SCOUTING in Nelson Mandela Bay metro has been in existence for over 90 years, and has continued to grow relatively under the radar.
The 1st Sunridge Scout Group which has been around since 1951, has recently embarked on a project to make beds and pillows for animal shelters.
“As a buffer against the cold and to keep the damp at bay after the heavy rains we used polystyrene at the bottom,” said Kevin Whitlock, coordinator of 1st Sunridge Scout Group.
The beds and pillows were made from shade cloth stuffed with polystyrene which offered animals a shield from the cold ground.
The scouts have been collecting all forms of polystyrene like packaging and even take-away containers. The shade cloth was donated to the scouts by Cape Fabric Engineering.
Their first delivery was to Save-a-Pet on Women’s Day.
They and various other scout groups in the metro are involved in regional projects like The Herald Urban Run, as well as setting up other scouting groups in the region.
They will be teaming up with 1st Sosebenza Scout Group to have a joint training and skills camp from September 28– 30 at the African Imprint Outdoor centre near Kirkwood.
“We have to help where we can. That is a scout’s honour” said Whitlock.
The scouting community is now aiming to extend its ranks. Presently there are 12 groups, the latest having been established in Gelvandale. They boast an impressive tally of 36 boys and girls thus far.
“We need to reach the youth in disadvantaged areas because they are the ones we need to keep off the streets and out of mischief,” said Martin de Bruyn, district commissioner of the Nelson Mandela Bay metro district.
Scouting helps develop skills in cooking, first aid, hiking, compass and mapping, outdoor safety and conservation among other useful skills. It en courages community building, upliftment and teamwork.
Being trained as a scout from a young age equips children with the necessary traits to succeed in life.
Testament to the good ethics and codes practised is the long standing St Columbas Scout Group in Newton Park, in existence for over 90 years.
“This is the fundamental stepping stone upon which young children develop into responsible citizens in their community,” De Bruyn said.
For more information about a scout group, or becoming a volunteer contact Martin de Bruyn on 083-463-7598 or (041)373-4035.