Recent events at Parktown Boys High School and the Laerskool Bekker in the Magaliesberg, where two pupils sadly lost their lives, serve as a reminder to us all of our responsibilities.
We extend our condolences to the families of Enoch Mpianzi (Parktown Boys) and Keamohetswe Shaun Seboko (Laerskool Bekker). Our thoughts are with the families and friends of the two boys.
SCOUTS South Africa is very aware of the risks that can occur with its wide range of outdoor activities and our responsibilities for minimising these risks. Therefore we just want to remind our members and Scouters of SSA’s requirements when taking responsibility for outdoor activities, and water activities in particular.
The key procedures in place for all outdoor activities are:
- The Patrol System, where the Patrol Leader is responsible for knowing that all their Scouts are accounted for at all times.
- The buddy system, for water activities and on land. Whenever the group may possibly disperse over some distance, with members out of site of the activity leader, the buddy system must be in effect. The buddy system requires two people to be buddies, so that they are able to look out for each other and call for help if necessary.
- The Safe Scouting Policy which, amongst other requirements, sets out the specific training which is required for anyone taking responsibility for leading any activity away from your hall. This training is either as part of the Stage 1, 2 or 3 training or through a more specific course.
For water activities please remember the following procedures in particular:
- The person taking responsibility for any water activity must, as a minimum, have a Water Awareness Certificate, which is only valid for pools and flat water ( lakes etc) not rivers.
- Key elements of the Safe Scouting Policy and the Water Awareness course are the importance of the buddy system, sufficient lookouts (pickets) and trained lifesavers with suitable equipment.
- The specific courses for each type of water activity go into considerable detail about safety and minimising risk, which are our number one priorities.
If you have any questions about organising any outdoor activity please contact your RC, DC, RTC Meerkats, RTC Cubs, RTC Scouts, RTC Rovers, RTC Adult Leader Training for advice.
Yours in Scouting,