Written by: Denja Otte
On National Women’s Day South Africans show respect for the women in our country that make our lives special. In Scouting we have thousands of mothers, Scouters and volunteers who give of their time to make sure that children and youth experience a fantastic Scouting adventure.
Our volunteer adult leaders and Scouting parents are the cornerstone of a Scout’s journey in the Movement. Adult leaders inspire and educate children whilst exposing them to a world of adventure. Parents ensure that the Scouts get to the meetings and register them for events and activities. They also do all the laundry after a camp! We spoke to Lee-Anne Hyslop, Akela at the 2nd Rondebosch Scout Group in Cape Town and mother of three children involved in Scouting.
Lee-Anne’s youngest daughter Robyn-Anne (16) is currently a Scout with the 2nd Bergvliet Sea Scouts. She joined in 2010 as a Cub after she heard about it from her brothers. “One of the first things Robyn-Anne learnt from Scouting were the points of the compass”, explains Lee-Anne proudly. “She was a Cub at 2nd Rondebosch, where I´m now the Akela. She has learnt great leadership skills and is now a Patrol Leader. My daughter also learnt how to get along with people of different ages and backgrounds.”
When we asked Lee-Anne which Scouting adventure her family cherishes the most she replies “The Senior Scout Adventure 2016. This was such a wonderful experience for all. My daughter got to make friends and hike through the Wilderness and partake in so many different activities. Robyn-Anne talked about it for months afterward and says it was the best thing she ever did. As for myself, I also joined the last Senior Scout Adventure and helped in the Bistro. It was great to also be part of this experience.”
Mother and daughter also spend time together at 2nd Rondebosch Cub Meetings on Wednesday nights. “Robyn-Anne has helped me run the Cub Pack for the last 5 years and this gives us a great common experience to talk and laugh about,” says Lee-Anne smiling.
Besides running a Cub Pack Lee-Anne has also helped with judging at Troop competitions, making the costumes for Kontiki and when anything else is needed and she has the time. “I enjoy seeing the Scouts having fun. And without help from adults all these competitions wouldn´t happen.” she says.
As a Scouting parent Lee-Anne experiences the same as most mother’s do after camps. “The only thing on my mind after a camp is the dirty washing and listening to all the stories.” But Lee-Anne also enjoys meeting other parents who volunteer at Scouting activities. “Meeting new people from different walks of life – that is what happens when you are a parent of a Scout”.
Lee-Anne has had three children involved in Scouting and volunteers herself. We asked her why other parents should send their children to the Scouting Movement? “Children develop great leadership, practical and problem -solving skills and get a chance to meet Scouts from all over the country. I think it’s wonderful to have this one shared passion,” explains Lee-Anne.