Sam tells us about our Senior Cub Hike

On Saturday 5 November 2022 the senior cubs from 1st and 4th Claremont gathered at Constantia Nek at noon ready for a hike. Our backpacks were filled with mess kits, sleeping bags, change of clothes, plenty of water and most importantly snacks! Everyone first posed for a few photos before we started. At the beginning it felt steep and hard but as we got into the hike, it started to feel easier. We made up games as we walked along to keep ourselves entertained.

When we got to the dam wall, we could see the hut that we would stay in. We walked across the wall and arrived at the scout hut. All of us found a rock which we called “The Castle” and played a Dragon vs. Humans game in it. In the evening we had spaghetti for supper and then went on a hike to see the old cable car (it was very windy). It looked old and small so we took a few photographs and went back to the hut. There we had hot chocolate and told funny and scary stories.

In the morning we got up and went straight out to The Castle until it was time for breakfast. After Coco Pops we went back outside to play. Unfortunately, there was not enough time to finish the game before leaving for our morning walk. As it was just a little hike, no one took water. We should have. When we got back, we packed up (including all our rubbish) and left the hut to hike down the shorter path of Nursery Ravine to Kirstenbosch. After that, most of us never wanted to see steps again.

by Samuel Hoffa
1st Claremont

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Smoke Signals Edition 2, 2022

As we enter the final scouting term of 2022, it’s time to reflect on some of the scout group highlights over the past few months. The 1st Claremont Scout Troop Group has grown from strength to strength – we now have 109 members, up 300% since our centenary in 2008! This growth reflects the demand for scouts amongst the youth, as well as the incredible support and dedication of our adult scouters, without whom this growth would not have been possible.

Starting with our smallest members, read up on how Meerkats keep fit and follow the Meerkat den on their outing to the Arderne Gardens.

Our Cubs have been super busy with outings – to a fire station and to Paradise Park: a venue that 1st Claremont often uses for scouting adventures like construction projects and advancement. Meetings at the hall are fun – as shown in these accounts of what Cubs enjoy most about their Cub meetings and what they did in term 3 – in their own words. Advancements are a key part of our scouting culture – and Anjali earned the highest Cub accolade – her Leaping Wolf. And of course, no Cub calendar would be complete without a camp – which took place at Hawequas – with campfires and alien hats!

Our Scouts have also been busy: keeping the campfires burning; hiking in Boosmansbos and enjoying the weather at the Gordon’s Shield competition!

On a more somber note, we reflect on the passing of David Hutchinson, a former 1st Claremont Scout who became a Scout leader and District Commissioner for Antrim District in Northern Ireland.

Term Four is always a busy one, with a short push to the year-end. Keep an eye on the website and emails to stay up to date with what is being planned for the last few weeks of the 2022 scouting calendar.

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Boosmansbos in photos

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Campfires burning….

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Anjali finds out what firemen do!

On the 20th of August 2022 we (Kestrel Patrol) went to the Wynberg Fire Station. We went from 11:30 to 12:30. We went there to get a tour of the Fire Station and to learn what the firemen and women do when they work. Unfortunately some of the vehicles were in repair so we couldn’t see them.

The fireman showed us the inside of a fire truck and explained the roles of the firemen. We saw the different hoses that they use for putting out fires. He told us that they work 24 – hour shifts. We then went to the place where they keep all their clothes and they showed us the watchroom. He then led us to the upstairs where there is a kitchen and dining room with a TV. Upstairs, there are also rooms where the firemen can sleep. There are 2 beds in one room. He showed us the firemen’s pole. Downstairs, he showed us the different equipment that they wear. The fireman then gave us the opportunity to hold the hose at different settings. We were lucky to see a pink vintage fire engine! It is not used anymore but they do take it for drives sometimes.

I found the outing fascinating. I enjoyed learning about what the firemen do, about their jobs and what it is like for them. It was cool to look at what they wear, where they stay during their shift and their different roles. It was an interesting experience to do my first outing with my patrol as a new scout.

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Holly at Gordon Shield

One thing you should know about Gordon’s, if you’ve never been on it, is that it always rains. So this year when not a drop of rain was shed, it felt like the best Gordon’s yet.

I enjoyed this year’s competition mainly because of its Lord of the Rings theme. Although none of the people in our patrol had even read the books we managed to make up a dance and language related to it at one of the night bases. I think the judges were rather scared when we left the stage after our performance to their most aggressive Lord of the Rings sound track.

Another highlight was when we had to get a cup of water out of a circle of ‘lava’ and pour it into a bowl (without touching the lava of course). The normal method would be to tie two pairs of staves together with a round lashing and use them to hold either side of the cup, but luckily for us we had tirelessly carried two really long staves around with us which served us well because they were the perfect length to do the task without lashings!

All in all I think this was one of my favourite Gordon Shield competitions and I’m sure it was for the rest of the patrol too.

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Meerkats keep fit

The Meerkats spent two meetings this term working towards their Keep Fit Challenge badge. In the first session they learnt about the importance of keeping fit and how to do a warm up before they broke away into their burrows to complete activities at three bases. Fun was had as they skipped like lambs, galloped like horses, hopped like rabbits and walked on their heels and then their toes. The highlight of this meeting was completing a balancing obstacle course that the Meerkats were keen to repeat many times.

The second meeting was focused on sit-ups, somersaults and throwing and catching bean bags. All the Meerkats showed resilience and perseverance as they strived to master these skills. The parents showed initiative as they retrieved beanbags that went over the wall into the Padel construction site! We ended off the meeting with a group bike ride around a track in the garden and some well-deserved orange wedges. It was lovely to see the Meerkats grow in confidence as they learnt what amazing things their special bodies can do.

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Anjali earned her Leaping Wolf

The Leaping Wolf badge is the top badge that a Cub can earn. Anjali earned her Leaping Wolf in her final term as a Cub before going up to Scouts at age 11. Below is part of her logbook about the different tasks she completed to earn the badge.

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