It always feels like a double edged sword when it comes to the AGM time and we have to write reports, and decide on awards to be handed out. On the one hand it is sad, to see another year go by and to see some scouts who have been with us for years turn 18 and leave.  However on the other hand, it is wonderful to reflect back, and think of the amazing times we have had, the awesome camps, Friday night programs, wide games, advancement and badges that have been attained. Not only that, but seeing how cubs and new scouts who joined us knowing almost nothing about knots or maps or first aid, have learnt so much, and had FUN doing it, that is such a heart warming feeling.

I remember standing on the bank of the vlei at Kontiki, and watching 1st Durbanville. Every single scout, no matter whether they were tiny and weak or big and strong, each of them played a part, and was helping to the best of their ability. It was like watching a beautifully choreographed dance. It was amazing to see what our scouts can do, and that for me was the absolute highlight of the year – not the fact that we did fantastically and came 2nd overall, but the fact that nobody complained and said “why me” or “do I have to or “its not my job” or “I’ll do it later”, but they were helpful, cheerful, united, and holding up the laws that they promised to keep –

On my Honour I promise
To do my BEST
To do my duty to God and my country
To help other people at all times
To keep the scout laws

It was of course, also a privilege to compete in all the other competitions – Upton Shield, Rayner Trophy, Gordon Shield, Quinn Trophy (and yes, an added bonus to do so well – 4th at Rayner and 1st at Quinn.

Coming 1st in Tonkin Trophy was a really great honour for 1st Durbanville – to be acknowledged as being THE best troop in the Western Cape.

However, for me it is not winning all these competitions and trophies that is the greatest joy. It is watching a little scout try and try time after time to get a knot right, and then the look on their face when they finally achieve it. It is the experience of seeing someone who is petrified of going SCUBA diving and having to “breathe” under water, overcoming that fear and with such a sense of accomplishment. It is straining every muscle in your body in an obstacle course, and thinking you will never be able to do it, and FINALLY leading your team to victory.

So, THANK you everyone for a wonderful year of scouting, starting with the amazing Cederberg Adventure, and cook outs, wide games around Durbanville, sunset cruises, hikes along train tracks in Ceres, eating sardines and liver spread (in a survivor/ fear factor challenge) etc etc.

LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING YOU ALL NEXT YEAR!!!

Have a blessed and safe Christmas Season.

Ingrid (ATS)
On behalf of Peter (TS)