Smoke Signals Edition 3, 2022

As 1st Claremont has grown and become more and more active, it’s getting harder to pick highlights to summarise a term, let alone a year! But let’s have a go.

The Scout Troop has continued an active and successful programme as Daniel le Jeune completes his first year as Troop Scouter. The fourth term included several patrol camps and hikes, rock climbing, community service, and a Troop hike on the Boosmansbos trail. The highlight of the 4th term was Alex Clarke completing his Springbok Scout, which will be awarded in the new year. At the final meeting of the year, the six Patrol Leaders making up the Court of Honour stepped down to start their matric year, and a brand new team stepped into their place – thank you to Alex, Alex, Ephraim, Luke, Nina, and Rachel for your leadership, and welcome to Ethan, Holly, Jack, James, Tim and Tim!

As I’m writing this, we have 8 Scouts taking part in the Senior Scout Adventure in the Cederberg, as well as 8 adults in various roles. The Cederberg Adventure is one of the highlights of the Scout calendar and something every Scout should try to attend. In January, we will have our Troop Camp at Hawequas.

The Cub Pack has continued to work closely with the 4th Claremont Fernwood leaders, with joint programme planning (including the Cubs Go Solar theme) and joint activities including a senior Cub hike to the Scout Hut and an end of year campfire. Two of our stalwart Cub leaders are stepping down – Maurits van Bever Donker (Akela) and Kath Kenyon (Bagheera) – and we are extremely grateful for their years of leadership and the fun programmes they have run. At the campfire, Axel van Bever Donker received his Leaping Wolf badge. Lucy du Toit “burrowed up” from the Den to her new role as Akela, and we welcome her warmly to the Cub Pack.

The Meerkat Den continues to thrive under Judith Bishop’s leadership. This term they had a wonderful camp at Appleton, jointly with 4th Claremont, and also had coverage in the Tatler and People’s Post for their recycling initiative and visit to Huis Nuweland. We welcomed Karen to the team as Assistant Den Scouter, while Lucy du Toit has moved from the Den to her new role as Akela in the Cub Pack.

Adult leaders have also worked hard on leader training and paperwork to make sure all our leaders are warranted for their roles. 1st Claremont leaders are very active beyond the group: we were involved in the relaunch of 4th Claremont Fernwood, which is now thriving, Judith heads the Meerkat branch in the Western Cape, David Knight continues as acting District Commissioner and on the Senior Scout Adventure management team, Jonathan Webb heads the First Aid training team, and many of our leaders are active in training courses, competitions, event leadership, social media and other roles in the Western Cape region.

A major focus for the committee this year was fundraising and replacement of the stage roof, and we will go ahead with the replacement in the new year. We continue to recruit new adults as others move on – apart from Maurits and Kath leaving their roles in the Pack, Kathrine Starke and Lynn Koch who looked after Smoke Signals are departing at the end of 2022, as well as Karen le Jeune and Nicole Marshall who are stepping down from the Leasing and Treasurer roles on the committee, which they have run brilliantly – thank you so much!

As a community group, we are entirely run by our volunteers, most of whom are either parents or former Scouts, and our success depends on their involvement. If you would like to be involved in the group, please speak to me or to one of the leaders.

Thank you to everyone your part in 1st Claremont, and looking forward to another successful year of Scouting in 2023!

Ian Webb
Scout Group Leader – 1st Claremont

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