Message from Chief Scout Brendon Hausberger
Over the Christmas break, I read a book and learned some more about creative art photography. This is a new photography style where you use aspects of the real world in creative ways to make a picture of purely your own creation.
The authors started by pointing out that as children we are taught to take a picture that accurately reflects the world as it is and that any suggestion of not holding the camera steady or blurring the image is wrong. They go on to explain how, by ignoring that rule, and learning and applying new skills, you are able to create an entirely new image that reflects the world as you want to see it, and not just with some Photoshop magic, but purely through the use of the camera, and its lens.
This got me thinking… in many ways this is what we are trying to do with our young people in Scouting. We definitely want them to see the world as it really is with its challenges of poverty, unemployment, hunger, water shortages and growing populations. We also want to give them the skills, insight and ability to take those elements of the real world and lead the change actions to turn that reality into the world they want it to be.
In alignment with that vision, as SCOUTS South Africa, we are reiterating our commitment to be a positive force for change in our country. We are doing this with the extension of our Sustainable Development Goals Champion Badges to include the goals of Gender Equality (5), Protect the Planet (13), Life below Water (14) and Life on Land (15). You are still able to complete the previous four sections, and we look forward to recognising many more members for their personal commitments and actions towards making the world a better place.
I think there are very few of us who have not witnessed the fires and devastation they caused in Australia. Adding to this the widespread drought and simultaneously the devastation of floods in various parts of our country and the world, it is clear what role we have to play. Unless we all start to take positive action, we can only look forward to more and worse weather extremes in the years to come.
And talking to the future, we also look forward to the second Lekgotla, to be held in KZN from the 2nd to the 4th of October. As the year progresses, you will be seeing more information on the event and what we plan to discuss there with you, our members. The feedback from the previous Lekgotla was of immense value in helping us to better understand the needs on the ground and to align the strategy to target those needs. We now need to review what we have achieved and together with you, and plot out the objectives for the next three years.
As you return to your Scout Groups, schools, universities and jobs, and we progress on the dawn of a new year, I would like to leave you with a reminder from Baden Powell: “The great thing that strikes you on looking back is how quickly you have come – how very brief is the span of life on this earth. The warning that one would give, therefore, is that it is well not to fritter it away on things that don’t count in the end; nor on the other hand is it good to take life too seriously as some seem to do. Make it a happy life while you have it. That is where success is possible to every man”
Make this your year to do something that makes the world a little better than you found it!
Yours in Scouting,
SCOUTS South Africa
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