Upcoming Scout Events

The year for scouts will be characterised by the number of scouts that hope to register and complete the highest award that a scout can earn – the Springbok Scout. After a long drought of Springbok Scouts, the troop now regularly produces Springbok Scouts. At the time of publishing, 3 scouts – Natasha, Rebecca and Matthew G have all registered for Springbok Scout and another two scouts are expected to register in the near future.

Springbok scouts run many events (camps, hikes, community service, major projects) and thus the calendar was not filled up with the usual activities. Space was left to accommodate the expected activities of the Springbok Scouts. To achieve Springbok requires the participation and help of every member of the troop – especially when we have so many scouts working at this level. We expect every member to participate fully in the activities of the troop – scouting does not happen on a Thursday night – it happens over weekends. Despite the size of the troop, participation on many events has been surprisingly poor and we would like to see this improve.

The term opens with an overnight hike on Table Mountain.  This hike is specifically aimed at the junior scouts, many of whom have not participated in a scout hike. As a troop we are the foremost hiking troop in the country and hiking is one of the greatest experiences that scouts can have.  To tackle the more advanced hikes, we must be confident of your hiking ability and this means that junior scouts must attend the day hikes and easier overnight hikes before they can be considered on the more exciting hikes like the Greyton-McGregor hike planned for later this year.

This is followed by a Springbok Pioneering project the next weekend while Leadership Development Course 1 (LDC1), a new course, takes place towards the end of April. LDC 1 is a required course under the new advancement system and it is essential that all scouts who were requested to register, do so immediately, if you have not done so already.

May starts off with a day hike in the Jonkershoek and is followed by the Upton Shield on the 5th May. We came 7th last year and are hoping to improve on this position this year. We will also be putting in as many teams as possible (maybe 7 teams of 4 scouts). As the Upton is a hiking competition for junior scouts, not only is hiking fitness important but so are scout skills.

Activities slow down in May as exams take hold but several scouts will be attending the Cooking badge course while there is a Work Party at the hall on the 25th May. Work Parties are essential maintenance, not only on the grounds and the hall but also on equipment. The contributions of parents and scouts to maintaining a safe and clean environment for scouting cannot be underestimated.

The term ends with a winter trip to the Cederberg. We will be stying in houses at Driehoek and doing day hikes out from this base. The Cederberg winter trip is an exciting and fun filled few days for scouts to get some experience of hikes and activities in one of the great wilderness areas of the country.

Although it is a long way to the end of the year, please note that there will be a 5 day annual camp at the end of the year. This is likely to be held at Rawsonville. Annual camps are great fun with a variety of experiences (last time we went to watch gliders launch, did a night walk, built an obstacle course, had a campfire and did advancement) and are essential in building experience, skills and getting advancement. Please consider this camp in your end of year plans. The dates are likely to be from the 16th to the 20th as we may not be able to book the campsite over the preferred weekend. It is important that scouts attend annual camps to get the full benefit of scouts.

Finally, as the calendar changes often, you should refer to the Google Calendar which contains the latest updated information on activities.


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The AGM – The Pack Report


  • Our membership averaged 34, and in January we moved from 4 Sixes to 6 Sixes, and increased to 36 Cubs. We have 15 girls and 21 boys.
  • We currently have 6 Cubs working on Membership, 14 working on Silver Wolf and  16 working on Gold Wolf,
  • Last year, we averaged over 80% attendance again, which is excellent.
  • Departures: 11 Cubs went up to Scouts, 2 moved away, and only 3 unexpected, i.e. good retention
  • We still have a long waiting list, and not all of those on the list will find places. Siblings get priority.


