Upton Shield 2023

On 7 May, 15 of our scouts took part in the regional Upton Shield competition. This is a hiking competition, similar to the Rayner Trophy earlier this year, where scouts hike outdoors, completing bases that test them on scouting skills along the way. 

Our scouts came 18th, 9th, 2nd and 1st, out of a total of 84 teams. 

This is a phenomenal achievement. To have 4 teams in the top 20, let alone 3 in the top 10 and further 2 on the podium is insane. Positions one and two were separated by a mere two points. This is our 4th consecutive win of the Trophy, and our 5th win ever. 

The scouts taking part:

• 1st Place: Juliet DE, Emily G, Saskia B, Frank W (9th/16th Cape Town)

• 2nd Place: Julia W, Tristan S, Sudi E, Matthew DE

• 9th Place: Laura H, Oliver VZS, Axel VBD, Simon H

• 18th Place: Avila VBD, Kupa M, Bridget H, Kiran CB

Our winning team was one member short at the start of the competition, and the team was joined by a scout from 9th/16th Cape Town at the last minute. A special congratulations to Frank for joining a team that wasn’t his troop, and contributing to winning the competition. 

These achievements are not the work of any single scout. Beyond the Patrol Leaders and team members, there lies a whole bunch of people to whom some credit is due. 

I’d like to single out two such people: Holly Raine and James Webb. Without the efforts of these two scouts, I am confident to say that not only would we not be sitting with such amazing results, but we would not even have had any teams entered into the competition. 

Holly planned, coordinated, and ran the whole of the 1st Claremont Upton effort, from team allocations to organizing equipment, from sorting out transport for the day to coordinating training. Holly went above and beyond in her role of organizing the competition, to which we owe her many thanks. 

James took care of the training for the teams, putting together an entire “mini Upton” a few Saturdays ago (in pouring rain), that I am sure helped prepare our teams for what was to come. Thank you to both Holly and James and for their efforts that contributed to these amazing results.

To close, I’d like to thank the organizing team of the Competition for their hard work. This composition of the core team was largely 1st Claremont based, with David Knight as Chief Judge (overseeing the running of the whole competition), assisted by Susan Gammon, Jonathan Webb, Caleb Serafin, Junior Kathe and Justin Cheney. 

– Daniel

Permanent link to this article: https://1stclaremont.org.za/1stclaremont-scouts/scouts/upton-shield-2023/

Smoke Signals Edition 1, 2023

The first term of 2023 has rapidly passed by with loads of activities across the 1st Claremont Den, Pack and Troop and leaders volunteering across many portfolios outside our Group.

As a reflection of the achievements in 2022, First Claremont was recognised at Founders Day awards ceremony on 19 February. Overall, the Group placed 5th in the regional Tonkin Trophy. The Troop, Pack and Den all received Gold Star awards. Two of our Patrols received Gold Stars, three Silver and one Bronze. Well done to the leaders and member across 1st Claremont!

In February the AGM took place, dovetailing between a Friday night Pack meeting and the Springbok Scout award ceremony for Alex Clark. Efforts to fix the hall roof above the stage are waiting for City of Cape Town approval following last year’s fund-raising campaign.

The Meerkat Den has been busy including a re-enactment of the first Scout camp at Brownsea Island, participated in Meerkat Kon-Tiki and also made contact with Beaver den in the UK.

The cub pack has welcomed Lucy as the new Akela in the den. The pack has had fun learning the ropes and adventuring in the outdoors. Jenny and Sarah report back on the joint Camp with 4th Claremont / Fernwood pack over a weekend in February at Hawequas campsite.

Our Troop Scouter reflected on the first term. The troop has busy with participation in the Rayner Trophy competition for Senior Scouts. First Claremont entered two teams, who placed 13th and 15th out of the 32 teams participating- well done to all!

The troop enjoyed a fun day out exploring the Kalk Bay caves as reported on by Aiden, and as a pioneering exercise built the largest tensegrity structure known in the region.

The patrol system is in full swing with many patrol-based activities taking place including a Bats Patrol Hike in Cape Point and community service outreach including soup kitchen as recounted by Juliet and beach clean-up recalled by Anjali.

Beyond the confines of 1st Claremont our Group continues to contribute regionally and nationally. David our Assistant SGL is now the Liesbeek District Commissioner and one of the organisers of the National Senior Scout Adventure. ATS Jonathan is the 1st aid training coordinator in the Western Cape. Our Den Scouter Judith is the Regional Team Coordinator for Meerkats in the Western Cape. Our SGL Ian assists with national and regional social media and website, and he and ATS Fraser run the regional Senior Cub Camp. TS Daniel is co-organising the Regional Young Leaders Forum. Many other leaders including Lucy, Susan, Emily, Simon, Becca, Caleb, Justin and others have volunteered as judges and staff on competitions and training courses.

Smoke Signals

Permanent link to this article: https://1stclaremont.org.za/1stclaremont-scouts/smoke-signals-first-edition-2023/

Bats Patrol Hike

On the 3rd of April I ran a hike for my patrol in the Cape Point nature reserve, after having this route planned for a few months I was very keen to get it done. We left early in the morning to get to Cape Point sadly early still had the sun up 2 hours before we started hiking, sadly I had forgotten to think about how early the sun was rising so I hoped that the day wouldn’t end up too hot. Luckily the weather forecast said it would be overcast and relatively cool. 

