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Sun, swimming and sailing was the order of the day from the moment that the 1st Durbanville troop arrived at Vogelvlei Yacht Club campsite on Voëlvlei Dam near Wellington.

Unprecedented numbers of 1st Durbanville scouts attended the camp from 10 to 15 January 2022 and our Troop Scouter, Johann Visser (aka Guppie), and his team had their work cut out for them. Sailing was everyone’s priority and our boat’s new sails were properly baptized by the time the camp drew to an end.

Apart from the fleet of kayaks and sup boards which were at the disposal of our scouts, they also built a raft on which many a happy hour was spent. Many of the juniors successfully completed the Map Reader Scoutcraft badge which was run on camp by Guppie and a team of seniors.

Our six patrols each had a turn to cook for everyone and on the last night a formal banquet with a “Star Wars” theme was held. Amidst great hilarity and high jinx, skits were demanded as forfeits for failing to adhere to a number of “Star Wars” terminologies and table rules.

All too soon it was time to pack up, lower the flag and head for Durbanville. A sunburnt, exhausted and happy troop made quick work of unpacking all the equipment at the scout hall and then it was home to cool showers, mom’s cooking and comfortable beds.

The 1st Durbanville scouts excelled at the 2021 Gordon Shield scout competition which was held at Hawequas in Wellington. They came 1st at the Hawequas campsite and 5th overall.

The Gordon Shield was run at two different locations on the weekend of 11 and 12 September 2021 to ensure that the national Covid rule of no gatherings with more than 100 people was met. 1st Durbanville took 1st position at the Hawequas venue where 14 patrols participated.

Another 15 scout patrols participated at the Rotary campsite at Glencairn where 6th Rondebosch took 1st place and won the Gordon Shield overall. Second Bergvliet came second and the 1st Fish Hoek Ranger Guides came third.

The competition is a regional standing camp competition where patrols consisting of 5 Scouts camp under canvas, build gadgets and carry out other activities which are evaluated during the course of a weekend. Despite the rain, scouts from all over the Western Cape participated in the competition.

The Gordon Shield competition first took place on Saturday, 19 September 1915 at the Rifle Range in Clee Road, Observatory. The Competition initially tested scouts’ First Aid skills, but the following year the Competition included signalling and shooting.

In 1917 the Competition became a Patrol Camp and was run on very similar lines to the current Gordon Shield Competition.

CAPTION: 1st Durbanville scouts at the Gordon Shield competition: From left to right: Tristan Casaleggio (Patrol Leader), Zoey Le Roux (Assistant Patrol Leader), Hannah Murphy, Daniel Wilbraham, Matthew Stead.

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