Gordon Shield 2015

For the first time in many years and possibly in 107 years we entered two teams into Gordon Shield.IMG_1603 It was substantially more demanding and expensive to enter two teams, both in equipment and organisation but we felt the effort was more than worth it. As is the norm, the competition was held at Hawequas with chief judge being the Deputy Regional Commissioner, Charles Prince.The theme was Great Explorers and the competition was rated by experienced scouts as substantially more demanding than prior years. There were 37 teams in contention in this 100th Gordon Shield. IMG_1602After a 4 week training program focusing on teamwork and leadership both our teams arrived safely and were soon in the thick of the competition which followed the usual format.

 

The competition was very smoothly run and was a busy one from a judging point of view with less time than usual to socialise with other judges but very enjoyable. The weather was by and large some of the best in the lIMG_1596ast few years with unseasonably warm temperatures. There was some wind in the night and a few spots of rain but nothing to dampen the spirits of the scouts. In terms of final results one of our teams came a superb 3rd overall (the first time in 21 years we have achieved such a
high score) eclipsing our recent best of 4th two years ago.
The gap from 1st to 3rd was 42 points which is a substantial gap. The other team came an excellent 11th, a mere 1 point behind 10th and 2 points from 9th. In fact less than 10 points separated 11th from 6th position. These results far exceeded our expectations and the patrols can justly be very proud of their results.IMG_1605

Permanent link to this article: https://1stclaremont.org.za/competitions-2/gordonsshield/gordon-shield-2015/

Table Mountain 4 Day Hike

Taking advantage of a rare 4 day holiday in winter when SMC hut was available, we commenced the hike at 14h00 from Constantia Nek, going up the Bel Ombre Route. Heavy rain was forecast for at least one day of the hike and the weather was cold but not wet on the first day. The route up Bel Ombre was an interesting route with great views over Orange Kloof and swirling clouds to liven the experience. We made the Jeep Track at a reasonable time but with cold weather and a clear route, the fast hikers went ahead with the key while the slower hikers came along behind. This did give us a fantastic sunset viewIMG_1330 with clouds and sun combining to give a sunset not often seen on the mountain. In the distance we could hear the siren closing the cable car – a kind of eerie feeling knowing that everyone else was leaving the mountain.

We all made it to the hut as darkness fell and settled in with a fire. Michael introduced the scouts to a new game to pass the time and we did a bit of compass and mapping training.

Sunday weather proved to be pretty cloudy but we set off quite late for Tranquility Cracks which we found fairly easily and after some exploration had and early lunch at an out of the wind spot. From there we hiked towards Grootkop but the clouds thickened and after a time we decided to turn back as visibility was minimal. Back at the hut we had an early supper and then went out for a night walk around the dams – a pleasant if cold experience.

Monday weather was somewhat wetter, it having rained in the night and the clouds were still low. Since it was not actually raining however, we packed bags and went to Rendevouz Cave. From there we meandered through the Valley of the Red Gods, the Valley of Isolation and worked our way round through Echo Valley back to the hut for a late lunch. After lunch, the scouts followed a basic orienteering course, practising their compass work until darkness fell. IMG_1303We visited the Hike Leaders Badge participants who were staying at the Peoples Hut and cadged some candles since the solar powered batteries were not recharging fully. Some discussion on hiking equipment rounded off the day.

Tuesday dawned still cloudy and we opted to take the quick route down Constantia Nek in the hope that we would get down before getting rained on. As it turned out we ended up getting deluged in the last 30 minutes of the hike, such that water poured out of our boots. We found out later that Cape Town had been rained on extensively over the weekend while on the mountain it stayed dry… which made for a great 4 day hike!

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Permanent link to this article: https://1stclaremont.org.za/hikes-2/table-mountain/table-mountain-4-day-hike/

Groot Winterhoek 2015

We arrived at Veepos in the Groot Winterhoek for the start of the 2015 senior scout 2 night hike in May. Thus far the winter was dry and we were carrying no tents. Travel time from Cape Town was approximately 2.5 hours due to heavy mist on some roads. The weather was slightly overcast but cool and ideal hiking weather. IMG_1130.jpgAt 10h00 we were kitted up and we followed the path down to the left, heading towards Groot Kliphuis and our ultimate destination of Perdevlei. We hiked at a steady pace, stopping every 45 minutes or so for a short break and passing through the fascinating rock formations that make this section of the Groot Winterhoek such an interesting place to be. The route ends up emerging onto the plain from the valley and there are two very indistinct options at this point. One is to turn left onto the plain and pick up a path/ jeep track which heads over the plain towards Groot Kliphuis. The other is to hug the hills on your right and follow the path over rolling hill.

