Now that the census figures have been consolidated it is clear that Scouting is alive and growing fast in Gauteng! Where they had 2046 youth members is 2015, they now welcome 2922 youth to their Cub and Scout meetings every week!
We spoke to Gauteng Regional Commissioner Dave Osmond about why he thinks his Region is blossoming. “I feel ecstatic about our growth! We have very enthusiastic adult leaders who run their programmes diligently and who believe in the power of Scouting,” he explains. “We also have fantastic programmes, especially the new Cub Programme which allows children to advance at a steady pace which means more of them are able to get their Leaping Wolf. Our Cub Packs have grown exponentially and we have waiting lists in most Groups. In a number of them we have opened second Cub Packs to accommodate the demand. We have also seen that more and more dads are joining the Cub Packs as volunteers.” says Dave.
When asked if this growth in youth membership was strategically planned he smiles and says “It is very rewarding to see our strategy pay off. We planned on focusing on the youth and growing our members. Also we are financially in a good place and so this makes it easier to focus on the Scouting programme and growth in our Region.”
When it comes to adult leaders there is a decline in membership. “Even though we see more dads joining the Cub Pack leadership, the overall trend is that our adult leadership is declining. This is not due to the Scouting programme, but due to economic pressures and the fact that finding income and additional income demands more time of people. That being said, we recently developed a Group partnering and mentoring programme with regards to training our adult leaders. By pairing established Scout Groups with new Scout Groups we are able to offer “internships” as it were for adult leaders by which we can get them ready to receive temporary warrants and the training they require to get their Groups, Troops and Packs going. This addresses the high demand for Scouting in our more disadvantaged communities.”