Written by Denja Otte:
Over the past months we have welcomed many new adult members to our Scouting Movement. We have also seen many young people step up and take on leadership roles on Group, Regional and National levels.
Today we are talking to Clare Phyfer from 1st Hillcrest Scout Group in KwaZulu-Natal. Clare has been involved in Scouting her whole life. Her father was a Scouter and so she participated in camps and hikes with him. At the age of 7 she joined the Girl Guides and later stepped into a leadership role in Scouting as an Assistant Troop Scouter (ATS). She then helped to start the “Highway Rover Crew” and is now the KZN Regional Team Coordinator for Rovers. “I am an ATS because it keeps me in touch with Scouts and allows me to be involved in Scouting on the ground. I am a Rover because it is fun and challenging and I applied to be the RTC because I am passionate about Rovering and would like to carry on the good work done by the previous RTC in strengthening Rovers in the region” she says.
Clare decided to join Rovers because it was another way to experience Scouting with like-minded peers and to give herself new challenges. “Rovering is special because it allows a lot more flexibility than other parts of the movement and Crews decide on their activities. In Rovers you find people your own age who have the same interests and values and can make some amazing friends. The advancement system is challenging to adults and very rewarding for me.”
“I love the outdoors and I love helping young people experience all the wonderful aspects of Scouting – it is in my blood!”
Now that Clare is RTC she is very keen to meet ‘her Rovers’! “My main role is to provide support to Rovers in the region. It is also important to make sure that there is good communication between all the Rovers, as well as between the Rovers and the Regional and National Offices. I am also really looking forward to meeting the many different Rovers in the region!”
After a lifetime in Scouting, Clare has many exciting experiences. “One of my most memorable experiences in Scouting was working at an American Scout camp called ‘Camp Bradley’ as well as visiting the Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico. But honestly, although I love camping and all the other activities we do as Scouts and Rovers, my best memories are of the different friendships I have made in Scouting and of all the fun times I have had with others in the Movement”, she explains.
When it comes to the value Scouting has on the personal development of children and adults Clare is clear “Personally, I have learned a lot of practical skills from Scouting, but more importantly. I have learned a lot about dealing with people and being a leader and mentor. Young adults learn leadership and citizenship from Scouting. They also learn to look outside themselves and be of service to others. And of course they also learn practical skills.”
As the RTC she was to see Rovering grow. Her message to young adults is therefore “Scouting is a lot of fun. You will find people who are interested in the same things as you, you will enjoy the outdoors through camping and hiking, you will gain practical skills like First Aid and you will make a difference in your community through Service. Everybody should join Scouting because it is fun and there is something for everyone. It is a great way to make a difference in the world.”