Somewhat inadvertently we stayed right and at about 14h30 we crested a hill to find ourselves looking down on Groot Kliphuis on our left with Groot Winterhoek peak itself off to our right and ahead. Clearly we were several hours ahead of ourselves compared to the previous year. We found this route to be considerably more interesting than hiking over the plain.

With time to reach Perdevlei we skirted Groot Kliphuis, picked up the jeep track and headed into the unknown with only our trusty 1:50 000 map to guide us. What followed was a sharp uphill with a seemingly never ending series of very sharp ups – a IMG_1161.jpgdemanding step at the end of the day. Eventually we reached the top and found ourselves looking down on Perdevlei via a sharp drop, not as bad as Arangieskop but still pretty difficult at the end of 20 kms hiking. It is difficult to believe that any car could travel this road. The path is very overgrown which restios higher than 2m in the middle and some serious ankle turning terrain. After some 45 minutes we eventually reached the lone oak tree at the bottom (the path went straight to the oak tree), it now being 17h00.

A quick scout around revealed no water. Twenty minutes of bundu bashing revealed at river some 200 meters from the tree, an emergency shelter and, after some scratching around, the very overgrown remains of the jeep track leading back to the oak tree. Disdaining the emergency shelter, we slept under the oak tree, at least 10 kms from any other person. Perdevlei itself is the most fantastic place, located in a bowl of mountains. It is quite clear that these are fold mountains and it is easy to see where the earth cracked when the fold mountains were raised. The remoteness and the clear lack of many visitors makes this a special place. Clearly more people are visiting Perdevlei from the De Tronk side as the path is more clearly defined but they would appear to staying at the emergency shelter as the path from the emergency shelter is very overgrown and in a few years will have completely disappeared.

After a pretty cold night breakfast was held at the emergencyIMG_1277.jpg shelter due to its proximity to water and thereafter we set off down the valley towards De Tronk, passing through largely burnt land. Some regeneration is taking place with green sprouts coming up here and there but largely we hiked through a wasteland. It was only a kilometer or so away from De Tronk that we passed into green and growing fynbos. We reached De Tronk at about 14h30 and after a rest (for some anyway) we walked down to Die Hel where the insane had a swim. Back to De Tronk and the trusty oak tree, supper and an early night.

The last day dawned with fine weather and we packed up and headed up the river, leaving from De Tronk at 08h50 and reaching the cars at 14h00 with a mandatory stop for a swim at the rock pool and lunch before the final ridge. A fantastic 3 day hike. We’ll be back…

Check out the full album of photos under the 2015 photo gallery.

 

Related Images:

Permanent link to this article: https://1stclaremont.org.za/hikes-2/groot-winterhoek/groot-winterhoek-2015/

Scouting Hero

We also received this from the National Office:

“On Africa Scout Day we celebrate Scouting in Africa, However we would like to ask all Cubs, Scouts, Rovers and Scouters to nominate their “Scouting Hero”! Nominate a Cub, Scout, Rover, your Scouter, a friend of Scouting or a parent who has gone out of their way to be of service to others. Deadline Nominations: 13 March 2015.

Reply to the answers below and email to info@scouts.org.za

  • Name and surname nominee:
  • Scout Group:
  • Position in Scouting:
  • Reason for nominating as a Scout Hero:
  • Contact details nominee: cell and email
  • Nominated by:”

 

Permanent link to this article: https://1stclaremont.org.za/1stclaremont-scouts/scouting-hero/

Grants for community projects

We have received this information from the National office:

“A Scout‘s duty is to be useful and help others. It is in this light that SCOUTS South Africa received support from the Alan Sol Foundation for our Messengers of Peace Programme.

SCOUTS South Africa encourages Scout Groups, in good standing, nationwide to apply for a MoP Grant to implement a community project for an amount up to R4,000.

2015 MOP service projects cover five categories: Food for Life (Agricultural skills development), Global Warming and Climate Change, Renewable Energy (Reduce, reuse, recycle), Access to clean drinking water, Biodiversity conservation.

More info: http://scouts.org.za/mop-grants-for-scout-groups/

Application form: http://scouts.org.za/scouts/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Application-Form_Grant-2015.docx “

If any scouts want to implement a suitable community service project and need money, you are encouraged to apply after discussion with the scouters.

Permanent link to this article: https://1stclaremont.org.za/1stclaremont-scouts/grants-for-community-projects/

A Full Scout Troop

Due to growth in numbers we are temporarily unable to accept new children in the scout troop. We do have a waiting list but cannot guarantee when a place might be offered. We regret that this is necessary. Please contact us to discuss the options.

