I started in this organisation as an enthusiastic cub, dreaming of the thrill of the outdoors, that they told us it would be. Cubs was well organised and great fun and this stimulated me to do as many interest badges as possible. As a result, I learnt many interesting things I would otherwise not have been exposed to. I also learnt many basic skills in cubs, which stood me in good stead for scouts.

As a young scout, I thought that this was just a lot of games and fun things like hikes and camps. Well it was like that and I did have lots of fun and great hikes in the mountains but as time passed, the little challenges started to arise. Little things like my Patrol Leader delegating tasks and small responsibilities to me. I began to realise that this isn’t just a big game and that in everything we do, there is a meaningful lesson being taught in a very subtle way.

When my time came to be appointed as a patrol leader, I had already discovered that one of the most important lessons we learn in scouts, is to rise to any challenge. I really learnt the full concept of scouts when I was selected to attend the PLTU (Patrol Leaders’ training unit) course earlier this year. That in itself was an honour and I urge all younger scouts to plan to get onto this course.

While attending the PLTU, I realised that the whole time you are part of Scouts, you are being trained in leadership skills, coping with challenges and learning how to work as a team and to co-exist with other people from different paths of life. It’s not all about tying knots and reading maps.

My progress through scouts has encouraged me to attempt the ultimate challenge, being the Springbok award. This is planned for next year and in fact this speech is a requirement of that award.

During your scouting career there are often times when you feel like quitting. Everyone goes through this feeling at least once in their time at scouts. This is the time when the challenge really starts and it is at this point when you overcome this urge, that you become a better and stronger person.

In conclusion, Scouting has:

  • taught me to think on my feet
  • to become a leader
  • to be more disciplined
  • given me the courage to attempt whatever project I wish
  • given me a better understanding of how to co-exist with many different people and how to communicate with them.