Cubs donate Packets of Love

One of the Cub activities for the first term was to make #HospitalHeroes care packages for the health care workers staffing the Covid wards at Groote Schuur hospital. This was tied into our valentine’s day programme. Each pack contained a bottle water or boxed fruit juice, a chocolate bar or energy bar, a sachet of cappuccino or hot chocolate, soothing foot gel or cream for tired feet, and a message of motivation, poster or card from the Cub. Our donations were delivered to the hospital together with Gift of the Givers and Fish Hoek Pre-Primary.

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Leaping Wolves during lockdown

The Leaping Wolf badge is the top badge a cub can earn before turning 11 and going up to scouts. Last year we had a record number of Leaping Wolves in the Pack, and this year is starting well with Kiran earning his badge log book, and Rhys and Matthew not far behind. Earning the Leaping Wolf involves several personal challenges, earning the First Aid badge and two other ten-year-old badges: making a knotting board and handing in a log book. Our aim as a pack is for as many cubs as possible to earn this badge before they continue to scouts.

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Swifts build a swing bridge

By Ethan Gilham

On 21 February, Swifts had their first activity of the term. We were going to be building a swing bridge which we would take turns using once completed!

For the bridge, we used square lashings and holdfasts. The holdfasts are to make sure the main pole wouldn’t fall over with the extra weight. The design had one tall pole held up using holdfasts. This would then be connected to the platform, which would be swung around when using the bridge.

The day was really fun as we were able to see all our friends again and do another pioneering project. Some of the newer scouts were also able to learn some new lashings and techniques in pioneering. All in all, it was an awesome day!

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Matthew on our first 2021 hike

On the 6th of February 1st Claremont had one of their first hikes in over six months. It started at Rhodes Memorial and finally ended at the top parking lot at Kirstenbosch. It was a fun yet exhausting experience as most of us hadn’t exercised much over lockdown and weren’t as fit as we liked to think we were. Overall, it was an enjoyable experience and we had lots of fun. Hopefully the regulations and constraints of lockdown will allow us to do more of these types of activities.

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Meerkats on Zoom

Our Meerkats started meeting this year on 6 February – on Zoom! Aided by their parents, we had four meetings, laying the foundation for their Scouting careers. We learnt about BP, how to sing Kumbaya, and played Scouting games that could be adapted for indoors.

Following the Meerkat Trail over several meetings, the Meerkats danced a simple gumboot dance, sang two songs, told a story and acted in a play. Thus they all earned the Entertainer Challenge Badge. Some Meerkats strode out on their own and have earned the Hiking Challenge badge. The outdoors is in their makeup.

Our most exciting day was on 13 February when we invested the first six Meerkats to 1st Claremont. Congratulations to our founder Meerkats and their families.

Top Row:             Amy Jack (Meerkat), Judith Bishop (Den Leader), Neema Galetta (Recruit), Micaela Galvao-Hall (Meerkat) and Nick Hall (Assistant Den Leader)

Middle Row:       Nicholas Koornhof (Meerkat), Ahren Vorster (Recruit), Ian Webb (Group Scout Leader), Katie van Putten (Meerkat)

Bottom Row:      Beccy Hall (Assistant Den Scouter), Sarah du Toit (Meerkat) and Lucy du Toit (Assistant Den Scouter), Oliver Sutherland (Meerkat)

On 6 March, Meerkats will leave cyberspace and return to the Hall, where we hope the Den will flourish and grow.

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Our land in Bowwood Road

1st Claremont Scouts leases our property in Bowwood Road from the City of Cape Town, and our lease has recently been renewed for a further 10 years. We first leased the land in 1916, eight years after the Scout group started at Claremont Public School in Palmyra Road, and our first hall (of corrugated iron) was built in 1925 where the top bowling green was later located. The grounds at that stage were big enough for 17 teams to camp there for the 1926 Gordon’s Shield.

The current Scout hall was built in 1940 and extended in the 1950s to include the stage and basement. Over time the open land around the hall was subdivided, and the bowling club, tennis club and a substation were built.

The Claremont Bowling Club land

In 2003 the Claremont Bowling Club closed, and the land next door has stood vacant since then. It is now owned by the Claremont Beneficiary Trust, which was granted the land as restitution for apartheid-era forced removals from the area where Cavendish Square was built. Some claimants chose a financial settlement, while others formed a trust which will ultimately develop the land for their residential use. The process has been slow, and meantime the land has deteriorated due to vagrancy and vandalism. This has meant we have done maintenance work on the adjoining land to protect our own infrastructure.

The trust recently applied for permission to operate a 4×4 track on the land for a temporary period until the land can be developed. This application has not yet been approved.

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Committee Notes


The Scout hall is looking great after it was painted in mid March by DC Painters (Dennis Cain), organised by Pierre who has taken over the hall maintenance portfolio. We have used DC Painters twice now and been very happy with their work. This will be our main hall improvement this year (last year was the repair and treatment of the wooden floor).

Vagrancy and security

During lockdown there was increased vagrancy in the deteriorating vacant property next door, which at times spilled over into vagrants sleeping in our front garden. There was also a fire in the hedge right next to the hall, which fortunately did not spread, but which was a major concern. The trustees of the land next door allowed us to cut the hedge back, and we also cut back the shrubs in our front garden to reduce the cover for vagrants. We have secured some parts of the perimeter fence with razor wire and added a lock to the front pedestrian gate. We have steadily improved our security over the past few years, and this long-term investment was especially important last year when the hall was unused for long periods due to lockdown.

Call for DIY assistance

There are ongoing DIY jobs at the hall, from paving to electrical, glazing (thanks Gavin), pruning (thanks Pierre and Gavin again!) and more. Any parents who would like to assist are always welcome.  Scouts and Cubs who help might also be able to use this for one of their badge requirements.

What’s next?

We have a long list of hall maintenance and potential improvements and we will get to them as budget allows. The roof over the stage is a concern but seems to be holding out at the moment.

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Kon-Tiki Merchandise

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