Signal Hill expedition

In April we had a Cub expedition to Signal Hill.

We started our walk at the Iziko Natural History Museum, and walked through the Gardens, past the “Arch for the Arch”, and through the city centre past Greenmarket Square. Our first stop was in Bo-Kaap where we visited the Bo-Kaap museum and bought koeksisters (the spicy Cape Malay version) from a street vendor. 


After that the walk got a bit steeper and we made our way through Bo-Kaap up to the Lion Battery, where we watched the firing of the Noon Gun and ate our lunch with great views over Cape Town and Green Point, and also explored the old artillery on the site. 


After lunch we continued up Signal Hill and the Cubs did a mapping activity overlooking the city, and then continued to Appleton Campsite on the top of the hill, where we watched paragliders riding the wind along the ridge.


At Appleton campsite, the Cubs explored the site, did woodcraft trails and made trifle for pudding. In the evening, after we watched the sunset, Braam Malherbe inspired the Cubs by talk about conservation, based on his experience as an adventurer rowing across the Atlantic, and introducing the idea of “Do One Thing”. The Cubs were tired after the day and had a surprisingly early night!


On Sunday we packed up set off again along the ridge of Signal Hill. Unfortunately we didn’t have time to visit the Kramat but we did pass a  number of other graves on the hillside, and learnt about the geology of Table Mountain.


The hike continued along the Clifton side of Signal Hill and joined the Glen path. We were running behind schedule so we arranged for the parents to shuttle the Cubs from there to our end point on Glen Beach. 


The route was well frequented by hikers and trail runners, and was suitable for the Cubs, including a few younger Cubs who joined for the walk but did not stay overnight. We were a large group of over 20 walkers, and we had quite a few adult leaders and parents walking with the Cubs, and a couple of vehicles for transporting sleeping bags and camp equipment to and from the campsite so the Cubs only had to carry a small day pack. It was a very successful hike in beautiful weather with stunning scenery and a lot of educational opportunities. The Scout campsite at Appleton made it all possible.

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Smoke Signals 2018 – Quarter 1

After an absence of 7 years, Smoke Signals returns  to give you news of the doings of the cubs and scouts at 1st Claremont Scout Group! Find out what winning the Rayner really took and learn something about the scouters!

The second quarter edition will be published in July 2018 and additional articles or photos are welcome. Email with any contributions.

Download it here:  Smoke Signals Quarter 1 2018

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Liesbeek River cleanup

On the first Saturday of every month, the Friends of the Liesbeek has a river cleanup, and since we are part of Liesbeek District, and often do activities in the upper Liesbeek River area, we thought it would be good to get the Cubs and parents involved in the February cleanup as a Good Turn project.  


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New Fence

For the first time in many years, the Group has completely fenced in our property. This has been possible due to our boundaries being marked as part of the subdivision between the City land and the land that has been sold to the land claimants (effectively the old Claremont Bowling Club). Our old fence deteriorated in last few months and it became important to not only replace the old fence but also to stop the grounds being used as a thoroughfare. With an 80 metre boundary the fence cost a substantial portion of our financial resources. We appealed to both our parents and the alumni that we have contact details for for contributions towards the fence. We thank those parent and alumni who contributed to the fence the fence which marks a significant step in our ongoing improvement of the hall and the grounds. Your contributions are much appreciated.


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Save Water

Silver Wolf Cubs learnt how to save water.

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Dangers in the Veld

Gold Wolf Cubs learning about “Dangers in the Veld” 

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Cubs Rock!

Cubs Rock! Posters by two of the Cubs for their Drawing badge.

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Senior Cub Adventure Camp

Every year we are invited to send our ten year old Cubs to a Senior Cub Adventure Camp run by the Western Cape region at our Hawequas campsite. This year we sent 5 Cubs and the camp was based on the Survivor TV series.

Well done to our Cubs who took part in this camp!

Also thanks to our Scouts who came along to help.

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Rayner Trophy 2017

For the first time in many years we entered two teams into the Rayner Trophy, one experienced and one with no experience of Rayner.

The competition followed the Highlands Trail which proved beneficial we hiked the trail a few years ago and it was also done as a First Class hike a year or two ago. The competition followed the usual format but due to an error many patrols got lost early on in the competition which set them back by several hours and resulted in several bases being closed. However, even the leading patrols (1st Claremont A among them) only reached the overnight stop at Iona Farm after dark. 

 Due to lateness, night bases were mostly cancelled (including two which would have required a swim in the dam) and activities ceased at 23h00. By this point it was clear that there were only 3 or so real contenders for the Trophy with our A team being one of them. Our B team however was keeping a good position in the hiking pack and did not seem unduly stressed.

Day 2 was an early start with judges leaving at 06h00 to hike the days route ahead of the patrols and the patrols leaving soon after. Day 2 was a long hike in conditions which turned hot. With time at a premium some bases were shut down after only 2 or 3 patrols had got through. By this point our A team was hiking out front but the other two contenders were hot on their heels. The competition finished at the Kleinmond Golf Club. The competition was won by 1st Bergvliet with our A team a close 2 points behind them, followed by 1st Monte Vista a mere 2 points behind us.

Our B team came an excellent 8th! No other troop placed two teams in the top ten so this was a superb result from both teams and underscores our commitment to producing fine scouts across the board rather than winning competitions at all costs. Well done to both teams on a Rayner that was the toughest in the last few years.

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Happy Birthday 1st Claremont

1st Claremont is 109 years old today – the oldest Scout Group in South Africa! This is the first flag, flown in March 1908. The handwritten notes are by the first Scoutmaster, George French:

“White Ensign – 1st Flag flown by S.M. Scouts in March 1908 and at all subsequent standing camps and Trek Camps of 1st Claremont Troop. 1st Claremont Troop formed 3rd March 1908.

Some of the camps:

1st Weekend Camp – 20th March 1908, the weekend we passed the Tenderfoot tests
Cooking Tests in Cottons Farm 20th March 1908
1st Standing Holiday Camp – Harringay, Cape Flats, June & July 1908
Hout Bay
South West Farms 250 miles
Karroo Tour 300 miles
More than 40 camps, besides service (war time) at Wynberg Camp during the Great War. 1st Claremont Troop marched more than 1000 miles during these years.

‘Wolf’ G French, Scoutmaster at 1st Claremont Troop 3rd March 1908 (registered 1909) to 1919.

Cyril J. French, Asst. SM 1908-1913″

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