What the forecast forgot to mention was that there would be rain all the way there, this lead to having a couple unenthusiastic scouts for the hike ahead, when we arrived we kitted ourselves out in our rainwear and set off. After the first km we had all taken off our raincoats and packed them away as the weather had suddenly changed and was sunny with a couple clouds to keep us company. 

The hike was a relatively flat one, and was quite repetitive scenery for the first 7km with the occasional buck and ostrich spotted along the way. I had a few scouts who seemed to be determined to scale the tallest rock they could find. This lead to one lightly bonking their head on a rock and few funny photos. Eventually we started our descent to the beach, this took five minutes and we ended up having a quick snack at the bottom. After that we headed off onto the beach to locate some shipwrecks. After a few minutes of walking we spotted the first one. We examined the whole structure while running back and forth to dodge all the waves crashing down on the shipwreck which was halfway up the shore but seemed to be a magnet for the largest waves. 

We headed off to our next shipwreck and examined it as-well. We eventually reached out finish point and realised that our message to our transport to pick us up early hadn’t gone through yet and after we were warned that a baboon troop was coming towards us we headed up the road to try and get to our transport quicker. We managed to finish the hike an hour ahead of schedule even with the wait. All in all it was a good hike to start off our patrol adventures for the year.

Tim vZ-S

Permanent link to this article: https://1stclaremont.org.za/activities/hiking/ss2023e1-bats-patrol-hike/

Cubs on Camp

The cubs report back on their join camp with the 4th Claremont/Fernwood Pack in February:

On Camp we did lots of fun games like we played a blind game so one person is blindfolded and there’s colour coded balls your team must guide you to your ball colour that you were told. 

Another game is a water game with holey buckets where, in your team, you fill the holey bucket up and run to the other side with a big bucket with a tennis ball in in.  First team to get the tennis ball out with the water wins. 

We also swam in the dam and with the adults made a whirlpool.  

Jumanji – the Next Level (Ancient Egypt)

Cub camp this year was so fun. We were at Hawequas and our theme was Jumanji game in Ancient Egypt.  Nigel Billington kept repeating “We have been eagerly waiting your arrival”. There ware Egypt decorations everywhere. 

We did lots of fun tasks like wrapping one of our six in toilet paper to make a mummy  I was the mummy and it was fun to be wrapped up but hard to stand still for so long.  We also sewed hand nets for our mini-SASS badge.  On Saturday we had exercises with the Scouts and then rice crispies for breakfast. 

We did our Simple Machines badge in the day and learnt about pulleys, friction, wedges (chopping with an ax), screws and wheels.  After lunch we built trebuchets like catapults to shoot water balloons at a fire.

The Campfire was so fun that night and the flames were all sorts of magic colours.  On Sunday we did a mini-SASS assessment of the little stream and found lots of cool invertebrates and so the river scored high and was very clean.

We made lots of friends from 1st and 4th Claremont and had fun and it was sad to leave at the end.

Permanent link to this article: https://1stclaremont.org.za/cubs/ss2023e1-cubs-on-camp/

Meerkat Kon-tiki

On 18 March, an excited group of Meerkats joined 100 others from all over the Region for the second Meerkat Kon-tiki at the IYC in Muizenberg.

Over the next two hours they made a flag, played games, listened to a pollution story, and most of all built model rafts. These were raced out in the vlei using an ingenious contraption designed by 1st Muizenberg’s Rafiki. Our Meerkat Instructors, Juliette and Laura, helped launch the rafts. I heard every Meerkat say “Mine won!” A feast of watermelon and popcorn awaited the children before they went home. Apart from the coveted Kon-tiki Comics badge, they will also all get the Raft Builder Badge soon. Thanks to our parents who were such a help as usual.

Judith Bishop, Den Scouter

Permanent link to this article: https://1stclaremont.org.za/1stclaremont-scouts/meerkats/ss2023e1-meerkat-kon-tiki/

Cub Pack Photo Gallery

Permanent link to this article: https://1stclaremont.org.za/smoke-signals/ss2023e1-cubs-pack-in-term-1/

Rayner Trophy 2023

First Claremont had two teams participating in the Rayner Trophy. They placed 15th and 13th, out of a total of 32 teams. Some photos from the event below.

Permanent link to this article: https://1stclaremont.org.za/competitions-2/rayner-trophy/ss2023e1-rayner-trophy-2023/

AGM Report

The format of our AGM was slightly different this year as it was followed by a Springbok Award ceremony and celebration. It took place on Friday 27th January. 

Meerkat, Pack and Troop Leaders gave their annual reports as well as Finance and Group Leader reports.  The Financials for the past year were accepted by those present.  All round, 2022 has been an extremely productive and fun year.  Thanks went to Maurits van Bever Donker as he steps down from pack leadership and Lucy du Toit welcomed as she takes on this position.

Thanks was given to Nicole Marshall who effectively carried the Finance portfolio for 2 years as well as to Karen le Juene who has carried the Leasing portfolio for many years. We are grateful for their time and service to Scouting.

We welcome the two new members who were voted into the committee: Anil Dhanjee (Finance) and Magali Garcia (Leasing).  The members who will continue are Ian Webb (Scout Group Leader), Pierre Hoffa (Infrastructure and Maintenance), Heather van Zyl-Smit (Secretary), David Knight (Assistant Scout Group Leader) and scouters Judith Bishop, Lucy du Toit and Daniel le Jeune.

(Heather vZ-S)

Permanent link to this article: https://1stclaremont.org.za/smoke-signals/agm/ss2023e1-agm-report/