Activities in 2018:

  • Joint camp with 1st Pinelands: 24 Cubs attending
  • Joint meeting with 1st Pinelands and 6th Rondebosch
  • We had guests at 8 meetings during the year: Guide Dogs, Snakes and Reptiles, Simply Bee, NSRI, 3D Printing, Lois Strachan, National Security, Kathy Brink
  • Western Cape Senior Cub Camp: 9 Cubs attended (age 10)
  • Overnight expedition to Appleton Campsite on Signal Hill: 18 Cubs attending
  • Day hikes and outings: Liesbeeck River cleanup, Jeep Track hike to the dams, two holiday craft activities at the hall, Scout Heritage Centre, work parties, Edward Shield
  • Plastic waste and water saving themes
  • Community service including Santa’s Shoebox


Advancement in 2018:

  • Tom, Zoe, Marc, Holly, James, Tim and Joel earned Leaping Wolves
  • Around 15 Silver Wolves and several Gold Wolves last year.
  • Star Awards aren’t announced yet but indications are we earned Gold for the third year running. (We did!)


Leaders and helpers:

  • Ian continued as Akela, assisted by Baloo (Fraser), Bagheera (Kath) and Kaa (Maurits) in uniform. Stephen, Barry and John were also regular helpers.
  • Caleb, Daniel, Luke, Tom, Natasha and Simon were our Cub Instructors.
  • Mostly unchanged in 2019.
  • Support and participation by parents has never been higher and this makes a difference. We invite all cub parents to volunteer to help out at a meeting or event each year. Please let us know when you would like to assist.
  • Thank you to all the helpers!


Plans for 2019:

  • Continue with a fun programme and encourage lots of badge advancement
  • Great attendance gets great results!

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

Annual Camp – a photo essay

December 2018 ended with the Annual Scout Camp at Appleton: with 17 Scouts and 18 Scouters attending.


Activities included a walk to the Kramat and the Noon Gun.


Team games like volley ball and an amazing race











An outing to the Company Gardens and Camps Bay beach.

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And lots and lots of eating!



Camp ended with a flag break – and bonded scouts!



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

Boatswains Course by Justin

Sea Scout courses are very much foreign to most land scouts as we generally don’t stray to that side of things. However, this year I attended a senior Sea Scout course called Boatswain.

This course has two parts; to teach you how to repair any damages done to a boat and the other part of this course was making our bosun’s lanyard. I thoroughly enjoyed learning these new skills. While on this course we learnt how to fix a crack using fibre glass, to use general power tools, to sand down various items, to stitch and much more!

For those asking what exactly is a bosun’s lanyard, it’s a piece of rope that has been plaited, woven and tied to make different patterns throughout it. This results in a lanyard that (if you are in the sea scouts you attach your bosun’s call to it)

This is an example of a regular bosuns call. It is not only used by sea scouts but also be sea cadets and the navy for day to day announcements and calls. In scouting terms however, it is mostly used for ceremonial occassions.


Overall, like any other course this was a great opportunity to meet new scouts from different areas and build relationships with them. This all while still learning new and useful skills that will give you an edge in day to day activities.

This is in my opinion a very valuable course to attend for anyone interested in the sailing world.


Eagles Patrol Leader

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Annual Camp 2018 by Taybah

My 1st Claremont Troop Camp started on the 15th December 2018.

We packed all our equipment for the camp, and then started our journey to Appleton Scout Base on Signal Hill.

At Appleton we were divided into patrols. We hiked down Signal Hill to the noon gun. The navy officer gave us a bit of history about the noon gun. It was really amazing to watch and be part of this.

The next day we played games. We hiked through Bo-Kaap and to the gardens. We took a My-City    bus to Camps Bay beach, where we played some games and swam. We took a My-City bus up to Appleton.

We made meals and learned how to look for animal tracks. We poured Plaster of Paris on to the track and let it dry. We built a dresser and a gateway.

The following day we had our own amazing race at base camp, patrols competing against each other.  We were given clues to carry at the different bases. The winning patrol received some chocolates.

Time passed by so quickly and then it was time to pack up camp to journey home again.

The camp was really memorable and I learnt new things, it gave me the chance to interact with the members of our troop more.

Thank you David our troop scouter and his team for an amazing troop camp.


For more photographs of the Annual Camp, click here. 

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A year in 1st Claremont Scouts by Natasha


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Created, compliled and edited by Natasha.

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Cub Hike to Eagles Nest Constantia

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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.

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