“Through Scouting my skills have multiplied and diversified”

By Leah Klemm and Natasha Kayle

Eighteen year old Emma King from 1st Table View Scout Group matriculated recently from Elkanah House High School in Sunningdale. Here, she tells us about how Scouting helped her to pass her Matric with distinctions in seven subjects!

SSA: Can you please tell us a bit more about yourself?

Emma Robert Brother Oct 2015Adventurous, hard-working, kind-hearted, punctual and humble – I believe that these 5 words paint an accurate picture of who I am.  At just 18 years of age I am fortunate enough to tell stories of the hundreds of exciting – often adrenaline pumping – adventures I have experienced.  In my eyes anything from hiking to camping to Scouting is an adventure and I love every minute of it!
More special still is that many of these breathtaking moments are spent alongside my brother Robert (image above), and parents, James and Moira, No matter how far away an adventure takes us, we always return to Table View, where it is the people – family, Scouts and friends – that transform uninteresting brick houses into homes. Over the years I have discovered that the place I call ‘home’ has molded me into who I am today – a hard-working, dedicated individual who wants the best for everyone.

 SSA: You passed Matric at Elkanah House High School with 7 distinctions. Which subjects were your best?
Mathematics and Advanced Program Mathematics were my best subjects. Not only did I thrive in these two subjects, but I also loved them and executed every mathematical problem with an undying passion.

SSA: Did you expect these results? How do you feel about them?
I definitely didn’t believe that I would achieve these results! I certainly surpassed my expectations! At first everything felt surreal; but once reality hit I realized that the most overwhelming thing was not the results themselves, but rather the reflection of the journey I took to get to the results. The journey was filled with happiness, laughter, hard-work, late nights, frustration and quite often tears. I did not venture on this journey alone and that makes my results special – results printed on a piece of paper are not a measure of my academic success, but rather the measure of the faith that my parents, family and friends had in me when I lost faith in myself. Their faith fueled, sustained and supported me during the exams. I feel that – more than anything – the results have helped me find a renewed respect for many people and have showed me that the journey and interaction with people are priceless when compared to the final destination.

SSA: What are some of your favorite school memories?
I have so many good memories but some of my best include the mathematics classes where everything can be described using a metaphor! Composite functions become snails in shells in buckets; exponential graphs become lines drawn when cats bumped your elbow….. Another amazing school memory was travelling to the BCA to remove alien vegetation on Saturday mornings and also the pajama day we had at school.

SSA: Do you have an embarrassing moment to share with us?
When I decided playing soccer would be a good idea because it was the only winter school sport that fitted into my crazily busy life schedule. However, anyone who knows me knows that even though a soccer ball is the size of a watermelon, I still miss the ball which is very embarrassing when everyone watches home matches!

SSA: In your final year you also managed to do your Springbok. How difficult was it to combine the two?
It was certainly challenging, more so in the beginning as I had to learn how to successfully achieve both schooling and Scouting ventures without compromising either one. The most difficult thing for me was actually accepting that wanting to do my best in everything is not necessarily best for me…to live and enjoy a richly balanced life with multiple ventures one must be willing to sacrifice certain things. Despite minor sacrifices – the main one being sleep – I kept myself organized and well-prepared.

SSA: Being in school and having so many other options to choose from, what kept you in the Scouting Movement?
I joined the movement on the 22nd of August 2012 and ever since I have been involved. It’s quite simple to answer this question – when there is no Scouting Movement there is a sensation of emptiness that creeps into my life. It is difficult to describe, but I believe that it takes something special and unique to be a Scout. In our diversified world some people, like me, just have a natural affinity to Scouting – the outdoors, the hiking, the fellowship, the respect, the challenges, laughs and unforgettable life skills and memories. Scouting offered me the opportunity to be myself; it allowed me to see the past as an experience to learn from, to see the present as a priceless gift and to see the future packed with opportunities – that is what kept me in Scouting!

SSA: Would you say being a Scout gave you tools to do so well at school?
One’s own drive and passion are crucial when trying to achieve something. Often this drive and passion needs to be cultured. However, I must say that through Scouting my skills have multiplied and diversified. My ability to think rationally and quickly is a result of Scouting. In unification with this is being prepared: Scouting has taught me time, and time again, how crucial it is to be prepared in life. This was a very valuable tool in school.

SSA: You will be studying BSc degree in Applied Mathematics. Why did you choose this career path?
I strongly believe that the equally challenging and enjoyable nature of the degree will allow for me to grow personally and extend my knowledge on a subject matter for which I have a great passion. The logic, never-ending challenges and beautiful precision that is associated with mathematics and mathematical applications never fails to astound me. Mathematics’ usefulness and integration in so many aspects of my daily life has fueled much of my passion and excitement for Mathematics. I also believe that my personality suits this degree: I am hard-working, won’t leave any problem unsolved, and won’t lose motivation easily.

SSA: This year we are celebrating 100 years of Cubbing. What would you like to say about Cubbing?
It delights me to know that Cubbing has survived 100 years and is still thriving. It provides amazing opportunities to young children! At Cubs children learn new skills, make new friends, become ‘world-wise’ and have fun. Cubbing is brilliant! May it continue to positively influence youngsters throughout South Africa for many years to come!