Scouting in South Africa

Scouting a zip-line
Let me just put it out there. I was a Scout when I was younger. Some would argue "once a Scout, always a Scout", and I guess there could be some merit in that.

Back in the day there were two movements, the Boy Scouts and the Girl Guides, but these day's it appears as though they've amalgamated into the Scouting Movement. Personally, I have mixed feelings about this one - on the one hand it's the politically correct thing, but on the other hand, I'm sure merging the genders creates a whole host of other problems - especially at camps! When boys and girls had separate organisations boys could be boys, and girls girls, without the complications that puberty brings. That said, I'm fairly confident that for the most part the Scouts would have it no other way. ;)

The Scouts had build the structure in this photo to provide a high-point for a zip-line. If you look carefully, you'll see a growing queue of kids waiting to get dressed in a harness and climb the ladder to the top. I watched for a while as the most responsible of the Scouts, manning the top of the structure, carefully attached each kid's harness to the structure as they reached the top. He did his job with surprising focus - he reminded me of a friend that had been involved in the High-Angle Rescue team a few years ago. Nicholas always took climbing and safety extremely seriously.

I can't say that I didn't wish that I was just a little smaller and able to join the queue of kids. It looked such fun! :)

Did you know that the Scouting Movement was started in 1907 in the UK by Robert Baden-Powell (as a result of his military service in South Africa) and that he and his sister, Agnes Baden-Powell, started the Girl Guide movement two years later?

4 thoughts on “Scouting in South Africa

  1. Cristina

    I was a Girl Guide many, many years ago, when I was 11, for about 4 years.
    My totem name was Elk. I never understood why they call me so.
    I decided to quit because I was fed up of summer camps (at that time we where “very” separate from the boys) 12 girls in each tent, terrible food and no proper loo.

  2. Paul

    Post author

    Wow Cristina, 12 girls in a tent at the same time must be scary! :)
    (The bad food and hole-in-the-ground-loo was pretty much the same for the boys.)

  3. Pedro Estrada Belli

    Hi Paul,
    I still remember those days at the Scout group Roma1 in Italy, as some of the happiest days of my youth, still have my useful “opinel” knife well preserved in the memorabilia drawer. The fact that Lord Baden Powell has created a movement still so strong and able to spread all over the world with the same spirit of brotherhood and positive influence for young boys and girls is amazing.
    greetings from “PONCH”, my scout totem.


  4. Paul

    Post author

    You’re right Pedro, it is amazing – but then again, kids generally love camping, climbing, fires, and the like, so in some respect the movement was always destined to succeed. :)

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