Founders Day 24th February 2019

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Elandspad Kloofing 2019 by Aidan

We started our eventful day meeting at 8:30 at the parking lot near the Huguenot tunnel on the Worcester side.

We hiked along the mountain and then descended towards the river. We stopped at a spot next to the river, had a snack and everyone had to ensure that their belongings in their backpacks would not get wet. Luckily Jonathan saved the day. He had a proper waterproof bag and the cell phones were given to him for dry keeping. Otherwise we would have been in trouble… as most of our belongings did get wet.IMG_5364

I started my first Kloofing experience. Kloofing is the art of following a mountain stream by floating, jumping and swimming. Kloofing takes place in a river gorge deep in the mountains.

We were surrounded by beautiful mountains and apart from a few trout fishers we were on our own. Some of the scouts dragged behind and some were charging ahead.

The most special part of the Kloofing experience was the waterfall. When we reached the 100-metre-high waterfall, we were in awe. Although it was in shade the water wasn’t too cold. A few of us had the courage to jump from the highest point next to the waterfall.

Once back from the waterfall we had lunch and for the next four hours made our way back by swimming, walking or jumping from rock to rock. This was no easy task, with scouts falling backwards, forwards and sideways, miraculously no-one got injured.IMG_5396

By the way I manage to contract swimmer’s itch, for those who have never heard of it (including me). It’s a rash caused by an allergic reaction to the larvae of certain parasites. The parasites can get under your skin when swimming in freshwater. If they come into contact with people, the parasites can burrow under the skin. This causes an allergic reaction and a rash. Luckily the larvae can’t survive in humans, so the parasite die.

The rash goes away on its own and doesn’t need treatment. Mine was so bad that I couldn’t go to school for the two days.

We had a great day and it was certainly one to remember.

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Arangieskop by Simon

Arangieskop is a high mountain peak near Robertson, often rated as the most demanding hike in the Western Cape. Attendance is by invitation only and is limited to senior scouts.

After a short drive from Cape Town, we arrived in Robertson and parked at a small cottage around 1km from the start of the hike.  We made the short walk to the start of the hike which took us along a gravel road, overIMG_5173 a fence and along more gravel road. It was clear where the hike actually started, because this is where we started going up.  The first part of the hike was continuing along the steep gravel road, which eventually led into a path. This path continued going up and along a ridge, which lead onto a steep downward path into a valley. Here we stopped for a rest and to refill our water bottles.  After walking along the valley floor for a while, we reached a steep upward path that took us out of the valley. Here, we started hiking up zigzags. We could now clearly see the saddle we were aiming for. The zigzags seemed to last forever, before we reached another spot to fill our water bottles and have short break.  The path then continued up and onto a few more zigzags before we reached the saddle. Here it was a short, flat hike to the Arangieskop cabin. Here, we had a very rewarding view down onto Protea farm and the rest of the Koo valley below. After enjoying our dinner and some friendly chatter with another group of hikers, we went to sleep.

The next day, we woke up early to make it to the top of Arangieskop to see the sunrise. After our breakfast, we started around a two kilometre hike to the peak. We arrived just as the sun was rising. Here we also discovered a small can with notes from previous hiking parties inside. We wrote our own note and then headed down. The path took us down a ladder and into a deep valley.  The path zigzagged from one side of IMG_5229the valley to the next until we reached a forest. Here, the path flattened out as we made a few crossings, back and forth over a river. We then continued hiking around a spur and onto an extremely eroded path which lead all the way around another valley. On the other side of the valley, we hiked along a flat path which eventually started to zigzag down.  These zigzags seemed to last forever, but eventually met a road. We hiked along this road for a couple hundred metres and onto another path. On this path, we hike around a small koppie and then zigzagged down to where we had started the day before. After the walk along the road, we got back to the cottage where we had a very rewarding Coke and biscuits.

Simon Bean

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Cub Camp at Rondevlei

In March the Cubs spent the night on an island in Rondevlei Nature Reserve and earned their Conservation Badge in a camp run by CTEET.

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We went dragon boating in Seekoeivlei
– James S

The Draggon boating was so much tun. It was alot of fun.
– Olivia

On camp I injoyd the hippos and the way they poop.
– Avila

At cubs we went to Rondevlei to camp. We saw hippos.
– Ado

We went on a boat. And we went for a walk.

