“If you put things into perspective, school was easier than the Scouting Springbok requirements” quips recently matriculated 9th Benoni Scout Matthew Butterworth. “I was prepared for the work that lay ahead of me in 2020 and so when Covid-19 lockdown restrictions came into effect, I knew I just had to push forward and dive into what needed to be done.
I was a learner at Woodlands International College in Boksburg. A lot of technology was already integrated into the way we worked at the school so it wasn’t too bad when we went completely online from home. We used Google classrooms for the lessons and teachers were always on hand to assist us on any platform of our choosing. I did miss being around my friends, however with camera’s and online gaming we still got to spend time together outside of the classes. The Covid pandemic hit our school hard as we lost 4 out of 7 teachers. As a Scout I had learnt to cope with unexpected circumstances and so I made the choice to stay focused on the bigger picture and knew that we could all make it through together.“
As a Scout I had learnt to cope with unexpected circumstances.
Scouting ran through Matthew’s veins even before he officially joined the Movement. “When I was 5 years old my sister was in Scouting and I saw the cool things she was doing. I nagged my mom for years to be able to join”, he says with a giggle. “So the moment I turned 7 my Scouting adventure started. And Scouting didn’t disappoint! It was all I expected and more. I have loved spending time with like-minded people who all have the same interests. We have so much fun together. Going to Scouts was so much more than just working your way up your advancements. Scouting gives you the opportunity to take responsibility for your own life journey as well as that of your mates. There is a clear reason to go to Scouting: you go to have fun, to learn and grow, and to help others through their Scouting journeys too.”
Not only did Matthew matriculate, but he is one small task away from completing his Springbok Award. “This skills I learnt in Scouting helped me stay driven and focused throughout my Scouting and school careers. My leadership abilities got tried and tested within the safety of my Patrol and then in class I knew when to step up and when to let others lead in discussions and team assignments. I also learnt how to cope with hard situations and to push through.”
When asked what his class mates thought of him being a Scout, he laughs and replies “They thought it was weird. But my best friend Tomas Schreuder is also a Scout and we just told them to try it, as it would change their minds. I am proud to be a Scout, it has been life changing, fun and a real adventure!”
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