SSA: Can you please tell us a bit more about yourself?
My name is Katharina Steiniger and I am 25 years old. Currently I am a volunteer of Scouts South Africa Mpumalanga Region. In May, I finished my Bachelor in logistics. I joined the Scout Movement in 1998 as a Cub at my Scout group “Elisabeth von Thüringen” in Gelsenkirchen Now I am a leader for the Rovers.
SSA: You have been in the German Scouting Movement for a while. Why is Scouting so special to you?
The motto of the Scout Movement is “Learning by Doing”. This setting fascinates me. It means, you can try out yourself and you can get experience out of school and away from home.
SSA: What is it about Scouting that has kept you in the Movement all these years?
Every week I meet my friends at Scouts. Together with my group, we could have carried out really nice projects. During my leader activity, the kids stamped me very much. By them I had a time out of university stress and working stress every week.
SSA: What makes Scouting different to all the other activities for teens?
Young adults escort the different groups. Nevertheless, a lot of values is place of the employee participation of the kids. Mostly this is applied with the project method. So the children introduce their strength by brainstorming about the planning and realization up to the reflection. At Scouts it is important that the kids discover their own strengths individually and thus gain more self-confidence.
SSA: You must have many awesome memories, which one stand out for you?
During a three-day hike in the summer camp 2006, our leader was injured on his foot, so we unfortunately could not continue. As we were on a river, we asked a boat if it could carry us a for a little bit. In fact, it stopped for us at the nearest footbridge and picked us up. So we sat with 15 people on a small boat.
SSA: What has been your toughest Scouting challenge?
For the completion of my Scouting training, I attended a Woodbadge course. This week I reflected myself and my Scouting life very much. During this time, I have reached my limits. This time I did very well in retrospect and I was able to learn a lot from this week.
SSA: So you have now decided to volunteer for a year at another Scout Association. Why volunteer for a year?
I would like to get to know the country and the people. That’s why I decided to live and work in South Africa for a year. It will take time to include myself at the work on the Scout Center, but when this is happened I´m a part of this Scout Association on the other side of the world.
SSA: Why did you pick South Africa?
South Africa has fascinated me for a long time. It is a multicultural country with different peoples. I would like to know more about the culture of this country and learn to live here.
SSA: What are you looking forward to the most?
I am looking forward to the various Scout activities here. To get to know the camp life and to see the similarities and differences to a German camp. Currently we planning the annual action for the coming year, I am already looking forward to this work at the Scout Center.
SSA: In South Africa one of our main projects is called Food for Life. This project teaches old and young alike how to establish and maintain vegetable gardens and contributes to alleviating hunger and poverty. How important do you think Scouts are in helping communities be self-sustaining?
I find it really nice to see that the Scouts here support their communities very strongly. Through this work the individual communities and their members can become more independent, which I consider very important.
SSA: Our Chief Scout says that adventure teaches you how to be a great leader. Would you agree with this?
Yes, through the motto “Learning by Doing” you can experience many big and small adventures. Later, these experiences can be passed on to the group children. But also in the job these experiences can be helpful.
SSA: What do you think about Scouting being open for boys and girls?
I find it very valuable that boys and girls are Scouts together. Both sides can learn from each other and support each other. When experiencing adventures, there should be no difference between girls and boys.
SSA: How would you convince a group of teens to join the Scouting Movement?
I would pick the teens up on a camp. During this time, I was able to experience the Scout movement most. They have been mutually supportive and have grown together as a group. It was always special for me.