Message from Chair: National Meerkat Programme, Craig Rens (Mufasa)
Dear Scouting Family,
It gives me great joy to see the Meerkats launched in October 2019 as the fourth branch of SCOUTS South Africa.
The Meerkat Branch was recognised as part of SCOUTS South Africa earlier this year, after two years of hard work from the Development Team under the guidance of Sherley Southworth (aka Granny Meerkat).
Adding the Meerkats to the SSA programmes makes sense on many fronts. The programme caters for children aged 5-6. There is a growing realisation that children are developing at an early age, and need stimulation through Early Childhood Development Programmes. Children learn through a curriculum they receive at pre-school, after which they are enrolled in a number of extracurricular activities. So why not enroll these children in the Scouting journey before their schedules become over crowded with other secular activities?.
Meerkat Parents are more involved in the Den activities compared to the other Branches as they attend the Meerkats activities with their children. As a result we see that parents often join Scouting as parent helpers or Scouters.
Looking to the future, I hope that many Groups will establish Meerkat Dens as this is an easily attainable way to fulfill our strategic goal to grow the membership of SSA. Initially it will be a growth in numbers, but as more Meerkats become Cubs, Scouts & Rovers, they will bring a deeper experience, having grown up in the Movement.
We call on all our members to join us in celebrating the launch of Meerkats, may the new branch of Scouting grow from strength to strength!
To all our existing Meerkats and parents, we officially welcome you into the Scout Family, take time to get involved in an adventure of a life time. You will definitely get out more than you put in! Parents, getting involved is always a great way to strengthen your relationship with your children, whatever their age.
Meerkats are small, energetic & feisty, the Meerkat motto is Stand Tall! I encourage you to Stand Tall and Do Your Best to Be Prepared for Service.
Yours in Scouting,
Craig Rens (Mufasa)
Chair: National Meerkat Programme
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