Rovering, the university of endurance and perseverance

Thozamile Dingaan, or “Thoza” as we know him, joins the SSA Youth Influencer Team in the Northern Cape.  He will be sharing Messenger of Peace, SDG and success stories from within his Region. Thoza recently became the first BP Award recipient in the Northern Cape. Here is his Scouting story.

Written by Thozamile Dingaan, SSA Youth Influencer Northern Cape

My name is Thozamile Dingaan and I am a Scout. I am a Rover at Gryffindor Rover Crew and recently became the first Rover in the Northern Cape Region to receive a BP Award.

My Scouting journey began at the Isago Scout Group as a Scout. I was 16, and so was a bit older than most of my Patrol. Because of this I soon became a Junior Assistant Troop Scouter. I joined Scouting because I saw it in a movie and thought to myself that it would be nice to get a badge for everything I do. So I looked for a local Troop and that is how I met the Isago Scout Group. I entered the blue gate and never left again! But trust me when I say… it was nothing like what they said it was on TV.

My first month at the Troop meetings was a bit challenging as I didn’t know what to do or where to go yet. I was a very confident chap already at this time. I knew nothing, but was determined to know everything. I was a leader at school in my various extra murals. But when it came to Scouts, there was not even time to think twice about which one to go to.

Looking at it, my Scout journey was very short. Yet I loved it. Soon I became a Rover at the Isago Rover Crew because I felt I still had a long way to go. I’m always looking for ways to improve myself, and Rovering helped me do this. It challenged me. Yoh! I learnt the true meaning of the saying ‘before you judge me, walk a mile in my shoes’. Rovering is the university of endurance and perseverance.

Later I moved to Gryffindor Rover Crew. Gryffindor was a totally new Crew which we formed. We had to start building from scratch. The challenge was that Rovering was a fairly new uncharted territory in our Region. We got support and learnt a lot from well-resourced Rover structures in other Regions, but we had to find our own path. So we focussed on growth, whilst helping Leaders understand what Rovering is and how it was different to then well-known Troop.

I learnt the art of patience and that not everyone is like me. We had to work as a team. Find what works for us and grow as a Crew and a Unit. I have learned to do the most with what you have. Even today, I still learn and re-learn these ideals.

I learned that it’s not about you as an individual, but about what we can achieve together as a Crew.

Being in the Scout Movement has taught me how to lead by giving me opportunities to grow e.g. when I lead activities. My project management skills were enhanced, especially in my Rover journey. I learned the importance of having a project plan, a budget and an implementation strategy. Now there is really nothing that I can’t do with this skill! It helps me in Scouting, through my life, and in my professional career.

I recently was awarded my BP Award. The highest award a Rover can earn. It feels amazing that after so much effort and work, I was able to achieve my goal. Getting my BP Award really makes it all worthwhile. It even encourages me in the other areas of my life. Once you put your mind on achieving something, nothing is impossible or unrealistic. I learned that even when a project seems to be bigger that the capacity of the Crew, you just need to work together to find a solution to the challenges and be of service to others. The biggest lesson I learned in my whole journey was that it’s not about you as an individual, but about the Crew and what we can achieve together.

My advice to other youth thinking of joining the Movement is simply, the Scout who started this journey is not the same person who stands before you now. The person now is able to lead a District.