THE 1st Durbanville Scout Group is worried about losing its scout hall and grounds if the City of Cape Town sells the land in De Villiers Drive to a housing developer.

"As the nearby housing developments on the Durbanville golf course are drawing nearer to our scout hall in De Villiers Drive, we are worried that the municipality will sell the land to them," Mr Ryan Hultzer of the 1st Durbanville Scouts explains.springbok

The lease agreement with the City of Cape Town expires in December. Although the organisation applied for a renewal of its lease in February, they have not received an answer yet.

"We rent the land from the city council as we are unable to afford to buy land of our own. We applied for a nine year and 11 month lease. We are grateful to the council for the time they have given us on the land so far, and hope that our ground will not be taken from us and sold to a housing developer. We have been active on our current grounds since the mid-1960s and losing our land may result in the Durbanville community losing a Scout troop and many scouts," he said.
The City of Cape Town had not commented on enquiries from TygerBurger by the time of going to press.

Durbanville's Scouts are regularly involved in community service projects, such as the two separate projects at the Durbanville Quadriplegic home run by Andrew Caldwell and Ryan Hultzer respectively.

One of their members, Mary-Anne Caldwell (18), was the first female scout from 1st Durbanville and only the fifth female scout in the Western Cape to receive the top Springbok Award for scouting.

As one of the requirements for the award Mary-Anne organised and ran a community service project, an educational and fun holiday programme held at Blackheath Primary school for the children of Happy Valley. One of the goals of her project was keeping the children off the streets and occupied with healthy activities during the school holidays. Mary-Anne managed to obtain donations of bread and fruit to provide nutritional snacks for the children in the holiday programme. The programme included playing fun and educational games, learning first aid, fire safety and general emergency procedures. Mary-Anne also invited guest speakers who taught the children about HIV/Aids and prevention.

"Scouting is a non-profit youth organisation and should be seen as an essential part of any community. Scouting develops leadership skills, and teaches first aid, emergency management and survival techniques," said Hultzer. "It takes the youth off the streets and gives them valuable life skills."

Scouts from 1st Durbanville recently visited the Durbanville fire services to learn fire safety rules and fire fighting and lifesaving techniques from the professionals.

The 1st Durbanville troop donated pots and pans from its own resources to the Guguletu Scout Group, which has serious financial constraints and often does not have the resources to enjoy all that scouting has to offer. They are also trying to find donations of old sleeping bags to donate to the Guguletu troop, who have only old and thin blankets which are not suitable for camping.