 2000), Elaine Gilchrist (2001 – 2002), Janice Oliver (2003 and 2005), Denise Gilbert (2004), Gillian Hardy and Jane Early (2006 to present).

The Boree Regatta was moved to Gunnamatta Park in 1976 with the permission of Sutherland Shire Council. The Sailing was originally organised by Ian Richardson, who was a member of the Cronulla Sailing Club and after Ian, Ken Herbert organised the sailing. 

The Boree Regatta has grown from a small day event where twenty to thirty Scouts and Guides attended to a large event where several hundred Scouts and Guides attend as an overnight camp. The Boree Regatta moved from Gunnamatta Park to Bonna Point Reserve, Kurnell in an attempt to preserve the park. Bonna Point has proven to be an excellent venue with the added opportunity to camp two nights. 

There are currently no events for the Rovers or Olave program, however over the years they have been used to assist with security and with the running of events. 

There have been many different activities introduced to the Boree Regatta for the Saturday night. First off, a disco was held in a hall next to Gunnamatta Park, however over time the popularity of these disco’s started to dwindle, and so Saturday night became a movie night for many years. There have been a few other activities including an eating competition, where the bakery close to Gunnamatta Park would donate the donuts and finger buns and other delicious stock. Over time this activity was phased out. The activities that have lasted are JOTA, the Fox Hunt, and the Knotting competition. The knotting competition was initially used to see how well participants of the camp could tie knots.

Keith Holle as the Chairman asked John Gibbling if he could run a JOTA station for the Boree Regatta in 1995, to which John said yes. The Boree used to be held on the fourth weekend in October but JOTA, a world wide event is held on the third full weekend in October which meant that the date of the Boree had to be moved one week earlier. The JOTA and Boree date for 1995 was weekend 21-22 October. The VHF equipment that is used in JOTA has not changed much over the years, but the transmitting power of newer models has increased from 25 to 55 watts. The participants of JOTA still use either HF or VHF radios, which has been used since 1995. The participants used to receive both a card of participation and a badge, however due to the costs of the card to the Boree Regatta, the last cards were printed 2007. Participants today still receive a JOTA badge. In terms of call signs used by JOTA at the Boree Regatta, there have been various call signs used over the years. 1995-2004; VK2SBF & VK2GGB, 2005-07 VK2EKG, 2008 VK2GX, 2009 VK2EKG, 2010-12 VK2LE.

The Fox Hunt was introduced in 2000, as a way for both Guides and Scouts to experience a different aspect of amateur radio. It was also used as a spare activity for when a group arrived at the JOTA tent and we couldn’t find a JOTA station for them to talk to as this gave the operators sometime to find station. Currently there are four fox hunting stations for Guides and Scouts to use. The change to Bonna Point has been a positive one in relation to JOTA. Gunamatta Park provided a few problems for JOTA. The tall trees were good for getting the VHF aerials up high but getting enough clear space between the trees was a problem for the HF aerials being used. 

Despite all of the positives of Bonna Point, there is one negative in relation to JOTA, which has been the aircraft flying over. When they are using the bay runway the planes are very loud and JOTA would have to stop talking for a few seconds. JOTA still remains a very popular activity at the Boree Regatta.

The camp has become so popular throughout its history because it is different from usual Scout and Guiding events. This camp is a place where they can compete against other units in fun events. 


The present aim of the weekend is to share the Boree “Fire of Friendship” with youth members of both Movements.