Written by Gary Pienaar
Two members of the 1st Bryanston Scout Troop in Gauteng were awarded the prestigious Springbok Scout badge, at an annual awards parade held at the Gilwell Scout Camp in Florida in honour of BP Sunday in February. John Tyson and Matteo Rakic, were part of a group of twenty Scouts from all over the Gauteng province, who were recognized at this ceremony. Interestingly, both young men joined the Scout Group when they were 8 years of age and were invested together into the Cub Pack in August 2009. Now, almost ten years later, they both shared the stage to receive the highest award for a youth member of the Scout Movement.
Tyson, the former head boy of Bryanston High School, completed his matric last year and intends on studying Civil Engineering at Pretoria University. To earn his badge, he had to plan, organize and lead a team of Scouts in completing a number of special projects. As part of his community service project, he built a permanent outdoor gym in Riverside Park, near the start of the Saturday morning Park Run. The structure was built using wooden and steel poles, and benefits many of the local residents and regular users of the park. Reflecting on his achievement, Tyson said “while there was a lot of hard work involved, my Springbok adventure has taught me many new life skills that I’m eternally grateful for”.
Rakic, a learner at Fourways High School, will be completing his matric later this year. He also had a very busy schedule, as all the requirements to earn the Springbok Scout badge, must be completed before the Scout’s 18th birthday. During the December school holidays, he spent time working on a community rockery garden at the corner of Saint James Crescent and The River Road. After encouraging the local community to contribute funds and materials, together with his team, they logged more than 74 hours of community service work. Rakic also had to organize a three-day hike in the Suikerbosrand for a group of five Scouts, which he enjoyed thoroughly.
In presenting the awards, SCOUTS South Africa’s Chief Commissioner Andrew Tanner wished all the recipients well for the future. He said “the Springbok Scout badge represents someone who has done their best, and persevered against many challenges, in completing the varied requirements for this award”.