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AGM – The Troop Report

  1. The 2018 year was an historic year for the Troop. As you are all aware we won, for the first time in our history, the Rayner Trophy and followed this up with a unique double when we won the Gordon Shield for the first time since 1972. The Trophy and Shield are on the wall to admire.
  2. Winning these competitions was a fantastic experience and the pinnacle of years of development and hard work, not only by the scouts but also by the dedicated team of adult scouters.
  3. But, we must remember that winning is not the aim of scouts. A winning is not the measure of success in scouts.
  4. In 2018 I attended the Wood Badge course  (Wood Badge is the highest “qualification” an adult scouter can achieve). One of the valuable things in attending a course like this is the re-examination of the fundamentals of scouting in the context of todays’s world.
  5. The scouters on the course re-affirmed the aims of scouting as:
    1. Character
    2. Citizenship
    3. Development of mind, body and spirit
  6. And the method by which we achieve this is:
    1. The Patrol system
    2. The Promise and the Law
    3. Learning by doing
    4. Progressive and stimulating programs
  7. So, in the light of these aims and methods, the question was asked: What is success in scouting? How do we know that we have developed the Character, Citizenship and mind, body and spirit of our scouts?
  8. It is clear to me that winning a competition, beneficial as it is to the self confidence of our scouts, is not the measure of success.
  9. After much discussion on Wood Badge, the conclusion was that success is measured by the achievement of First Class..
  10. A scout who has achieved First Class has done amazing things: organised and let a patrol camp without adults present; organised community service with other scouts; organised and led and an ovenight hike without adults present. In effect they have learnt teamwork, responsibility, organisation, self reliance, resiliance, perseverance.
  11. Scout Law No. 1 states that a scouts honour is to be trusted.
  12. To achieve First Class a scout has to be trusted. Their peers must trust them; the scouters must trust them, their parents must trust them and the parents of the other scouts must trust them.
  13. Recently we set 6 of our senior scouts on the Outeniqua and Harkerville Trail. They were there alone, 600kms from any adult support, for 6 days, hiking on unfamiliar territory, managing their own food and water and group dynamics. And if you think about it, the trust is amazing. So too, the trust that we show in our scouts when they work towards their First Class. The trust to do the right thing.
  14. We would like to see all our scouts achieve at least First Class before they leave scouts. Some will go on to Springbok but for many First Class will be the highest advancement they achieve. And we will be proud of them and they should be proud of themselves. For they will have achieved something special and all their lives they will benefit from the difference that scouts has made to their character.
  15. So, as we move into the new scout programme, I want parents and scouts to think a few years ahead and aim to achieve your First Class. For parents this will means trusting not only your child but also other scouts to “do the right thing”. Trust the scout method to give your child the character and the development that will benefit them throughout their lives. Allow your children to experience scouts to the full. You may never see the direct benefits but I promise that they are there.

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Smoke Signals Quarter 3 2018

The third edition of Smoke Signals is out and can be read here: Smoke Signals Q3 2018. This is a slightly unusual edition as we focus for the scouts on competitions given the fantastic success of the troop this year. Our usual roundup of activities will be back for the last edition of the year.

Our cubs continue to have a great experience, evidenced by the continuous oversubscription of the pack. You can see what cubs get up to in this edition.

We trust you will enjoy the third edition of 2018!


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Bats Patrol Survival Camp

In early September, the Bateleurs Patrol went on a Survival Camp! We went to Petervale Campsite.

We split into two teams on the first day. Everyone learned how to build survival shelters – using only a couple of ropes and a groundsheet – and the scouts were put to the test that night, sleeping in the shelters they had made. They held up well even through the rain! We also made solar stills and learned how they collect and purify water from greenery.

The second day was characterized by the never-ending rain and the trip to Petervale’s farmyard. Some brave scouts tried their hand at milking cows, and even got to taste the fresh milk.

Over the whole weekend 1st Claremont stayed true to their motto: “Lighting Fires”. Everyone tried to light their own fire with flint and steel, or with steel wool and a 9V Battery. Only a few succeeded, but everyone still ate their supper: mince, cooked inside a squash with dampers and banana splits.

The scouts also now know how to make food without an abundance of firewood – they cooked oats in a haybox and boiled eggs over conservation stoves after learning the importance of using wood mindfully.

The cam p was structured to help the scouts achieve their Survival Scoutcraft badges and to better prepare them overall for a desperate situation in which they will need to use these skills. It is safe to say that they rose to the occasion.



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Foreign visitors

We were joined on Thursday night by 4 scouts from France who have been in South Africa for the past month on an outreach program. They were only able to join us for one night but as always it was great to host scouts from the brother/ sister hood of worldwide scouting. We gave them troop scarves to remember us by.

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