Scout movement is experiencing a revival in KZN

2014-06-23 00:00

THE Scout movement is experiencing a revival and in some areas of KwaZulu-Natal there are even waiting lists to join.

The reason for this, said KZN Scout provincial chairperson Steve Camp, is that parents have realised that their children will not learn about their environment or be involved in character or community development, by spending hours on their iPads or in front of the television screen.

Yesterday, the leaders and other representatives of the 290 000 scouts in KwaZulu-Natal converged on Queensburgh Civic Centre, where 140 scouts and their leaders received various awards.

Scouting, the world’s biggest youth movement, was started in 1907 by Lord Robert Baden-Powell, after he wrote Aids to Scouting, while stationed in South Africa during the siege of Mafikeng in the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902). Scouting aims to combine adventure with solid values such as honesty, integrity and perseverance.

Camp said he believed scout numbers could be much higher were it not for a shortage of adult leaders in places such as Ballito, Umhlanga Rocks, Bluff and Port Shepstone. The movement trains adults who volunteer to become scout leaders.

Chief scout of South Africa, Sibusiso Vilane, who has climbed Mount Everest twice, was also at the Queensburgh event.

He was also the first black African to walk unassisted to the South Pole — he did it on foot, dragging all his food and equipment behind him.

Vilane said the biggest challenge he had to overcome in life was having to think beyond the fact that he had received nothing from an impoverished home life, to guide him into adult life.

“I never lost hope. I had to think to myself that I will grow up one day, have a family, be a father, own my own house,” he said.

When asked what advice he would give to young people who may be in the same predicament, he said: “They must realise that their future is largely in their own hands.”

He said scouting enabled youngsters to find out more about themselves, than if they just stayed at home, such as through the testing of physical abilities and through communication and interaction as part of a team.

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