Written by Paul Polta
Lhumanco Mbanya is 13 years old and lives in Langa with his grandmother and his two uncles. He joined the Scouting-in-Schools programme earlier this year at Thembani Primary School. “My family supports me in my hobby”, he says happily. “My mother was a Guide when she was a child, so my grandmother can understand my passion for Scouting”.
“Our Scout Troop took part in the Eco Camps at Hawequas”, explains Lhumanco. “It was my first time. I was excited, even though I was afraid of seeing snakes there. But the camp was great! I learnt how to pitch up a tent, and my Patrol and I even managed to pitch it in 20 minutes! During the camp I did a lot of things of which I am really proud now. I accomplished an exhausting hike and swam in the river. I also got a badge for the Eco Camp”, he states proudly. Lhumanco wears his Eco Camp badge next to his badge for excellent attendance.
“I joined the Scouts out of curiosity and because I wanted to learn more about Scouting”, he adds. “I stay in Scouting because the programme and camping motivate me, and … of course my grandmother who pushes me to go to school. Scouting keeps me out of trouble and away from drugs. Being a Scout is not only an activity, it is something that really changes the daily lives of many kids. Scouting also gives me a reason to be proud of myself and gives me the chance to get better in English.” These are but a few examples of what he appreciates about Scouting.
When Lhumanco graduates from school he wants to become either a chef or a professional basketball player. “I really enjoy playing basketball with my friends. But Scouting is more than a hobby to me. Scouts is my home, my family, my everything. I go to school because after school, I can do Scouts!”
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