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About the Tambourine Bay Sea Scouts

Tambourine Bay is located between the suburbs of Riverview and Longueville in the municipality of Lane Cove. The cove is reportedly named after ‘Tambourine Sal’, aka Sarah Leadbeater, a former British convict sentenced in 1799 to seven years transportation for the theft of clothing.


Tambourine Bay Sea Scouts club rooms

Sally/Sarah was known for her tambourine playing in Sydney Town, but at one stage reportedly hid from authorities in a hut on the western foreshore of Tambourine Bay. In 1812 she became Sarah Lawson after marrying Blue Mountains explorer William Lawson.

Not far from Sal’s legendary hideaway, 1st Tambourine Bay Sea Scouts, Venturers, Cubs and Joeys meet regularly in a timber hall on a jetty on the northern foreshore of Tambourine Bay. 2066 magazine caught up with group leader Belinda Butcher to learn more.

When was the 1st Tambourine group founded?

1st Tambourine Bay was first ‘born’ in June 1954 when a meeting took place with the District Commissioner Mr Mitchell, and the Cub Leaders from 1st and 2nd Longueville. The group was initially called 3rd Longueville. The first meeting was held on 21st July 1954 with Cub Leader Akela Miss Pam Whyte and eight cubs. The current hall was opened on 12th October 1963...

What age group does it cater to?

The group caters for children aged 6 to 18 years of age, plus a team of adult leaders and parent helpers. We currently have approximately 100 youth members and 25 leaders.

What times do they meet?

Joeys meet on Wednesday evenings

Cubs meet on Monday evenings

Scouts meet on Thursday evenings

Venturers meet on Friday evenings

We also have regular weekend activities

What sort of water-based activities do the scouts undertake?

Kayaking, Canoeing and Sailing. But we don’t just do water activities we also run a traditional scouting program, including bushcraft, bushwalking and camping skills.

Our youth members are also involved in a number of other Outdoor Adventure Skills including abseiling, rock climbing, skiing etc. As a Scout, you can even learn to fly at our Air Activities base in Camden (you can even hold your full pilot’s licence before you are eligible to hold a driver’s licence!)

Do they learn difficult tasks such as sailing in choppy seas or doing an Eskimo roll in a kayak?

From Cubs (aged 8-12) we teach our youth members how to capsize and right their kayak. All our Outdoor Adventure Skills are graded, so as a youth member progresses through Scouting they increase their skills in a stepwise manner. The introduction of a new Youth Program has been instrumental in this grading of skills.

Can they get a dinghy sailing certificate among their achievement badges?

Youth members are able to achieve badges in all of our Outdoor Adventure Skills. Youth members aged 14 years and over are also able to complete nationally recognised qualifications in Outdoor Recreation via the Scouts Australia Institute of Training.

Do they compete against other sea scout groups?

Yes, we compete against other Sea Scout and Land Based Scout Groups at the Annual Sirius Cup which is held in March at Balmoral. Unfortunately, the 2020 and 2021 events were cancelled due to COVID-19.

Any unusual things occurred involving the group?

Our group was involved in infamous “pre-planned” raids against our fellow scout groups at 2nd Longueville.

Our original boat was an old Whaler!

Anything you wish to add?

We have a strong community of Scouting in the area. Other amazing local groups include 1st Lane Cove, who meet at Blackman Park, 1st Hunters Hill, who have both a boat shed and a hall in Woolwich and Hunters Hill, respectively, and 1st Boronia.

Tambourine Bay Sea Scouts

Tambourine Bay Park

Kallaroo Rd, Riverview, Sydney 2066



Alec Smart


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