Permanent link to this article: https://1stclaremont.org.za/1stclaremont-scouts/full-scout-troop/

Cub Programme – 1st Term 2015 [updated]

DSC03043-cropWe hope you had a good break and all the cubs are looking forward to a lot of fun activities in 2015!

Our first cub meeting is on Friday, 23 January. We have three new cubs joining us. We are also putting the cubs into four brand new Sixes (Red Six, Yellow Six, Green Six and Blue Six) and appointing Sixers and Seconders, who will be the senior cubs who will lead those Sixes. Please make sure your children are there this Friday to get the new sixes started!

Our programme for the term is as follows:

Friday evenings

  • 23 January: Sports Day! And announcement of the new sixes
  • 30 January: All the Senses – memory games, sight, sound, taste, touch and smell
  • 6 February: Secret Codes, signalling, and magic writing
  • 13 February: [note change in programme]
    DIstrict Campfire at 1st Pinelands Scout Hall, Saint Stephens Road, Pinelands.  This will be a late meeting (times to be confirmed) and there will be no meeting at 5:30 at our hall.
  • 20 February: [note change in programme]
    Nature outing  to Arderne Gardens.  Meet at 5:30 and end at 7 at the entrance on Main Road
    (Cubs are encouraged to wear their cub uniform to school on Friday 20 February to mark Baden-Powell’s birthday)
  • 27 February: [note change in programme]
    Stop Hunger Now – we will be packing food for the feeding programme run by Stop Hunger Now.
    We need a lot of adults (as many as 1 adult to 1 cub) so parents please try to be there!
  • 6 March: Safety and some DIY / handcraft
  • 13 March: Fires and cooking! Always a favourite with the cubs
  • 20 March: Home safety
  • 27 March: Woodcraft trails

Weekend activities:

  • Saturday 7 February: Cub hike from Rhodes Memorial to Kirstenbosch. Meet at Rhodes Memorial at 1:30 pm. Families welcome. This walk takes approximately 3 hours.
  • Saturday 28 February: Cub Fun Day! This is a get-together for cubs from all around Cape Town. Details to follow as soon as possible.
  • Sunday 15 March: Kalk Bay Caving! We will explore some of the wonderful caves in the mountains above Kalk Bay. Adventurous but safe. Families welcome.
  • Saturday 28 March: Cubs and their families are invited to visit the Kon-Tiki Raft Building at Sandvlei, where hundreds of Scouts are building and launching their rafts. Saturday late morning is the best time to visit.

Behind all those fun activities, the focus for the term is very much based on the Cub Advancement Programme, and most weeks we are completing two or more requirements towards the Silver Wolf and Gold Wolf badges. We’ll keep you posted on those!

Related Images:

Permanent link to this article: https://1stclaremont.org.za/cubs/cub-programme-1st-term-2015/

Awesome place to buy outdoor equipment!

I have discovered the ONLY shop I will ever shop at for Scouts again – Drifters.

Here’s why:

  • Their prices are the BEST I have found  – they undercut the ‘recommended retail price’ on almost everything (e.g. their First Ascent Venus backpack is R400 cheaper than I have found in some other retailers). The sleeping bag, torch, clothing etc I bought were all about 15% cheaper than elsewhere.
  • The Staff actually use the equipment and so can advise from personal experience.
  • They know their products very well (and even the specs of brands they don’t stock e.g. they knew the weight, comfort rating, history behind a competitors sleeping bag I asked about).
  • They only stock items that are proven to work well (e.g. Shaun pointed out, people they supply are going on expeditions that cost R60,000 – they can’t afford to have inferior quality equipment).
  • They won’t sell you something that isn’t right for you (e.g. I was willing to buy a backpack, but they said no, it was the wrong back length for my child & would cause tiring)
  • they also stock Osprey equipment

I can’t sing DRIFTERS praises enough!

Cape Quarter Lifestyle Village, Shop A03, 27 Somerset Road, Green Point
Tel: 021 418 4511          email:  drifters@mweb.co.za

Check them out here on Facebook.

P.S.  They offer a good discount to Mountain Club members and are prepared to do the same for Scouts if they know about us.  So let them know you are a Scout when you next go shopping!

Permanent link to this article: https://1stclaremont.org.za/equipment-2/awesome-place-buy-outdoor-equipment/

Night hike on Table Mountain

The photos from the night hike on Table Mountain have been posted to the 2014 photo album.

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Permanent link to this article: https://1stclaremont.org.za/1stclaremont-scouts/night-hike-table-mountain/

Cederberg 2014

The photos from the 2014 Cederberg mid winter trip have been added to the 2014 photo library.

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Permanent link to this article: https://1stclaremont.org.za/1stclaremont-scouts/cederberg-2014/