A year in 1st Claremont Scouts by Natasha


Scouting at 1st Claremont

Created, compliled and edited by Natasha.

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Cub Hike to Eagles Nest Constantia

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Eagles Nest hike sketch
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The 1st Claremont Senior Scout 2018 Adventure by Natasha

In the December holidays of 2018 the seniors of the troop were privileged enough to hike in the Outeniqua forest. As part of the trail was burnt due to the recent Knysna fires we were to meet up with the trail on its fourth day. As we thought that the right path that was joining on to the Outeniqua trail was closed, we took a more complicated path up to the Rondebossie hut.  
The seniors walked the rest of the Outeniqua trail without any mishaps except perhaps doubting ourselves when the trees/parts of trees were lying in the middle of the path. The shorter you are, the harder it is to climb over the tree without getting stuck. While hiking, we passed a couple of day hikers, 2 cyclists who we thought were cars, played with some charcoal and crossed the national road.
The second part of our six day hiking experience (remember that we could only do four days of the Outeniqua trail) we hiked the Harkeville trail which was a beautiful coastal trail. The first day was meant to be really long and to go down to a rocky shore but as it was also burnt and was closed for restoration purposes, therefore it was actually really short.
While hiking these two trails we saw some amazing forest scenery and coastal as well. There were a lot of interesting fungi, really tall trees (even some Californian Redwoods) and some pointy shelled snails. At the Diepwalle hut, there was a scorpion sitting on the rim of the bin. We walked into a multitude of spiderwebs. Even the person at the back. Surprisingly we only saw one Knysna Lourie and the frog population that we saw outnumbered our bird sightings. We were fortunately lucky enough to come across some relatively fresh elephant spoor and scat
All in all we really enjoyed our adventure, created stronger friendships and played some crazy Uno. I would like to thank everybody who made this possible for us to hike in this amazing place. Also a really big thank you to the people who drove us to and from Cape Town. You had to put up with a bunch of crazy kids for about six hours. That was most probably a really long drive.

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Permanent link to this article: https://1stclaremont.org.za/smoke-signals/ss2019e1-outeniqua/

Bats Patrol Hike


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On a cool Saturday – perfect hiking weather – the Bats Patrol set out to hike from Constantia Nek to De Villiers Dam.

Thanks to all the participants and well done to Nina for organising the route!

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Cub Activities: Fires, Cooking, Culture

Learning about other cultures and countries, creative expression through poetry and drawing, lighting fires and cooking food over burners made by the cubs themselves – these are just a few of the activities that make our cub group an exciting and fun filled space for all our members.







Cubs at Claremont 1st making flags and writing poems to learn about different cultures and to connect with cubs around the world.






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After learning about cultural differences in our cub pack, the cubs wrote some poems and some general observations:

“I learnt about cultures at cubs. Who would have thought they were made out of mugs?”


“Most of the people celebrate April fools day” Tristan





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Cooking stokbrood over open flame and enjoying the fruit of our labour.


Boiling water over wax stoves.

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The AGM – The Scout Group Leader’s Address

Below is the text of Tim, our Scout Group Leaders address, at the 2018 AGM.

  1. The Group Committee consists of volunteer parents, each with a defined role, to support the branches (troop and pack), in producing scouting.
    1. Karen has fulfilled the role of managing our important leasing activities which supports not only the troop and pack but also allows us to invest money into our equipment and infrastructure. This is a key revenue generating role. These activities also support the community by providing a place for them to meet and engage at very low cost.
    2. Andrew manages the infrastructure, the largest expenditure item on the budget as we play catch up for years of neglect of infrastructure. This year major items were the installation of extra outside lighting, sadly immediately stolen and damaged by thieves, treatment for borer beetle and roof repairs.
    3. Ingrid manages the Treasury function efficiently and will present her report shortly.
    4. Sam as the Group Secretary keeps us all on our toes with action points and helps ensure we deliver.
    5. We have also, this year, produced the Group magazine Smoke Signals which has a long and distinguished, if somewhat erratic, history. Special thanks to Kathrine and Lynn for their hard work on producing this fine publication.
  2. Thanks to all the committee members for their hard work and those parents who have come to assist work parties and other times & events
  3. In the 2019 year, we plan to finally repair and treat the invaluable hall floor and to improve our security by installing a new fence between ourselves and the old bowling club. We hope the improvements in security will allow us to improve our infrastructure further without the improvements being stolen. Other functions such as maintenance and purchase of equipment and infrastructure will continue as normal.
  4. In addition to the Committee, we are looking for further support from parents. These roles are not necessarily Committee positions so it is not necessary to commit to attending the regular meetings. We are specifically looking for:
    1. A cub parent to assist in the production of the cub section of Smoke SIgnals;
    2. Help with Facilities management – Ensuring hall is stocked and equipped with key items and managing the cleaning of the hall. A cleaner for two ½ days a week.
    3. Fundraising – looking at ways to raise new funds. Although we have a good income stream, we can always use more money to speed up the pace of delivery
    4. Grounds – to initially produce a plan for the grounds for implementation when funds become available.
  5. Thanks to all those parents and volunteers who help make the Group one of the pre-eminent Groups in the Western Cape and indeed the country.

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A year in 1st Claremont Scouts by Rebecca

A year in 1st Claremont Scouts

Created, compiled and edited by Rebecca.

Permanent link to this article: https://1stclaremont.org.za/smoke-signals/ss2019e1-a-year-in-1st-claremont-scouts/


Recently our senior scouts hiked the Outeniqua and Harkerville Trails near Knysna. This was done as a substitute for the cancelled 2018 Senior Scout Adventure. The scouts did this hike on their own without any adult accompanying them or even being within 500 kms of them. I expected concerns to be raised by parents over issues such as safety, transport and the recent fires in the area. But interestingly, no such concerns were raised. Further, while I harboured unease over taking this step of letting the scouts go on their own, I never seriously considered having an adult accompany them once I had taken the initial decision that they should be on their own as part of the experience.

It came down to trust between the various parties involved. Perhaps most significant was the trust both the parents and the scouters placed in the scouts themselves. We trusted them to pack their equipment and food appropriately and to hike for 6 days, unaccompanied, in unfamiliar terrain, far from assistance. We did this because we trust them to be responsible people who have sufficient hiking experience and skills to deal with issues that may arise without reference to an adult. And while they had daily contact with the outside world, this is exactly what they did. At no point did they ask for help or advice.

This is one of those skills that scouts teaches by being a youth led organisation. We trust our scouts to be responsible when they should be and to learn the skills and earn the trust to undertake adventures such as this. This trust takes different forms over the different age groups. Initially we might trust a scout to handle an axe after appropriate training. Later we trust them to run a camp without adult supervision and later still to lead hikes without adult supervision. The scout learns responsibility and they learn what it is like to be responsible. Baden_Powell said “The more responsibility the Scoutmaster gives his patrol leaders, the more they will respond.”.  I can honestly say that in my years as a adult scouter, my trust has never been misplaced by one of my scouts.

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