Written by Paul Polta
What impact does Scouting have on the lives of children taking part in our programmes in school? Kwakho Mtgi is a 12 year old Scout in grade 7 at the Thembani Primary School in Langa in the Western Cape. Earlier this year he joined Scouting where he has already been presented with the top award for attendance!
Kwakho lives with his grandmother, his father, his aunt and his cousins in one home. ”I enjoy living together with lots of my family members. It makes me feel safe and I trust them”, he explains. “I have a big trust in my family but also in the Scouts and my Patrol. They are also my family. Together we have experienced many adventures like my first eco- camp in Hawequas.”
Hawequas is the Western Cape Scouting Adventure Center in Wellington. Environmental education (eco) camps are run for Cubs and Scouts of the Scouting in Schools programme on a regular basis. “It was the first time I spent a night in a tent”, Kwakho grins, “Our leaders showed us how to put up a tent and then I discovered myself how easy it was to pitch a tent when we had to do it ourselves. I also learnt how important it is to be able to cook and take care of yourself and of your Patrol. Even the small things, like being able to cook an egg on your own, is what brings you further in life. This is also the reason why I joined the Scouts. I really like adventures and I wanted to go camping and learn more about different skills. When we got told about Scouts in class, I imagined how great camps must be. So I decided that this is what I want to do.”
Growing and building a Scouting career is something his family is keen to support. “My father was a Scout. My grandmother saw what Scouting did for my father. Scouting moralized him. So now she really encourages me to come and to do my best. All of them are really proud of what I’m doing”, he says with pride.
When not in school or in Scouting, Kwakho enjoys playing football with his own team and for his school. “I enjoy being part of the team but I have seen that in Scouting the Scouts take more care and motivate each other. Scouting has taught me the skills of listening and speaking”, he says. “It really helps me in life as well as with my favourite subjects maths and history. Scouting is helping me to become an accountant one day!”
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